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Slide:ology & my comfort zone September 23, 2009

Posted by Ornwassa Siamseranee in Slide:ology, [Books] Visualization & Presentation.
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As a business professional and an MBA student, I am very familiar with PowerPoint. Most of my business interaction involves PowerPoint, and my roles range from being a listener to a presenter, as well as everything in between, such as an editor of others’ presentation, a preparer of the presentation for others to deliver, and a presenter of a presentation prepared by others.

I have used PowerPoint since I was in college, which has now been over 8 years. Over the years, I have developed my own style in preparing the presentation based on adoption of some best practices I saw in others’ presentations. Being a career switcher from accounting to marketing, I am still attracted to details and organizations of things. So, my presentation normally contains a lot of boxes and frames, with moderate level of text. To add some interesting aspects to my presentation, I rely on color choices, images, and animations. My presentation often receives compliments for its neatness and its easiness to understand and follow. Therefore, during the last 4 years, I found myself using this same style over and over. My friends would recognize my slides and know that this is my style.

Reading through this book, Slide: Ology, last week, I found many interesting tips and techniques that I thought I could use in preparing my next slides. Two days later, I had to prepare presentation for a class. After working on it for a while, I reviewed my slides and just realized that it was still in “my style”. Although I recognized the usefulness of the book and made up my mind that I would apply the concepts, I still ended up with my same old slides.

Why is it so difficult to break out from what we used to do and what we are comfortable with? Is it just me, or does this happen to everybody else? Or the fact that I have established my own style means that I have passed the experimenting stage? What should I do to always keep my mindset in the experimenting stage?

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