Monday, 19 March 2012

All presentation and incorrect

Presentations - have they ever been more popular?

There are more and more online tools for making and delivering presentations, adding to the arsenal of offline standards.

And I notice that teachers and trainers seem to use them in ever greater numbers for reasons as varied as the introduction of grammar points and professional development.

The presentation, it seems, is here to stay, and its role in the Big Six is seemingly assured.

But why?

What function does it fulfil?

 The main reason for giving a presentation is seemingly to inform your audience about something.

If that is the case, presentations seem to be catastrophically inefficient ways of conveying information.

It is much quicker and easier to read a document than have it read to you, which is what many presentations consist of.

Reading also allows you to think about what is being said and to compare it with other sources of information.

The other main reason for giving a presentation is to persuade your audience of something.

That's all well and good if you are the presenter, but if you are the audience - do you want to be persuaded?

An information pack, for example, might tell you what you need to know as well as giving you time and space to think clearly about the issues involved without being hit between the eyes by a hard sell.

The only mutually useful part of a presentation is the discussion afterwards, where points can clarified, questions raised, misunderstandings ironed out.

My suggestion, then, is that we abandon the presentation and move straight to the Q&A.

Use the fabulous software to make interesting documents which become the start of something, not the end of it.

(Image: Free Images)

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