Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Death by e-mail, death by PowerPoint, death by distance
You have heard it, you have read it, and you have experienced it. Business relationships that are build over e-mail, lacking the personal touch of face-to-face meetings, missing out on the power and personal touch of a drop-in and walk-by conversation, and lacking the richness of authentically connecting in a personal manner where a touch, a smile, a frown, or a nod can speak so much better than your average written word.
I’m convinced you have experienced presentations that leave you bombarded with slides – slides that are stuffed with data, that hurt your eyes, that leave you puzzled. Slides that either bore you to death, irritate you tremendously or make you nervous because you can’t follow the story line – if there is any.
You might think it is failure-proof, it’s the new way of doing business, it is convenient, and it’s efficient to resort to e-mails and slides. It isn’t. It isn’t any of these things. Whether it be old-fashioned e-mails or texts, whether it be yammer, whether it be slides or any other tool – it is exactly that: a tool. And tools should not take over or replace, they should enrich, enhance, and enable. A tool is supposed to aid in accomplishing a task. So lets look at emails, PowerPoint and the like as exactly that: tools that need to be embedded in personal connections and authentic relationships.
I suggest we all start re-using elements such as improvisation, walk-by, humor, eye-contact, personal stories, simile, contrast, alliteration, and metaphor in order to really relate and accomplish by investing in others, getting to know others, and inspiring others. Make it fun, make it real, and don't take yourself too seriously - the bigger picture is genuinely the better picture such as using mistakes you might make to show yourself human and flexible.