Participating in the IX NIS International Research-to –Practice Conference, I have noticed that PowerPoint presentations have become an integral part of scientific public speeches. Almost all of the conference speakers delivered their speech using the PowerPoint slides, and almost all of those slides followed the presenters’ speeches illustrating the essential information in them. However, Chris Mcnab, one of the conference presenters, stood out from the crowd by delivering his one and half an hour speech titled “Is it good or does it work? The golden rules of quality and innovation” using only several pictures. Despite the speaker’s engaging tone and effective body language, without the typical PowerPoint presentation with lots of visual aids, as a listener, I found it quiet challenging to follow the speakers’ ideas and stay concentrated till the end of the long speech.
To begin with, Chris Mcnab’s speech was very informative in terms of its content and consisted of several interesting points. For instance, the speaker’s main argument was about the importance of paying equal attention to both quality and innovation in publishing a book. In addition, he also provided in-depth information on the challenges and tips of producing high quality books and ended his speech elaborating on the mixed responses to digital learning. However, without the visual support, the speech seemed to be disorganized, and as a listener, I found it quite difficult to see the interconnection between these arguments and ideas. Overwhelmed by lots of information, towards the end of the speech, I lost the track of the presenter’s thoughts and was wondering why the speaker started talking about the negative effects of mobile phones.
On the other hand, I found the presenter’s usage of colorful pictures in explicating the meaning of the word “quality” very effective. Using the pictures of a pen, restaurant and IPhones the presenter explained that the high quality things should function properly, take into the account the consumer’s whole experience, and be personalized as in the examples of high quality pens, restaurants and phones. Further, demonstrating the picture of his daughter, the presenter added that high quality books should take into the account their end-users and the context in which these books will be used. In an hour and a half long speech, these four pictures served as effective tools to keep the audience’s interest.
From this experience, I inferred that the PowerPoint presentations with relevant content that matches the speakers’ speech are necessary to guide the audience and keep the audience’s interest. Notwithstanding the arguments against the usage of PowerPoints, it is hard to deny that when used appropriately they can make your speech more organized, engaging and memorable.
Photo credits to https://www.p2bi.com/p2binvestor-blog/how-to-become-a-strategic-cfo/