As You Can See On Slide 63…

Cartoon courtesy Hugh MacLeod, who now does work for Microsoft (Powerpoint’s manufacturer)
Virginia at Brains on Fire recently found herself “under a mountain of slides.”

I shudder to think what the % of total working hours of my career have been spent making, perfecting, or presenting slides. My first role at Dell had a very formal title – Corporate Strategy Analyst in the Office of the Chairman, but could have been simplified to “slide jockey”. I would figure out what the main goal of the communication was, search for data to support the overall message, analyze the data and then graphically present it to build a compelling argument. Useful skills to hone, but it would definitely leave me with an empty feeling post-presentation when slides were filed away, and I was left wondering if they had an impact. Such is the angst of the communications professional.

Also from the Brains on Fire blog, Spike explores the power of pigeonholes.

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of the Blair Enns school of thought. He just recorded a podcast with Eric over at Jenerous and I strongly suggest that you take a listen when you get the chance. For me, it was great to be reminded why we don’t do spec work, answer RFPs, etc. But the gem in his words was this (paraphrasing): “Most agencies are afraid to be pigeonholed and specialize in one discipline. But what they don’t realize is that the pigeonholes are stuffed with cash.”

Hmmm…perhaps an agency that specializes in Powerpoint presentations would clean up.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.