Great Leadership

Become a Listening Leader: Go from “Death by PowerPoint” to “Death to PowerPoint”

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Thomas Dawson2021-09-07
The key to successful leadership is an acknowledgement of the importance of listening. Being receptive to the thoughts and feedback of others and a willingness to continuously learn, evolve and improve is a proven path towards becoming a listening leader… and dumping PowerPoint is the perfect place to start.

Think back to the last time you delivered a talk to a group of people. Maybe you’re a teacher and you were addressing a class of students, maybe you were leading a team meeting at the office or over Zoom, or maybe you were delivering training or speaking to a conference.

Maybe you were delivering fresh content that you prepared especially for that specific purpose, but chances are - if you were giving a talk or presentation you’ve given before - you talked your audience through a deck of PowerPoint slides that you’ve delivered before. This is a smart way of working, there’s no doubt about it. Making a new presentation every time you deliver a routine meeting or training session would be an ineffective use of time, for sure.

Slide content spring cleaning?

But ask yourself, thinking back to that routinely delivered presentation, how much has it really changed since the first time you delivered it. And that was, what? Months? Maybe years ago? Sure, we all like to think of ourselves as proactive and perceptive to changes that need to be enacted on these routine presentations, but really - when it comes down to it - how many of us really review them and make changes prior to each time we deliver them?

A further question is, on what information? If you are one of those people who is diligent and proactive enough to make routine updates (in which case, congratulations, you’re a more organized person than me!), what do you use to form those decisions?

Sure, it’s straightforward enough to update certain facts and figures. But how to assess the effectiveness of the presentation itself. How do you get a better understanding of what people respond to and what they don’t, what your audience grasp straight away and what they don’t understand?

Data-driven presentation improvement

The problem with PowerPoint is that (other than the occasional person who might make suggestions for improvement after the meeting) it is very difficult to harvest data on how engaged your audience was with the content you were delivering, when you delivered it. In fact, it is difficult to engage the audience at all with PowerPoint. Because PowerPoint isn’t built for engagement, it isn’t built for listening. Powerpoint is built for a speaker and a passive audience.

So, it might be time, (and I know this is hard because we all become extremely attached to those reliable slide decks you’ve been through thick and thin with) to delete those PowerPoints and start again from scratch. A clean slate.

Out with the old, in with the new

Resisting the urge to import that old reliable slide deck into your new Mentimeter account and, in doing so, maximizing your ability to utilize the full functionality of the tool will result in a brave new world and a broad new set of horizons. Not only do you get the wow-factor of a presentation platform that is built for audience engagement; but, when you receive that engagement, you have the opportunity to download the data, an opportunity to understand what is working and what is not.

Taking onboard the perspective of your audience in this way is the key to becoming a listening leader, and becoming a listening leader is the best way to meaningfully engage your audience, host more efficient and effective meetings, and to provide more valuable content to your team. The route to achieve all this is the continuous reflection, evaluation, and improvement of the content you deliver… and the way to do that is to ditch PowerPoint and embrace the improving potential of Mentimeter.

So go ahead and do it. Forget about those old slide decks. Go from Death by PowerPoint to Death to PowerPoint and regain control with Mentimeter.

Want to learn more about analyzing data and trends with Mentimeter? We run a regular webinar on that exact topic, so be sure to register and join us!

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