Conformity for success? or not?

A recent email discussion highlighted a problem with improving presentations skills; some people don’t like change.

It is clear that the current approach of “death by powerpoint” is ubiquitous. What is unclear is that those who express an opinion on why they dislike such presentations themselves will deliver the same style of presentation when asked to speak. There are issues of conformity, expectation and also lack of alternatives. Those who do make a break from tradition have concerns that their style may not be well received by such critics. The question is raised therefore of whether they should conform and gain acceptance or step out from the crowd.

conformity for success

Realistically there is no easy answer to this. @nickferran highlighted his dilemma in his guest post but was also amazed that the person perceived to most entrenched in their views was also the most vocal in support. One shouldn’t prejudge people. My personal feeling is that we should deliver the best presentation we can and that in the face of effective communication opinions as to style should be lesser than opinions regarding efficacy. There is no accepted standard and if your presentation is marked down because it aren’t 7 lines per slide, no more than seven words per line and in yellow on blue then we just have to accept that that is the judges’ opinion. It doesn’t make it right.

You deliver what you believe to your best presentation. Let others decide whether it is effective. This applies for every presentation.

What do YOU think? What have been your experiences?

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