Do you understand the humongous difference between social media and presentation slide deck software? When I realized what it is, I was blown away.
Social media is about connecting with others. Technology is used to help us grow our social media networks, but the technology is in the background. It is a tool that makes our connections possible.
On the opposite side of the spectrum is presentation slide software. This technology dominates everyone's approach to speaking and presenting. Most people equate the word "presentation" with the word "slides". The technology is in the forefront.
I think this happened because when slide software first appeared, it was such a relief compared to overheads and flip charts and other cumbersome media. Easy to populate a deck, easy to change, a few quick clicks and you had graphics, color palettes and any font you wanted.
At the same time, a culture of slide-focused "best practices" grew. This culture created experts in slide presentations, and more people wanted to join. Without realizing it, slides took over from the very essence of speaking, which is to convey ideas through the spoken word. Speaking was less important than the slide deck.
Now that we have a fresh new culture of connection through social media, we need to realize how poorly served we are by elevating the technology of slide decks over the importance of speaking skillfulness.
Impact and life-changing experiences come from people speaking with people. Slides are a huge barrier to this connection. Social media makes it easy.
As you think about and prepare for upcoming speeches and presentations, remember to focus on connecting person to person, like you do with social media. Skip the slides, or minimize them. Stop trying to learn best practices for speaking with slides and learn best practices for speaking instead.
More solid and meaningful connections will be made person to person through the spoken word than would ever be made through a slide deck. Speaking...the original wireless connection(TM).