I’m going to ask you to stick with me here and click 2 links. It’s important. You could save lives.
This post is in response to “Did PowerPoint Ruin GM?” You can skim the article, but do read the first and last lines.
First, the article itself makes nonsensical conclusions. Here’s one sentence:
“Here’s one way General Motors Co. Chief Executive Mary Barra can start fixing her company’s management culture: Ban PowerPoint.”
That’s followed by:
“Lengthy slide presentations have been a substitute for meaningful communication at GM since before Microsoft’s ubiquitous PowerPoint software was invented.”
So, it isn’t PowerPoint, is it?
And another sentence:
“An engineer who’d been investigating the problem presented PowerPoint slides – but apparently didn’t discuss ‘backup”’slides that made reference to five deaths and some serious injuries.”
Hmm, not the slides, but the fact that the engineer just didn’t discuss the issue.
More importantly, what did GM presenters say?
Look at this.
“The report details confusion among the engineers and executives over what was in the slides, which slides were presented and which were not.
“One engineer told Mr. Valukas he did present the slide. Three other executives at the meeting said they didn’t recall fatalities being discussed. Others who attended the meeting said they didn’t learn about the deaths until later.”
I’m sorry, I just don’t believe it. People were trying to cover up issues then and they’re still doing it. There’s a meeting about a defect that could cause a safety issue. Don’t managers ask the presenter, “How many accidents have occurred because of this? Were there any deaths?” But that didn’t happen. In fact, look at this:
“Ms. Boler-Davis also told investigators ‘that had she known at the time of the December 17, 2013 EFADC meeting that fatalities were involved, she would have treated the issue with more urgency.'”
In my opinion, another cover-up. Perhaps a downright lie. It was her responsibility to ask.
What if someone had communicated clearly?
At the end, the writer asks, “Indeed. What if someone had simply stood up, without a visual prop, and said: ‘People are dying.'”
This is stupidity. What if someone had shown a slide like the one my friend and fellow PowerPoint MVP, Echo Swinford, created? Go look at it here. And do me a favor, leave her a comment there about what you think about that slide.
Do you think that slide is as powerful as standing before the audience and saying, “We’re killing people?” Perhaps even more powerful?
Poor communication is always the fault of the communicator.
You can communicate clearly, powerfully and persuasively
I know, because I train clients to achieve that all the time. It’s what I do.
But only if you want to. If you prefer stupidity, lies and coverups, I can’t help you at all.