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Most Leaders Don't Have Time to Read Much, So, I Want to Make a PowerPoint - He Said

April 26, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 153

The other day, I was talking to an individual who had a brilliant idea, and he wanted to get in front of some of the top thinkers and policymakers. In fact, he wanted to get in front of some very well known celebrities, politicians, and well-to-do individuals in the billionaire class. He also said that he realized that most leaders and influential people don't have much time to read anything. Therefore, he decided he wanted to make a very short PowerPoint presentation to give them the details quickly.

Okay so, whereas it is true that venture capitalists want a solid and quick executive summary, and presidents or heads of state need very brief bullet pointed, and reality-based data points to make decisions, this does not alleviate the person creating a PowerPoint, outline, or brief summary from not knowing their facts. The individual I talked to suggested that he needed time to prepare a PowerPoint presentation. However, he couldn't answer the basic questions, or give me any in depth information on the topic.

The reason being; he didn't know or have that knowledge himself. That's a scary thought, it's as if he wanted to invent it as he went along. You see, very influential people are very good at asking very good questions. They are very good at sizing people up, and knowing when someone is filling them full of BS. Most of them don't suffer fools easily, even if the foolish individual doesn't realize it. These same individuals don't wish to create any enemies, and they need lots of followers, so they spend a good time feeling out the individual, and contemplating the idea before them.

Yes, having a brief summary is often the right strategy in such a case because these folks are not stupid, and they don't need an abundance of verbiage. But if they ask you a direct question, and you can't answer it, then it doesn't matter how good the PowerPoint presentation was to get you the interview, or to pique their curiosity to cause them to ask the question the first place. In fact, in that case, well you've wasted all of your time.

Over the years, I've read more business plans and more than I can care to count "executive summaries" and yes, I've reviewed thousands of PowerPoint presentations. I've also watched people prepare outlines where they throw a bunch of spaghetti at the refrigerator, listing things which aren't even appropriate to the context of the topic, but they put them into make it look good. Yes, it makes sense to have a "good use of white space," but if everything in between is BS, and you can't back up your facts, I am not sure why you are busy wasting anyone's time.

Why do I bring this up? Because I don't want you to make the same mistakes that this gentleman did, and assume because you have an idea, and a nice presentation with bullet points, that this lets you off the hook from not knowing every single point of contention, and every piece of information backwards and forwards, and every single potential issue on the topic. You must know your facts because if you aren't competent, they will smell through your presentation in a New York second or Silicon Valley micro-second. Please consider all this and think on it.

Lance Winslow has launched a new provocative series of eBooks on Innovation in America. Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank;

Source: EzineArticles
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