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Bruce Gabrielle is author of Speaking PowerPoint: the new language of business, which shows a 12-step process for creating clearer and more convincing PowerPoint presentations for the boardroom.
It's 2011, and we've seen an explosion in PowerPoint use over the past decade. Not only for large-audience presentations, but increasingly as business documents used to collaborate with teammates and drive company strategy.
But the capabilities of PowerPoint keep rushing ahead of the available training. Although more and more people are using PowerPoint, few of them use it well, or as well as they need to.
As an example, I once worked at a company where a director-level employee was responsible for coordinating his marketing plan across several teams. His plan, documented in PowerPoint, was so incoherently written I had no idea what he was doing, or what I was supposed to do to align with him. So I did what thousands of people across the world do every day -- I quietly deleted his email and did something else.
Poor PowerPoint communication skills are serious business. Poor skills make it hard to communicate your plans internally, collaborate with teammates, and sell your ideas to peers and customers.
That's why I propose, for 2011, that businesses make a wise investment by planning a company-wide PowerPoint Training Week.
During PowerPoint Training Week, businesses can do the following:
CEOs should not accept poor PowerPoint communication skills as the norm, just as they don't tolerate poor customer service, crackling phone lines, or slipshod sales staff. If you think "death by PowerPoint" is just a nuisance, think again. It's a slow erosion of profit, morale, and competitive position.
So, plan for PowerPoint Training Week in 2011.