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New Managers August 2019

MARKETING CHALLENGE: A power(ful) point: less is more


The financial world is awash in presentation decks— loaded with data, charts, tables, graphs, and an endless series of bullets. Financial folks seem to think that lots of proof points make for strong arguments in favor of whatever they are selling. In the financial industry, many PowerPoints are assembled by analysts or other data-driven professionals, with zeal to ‘prove' the message with lots of numbers-oriented content. But the reality is something else: lots of proof points tend to obfuscate facts and dilute the message they are supposed to be reinforcing.

In the world of presentation decks, less is more. PowerPoint, released in 1987 as part of the Microsoft Office package, revolutionized the world of content delivery with its creation of electronic presentations consisting of a series of slides, or pages. Suddenly, every Tom, Dick, and Harry with a pc could create decks of information in support of meeting presentations. Today, more than 30 million PowerPoint presentations are made every day. The trouble with so many of these presentations though, is in their content and organization, or more the lack thereof. A TERRIBLE BUT COMPELLING EXAMPLE OF TOO MUCH IS NOT BETTER The impetus for this article came to me when I ran across an interesting but disturbing article a couple of months ago, titled ‘Death By PowerPoint: the Slide That Killed Seven People.'

It was a short piece written by a doctor, James Thomas, on his blogsite,, back in April. The focus of it was on how a muddled, overly-complicated and poorly executed PowerPoint presentation given by the engineers in charge of the space shuttle Columbia led in some measure to the death of the crew when the shuttle blew up upon re-entry to Earth's orbit. A piece of foam insulation had broken off the shuttle early in the mission, causing damage to one of the wings.

The unknown was whether or not the damage would impact the shuttle's re-entry due to the extreme h......................

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This article was published in Opalesque's New Managers a top-down monthly analysis, news and research publication on the global emerging manager space.
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