I Think I Don't Like PowerPoint

You Can't Put Passion On a Screen

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Doug Zanger Doug Zanger
Maybe its me. Maybe I just don't know how to use PowerPoint well enough. Or, just maybe, a deck just isn't the way to go for me all the time.

We did our first creative presentation for the NAB Show in Las Vegas. (Brief aside: When you go to Vegas next time, you must stay at Palms Place next to the Palms. It is just amazing.) The deck was a total of 25 pages for two hours and I figured that seemed about right, covering the things I thought were important. It all started off with tremendous energy with my favorite creative exercise called the "Soundtrack Experiment," where people listen to some music for a couple of minutes and have to create the scene in a movie they are "seeing" while listening. It's always a crowd-pleaser and I am always pleasantly surprised at the responses we get.

After that, I started getting into some brand theory and how it can relate to the radio/audio medium. It's all great information, but it seemed to slow the delivery a little bit. We started out fast, then slowed down. Then, after we got through the branding piece, we got hands-on again. The energy level went right up again and we were back to a vibrant, engaging session.

What was clear was that, though this was strong, valuable information, the presentation needed to be about getting dirty and digging in. So my team went back to Palms Place (did I mention that its the best place to stay in Vegas?) and tore this thing apart. Justin, our soon-to-be-graduating-from-The-Creative-Circus-available-for-interviews colleague, pointed something out that made sense. He said, "The stuff that you talked about that wasn't on the screen was really interesting and had passion."

It reminded me of a time at Entercom when we met with one of my favorite athletes, former pro football player and Oregon Duck, Anthony Newman. He has a well-known foundation in Oregon and is incredibly passionate about it. In this meeting, he said, "I care about the kids. I don't deal in PowerPoints, I deal in PassionPoints." He proceeded to knock our socks off with genuine sincerity and tremendous passion. We gleaned more in 30 minutes than we could have with 2 hours of a deck that probably would have found itself eventually shuffled to the bottom of a pile of papers somewhere.

In all fairness, PowerPoint has been a very valuable tool for me in articulating strategy and collecting thoughts and guiding the thought process. But, the thing that I've noticed, especially about radio/audio creative, is that telling the stories, hearing the creative and sharing the chance to work together is far more profound and effective.

It's all about the passion.
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