Saturday, December 01, 2007

When a picture is worth a thousand words

Surrey, BC Dec 2, 2007
Photo. Lois Peterson

I'm talking about Power Point presentations. ....

Why DO people think that a slide of words can tell any kind of story?

Last night at a very worthy fundraiser for Libraries Across Borders (LAB), which provides funds for helping develop library services in rural communities across the world, one of the PP presentations was all words, with not a single pic in sight. (The one before was simply 6-8 photos with single line descriptions accompanied by an interesting narrative.) Which do you think has stayed with me longest?

The presenters were all hard-working, dedicated people, all hoping and needing to gain enough interest in their projects - and the work of LAB - to generate funds from the 60+ people in attendance.

Luckily, as most people there are involved in the library world--and understand the power of literacy and other inititiatives in building community--it was a soft sell.

But I can tell you that if I'd been dragged along at all reluctantly, and this had been my intoduction to the great need in the world for booksand facilities for communities to gather and share resoures, the second presentation might have sent me to sleep instead of spurring me to action.

So next time you're thinking of putting together a Power Point presentation to engage and motivate your audience, think pictures rather than words.

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