Amazon Bans PowerPoint and Offers Brilliant Alternative
Amazon will no longer use PowerPoint presentations on its executive meetings, as they were banned by Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of this company. This fact is a bit surprising if not strange, right?
However, the founder of Amazon claims that his decision has good reasoning. What is more, he implements an astonishing alternative that can perplex new executives.
Ineffective slides with bullet points and diagrams are replaced by well-structured memo “that’s narratively structured with real sentences, topic sentences, verbs, and nouns.” Therefore, members of the executive board sit in silence and read this document. Only after that, the discussion begins. The reasons why this method is much better and useful than widely-used presentations are given below.
Storytelling is Natural for Human Brain
People have told stories since the far-fetched times, and they served as a powerful tool for inspiration, entertainment, warning etc. Many scientists prove storytelling to be an effective way of expressing the main points of the problem and its gist, as human mind processes and perceives the world with the help of narrative. Therefore, full-length sentences with logical introduction and conclusions are more productive than bullet points.
Narrative is More Persuasive
Aristotle once said that a good argument should have incorporated three things to become persuasive. These elements are ethos, logos, and pathos. If ethos (credibility) and logos (logic) are present in PowerPoint presentations, they still lack pathos (emotions). At the same time, the narrative can be full of epithets and lexis with the special connotation that can evoke emotions.
Most powerful speeches are both rational and emotional. If one of the components is absent, the contents of the speech are no longer relevant and effective. Indeed, neuroscientists confirm that its emotions that help the idea to reach the brain quick.
Not only stories are important, but also customer’s reviews. That is the reason why Jeff Bezos reads them and so does the appropriate executive. Bezos says: “I’m actually a big fan of anecdotes in business.” And often those anecdotes are more informative than data. “I’ve noticed when the anecdotes and the metrics disagree, the anecdotes are usually right,” he notes. “That’s why it’s so important to check that data with your intuition and instincts, and you need to teach that to executives and junior executives.”
Bullet Points Does Not Help to Share Idea
Plain text, even if it is logical, well-structured, and full of figures that prove the point, is not effective when we talk about ideas. Thus, bullet points on slides will not help people activate their minds; they are not effective when we need to discuss something or to find the right solution for a problem. They are not good even for memorizing things. They may be convenient for copying only.
Bullet points are not used by many successful people, including Elon Musk, Google’s CEO, Richard Branson, and Jeff Bezos.
Nonetheless, if you cannot resist using PowerPoint slides during presentations, fill them with pictures that can help you emphasize on important points in your speech, highlight essentials ideas, and reflect the gist. Why? That’s because pictures are more memorable, and it’s much easier to recall them than a slide with boring text, imbue with data and facts.