Last week I found myself sitting through a full day’s worth of corporate presentations, each of them supported by the usual array of PowerPoint slides. And when I say ‘usual’ I really mean it. Amongst the dozen or so presentations, there was not one that stood out in any way. Putting aside the fact that most of the slides broke the cardinal rule of including far too much text, there was simply no evidence of any creativity on display at all.
The speakers themselves were fine. They all seemed comfortable behind the lectern, were properly prepared and presented structured information. They all, thankfully, were conscious of the time.
It’s just that there was nothing vaguely memorable about any of them.
The myth of the non-creative type
Superficially the reason for this lack of inventiveness could be sheeted home to the fact that most of the presenters were public servants and all worked in a science- or engineering-related field. They were likely the kids who did science and maths at school, not art and music.
But I’m almost certain that wasn’t the reason for the blandness. The idea that engineering types aren’t capable of being creative is simply wrong.