Sat in on a large meeting (~200) today. Based on feedback, folks apparently were bored stiff.At one point, a presenter made the comment “As I talk to this slide…“. Things were a little less than interactive. The scheduled 90-minute program lasted 120, and it seemed like 240. Three different panels of three separate folks (seated) paraded in a litany of reading PowerPoint slides in monotone voices, exacerbated by an unfamiliarity with using a hand-held microphone. One PowerPoint slide contained two complete paragraphs (14pt font?!), and the use of acronyms was enough to make your head spin. Virtually every presenter used the phrase “which XYZ talked about earlier.”There was one promising interactive element — an announced quiz, where at the end of each section there were questions for the audience. But when time got away from the program, the presenter pretty much went on to answer them, it made the question period seem more like a summary slide.I counted no less than a dozen folks in the crowd of nearly 200 asleep at one point or another, and heard countless sighs. The goal of having a quarterly meeting was accomplished. Check! But no one will circle the first quarter ’06 date with anticipation.A skit. A presenter who actually moved. An interview. A video. Anything unexpected. Calling on someone in the audience. A prize giveaway. Some eye contact. A gesture. Smile. Give me SOME REASON to pay attention.

There is absolutely no excuse to bore an audience. Ever.

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