(Please try to resist the urge to read these in a Jeff Foxworthy voice.)
Have you ever stayed up all night, working on slides that never saw the light of day?
What's up with this? Sleep not important anymore? This is one of the more troubling signs, because there's very little we won't forsake once we start giving up on sleep. Peer pressure often leads to this destructive behavior, which eats at self-perception and can kick start a vicious cycle.
Have you ever prepared a "deck" with only one slide?
If you find yourself doing this regularly, you may be in danger of losing conversation abilities completely. This is a "gateway" sign of addiction, often followed by such symptoms as presenting slides to family members and preparing a deck to explain your vision to the landscaper.
Have you ever left a meeting, disappointed you didn’t get to share your slides?
It feels terrible. Defeating. It's a brutal reminder of how little we got to know our audience before the meeting started. They never wanted a presentation, yet we prepared for it as though they did. This can lead to some pretty ugly habits, like scheduling "recap" meetings back at the office, just so someone, anyone can put eyes on all the hard work.
Do you open PowerPoint (or other presentation software) at least once every day?
Microsoft estimates there are 50 million active users of PowerPoint. The average session (software open-to-close) is 250 minutes. We're not (officially) scientists here at GatherRound, but we do ask plenty of hypothetical questions: Imagine what would happen if 50 million people worldwide reclaimed 1/2 day each. What could we do with that kind of time back in our pockets? It's proven that ideas spread more effectively when human beings connect emotionally. Yet we let ourselves sink into the deceptive comfort of slides instead.
When a meeting begins, do you immediately search for the tech hookup?
Warning: You may prioritize technology over human interaction. Next time you find yourself sifting through your purse for a dongle, stop yourself and scan the invite list instead. Ask yourself, from each attendee's vantage point, what a successful meeting looks like. Will it lead to slides? Maybe.
Do you always start a project by asking “Who’s going to prepare the slides?”
Chances are, the response to this is a room full of eyeballs staring your way. Assuming there will be slides is directly related with the responsibility of creating them.
Are you way too familiar with your audience's eyebrows?
You know the look:
If your meetings look like this, it's time to get help. Prezi reports 46% of audience members admit to tuning out as soon as slides go up, turning to their mobile devices instead of your content. Can you afford to lose almost half of your audience? Can you imagine 46% more buy-in?
Deck addiction is not to be treated lightly. If you or someone you know is struggling with any of the above, it's not to late. Get in touch... You might help someone sleep tonight.