It is the email I expect but dread as a regular speaker on the conference circuit. Often I am the opening or closing keynote. There to start the conference with some energy and challenging thoughts, or closing the conference pulling together the thoughts and ideas of the day.
So the email goes along the lines of “Can you send me your slides so that I can put them on the website / conference pack / handouts?”
This is the wrong for SO MANY reasons. Here are just 4
- Slides do not convey emotion and get the message across as effectively as stories and props do. (But it is easier to write slides than think of a great prop to illustrate a point)
- I don’t use many slides, and those I do are mostly arresting, emotive images. So reading them ahead of times is pointless. The audience is there to listen to me and engage. My mantra is “Think, feel, do”, not “Listen, read, sleep”
- If the organisers want me to challenge the audience in the keynote why ask me to show my hand early. The power is in the way the ideas are presented
- If the organisers want me to pull together the random thoughts and ideas from the day’s presenters in the final, how can I possibly do this weeks before the event
The issue is that some organisers think Presentation=Slides. I think that this Dilbert cartoon sums it up
So please don’t be offended when you get a slide deck with consisted on ONE SLIDE with my name, picture, email and blog address.