Richard Michaels is an expert at applying critical thinking to address large-scale business challenges and has been responsible for the implementation of training initiatives for organizations including: Bristol-Myers Squibb, IBM, Novartis, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Schering-Plough, Sanofi-Aventis, FDA, U.S. Army Training Command, and the Singapore Institute of Management.
In addition to expertise in instructional design, writing and education, Richard is also an expert software developer and a Microsoft Office for the Mac MVP.
In this conversation, Richard discusses George, his add-in for PowerPoint.
Geetesh: Tell us more about George, and what motivated you to create this add-in.
Richard: My motivation for writing George came from attending seminars and either receiving no handout upon which to take notes or receiving one that was so poorly done that it detracted from an otherwise very good presentation. I came to conclude that time and skill are the two primary factors that prevent presenters from making worthwhile handouts based on their PowerPoint slides. I also concluded that something could be done to improve the situation.
All presenters labor over their presentations. They try to find the right design, content sequence and delivery method that will make their message heard and this of course takes time… so much so that often they run out of time to produce a "leave behind piece" that is on a par with the quality of their presentation overall.
Top presenters know well that details matter and in the end, in addition to the relevancy of the delivered content, their audience judges them based on how well they dressed, spoke, coordinated, emphasized and enriched their message by the media they used. I believe presenters consciously rationalize their decision of what to “handout” based on those factors and often conclude that since they are short on time and maybe even skill with Word, they will just concentrate on what they do best… the verbal delivery of their message and creating the supportive PowerPoint slides.
Admittedly making a really good handout document, especially one with a level of quality that compliments and does not detract from a great presentation, is a lot of work. However, I believe it is a worthwhile effort because a handout has the potential for being the tangible "reminder" component that facilitates future knowledge gain, understanding, and action.
PowerPoint does provide a mechanism to produce Word documents from the slides but unfortunately its output choices are limited and still requires a high level of skill with many advanced Word functions. To produce a "professional" looking final product including a cover page, acknowledgements page, table-of-contents, as well as properly formatted and aligned headers, footers, slide images, notes and capture area content, requires a solid understanding and competency with using Microsoft Word. Not many presenters or even people who produce great PowerPoint slides are also experts at creating proper Word documents.
And then finally for the time constrained presenter and PowerPoint presentation author, who also happens to be an expert level user of Word, there is the following dilemma when thinking about the work involved with making a "professional" looking handout that causes even them to take pause… What happens when the content of one slide has to change or a slide has to be sequenced in the slide deck? All that work on the handout document has to be redone!
April 2003 | May 2003 | December 2003 | January 2004 | February 2004 | March 2004 | April 2004 | May 2004 | June 2004 | July 2004 | August 2004 | September 2004 | October 2004 | November 2004 | December 2004 | January 2005 | February 2005 | March 2005 | April 2005 | May 2005 | June 2005 | July 2005 | August 2005 | September 2005 | October 2005 | November 2005 | December 2005 | January 2006 | February 2006 | March 2006 | April 2006 | May 2006 | June 2006 | July 2006 | August 2006 | September 2006 | October 2006 | November 2006 | December 2006 | January 2007 | February 2007 | March 2007 | April 2007 | May 2007 | June 2007 | July 2007 | August 2007 | September 2007 | October 2007 | November 2007 | December 2007 | January 2008 | February 2008 | March 2008 | April 2008 | May 2008 | June 2008 | July 2008 | August 2008 | September 2008 | October 2008 | November 2008 | December 2008 | January 2009 | February 2009 | March 2009 | April 2009 | May 2009 | June 2009 | July 2009 | August 2009 | September 2009 | October 2009 | November 2009 | December 2009 | January 2010 | February 2010 | March 2010 | April 2010 | May 2010 | June 2010 | July 2010 | August 2010 | September 2010 | October 2010 | November 2010 | December 2010 | January 2011 | February 2011 | March 2011 | April 2011 | May 2011 | June 2011 | July 2011 | August 2011 | September 2011 | October 2011 | November 2011 | December 2011 | January 2012 | February 2012 | March 2012 | April 2012 | May 2012 | June 2012 | July 2012 | August 2012 | September 2012 | October 2012 | November 2012 | December 2012 | January 2013 | February 2013 | March 2013 | April 2013 | May 2013 | June 2013 | July 2013 | August 2013 | September 2013 | October 2013 | November 2013 | December 2013 | January 2014 | February 2014 | March 2014 | April 2014 | May 2014 | June 2014 | July 2014 | August 2014 | September 2014 | October 2014 | November 2014 | December 2014 | January 2015 | February 2015 | March 2015 | April 2015 | May 2015 | June 2015 | July 2015 | August 2015 | September 2015 | October 2015 | November 2015 | December 2015 | January 2016 | February 2016 | March 2016 | April 2016 | May 2016 | June 2016 | July 2016 | August 2016 | September 2016 | October 2016 | November 2016 | December 2016 | January 2017 | February 2017 | March 2017 | April 2017 |
Microsoft and the Office logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.