Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How much is too much?

I'm working at the Gaylord Palms hotel in sunny Florida, just a stones throw from what's supposedly the happiest place on Earth. Yeah, I'm not totally down with that.

Anyway, we're producing a number of elements at this large conference, about 4000 attendees, and one of the featured speaker sessions really caught my eye. The first thing was the presenters title. Below is his actual title, taken directly from the program, named changed to protect his identity and my butt:

President and CEO
XYZ Corporation

Let me say this again...that's the actual listed title for this guy!!! How many designations does one man really need? So, from the very beginning, I'm think John Doe doesn't understand the idea of restraint. Little did I know.

I go to his session, probably 350 people in the room, and I sit in the absolute front row as it's empty even though 10-15 people are standing against the back wall, yep... it's not my first rodeo. Anyway, the good doctor puts up his first slide and I immediately laugh out loud! He gives me a look, I smile back at him, point at his slide, shake my head side to side and give him the 'whatever dude' gesture.

Here's what I counted on his very first slide:
  • 181 individual words
  • 5 bullet point indicators that were actually smiley faces
  • 2 3D arrows in royal blue
  • 2 pieces of ridiculous, generic 'office' clip art
  • 2 3D boxes in fire engine red
  • 1 horizontal line in lime green
  • 1 logo


The lesson here is hopefully obvious... for the sake of all some restraint people. As they say, less is more.

Immediately after counting up all the crap-tacular stuff on his slide, I got up and left. Even with all those fancy designations he forgot that his presentation really isn't about him; it's actually about the audience.

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