Avoiding “Death by PowerPoint”? Do it as a Rich Picture!

It's become something of a Corporate communication cliché, the boring PowerPoint presentation that baffles its intended audience, failing to get even the most important messages across. Bamboozling graphs, bland stock images and bad graphics blended into a boring whole apparently designed to lull the unfortunate attendees into a semi-catatonic state. There is an alternative…

Avoiding “Death by PowerPoint”? Do it as a Rich Picture!

Surely, in this day and age there’s got to be an alternative to “Death by PowerPoint“! Have you considered doing it as a Rich Picture? Admittedly a Rich Picture can’t be cobbled together on the morning commute like many PowerPoint presentations appear to have been but if you have a little time and money to invest you can create something that tells the whole story in great detail and with great ‘stick-ability’ on a single page.

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Detail of a Rich Picture about corporate accounting.

With a Rich Picture there is no chance of the audience forgetting what was said on slide 3, or the presenter making a great leap of logic to omit an unfortunate truth. It’s all there, all of the time, and can be hung on a wall for as long as necessary if the messages need reiterating.

Furthermore, the process of designing a Rich Picture necessitates group discussion and forces an honest look at the bigger picture. People are forced to come out of their busy bunkers and recognise where they fit in the overall scheme of things (“Hey, that’s me in the picture!”) and if there’s change afoot it’s an easy way to represent not only the “Burning Platform” (the imperative for change) but also the route ahead and the challenges along the way. You can reference “The Things We Will No Longer Be Doing” and also, the Corporate Holy Grail, “What Good Looks Like”, the sunlit uplands we are all striving towards, where one-true dataset shines like a beacon of hope!

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“The Sunlit Uplands”

When the right mix of people are involved in the Rich Picture process it’s inevitable that an authentic voice is captured and audience buy-in is more or less guaranteed. A Rich Picture needn’t be a top-down exercise, inputs can be gathered from wherever the client likes, from shop-floor to boardroom. The actual language used in the business can be quoted directly, accurate numbers can be represented, the real project plan can be outlined in as much detail as you need. Anything you might put on a deathly PowerPoint slide can be inserted into the Rich Picture and made ‘sticky’ (the current buzzword meaning ‘memorable’).

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Detail of Rich Picture about Ethics for PwC.

If you have any questions regarding how a Rich Picture knocks PowerPoint into a cocked-hat please get in touch. I have fifty-odd successful projects under my belt already and loads of positive feedback from my clients.

Paul Shorrock, Rich Picture Artist