The Power (point) of pictures

May 15, 2006

On Thursday I’ll be giving a presentation at the Crafts Council of Ireland’s Information Seminar on professionalism and best practice.  I’ve done several training sessions for visual artists on this topic and Thursday will be a new opportunity to meet and talk with crafts people about a similar area.
I haven’t had much of an opportunity to do “presentations” as distinct from training so I’m trying to put together a power point presentation that’s devoid of the dreaded bullet points.  I’ve been taking counsel from Presentation Zen and all the great links on that site and the thing I’m realising is that a picture, not only says a thousand words, but probably says more about me than bullet pointed text.
Why I’m surprised about this shouldn’t be a surprise, but it is.  I frequently work with images in my coaching and consulting practice.  I’ve a fondness for metaphor and images (be they verbal or non verbal) because they reveal so much of what isn’t available to us in language.
So I have the presentation down to 13 slides, I have 20 minutes and I’ve also produced a set of notes (yes, they do include the bullet points!) for distribution afterwards. I’m surprised at how long it took me to choose the images I want to use and it’s making me realise that words are not only the default setting but the depersonalising setting sometimes as well. I’ll post both here on the blog on Thursday after I’ve made the presentation.  Perhaps some clever consultant can then do a deconstruction of my choice of imagery and give me some well needed feedback!
By the way, Gareth Morgan’s book Imaginization is a great introduction to the power of image and metaphor in organisations.