Consulting is as much about visual communication as it is about the core management expertise. One cannot exist without the other. And PowerPoint is the biggest tool that helps consultants in communicating the next big brainwave strategy to their clients. In spite of this, many of them find PowerPoint very daunting. Here are the top 5 reasons for the presentation design challenges of consultants:
1. Lack of time: Time is the most expensive commodity in a consultant’s life. It is always a race against time. Battling pie charts on a night out before the next big board meeting – definitely not a good idea.
2. Not an MS Office expert: A consultant’s expertise is in strategizing and finding solutions. Formatting presentations is just a desirable skill and not a deal breaker for them.
3. Reduced utilization of core consulting skills: A consultant’s core skills are aimed at strategizing, communicating and implementing solutions for their clients. PowerPoint presentations are a means towards this end. However, it takes focus and time away from their core roles and responsibilities at work.
4. Big part of the day is spent on analyzing and developing storyline: In other words, the core content of the presentation. This is the preliminary phase of the presentation building process. A phase that involves long meetings, peer discussions and lots of number crunching. This takes up most of the day, leaving very less time for actual slide production. Making PowerPoint a literal “Night” mare.
5. Communicating to a non-technical audience: Consultants are always walking on a tight rope when it comes to explaining complicated business solutions to an audience that need not necessarily be aware of their B-School jargons. This is where a well-designed and visually communicative PowerPoint slide comes to their rescue. But alas, the catch is how? And where is the time!?
Be it project management documents or business model reports or keynote address for a partner conference, PowerPoint presentations remain the most favored deliverable of them all. While as a consultant, you need not be a PowerPoint expert, having some easy tips handy does not hurt.
Here are some no-fail PowerPoint tricks that make your day as a consultant easy and more fruitful. Breeze through the next presentation SANS a night out!