Cycle Time ChartI have issues with flip charts, whiteboards and dry erase markers and the drawing app on my iPad. The issue is that even in the middle of a brilliant PowerPoint presentation, given the option; I will use them to punctuate the conversation. The act of interacting and drawing seems to drive the message home better than just a standard presentation. Too often, it is easy to fall in love with a specific tool like PowerPoint or Keynote and then miss options to create a better connection with the audience.

Why do we care about connecting with those we are talking with? Simply put, connecting is critical to communication. If our goal is to communicate and we fail to connect then all we are doing is participating in a personal monologue.

What is the downside of mixing hand drawn charts and words with PowerPoint? First, the guy in the back taking a nap and thinking he will read the slides later is going to miss something. The same is true for those listening in on the phone or watching on video while doing email. Interestingly, I have noticed that by mixing the media up a bit and interacting with the audience there is less multitasking. Making the presentation more interesting and interactive seems to increase attention and reduce meeting nap time.

PS. Hand drawing requires guts and a sense of humor given that you will be working without the net of a spellchecker!