Tag: Idea Creation

Ralf HallerRalf Haller January 25, 2011

Presentation with Prezi – how to collect and present your ideas in a new way

“Powerpoint sucks” is what you can hear for quite a while. And while this is partly true we all go back to it when we have to do a presentation, right? :-) ¬†Well, recently the “PPT-is-no-fun community” got louder and came up with “visual meetings” that are based on the idea that visualizing what is being presented in a meeting will stick better and longer too. So far I have only experimented with this but not really used it in presentations or meetings. Although, intuitively I did already do it: what I like doing in meetings is to loosely prepare what I plan to say but instead of preparing something formal I open a bunch of PPT presentations, have websites I want to show or talk about ready and open on my laptop. This way the whole conversation is very customized and entirely focused on what the other side wants to hear and what questions come up. I basically let the other side (e.g. a prospective client) guide me through what I say.

Now another tool popped up, called Prezi. I started playing with it yesterday and figured that it is basically exactly supporting my presentation style as described above. I think it could be used for a bunch of things such as:

  • create a formal presentation, preparing it is now really fun
  • create an informal presentation as described above, now this looks suddenly even well prepared and impressive while still keeps all the flexibility
  • explain things and create a self-running tutorial, ideal for e.g. software manuals or any “How tos…”
  • use it to write down and visualize what is said in meetings and presentations (basically a tool to support visual meetings)
To get a quick overview on how Prezi works look e.g. at this intro:
Interesting to see that there are innovative and creative guys out there like the Prezi folks. This should have been brought up by Google though with its army of developers and product managers, but, well, they did not. I suspect they are now either copying this or acquire Prezi, we will see what the GoogleDocs people will do.
One thing where Prezi can be improved e.g. is by allowing to easily include other documents such as -well – a PPT presentation or at least slides. This sounds very much then like GoogleDocs but with a more intuitive and creative approach.
With Prezi there is now finally the potential to replace our Powerpoint approach to presentations, although I suspect it will take at least one generation to really do so; but I hope I am wrong and it goes faster.

Ralf HallerRalf Haller July 1, 2010

Brainstorming the electronic way

Brainstorming is well known as a way to create new ideas in a group setting starting out with lots of initial ideas to a defined topic and only later on select the best with analytical methods.

While brainstorming sessions have not been scientifically proven to be superior its electronic form seems to offer improvements that make a difference. Incentives are an important part of it and so are other motivational elements. The ideal seems a combination of group work while still being able to work on ideas quietly on your own. Online forums with built-in incentives and motivational features are therefore worth exploring by companies. The use within businesses seems endless. E.g. in sales and marketing, strategy, product management, product development to name the obvious ones.

The traditional well-known brainstorming rules still need to be followed of course, these are:

  • No critique is allowed during the brainstorming exercise. This needs to be deferred to a later phase.
  • Ideas of others need to be further worked on by everybody and tried to improve. It is key to work on the positive aspects only. That way good ideas can be further improved by the group.
  • Free wheeling is desired, anything goes. Cross-functional input and input from non-experts is desired here as they might see things from a totally different and possibly interesting new way than the so called experts.
  • Try to find as many ideas as possible, so focus is on quantity first and only in another phase then also work on the quality. This part requires some training and getting used to in particular process oriented employees might have a problem here.