Crafting Slides …. or Crafting a Story

@grahamchastney today blogged:

I’ve spent a good deal of my time over the last few days ‘crafting slides’.

This particular activity hasn’t changed a great deal in the last 15 years.

All sorts of progress and development in the collaboration arena has taken place over that time.

So why no change?

Why do we still need to transact over a set of information in a meeting?

I’m going to answer how I see the world of crafting slides.  I think its more about what has changed to support us craft the story and how that has changed:


Excuse my clunky diagram but this is one way I actually tell the story with customers once crafted, I find slides just too constraining to complete the needs of most meetings.

Starting on the left the way we store knowledge has changed dramatically which then feeds our research.  Evernote and Instapaper are both important tools for me today to supplement what I can hold in my head, files and email have been there all the time, search is still a challenge but is better in these personal knowledge tools.  When I supplement my research with that from peers this is now increasingly feeding from tools such as linkedin or twitter – which in many cases link back to blogs from experts.

I also would argue that the crafting of slides has changed.  The thing I use is still called PowerPoint but my use of it is much more visually compelling than anything I created 15 years age.

What I don’t see enough of in meetings is switching between presentation tools and switching to an input rather than output mode.  I love to use whiteboards, or in my case the tablet PC, and mindmaps in meetings. 

To answer Graham’s exam question the purpose of a meeting for me is still to transact over some information and then come out with an agreed direction or next step.


  1. Nice response Stu.

    I think that you are probably over simplifying, but the diagram works all the same.

    The main over simplification that I think is an issue is the “Knowledge Repositories” one. There’s a lot of work to do with data and information before it becomes knowledge and quite often we don’t know what the questions are before we get into the crafting piece.

    And there’s a bit of a chicken and egg problem when trying to work out what the message is – quite often we don’t know what the appropriate questions are until we’ve understood something of the answers. As the message comes out of the answers to the questions then we can find oursleves in a bit of a catch-22.


  2. I do agree it was a simplified response. The main point for me was it seems today is different to many years ago. I’m not 100% sure hoe much of that is new supplementary tools, how much is the increased need to bring along stakeholders in the crafting process, or how much is that my role has changed so much.


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