I have been preparing for a workshop that I am facilitating and have come to the realization that I miss the trusty overhead projector.

Yes, PowerPoint or other electronic presentation software is more crisp, easier to share, allows for much much consistency and ease of preparing slides, but it also has a significant downside. Electronic presentations lock you in to a pre-determined order and make it hard to skip slides, rearrange them or add in additional components.

All of these things tend to happen in my workshops, and it used to be easy to grab a different overhead and place it on the screen to make a point that came up during discussion. I could capitalize on the learning moment instead of flipping through slides, or worse, looking on a flash drive to find a different document to bring up and discuss.

It was decidedly low-tech, but also seamless, and allowed me to have my repertoire of standard visuals at-the-ready.

Now, I need to know the order, graphics and points I want to make in advance — all before knowing the audience or where the conversation will lead. From a facilitator perspective, it is not nearly as powerful, so I counteract this by foregoing PowerPoint all together and relying on handouts, props and stories to make my point when I present before small groups.

Is there an aspect of high tech in your world that actually impedes your ability to do something that you would prefer to do another way? Do electronic books add anxiety to your “beach reads” because you worry about theft or sand with the reader? Does the availability of recorded television lessen the excitement and community built when watching an important event live? Maybe the ease of microwaving supplants your desire to prepare a home cooked meal?

Technology is amazing and wonderful — and, not always the perfect solution. Intentionally use technology as a tool when appropriate, and opt for other means when it is not.

beth triplett

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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