Viv is becoming a star of this blog. Maybe I should encourage her to get her own blog and to recount her own adventures, but she’s such a busy woman that I doubt that she’d ever have the time.
This evening, I was about the 39th wink out of the 40 that I usually have when Sue nudged me and announced that someone was on the phone. It turned out to be Viv, who was working on her preparation for a job interview. The job, like very many these days, involved a presentation. Unusually, they had specified that it had to be a Powerpoint presentation.
I don’t think Viv would disagree that she is not the most techie computer user in the world. Sure, she can use a computer, but Powerpoint isn’t an everyday piece of software for most people and Viv had never had to use it before.
So the gallant knights, Sue and Dave, leapt aboard their white charger (well, we used the car, actually) and arrived at Viv’s a few minutes later.
She had lots of great ideas about what she wanted to say and we spent an hour together on the structure of her presentation and I typed some words onto a set of slides. She now has the real work to do of putting the flesh onto these bare bones.
On the way home, replete with two large mugs of tea, it occurred to me to wonder why more and more employers are insisting on presentations as part of the recruitment process? In particular, why would they also insist on using Powerpoint?
Surely the whole point of the presentation in the context of the job interview is about assessing communication skills. I have always believed that the message is the key to good to communication, backed up with whatever aids are appropriate to the setting, the audience and the resources.
There has been plenty written about the disadvantages of Powerpoint, even without the barrier that is set up by insisting that interviewees have to get to grips with an unfamiliar software package that won’t form any part of the job itself.
Finally, I found this online and I just like the idea of a Powerpoint Presentation about Presentations (Powerpoint Presentation from Bristol University).
Today’s meeting at work was in the boss’s office and was attended by one of our trustees, Steven. He has a cruel streak because he held the biscuit tin up in front of me and actively encouraged me to stray from the straight and narrow. I resisted – just.
Tomorrow, in Derby, where there are bound to be more biscuits. But I won’t give in. I wouldn’t dare now.