Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Architects Present

Recently, I sat in a board meeting listening to a presentation by a team of architects. They were describing the glories of a building project that the board will eventually be asked to approve.

There was PowerPoint, of course, as well as the obligatory architectural model, and the passing around of responses ("Ed, can you handle that one?"). This was a seasoned architectural team and yet, admirable though their project may or may not be, they made some basic presentation fumbles:

  1. The PowerPoint slides had ridiculously small fonts and were far too busy.
  2. The color of the slides made some of them hard to read.
  3. The chief architect ended each paragraph with "Okay?"
  4. He kept referring to one aspect of design - as a result, overstating its appeal - and made much of its permitting the view of another building that would be erected nearby. When asked just what the other building was, he had to pass the question to someone in the audience; a small but not good moment.
  5. The presentation was at least 15 minutes too long and lacked passion. There were far too many moments when the audience could have easily asked "So what?" I suspect many of them were silently doing so. All the right words were uttered and yet the presenters didn't seem to believe them.

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