AMAZON STAFF MEETINGS: “NO POWERPOINT”

by Conor Neill · in Decision Making, Great Presentations, Organisation Behaviour, Powerpoint, Public Speaking
“We have study hall at the beginning of our meetings.” says Jeff Bezos.

Staff meetings at Amazon begin with 30 minutes of silent reading.

Tom T: [I like this thinking.]

Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com
Powerpoint is easy for presenter, hard for audience

“The traditional kind of corporate meeting starts with a presentation. Somebody gets up in front of the room and presents with a powerpoint presentation, some type of slide show. In our view you get very little information, you get bullet points. This is easy for the presenter, but difficult for the audience. And so instead, all of our meetings are structured around a 6 page narrative memo.”

All meetings are structured around a 6 page memo

“When you have to write your ideas out in complete sentences, complete paragraphs it forces a deeper clarity.”

Why don’t you read the memos in advance?

“Time doesnt come from nowhere. This way you know everyone has the time. The author gets the nice warm feeling of seeing their hard work being read.”

“If you have a traditional ppt presentation, executives interrupt. If you read the whole 6 page memo, on page 2 you have a question but on on page 4 that question is answered.”

And so that is what we do, we just sit and read.

“Think Complex, Speak Simple”
I love this idea. In our communications courses we talk about “think complex, speak simple”. It is hard work to prepare well enough to be able to speak simple. Most presenters are figuring out what they really want to say as they are presenting. This is a terrible waste of an audience.

These quotes come from the Charlie Rose interview with Jeff Bezos. It is available here: http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/12656

 

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