Alex Banks

Alex Banks

08-10-2022

13:31

Microsoft PowerPoint is the most popular presentation software in the world. Jeff Bezos banned it from Amazon meetings in 2004. Here's the better alternative:

Amazon's first 10 years was dominated by traditional PowerPoint culture. But this frustrated Bezos with the lack of productivity in his 60-minute long executive meetings. Something had to change. So on June 9th 2004, Jeff Bezos sent an email to his senior team.

It was titled: "No powerpoint presentations from now on..." From that point on, Amazon followed one simple rule. Don't start a meeting unless you're prepared with a written narrative.

Meetings were changed for good. β€’ Start with a silent 20 minute reading period of the narrative β€’ All participants digest and take notes β€’ Followed by questions, comments, and a discussion Amazon quickly realised the benefits.

1. Efficiency Memos give you a chance to get up to speed on a topic before the meeting begins. If everyone's on the same page, you can hit the ground running. That saves you valuable time.

2. Better discussions Rather than flicking through data-thin slides, memos make the discussion more robust. Everyone starts with the same information and has the chance to process it in the 20 minutes of reading time. Individuals have full opportunity to make informed points.

3. Clarity of thought PowerPoint slides list fast facts and figures. Justification is given by the presenter and can be lost in discussion. To write a well-constructed memo, you need to take the appropriate time to articulate your point of view, supported by reason.

Even better– if a colleague misses a meeting, the memo provides full picture context. Keeping a historical record of your memos can help your team in training, learning and leading.

I hope this helps you and your team make better decisions. Follow me @thealexbanks for more threads to help you in business and life. If you liked this thread, you'll love the newsletter. Subscribe here:

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