Every day there are people at work that would prefer to spend a day looking at their Uncle’s holiday photos rather than endure another bad corporate workshop. Roger Dennis runs workshops globally, and has just released Really bad workshops (and how to avoid them). This is an 18page eBook that is virtually free (you can either pay for it with a Tweet, or, if you don’t have Twitter, you can buy it for $NZ4.99) from here. Roger Dennis gave us some tips for running our event, StrategyNZ: Mapping our Future, earlier in the year which were extremely valuable and we believe this book is definitely worth a read. For a successful workshop he recommends you:

1. Understand the purpose of the workshop
2. Get the right people to support you
3. Keep the results in mind
4. Involve the right people
5. Get a good team to help you run the event
6. Plan – and then plan some more
7. Value the venue
8. Invest time in helping your presenters
9. Encourage divergent thinking
10. Make it active – not passive

The really helpful information is in what he says about each point though.

Roger Dennis’ book was inspired by Seth Godin’s Really Bad Powerpoint (and how to avoid it). This also provides insightful feedback into the way powerpoints should and should not be used. Seth emphasises the emotive power that powerpoint can have and claims there should be:

1. No more than six words on a slide. EVER.
2. No cheesy images. Use professional images from corbis.com instead.
They cost $3 each, or a little more if they’re for ‘professional use’.
3. No dissolves, spins or other transitions. None.
4. Sound effects can be used a few times per presentation, but never
(ever) use the sound effects that are built in to the program. Instead,
rip sounds and music from CDs and leverage the Proustian effect this
can have.
5. Don’t hand out print-outs of your slides. They’re emotional, and they
won’t work without you there. If someone wants your slides to show
“the boss,” tell them that the slides go if you go.

To read the full version of Really Bad Powerpoint (and how to avoid it) click here.