Posted by: kerrywills | March 2, 2012

If you can’t explain it don’t present it

We live in a world of Power Points and presentations. As Project Managers we are always presenting status, decisions, executive updates, dashboards, etc. A lot of the time our presentations are aggregations of other team members’ work or information and so we may not always know the specifics. This is especially true for larger programs where there are multiple streams of work.

Does your status sometimes look like this to you?

In the scenario where something is created that we don’t know the specifics of, there are really only three options.

1. Find out what it means so that you are articulate it to others

2. Get rid of it from the presentation

3. Bring someone to the meeting who can articulate the details

I always like to start with #1 and understand what the specifics are. This way if someone asks (and senior leaders are usually good at asking questions about the one thing that you didn’t prepare for) you can answer.  Presenting takes time to prepare for and you should never have anything that you can’t explain. Or you can always do what I learned when I was a consultant, which is to make stuff up using acronyms and say it confidently so people think you know what you are doing.


  1. Great tips, and if you cannot speak to your slides, you better ask the subject of matter to back you up when you are presenting…I learnt it the very hard way.

  2. Reminds me of PowerPoint camp from tldp….141 slides was it for

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