I was delivering a training workshop for 10 front line healthcare employees. As usual I arrived early at the venue in good time to set up the laptop and projector and generally get myself well prepared. I love to arrive well in advance of start time.
All was well until I came to switch on the laptop and it didn't work. Despite our best efforts we just couldn’t get the projector and laptop to ‘talk to each other’ so it meant ‘winging’ the session without the aid of my usual PowerPoint presentation.
Though initially feeling sort of partly undressed I quickly warmed to the session as we proceeded without the ‘safety net’ of the technology. I found myself thoroughly enjoying the interaction with the participants. I’m sure the level of interaction was higher than normal – or maybe that was just me telling myself that to justify the ‘acting on one’s feet’s style that was forced by circumstances beyond my control.
I am a great fan of technology and I do believe PowerPoint adds value to training sessions when used sensibly, I wonder though if PowerPoint has become more important than it need be. In other words I guess I’m saying:
“Just cos we can, don’t mean we have to use it”
I am not saying I will not use PowerPoint in future training session but it has made me think seriously about over reliance on technology. We must know our subject so that we can cope when we hit technical hitches.
Maybe I will switch my balance in favour of fewer slides.
I have always said technology is the slave not the master – this was powerful evidence close to home.