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Amsterdam was the scene last month of the ELNs (Electronic Lab Notebooks) & Advanced Laboratory Solutions conference. Dr. Ian Berry of Evotec (UK) Ltd was a key presenter with his presentation titled, Integrating JChem and Marvin. It wasn’t the best title for a presentation; more of a subject description really. However, it was his use of presentation management-speak that really seized our attention. For all the wrong reasons, of course.

Presentation management-speak
Presentation Management Speak Obscures Drug Development Message

Presentation management-speak was a serious problem with this presentation. The presenter’s easy-going style, characterised by him swallowing his words at the end of sentences, was nothing compared to his presentation language. Here are some examples:

“An intuitive system”

“off the shelf, integrated system…”

“fairly agnostic…”

“drill down…”

“agnostic to the cartridge…”

“out of the box…”

[responsive_video type=’vimeo’]https://vimeo.com/12455939[/responsive_video]

Jargon is one thing. Because we come to expect it. That’s particularly so when we attend such very specialised conferences. But management-speak? It’s not needed. That’s simply because the audience doesn’t want it. They want to be informed. They want to learn something new. And, if management-speak gets in the way of that, then it’s not effective.

Totally Like Presentation Management-Speak

In a seemingly never-ending litany of management-speak the Evotec presenter took his audience through an unremarkable PowerPoint presentation. It was unremarkable in that it was just like so many other PowerPoint presentations. Because, typically managers inflict these on audiences in offices every day. So, this presentation featured the standard “about us” slide at the beginning, a corporate template and plenty of busy, wordy slides.

The scale of the presentation management-speak was such that the Evotec Principal Software Developer’s message was dangerously close to being lost. In fact, it might even have become lost. But, that wasn’t his aim. The best bit? He took a question at the end of his presentation. So, the questioner managed to prove that someone was clearly paying attention. Well done to that questioner.

You can always join one of our presentation training courses and learn the perils of presentation management-speak. Better still, you can develop more effective alternatives.

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About the Author

The Principal Trainer at training business Time to Market. Based in Oxford, I run presentation and public speaking training courses, coaching sessions and seminars throughout the UK.

  • HI,
    Just to correct you on the conference – this was presenter at a user group meeting for ChemAxon not a commercial conference on ELN.

    I don’t think it takes from your comments but the title I think would be more relevant in this context (users and developers of a given product)

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