One presenter's early attempt with the Takahashi Method
September 25, 2005
Jim in Singapore once again has shared some timely insights, this time on the "Takahashi Method." Jim has a tremendous amount of experience presenting in many different locations and situations, so whenever he shares his experience, I'm "all ears."
I'm happy to share tidbits from Jim from time to time here. To protect Jim's confidentiality, I have removed references to the name or location of this particular meeting or the products (services) he sells. Please trust me that these are valuable and important products from a large, respected international firm. Here's what Jim shared with me.
"After your blog (on the "Takahashi Method) I just dove in and put one together. This was my fourth speech in three days. I easily sat through 30 PowerPoint's this week (Oh the troubles I've seen...!). I discussed four topics in my presentation:
(1) Personnel issues
(2) Commissions earned (buddy rich is the drum roll)
(3) Updates on developments in the market
(4) Initiatives for growth in the practice
My presentation was the first of 15 presentations given in a row. At the first break responses were a bit mixed about my not using charts or spread sheets, etc. until I pointed out they were in the notes view (which people could access later). By the end of the day people were begging for something they could at least read and the Takahashi method was held in much higher esteem. Interesting technique but I think using English and using Kanji differ greatly and if you are not writing in a picture-based language images are still very important and are a lot more effective generally than words."
I agree that the idea of using just large text alone may not have the same impact in English as in Japanese. This is for many reason (which I will explain in future), but one of the reasons certainly is indeed the nature of the Japanese written language which uses Kanji (borrowed from the Chinese) and two kana scripts. English text can be very visual, depending on how it is presented. But Kanji, simply by its ideographic nature, may be even more effective in simple, large forms than Roman letters. Still, using some slides with large text or just a few words can be very effective if mixed in with other, various forms of visual support.
Below are sample slides from Jim's presentation. These are just a few of the slides to give you a taste for his "Takahashi-Method" visual approach. Of course, without the speaker present, these visuals are essentially meaningless — the handout (or printed notes view from the PowerPoint) is what people can use later to recall content from the presentation and even read expanded detail.
This particular visual approach used elements of the Takahashi Method along with high-quality, full-screen photographs, charts & graphs, and quotations. Obviously it was a way of using PowerPoint that is not "usual" in this particular industry (or any other industry for that matter), but in the end, it appears to have gotten the audience's attention, and was memorable in a sea of easily forgotten "typical PowerPoint" presentations.
Thanks very much to Jim for sharing his experience from the field.