Notes from TechEd 2008: 'Gaming' Disaster Published 2008-04-17 under


Are you kidding me? Today's TechEd 2008 Spotlight Session is titled "Why 'Gaming' for Executive Education and Management Training?". Gaming is associated with exciting, dynamic, and hip culture. This presentation was just the opposite: boring, static, and traditional with all the negative facets associated with a "death by Powerpoint" presentation. And this was a spotlight session?

To make things worse, it turnes out that this was nothing more than a plug for the presenters' university and a specific product. On this front it had the opposite effect for me. Before I could sit down, one of the presenters brought me a branded pen, the same type that was next to the handouts and that I chose not to take. He then distributed his brochure for a strategic planning consulting service. I have no problem with promotion, but this push model was offensive especially as it had nothing to do with the advertised session topic.

I don't usually post such negative comments and am usually understanding of traditional (read: bad Powerpoint) presentations, but in this case I feel cheated. I should have pulled the plug on their computers and dumped all their handouts and notes in the trash. The result, I bet, would have been a much more interesting presentation. When the presenters did go off script and down a tangent, they became more dynamic, engaging, and successful at communicating their ideas.

The sad part is that this game (simulation) sounds somewhat interesting.

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