When you want to raise money for a good cause, how do you go about it? There are the well-worn routes such as applying to the Lottery Fund, writing begging letters to millionaires and asking for a loan from your bank (although lots of banks seem to be needing loans themselves these days).
But there is another way. Why not make a presentation and show it to whoever can help?
Our local fishing club is trying to improve the riverbank. This is obviously a good cause: not only would it benefit the fishermen, it would also create a more pleasing environment for the locals and the wider community who might experience it.
Having thought about how to proceed, the club members made a pack that includes maps, photos and other useful collateral, and passed it out to a number of agencies that might be persuaded to put their corporate hands in their pockets. The pack also includes a presentation. All of which has proved useful in generating group and one-to-one discussions.
The British adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes is also well known for using presentations to help him raise sponsorship money for his expeditions. And that's not surprising.
After all, PowerPoint is adept at presenting complex stories in a simple, engaging and easy-to-understand way. Being multimedia in nature, it's easy to include, say, pictures of a riverbank as it currently is, then contrast those with artists' impressions of how it might look if the money rolls in. Much more persuasive and emotionally engaging than colourless facts and figures.
If you can get in front of people – or even one person – who could help your good cause with money, time or anything else that's valuable, PowerPoint is a great way to get your points across succinctly and effectively.
You might also impress those potential helpers with your ability to present your case professionally. The fact that you've taken the time and trouble to order your points in a logical manner, using accompanying visual and audio material to back them up, is likely to make a good impression too.
So don't leave PowerPoint in the office – take it out in the world with you!
By David Vickery