7 January 2011

Who says managers can't talk about numbers without using slides?

My attention was drawn to this by a Twitter link from Shane Greer (@shanegreer), to whom many thanks.

It's a TED talk on Why we have too few women leaders by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, and is well worth watching, not just because of her very effective use of anecdotes, rhetorical questions and a three-part structure that she sticks with and helps the audience to follow, but because of the complete absence of slides - even though you might have expected some as she goes through some key numbers and percentages.

What Ms Sandberg demonstrates, yet again, is that managers can give clear and compelling presentations about complicated subjects without having to depend on slides at all.

Although this is something I've been teaching, writing books and blogging about for years, it's always good to come across new videos like this that can be used to illustrate the point.

It's also interesting to reflect on just how important a part might have been played by Ms Sandberg's own presentation skills in helping her to break through the glass ceiling that she's talking about.

P.S. Charismatic woman?
Watching this again, I was reminded of something I wrote in Our Masters' Voices (1984) about the way Margaret Thatcher partly solved one of the central problems facing professional women - also posted HERE a couple of years ago and then developed in another post about Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin.

From what we see in this video, it would appear that, like Thatcher and Palin, Sheryl Sandberg has no qualms about coming across as unequivocally female in the way she dresses and appears. Given my ancient thoughts on the 'evolution of charismatic woman' from 27+ years ago, I'm therefore left wondering how 'tough' and 'decisive' she is as a leader in her everyday work.

1 comment:

Janice Tomich said...

Not only do woman have to sit at the table they need to stand up and speak.

As a woman who coaches public speaking, my eyes and ears are always watching the representation of men vs women in public speaking arenas. The results are usually 2 (women) to 10 (men).

As Sandberg said, women need to keep their hands up and watch for opportunities.

Sandberg presents herself with confidence and humility - she is a brilliant speaker and a pleasure to watch and listen to.

Thanks Max for your insight.