Technology: Critical or Crutch?

The one question I get asked over and over is, “How do you keep up with technology?”. The truth is, the basic tenets of technology don’t change. It just shifts and gets renamed and actually becomes easier to work with. Take digital cameras for instance. It wasn’t difficult to put 35 mm film in your old camera way back when, right? You loaded the film, you stuck on the flash and…click. When digital cameras came out, sure the technology was different but it wasn’t harder to understand. You still used the shutter button to take the picture and pressed a menu button to view it. It was a different workflow but it definitely made taking pictures easier. It’s not that hard to stay on top when what changes are the platforms to make it easier to access.

The next most common question I get is, “What do you think of this new fancy gizmo?”. I have to say, people love their gadgets. I spend a lot of time watching people tap, shake and pinch their screens, grinning like a five year-old filling up a plastic bag with jellybeans. They just have to show you how it works and how much fun it is. Even if you do not share their enthusiasm, they will still show you.

Sure. Technology can help you type a paper, find restaurant, message a friend, track a package, navigate your car, book a flight, get you a job, connect with an old friend, and help you find information on almost anything. Some technology claims it can translate your dog’s barking…yes.

Some people use technology to help spice for school or at the office but is technology critical to the presentation. My answer? No. Technological platforms and fancy gizmos can facilitate a presentation or help drive a point home with audio and visual razzle-dazzle but content is king. All the technology in the world will not improve a presentation lacking substance. Technology is a mixed blessing and can act as an aid to target the most important information to your audience, but it will also manifest any weaknesses. If there is no essence, passion, intelligent argument or unique insight to the presentation, technology will not help. It will only hurt. In other words, you get out of technology, what you put into it.

Our current president used technology to gain votes and amass a great political platform but without his talent in public speaking and the ability of his staff to communicate to our nation, technology would have become a conduit to end his campaign. 

With all the technological advancements that we continue to witness on a daily basis in the modern world, a well-written, well-researched, and passionate speech will always shine in comparison to a weak technological presentation bereft of substance. When you get back to the basics, it is still the human element of passion, insight, intelligence and the desire to be connected to each other, that technology depends upon to make it truly shine.

Don’t get me wrong. I love this business with all it’s technology, but I can admit that without the human element, technology is drab. I can hear my wife now so okay, I admit it. I am one of those annoying tapper-shaker-pinchers that just has to show you how it works, but heck, it helps me talk to my dog, after all!

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