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John Doesn't Do PowerPoint

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One day in 2003, John Waldron agreed to give a presentation to a group, but since he doesn’t do seminars or public solicitation, he had no idea how to go about it. So he called his friend and client (but not yet employee) Krishna Pendyala for help.

“He had never used PowerPoint,” says Pendyala incredulously.

Before they began working on the presentation, Pendyala asked Waldron what he wanted the audience to tell him when it was over. He got the expected answers about disciplines in investing and the like.

That wasn’t really what he meant, so he told Waldron to think of it as “I did not realize that . . . fill in the blank.” This time Waldron gave him six or seven statements, at which point Pendyala understood how to structure the presentation to achieve the desired response. When it was over, Waldron telephoned him from the airport to report that he had gotten the anticipated response.

“Right then a different relationship was built between us,” Pendyala recalls. “He knew that I could do PowerPoint, but it really was not PowerPoint. PowerPoint was just the medium. It was the thinking about how you reach people.”


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