The Top Meeting Pet Peeves that Plague Organizations – Tip #4

The following is the fourth meeting pet peeve in a weekly series of 5.

Pet Peeve #4 – Using PowerPoint When It’s Not Needed

PowerPoint is an essential business tool, but it’s not effective for all meeting types. Unfortunately, many people believe that ALL meetings require the use of PowerPoint. Not true! Typical information sharing meetings require a facilitator asking questions and everyone contributing in round-robin style. Watching someone read PowerPoint slides is not how these meetings should run. After all, if people simply needed to read pages of text, you could just send them the file and skip the meeting completely.

Of course, if your informational meeting needs more of people’s senses involved, then use PowerPoint to add that visual component. Likewise, if you’re combining everyone’s data and showing it in chart or graph form, PowerPoint is great. But don’t use PowerPoint just for the sake of it. Know why you’re using it, and then do it right.

They Needle Me to Drink

Dear Jean,

I’m a lawyer and I work with a team of high-strung, deadline-oriented lawyers.  Occasionally, after a long, intense day, we go out together for a drink.  Most of them drink quite a bit.  I don’t drink at all, but I enjoy being with the group.  With holiday parties coming up, I need to know how to keep them from needling me to drink!


Just say, “I don’t drink, thanks.”  The next time they needle you to drink, just say, “I don’t drink.”  The next time — repeat it again…..

Postcards Are Not Rude

Dear Jean,

I find postcards easy to write, send and receive.  Another salesperson who works with me says I’m being rude to contact my clients with “cheap postcards.”  He uses a first-class letter.  Tell me, Jean, do you think I’m being rude?


Gee, I hope not.  I still send postcards. With the decline of the written word and the acceleration of e-communication, I think a postcard is a very nice touch. It’s unusual these days and you’re more likely to be remembered by a post card or hand written note.

Unless a customer complains, keep up the good work!

Christmas Party?

Dear Jean,

Two years ago, my husband and I started a small manufacturing company.  Although we are still pinching pennies, this is the first year we have had enough money to have a Christmas party.

Our employees come from several different walks of life.  Among those represented are various religions, races, and socioeconomic levels.  It is difficult to be all things to all people, but we really want everyone to feel comfortable and we want to stay within a reasonable yet small budget.  Any suggestions?


You mentioned cultural diversity in your company. Most religions celebrate around this time of year so it’s best to call it a Holiday Party, at least on the invitation.

Here are a couple of low-cost options:

One is a covered-dish party.  You supply the meats and beverages.  Your employees bring the side dishes and desserts.  Those who don’t cook and those that you’re afraid can’t cook can provide chips, dips, and bread.

If you prefer not to ask your employees to bring anything, a chili party at your home or business is a fun and inexpensive idea.  You are only out the cost of chili, beverages, and extras.