Re: Use of visual aids in business meetings
From: Greg Nelson (
Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2010 07:55:18 -0700 (PDT)
Sorry for being so far behind, but I had a couple of thoughts on this one.

Mariana Almeida writes:
> Subject: [C-L]_ Use of visual aids in business meetings
> What?are people's experiences with using visual aid technologies in
> your business meetings? I am finding we?need more visual interest and
> people are averse to using a lot of handouts?for environmental
> reasons.  
> [...]
> Projector/computer/PowerPoint
> This would be my preferred method, but there is resistance to
> it. The resistance to it is related to it being too "business"y, too
> advanced technologically and "would make me feel left out because I'll
> never learn to use it". Do you use it? What makes it work? 

Two different ideas here, one much lower tech than the other.  I will
say we haven't tried either of these ourselves because our meetings
are still so small we usually pass around a copy of whatever we're
looking at.

1. Traditional "overhead projector." 
   * Familiar/nonthreatening technology many of us were exposed to in
     grade school.
   * This addresses the environmental concerns to some extent, because
     you can use non-permanent markers on the transparencies and just
     wash them off for the next meeting.
   * The use of a bright projection light may make it easier to see
     than chart pads.
   * People can prepare in advance (e.g. budgets, proposals, agendas)
     and not have to copy out the information onto photocopies or
     chart pads, but you can also modify on the fly with markers.
   * Projection can usually be enlarged enough for everyone to be able
     to read it, even if the person writing tends toward small print.
     (Width of markers also limits how small people will write).
   * Scans or copies can be made after the meeting of anything that
     needs to be kept or redistributed, because it is standard
     letter/A4 sized.
   * You can borrow the lenses for use in solar ovens.  (Only half
     kidding. :-) 
   * Uses electric power.
   * Big bulky thing that needs to be brought to meetings (if they're
     not in a fixed location).
   * Technology is getting long-in-the-tooth, may be hard to find
     replacement parts in a few years.

2. Wii-remote or other low-cost "interactive whiteboard"
   (See for more info.)
   * Supposedly very cost effective (under $100 after you have the
     computer and projector)
   * Easy to use, like using a pen and paper, may overcome some of the
     "will never learn to use that" objections.
   * Easy to keep a record of what was presented.
   * Fewer disposable materials (markers, paper, plastic, although you
     may need to replace rechargeable batteries periodically).
   * All the above advantages of projection (lighting, font size,
     pre-prepared presentations)
   * Requires existing computer projection equipment.
   * Uses electric power.
   * Exceedingly high-tech solution

Maybe those will be of interest to someone!

Greg Nelson                     email:  ghn [at]
White Hawk Ecovillage           phone:  607-273-2576
Ithaca, NY 14850                web:

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