Every now and then, I don’t feel like writing about a serious topic. This is one of those times. Please forgive me in advance.
We all use a broad range of office applications in our daily routine: word processors, presentation applications, and spreadsheets among others; let’s preclude e-mail and chat clients as those are arguably communication methods. What’s interesting, however, is that answering the following question says quite a lot about us and how we conceptualize and process information (while I’m sure I’m going to be chastised for doing it, I’m going to use the Microsoft suite for simplicity):
If you could choose only one office suite application to capture, consider, and communicate your initiatives, which would it be: Word, Excel, or PowerPoint?
Please note the phrasing of the question: obviously, if you’re in Finance, you’ll have to use Excel just as you’ll have to use PowerPoint if you’re in Marketing. However, if you could only use one application for your own initiatives, what would your tool of choice be?
Word Windbags (WWs) love language, verbosity, and capturing details. They come at problems and solutions from a descriptive perspective. E-mails from WWs are so lengthy that you’d rather skip over them for when you have time to read :-). The most experienced WWs I know have an ability to squeeze a one-slide topic into a 4-page document.
Excel Engineers (EEs) love mathematical relationships, exhaustive lists, and capturing equations. They come at problems and solutions from a numeric modeling perspective. E-mails from EEs usually come in the form of very little text and an attached spreadsheet that has so many tabs you’re not sure where to start :-). The most experienced EEs I know use Excel as a programming platform.
PowerPoint Ponderers (PPs) love concepts, visualizations, and capturing the high level. They come at problems and solutions from a conceptual perspective. Presentations from PPs usually have so many animated builds that their 3-slide deck requires 28 clicks to get through :-). The most experienced PPs I know aren’t sure what Excel is actually for :-).
What Am I?
I really struggled between EE and PP but, if pinned down, I’d have to go with PP. I love how PowerPoint can quickly allow me to capture ideas/concepts without having to worry about the details. Moreover, PowerPoint allows me to build concepts upon one another. Yes, I’m famous for having presentations with excessive use of animated builds. Having said that, I have a lot of respect for EEs and WWs although, admittedly, I rarely have enough patience to review their deliverables in detail :-).