This Is Why Jeff Bezos Banned PowerPoint In His Meetings

The human brain is wired for a story. In the 2018 annual letter, Jeff Bezos said PowerPoint is banned in executive meetings.

Jeff replaced PowerPoint presentations with something that gives more insight to leaders and participants of the meeting. He actually banned PowerPoint presentations in favor of memos.

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Bezos says that “narrative structure” is much more effective than PowerPoint presentations. According to the Amazon CEO, new executives are in for a culture shock in their first Amazon meetings.

There is no PowerPoint slide and everybody for 30 minutes, sits quietly and reads a “six-page memo that’s narratively structured with real sentences, topics”

Here is why memos are better and more productive, and result-oriented.


Reading memos before the start of the meeting gives them a chance to get up to speed on the topic in advance, ensuring their equal participation. It saves time for everybody.

Better questions and discussions.

Since everybody has read the memo before the start of the meeting, they participate with equal information and are better equipped to ask good questions. Participants are able to brainstorm better, resulting in thought-provoking discussions.

A more level playing field.

Using memos gives all participants an equal, fair chance to be heard and to share their views. Everybody gets a chance.

Strategic thinking.

A memo requires thinking and building a narrative to make a case for discussion and brainstorming. This is a great practice and after everyone reads the memo, they discuss the topic.

“It’s so much better than the typical PowerPoint presentation for so many reasons,” Bezos added.

A memo is a personalized approach, it’s realistic and builds a narrative over a typical PowerPoint bulleted presentation that people often don’t pay attention to.

Some of the key components of strategic thinking include:

  1. Vision: The ability to envision a desired future state and create a roadmap to achieve it.
  2. Analysis: The ability to gather and analyze information from a variety of sources to identify patterns and trends.
  3. Creativity: The ability to generate innovative ideas and solutions.
  4. Adaptability: The ability to adjust plans and strategies in response to changing circumstances.
  5. Communication: The ability to articulate complex ideas and plans clearly and concisely.
  6. Collaboration: The ability to work effectively with others to achieve common goals.
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