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If PowerPoint is evil, so are you.

April 27, 2010

I ran across a wonderfully absurd article in the NY Times how powerpoint is the enemy. Of course I agree with all the effects, however I have to disagree on the cause. The article covers the usual “powerpoint makes you stupid,” we have “powerpoint rangers,” we spend too much time in powerpoint, etc. The clip that caught my attention, “[powerpoint] stifles discussion, critical thinking and thoughtful decision-making.”

 

I find this criticism similar to chastising clay for bad pottery. How much hand holding should any presentation package require you to deliver a concise, compelling, accurate presentation suitable for its intended audience? Maybe msft should bring back Clippy as the presentation enforcer, “Hey idiot, Looks like you have too many words in this slide. How about a graphic already.”

 

We could revert to my high school days and go back to transparencies? Oh the memories of my math teacher who forgot to put the cap on his overhead pen. I can see it now, “General, you’ve been shot!”  “No son, it’s just my Vis-A-Vis wet erase pen.” Who doesn’t miss pocket protectors.

 

Seriously, can we move past complaining about powerpoint and focus on why presentations suck? There’s plenty of references how to build effective presentations. (It’s tempting to list them out in a bulleted list.) I think it simply comes down to presenter and presentee accountability. Perhaps a certification program can solve the problem :/

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