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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Are YOUR PowerPoint slides doing more harm than good?

PowerPoint is ubiquitous. Not only in boardrooms and conferences rooms but also in classrooms (yes, I use it, too, and so do my students when they make in-class presentations).

As Bob Parks writes in a recent issue of Bloomberg Businessweek, "No matter what your line of work, it’s only getting harder to avoid death by PowerPoint."

The article continues:

Since Microsoft launched the slide show program 22 years ago, it’s been installed on no fewer than 1 billion computers; an estimated 350 PowerPoint presentations are given each second across the globe; the software’s users continue to prove that no field of human endeavour can defy its facility for reducing complexity and nuance to bullet points and big ideas to tacky clip art. (italics mine)

Ouch!



There's more in the same vein:

As with anything so ubiquitous and relied upon, PowerPoint has bred its share of contempt. Plug the name into Twitter and you’ll see workers bashing the soporific software in Korean, Arabic, Spanish, and English as each region starts its business day. Part of this venting may stem from a lack of credible competition...

Microsoft’s other ubiquitous products, such as Word and Excel, don’t draw the same widescale ire. As PowerPoint’s sole function — unlike word processing and arithmetic — is grounded in visual arts, its slides do more harm than good. They bore audiences with amateurish, antiquated animation and typefaces and distract speakers from focusing on the underlying structure of their creators’ speeches.

Double ouch!

If you use PowerPoint (and who doesn't?), you will want to read this article in its entirety and then rethink your own slide-presentation strategy: "Death to PowerPoint!".
  • Cartoon courtesy: CartoonStock