May 20th, 2011 by Bob Bly
I have to confess: I once hated PowerPoint. Now I use it in nearly every presentation, mainly because the conferences and webinar producers who ask me to speak insist on it.
Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post is not a fan of PowerPoint.
“Enduring a PowerPoint presentation is rarely informative and never efficient,” Marcus states. “The inevitable cutesy graphics — why think through a tough problem when you can spend your time surfing for clip art or experimenting with fonts — add a bullet point of insult to the injury of having to sit through it.”
“PowerPoint may help speakers outline their talks, but convenience for the speaker can be punishing to both content and audience,” writes Edward Tufte in Wired magazine. “The standard PowerPoint presentation elevates form over content, betraying an attitude of commercialism that turns everything into a sales pitch.”
Adds Marcus: “The seductive availability of PowerPoint and the built-in drive to reduce all subjects to a series of short-handed bullet points eliminates nuances and enables, even encourages, the absence of serious thinking.”
I use PowerPoint when giving presentations. Do you? Do you agree that bullets and PowerPoint are inherently mind-numbing and boring? Or does it depend on the speaker?
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