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Throw off the crutches of ppt!

Posted Oct 21 2008 12:50am
The most important line in a recent post: Jessica got a round of applause for not using any PowerPoint slides.

The time has come for the world, with cries of "Hallelujah!", to throw away the crutches of PowerPoint.

Sure, a good ppt presentation can be special, but how often do you see a good one, or one that even contributes to the reservoir of human knowledge? Instead, what usually happens?

1 -- The machine doesn't work, and the audience is left sitting while the speaker pushes buttons and pulls cables and finally calls in the house AV person, who pushes buttons and pulls cables. What better way to show lack of respect to your audience and lose their engagement by keeping them waiting for your talk?

2 -- The slides are filled with text. The speaker tries to put up too much information, instead of using a few words on the slide to create emphasis.

3 -- The slides are filled with Excel spreadsheets with tiny cells. How often have you heard this: "I know you can't read this from your seat"? Well, why put it up on a screen if people can't read it?

4 -- The speaker turns away from the audience to look at the screen whenever a new slide comes up (yes, even when there is a computer on the podium!), losing eye contact with the audience.

5 -- Oops, did I say "eye contact?" That was already lost when the lights were dimmed for the presentation.

6 -- There are too many slides. A new one arrives on the screen every 15 seconds, so if you are trying to take notes (in the dark!), you never finish one before the next appears. (Then, halfway through, the speaker says, don't worry about taking notes. I'll hand out a copy after the presentation.)

7 -- The speaker reads the slides. Need I say more?
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