2004.12.13

The Powerpoint Killer?

01.11.55 - Mark

I may have mentioned S5 before but I don't remember and can't be stirred to look it up, but in addition to the Java infused CSS and XHTML of S5 there are also plain style sheets being used for power point replacements. My dad wrote a column on Presentation software last week, and one of my teachers mentioned it to me a few days ago. he of course defended the smoldering pile of Redmond's crap (he assigned a few of them to all of his classes) and I argued that power point is what it is - a smoldering pile of Redmond's crap.

Schools no longer teach presenter skills. Forget planning out a presentation, creating useful aids and delivering a meaningful dialogue, all schools want now are "power points" that have:



Then all you have to do is click for X*Z and read all the text for the audience, who you are to assume are so inept that they are incapable of reading. Broken english - perfectly fine since it is a powerpoint. Uncredited works - its a powerpoint not a research paper. Saying things not on the slides - wait we can't have that its a powerpoint!

In the above example let's say you have 6 text slides and and 4 image slides. It takes no more than 10 seconds to read each slide. Hey we're looking at two minutes of information. Dude, that's got to be inducing information overload.... So we add animations. hey lookie! We just made a 5 minute presentation!

For those 2 minutes of actual speaking, we give an A. Its pathetic. It has become acceptable to spew information in six word packets then move to the next item. Civilization is getting to the point where a 5 minute speech is impossible. I've worked at Raven Knob Scout Reservation for two years and both summers instructed a communication session. Its almost surprising how many people can't even improv something for a couple minutes, let alone write out a 5 minute speech and deliver it

I can't wait for something to kill powerpoint and force people to learn how to pass on information. Until then I guess I'll have to suffer though a few more and give my own slide shows and passing on what I know (but not with powerpoint...)

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