powerpoint presentations are like vampires: they suck the lifeblood from ideas and information, and they’re impossible to kill. microsoft should release powerpoint with a little label like the intel badge, one that says Vampire inside ™.
the best lampooning of PPT style i’ve seen to date is a witty parody of president lincoln’s famous speech:
The Gettysburg Powerpoint Address
this pres reinforces my vampire comparison. the original gettysburg address was memorable for its power, for the melancholy and passion it evoked, for its important call to action. in the hands of powerpoint, rendered in corporate non–speak, even lincoln’s ideas can be reduced to a dead lump of clay, a mass of soul–destroying Arial and bar charts.
unfortunately, powerpoint isn’t going to die any day soon; corporate america has neither the wooden stake nor the will. it’s a quick and easy way to convey information, and in a world of time–starved people, the quick and easy route is the path of least resistance. in the wrong hands, though (and based on what i’ve seen, most hands are wrong with powerpoint), the result is soulless and no information is actually transferred.
so, the next time you pull out powerpoint, do the world a favor and put it back in its crypt. if you can’t, then do what you can from putting your audience to sleep. i’ll do the same.
NOTE: for those interested in ways to improve powerpoint presentations, edward tufte’s article the cognitive style of powerpoint is probably a good place to start.
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