Weekend, Long

No post tomorrow because I’m taking the day off work.  It’s another professional day at school, so we’ll all be home.  I will also be putting the finishing touches on a presentation that I have to give at the Moncton Cultural Forum on Saturday morning.  I will be using PowerPoint.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with my views on PowerPoint, they can be read here.

Here is a screenshot of the “Slide Sorter” view of the PowerPoint deck that was prepared for me to use:


Yes, that is what it looks like.  Seventeen pages of text so thick you can’t even make it out.  I have 15 minutes to present.  I tried reading one of the pages aloud, and it took me 2½ minutes.  Do the math. 

Here is the slide sorter view of the slides that I created to use instead:


Granted, my version will require that I actually speak, instead of just letting the audience read the slides, but, hey – I figure that’s my value-add.



6 Responses to “Weekend, Long”

  1. Clayton Says:

    Imagine if Presidential candidates or MP’s used PowerPoint or other visual aids?

    My point (pun #1) is this; at some point (pun#2) if the message is strong enough and the speaker has sufficient oratory skills (and I know that you do) nobody should be using Powerpoint or any other visual enhancements in presentations anymore.

    Now that I haven’t had to put together a PowerPoint in quite some time, I have to shake my head at how much effort we used to put into developing the PP first and then letting the speaker craft the spoken presentation around the slides.

    Powerpoint has become the advance indicator of a bad presentation; “Here comes the Visual aids, they must not have much of value to say.”

    “Say It, Don’t Play It”

  2. netdud Says:

    1) Presenting the same information simultaneously in slides and verbally actually lowers the audience comprehension. People who do that with PP are making things worse.
    2) Presenting information and the structure into which you are putting that information simultaneously means that the audience has to try to both absorb the information and grok the structure. If they manage to do either half as well as they would if the structure and information were presented separately, they are remarkable people.
    3) PP is popular with people for the same reason that hammers are popular with young boys, and to about the same level of success.
    4) Mnemonic devices can help people remember stuff. That’s why I’m hilarious and everyone remembers me with such fondness.
    5) PowerPoint, on the other hand, is yet another tool that you need to learn how to use effectively in order to get any value out of it. Someone who uses PowerPoint because they are a bad presenter, and doesn’t bother to learn how to use PP well, has gone from doing one thing badly to doing two things badly.

  3. Stephen Brooks Says:

    I’m BUI at this point (Blogging Under the Influence), but I can’t figure out if either of you are praising me or chastising me…

  4. Clayton Says:

    Well, I’m criticizing the use of PP in general. I think it’s unnecessary in 95% of presentations. (That other 5% is when technical diagrams need to be presented for clarity. Not charts and flow diagrams that simply repeat what has been said.

    But I also know from experience that you personally don’t need Powerpoint to give a solid presentation. So I guess that’s a little from column A and a little from column B.

    If I ever find myself in the unlikely position of giving a presentation and being asked to supply a PP. My slide deck will be as follows: (all in micro-sized fonts)
    Slide #1 “Pay no attention to this slide.”
    Slide #2 “You just missed important information while reading this slide.”
    Final Slide “When ordering, remember to mention the 50% off discount code I spoke about while you were busy reading slide #2

    My preferred visual aid (if any is needed at all) is a chalk board. Maybe it’ll catch on some day.

  5. Derek K. Miller Says:

    Bravo on the new slides. Of course, you could show them just as well with a PDF file, or a series of photos on Flickr, or an overhead projector and some transparencies — which goes to show that PowerPoint isn’t necessary at all for any good presentation.

  6. Stephen Brooks Says:

    Oh, BTW, only people who have actually read “Stranger in a Strange Land” get to use the word “grok.” I’m assuming that Netdud has.

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