Powerpoint


Interesting aritcle in Wired about
the evils of powerpoint.

Shawn's intersting and accurate response

<begin rant>

I've undergone my share of powerpoint lectures where all the presenter does is read
the slides.  Some of the worst (particularly in college), would stare at the
board and read the slides.  Sleep is enivitable. 

But this begs the fact: is it powerpoints fault?  Of course not!  It is
the lack of good presentation skills.  Most people I've ever met are not great
presenters.  Many people can communicate and give decent presentations, but very
few are actually GOOD and even less are GREAT.  When you find those great presenters,
cherish the time you have when they speak to you. 

The best thing about slides for school or work is so you can take notes on the slides
and not have to write down all the details.  Slides should prove to supplement
the presentation -- guide the audience through your talking points, keep them focused
on the major topics, and give them the most important take away from the set of information
you present.  The speaker should be lively, use anecdotal comments, jokes, and
be fun -- not reading the slides.  If people did this, powerpoint would no longer
be evil to anyone.  We should blame the cause, not the software. 

Shawn's analogies are accurate:

Word does not make a bad writer good.  Excel will not create effective models
with improper assumptions or bad data.  The problem we see here is *user error*
-- don't blame Powerpoint.

</end rant>

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