Wednesday, 1 April 2009

The curse of Power Point

How often have you seen a slide that says "Thank You" at the end of a presentation ? To me, this symbolises how much Power Point has become a curse, and many people its slaves. If you need a chart to say thank you, God help you !

Presentations are a bane of corporate life. You make them all the time. These days, it seems impossible to communicate anything, without charts. And of course, Microsoft, with Power Point, is a monopoly in the business of chart making.

Peer into any meeting room in any company these days. You'll see a semi darkened room. You'll see a projector. And you'll see a bunch of people staring at a screen. Is this always the best form of communication ? Sometimes it is. But many times it is not. You can effectively communicate your message with no charts at all. And yet most of us would feel naked going into a presentation with no charts.

I've spent a huge portion of my life making charts, or delivering presentations with charts or looking at them. Many times, I've travelled 15 hours to some distant place, only to be locked up into a semi darkened room and forced to blink at 7342 charts the whole day.You can perhaps excuse my intense dislike of Power Point !

This week , its mostly going to be posts on presentations. Starting with Ten Cardinal Sins of Presenters.


Adesh Sidhu said...

These managers who sit in these semi darkened rooms are called as PowerPoint managers who believes that businesses are built on PowerPoints and run on Excel sheet.

One CEO said about these managers

"They always fail to create real power points and end with lot of excel shiit"

Ramesh said...

Yes indeed - businesses can't be run by power point & excel.

Thanks for visiting Adesh.

Ravi Rajagopalan said...

I came across the writings of Edward Tufte long ago, particularly his essay on "The Cognitive Style of Powerpoint". He argues that the overuse of Powerpoint corrupts analytical depth. If you have not reaad "Envisioning Information" or "The Visual Display of Quantitative Information" I highly recommend them.

Ramesh said...

Thanks Dada. Haven't read it. Have to read it in Chinese though where I am !!

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