On further reflection

I am beginning to doubt the value of Powerpoint…

Recalling an incident a couple of years ago when I gave my presentation by candlelight, without the benefit of PPt, due to a blown transformer cutting power to the university and my being booked in a windowless room… Afterwards one of the participants came up to comment on the fact that he thought he took more in than he does when there are slides. He was of the generation that had always had PowerPoint (whereas, I’m really an OHP girl) and until that presentation had never noticed how much the visual distract from the content.

And the comment a former colleague of mine made, after transferring into the Business School, that the businesses who they dealt with actually banned PowerPoint in presentations. Triumph of form over content, apparently.

Now pondering.

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4 thoughts on “On further reflection

  1. Can be useful if kept to an absolute minimum, I think. I went to something where a load of social scientists (!?!) spoke and none had anything but a set of notes – and read from them! That was dire, and would have been marginally IMPROVED by relevant visuals. I do think a few powerpoint slides, with key points (if there are such) and illustrations (pictures) can add to a talk, but aren’t vital.
    Sometimes presenters find them helpful too.

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  2. Personally, I HATE powerpoint presentations (Hubby tells me I’m behind the times) and I really dislike it when they hand out copies of their slides as notes as well.

    Maybe there’s a way to use them properly to highlight unusual words or names, but I think people tend to go overboard with them and ignore their speech.

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  3. Edward Tufte has a great essay on how awful Powerpoint is – plus some books on effective visual displays of complex (or any) in formation. I don’t have his url handy but google will find it 😉

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  4. I’m assuming OHP is overhead projector 🙂

    I’ve had a dismal time with PowerPoint presentations so far. The damn fool presenter stands up at the head of the room and proceeds to say the exact same things on the screen. And then at the end we’re offered a PP printout to take home. The same drivel three times.

    The local public school starts teaching the kiddies in Grade Two how to use (make? do?) PowerPoint presentations. Another reason we thought hs’ing might be an improvement…

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