Sunday, January 28, 2007

PowerPoint: turning point of effective communications?

We've all been there - putting a PowerPoint presentation together and wondering how we can fit all the information into a slide while making the font big enough for people to see. We are so consumed with putting the information in and the background colors and cute clip art chunk that we forget what we're using PowerPoint for. It's for communicating an idea right? Trying to provide the reasoning, background data, direction, goals, etc. of something....but what that something is, is often transformed into something else because of the tool we're using. Edward Tufte (yes a hero of mine) has written an Essay on PowerPoint:
That's a must read for ANYONE using the so-called tool - here's a Wired version of the Essay:

There have been some interesting uses of PowerPoint - the most interesting I've found is from former Talking Head's David Byrne -

Here's a small poll - how effective do you think PowerPoint is?

Personally, I have stopped using PP unless forced into it by threat of physical harm or reduction of pizza during lunch time meetings - and when I do use it I often add Stick Figures to make it more meaningful. Good, but bloody, stick figure fight:

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