A Platform You Can Believe In

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Finally, a political party I can support unreservedly: Switzerland’s Anti-PowerPoint Party. Its mission? Ban PowerPoint in their country, citing its tedious demotivation of employees and (loose, very loose) estimate of $2.5 billion in time and productivity wasted.

The intellectual godfather of this party would have to be Edward Tufte, who anti-PowerPoint polemics include a detailed assessment of how PowerPoint dependence contributed to the Columbia shuttle disaster.

And other creative types have shown the life-draining aspects of the medium, including its impact on the Gettysburg Address.

So why the animus to PowerPoint? It’s become a crutch for lazy presenters who don’t bother to master their material — writing out their speech (or at least their notes) verbatim then reading their slides. And its also a crutch for folks who don’t want to write prose — slap some bullets on a slide and talk your way through transitions.

Give your audience a break, and show them respect by using the medium to communicate visually. And use the spoken presentation to explain the visuals and provide detail.

Lastly, a PowerPoint does not replace proper preparation. Pretend the projector isn’t working, are you prepared enough to deliver your spoken remarks? If not, you aren’t properly prepared.

But enough with trying to make it work better, I’m with the APPP, let’s ban Powerpoint.

Crossposted at Boston Daily. Follow me on twitter at @spoftak.