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I hate PowerPoint

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Aug 28, 2012

Do you share my distaste for PowerPoint presentations?

Do you share my distaste for PowerPoint presentations?

(Do you share my distaste for PowerPoint presentations?)

Here’s my complaint.

Here’s my complaint.

(Here’s my complaint.)

The fellow doing the presentation

The fellow doing the presentation

(The fellow doing the presentation)

Generally provides a handout

Generally provides a handout

(Generally provides a handout)

Then he shows each page of the presentation on the screen

Then he shows each page of the presentation on the screen

(Then he shows each page of the presentation on the screen)

And he reads every word on each page aloud.

And he reads every word on each page aloud.

(And he reads every word on each page aloud. )

So you read each word on the handout,

So you read each word on the handout

(So you read each word on the handout,)

Read it again on the screen,

Read it again on the screen,

(Read it again on the screen,)

And hear it in the oral presentation.

And hear it in the oral presentation.

(And hear it in the oral presentation.)

Every word.

Every word.

(Every word.)

THREE TIMES!

THREE TIMES!

(THREE TIMES!)

Just send me the memo, please.

Thanks.

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Show 5 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Aug. 30, 2012 3:24 PM ET USA

    As a teacher, I used PowerPoint successfully to provide the students with visuals and material not in their (extremely heavy) textbooks. It was a jumping off into a discussion. I couldn't make them open those horrid books, but they couldn't help but see the pictures. Sorry state education is in, but I tried to do my bit.

  • Posted by: msorensen71798 - Aug. 29, 2012 12:42 AM ET USA

    The repetition can help those who doze off. (Though it seems that the repetition might be the cause of the dozing.) I've had a few PowerPoint presentations that were better than you describe - where the graphics were quite humorous, and even memorable (a good aid to learning). But you're right: most of the time, I'd rather just get a memo. Unless coffee and pastries are being served... then I'll tolerate the repetition.

  • Posted by: MGilstrap - Aug. 28, 2012 10:20 PM ET USA

    You are absolutely correct! The only expections to the rule that I've experienced are Steve Jobs and anyone who's paid attention to the work of Garr Reynolds. Great piece!

  • Posted by: phil L - Aug. 28, 2012 7:30 PM ET USA

    No, I have not had "a few" bad presenters. EVERY SINGLE PowerPoint presentation that I have endured--zero exceptions--has followed the same dreary process. A lively presentation might include different information in the handout, the visual, and the oral presentation. But I have never experienced that. Yes, a picture is worth a thousand words. So why do so many PowerPoint presentations--100% of them, in my experience--show words rather than pictures?

  • Posted by: ronaldruais1947 - Aug. 28, 2012 6:08 PM ET USA

    Phil, unfortunately you have had a few bad presenters. Most would have only the high lights on the PPT and would then fill in the blanks in the audio presentation. A picture is still worth a thousand words. Today "sit down, shut up and listen" is the worse way to educate. but it is still the way of the pulpit in most cases even though it is contrary to the pastoral letter "Our Hearts Were Burning."

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