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Death by PowerPoint

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Tuesday May 4, 2010 )

When I left the suit and tie behind, I swore I would never look at another PowerPoint presentation again. I have. And I still hate them.

Powerpoint makes us stupid. They aren’t my own words, but those of a US Army General.

According to a New York Times article entitled, “We Have Met the Enemy and He Is PowerPoint“, it seems that increasing amounts of the U.S. military’s time is being taken up in developing and viewing PowerPoint presentations for all sorts of operational purposes – from the trivial, to planning invasions. The use of the program has become so rife, those charged with the task of creating these evil presentations are known as “PowerPoint Rangers”.

What I particularly dislike is having my email downloading choked by a 2 megabyte PowerPoint presentation, the contents of which could have been as easily summarized (and probably better) in a few paragraphs in the body of an email – it’s an “at a glance” way to go about things instead of having to shuffle between slides with big arrows, non-relevant graphics and very little real information.

PowerPoint presentations are really meant for a real presentation – with a real, live presenter, who elaborates about what is being shown in the slide. The slide should complement what the presenter is saying, not be the whole presentation. It’s a prop, not the whole box and dice.

I’ve even seen some sites using PowerPoint presentations for advertising rate cards.

The NYT article states “Senior officers say the program does come in handy when the goal is not imparting information, as in briefings for reporters”.

The old saying goes, if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullsh..

Marketer extraordinaire, Seth Godin has a short article on the proper use of PowerPoint .


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