The anti-Power-Point party
I hope this isn't going to come across as Luddite as it might sound. But let me draw your attention to the anti-Power-Point party in Switzerland (which claims that it will save £350bn globally if we ditch PPT.. not quite sure how, but surely a good thing for the world).
I confess that I rather like some aspects of PPT. I constructed what I thought of as great slide shows in Washington DC for my NGA lectures -- entirely with PPT(though it took as long to make the PPT as it did to write the lectures) .. Credit where it's due: Therese and Mattie were very strict on the quality control of the slides (no crap images please)... and I refer you to them for further info. But that was just slides and captions, no bullet points. Indeed T and M were pretty suspicious even about the presence of captions.
But my question is: what next? I dont mean, how many pictures can you get to zoom across the screen apparently unaided, and explode in one corner to a welter of on line cheers... I am far behind that.
What worries me (and why I am half behind this Swiss party) is the way that PPT has influenced everything else we do, and the way we process and present information (how PPT impacts on the classification of knowledge..). I have been to several presentations -- from members of the University HR department, among others -- in the last few months, in which the speaker has come along with some kind of handout that s/he has presented to us In the more glitzy presentations, this has been expensively printed out and carefully bound up.
But it has been clear enough, at first glance, that these pages have been powerpoint slides printed out, and re-turned to text. We didn't indeed need the speaker to say "if you look at the next slide..." (as they repeatedly did), when what we we had in front of us was a piece of paper that had been printed out from a slide... and they really meant "page".
Why do it? At least 50% of people in the room are angry. They are angry at the cliché logos you have at the corner, at the bullet points, and at the enshrined spelling mistakes (aagghh)....Why not just talk to us/them, rather than fire the bullet points (and all the simplistic stuff that goes with them)?
My advice to anyone going for an interview would be to leave the PPT (and its simplistic props) behind. Say what you have to say and leave it at that. I mean, most of the people you are trying to impress are not HR; theyare late middled aged academics like me!
Any ideas about how to resist this encroachment?