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Blame It on Microsoft

Yes, Powerpoint presentations are a disaster. And in this article in today’s NY Times, The Level of Discourse Continues to Slide, Dan Leach, who’s responsible for PowerPoint at Microsoft, and should know better, says, “I feel like the guy who makes canvas and the No. 2 green viridian paint. I’m being asked to comment on the art show.”

In fact, the main reason Powerpoint is so bad is that the program tries to force you to be bad. All of the autofill and template features encourage slide shows that are filled with bullets. The fact that you can’t have a tiny teleprompter on your screen while your slides on the big screen encourages you to read every word on the page.

Both problems are easy to solve, but Microsoft appears to be too lazy to push upstream. As a result, we’re doomed to yet another really bad powerpoint.

The answer?
1. Ban the software. Make people talk from the heart and then allow them to hand out their slides or a memo.
2. Ban bullets*. Let your people feature images or charts on the slides, but, c’mon, bullets are for the NRA.

*(he says as he types in numbered bullets!)

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