Ethics Training Forum notes Politico writer Robert Simon’s criticism of slide shows:
Conducting a PowerPoint presentation is a lot like smoking a cigar. Only the person doing it likes it. The people around him want to hit him with a chair.
It’s close enough to the truth in many cases to sting, but the truth is, it doesn’t have to be that bad. Most PowerPoint users need better basic speaking skills, rather than technical instruction.
Paul Unger’s book PowerPoint in One Hour for Lawyers is now available. Here’s one section that’s right on:
Don’t Misuse PowerPoint
PowerPoint’s misuse is a nationwide epidemic. Critics of PowerPoint, like Edward R. Tufte, say that the program itself facilitates the making of bad presentations. Moreover, Tufte claims that PowerPoint “stupefies” our culture by encouraging fragmented thinking through bullet points and linear slides, further diminishing our attention span, and feeding us heaping spoonfuls of graphic sugar. While I see Tufte’s point, I think PowerPoint is just a tool that humans use or misuse. When a tailor sews a crooked seam, should we blame the sewing machine? If a presenter has poor content and bad graphics or does not communicate clearly, should we blame PowerPoint? The bottom line is that if used properly, PowerPoint is an extremely effective tool to deliver information to our fast-paced world.
via Tips for Effective Use of PowerPoint – Law Technology Today.