A previous post, Brevity takes a lot of work, espoused this maxim: "The longer you think, the shorter the presentation." Today a topic in the news is that last word, "presentation", as in "PowerPoint presentation".
NYTimes.com reports today on how PowerPoint has infiltrated the military. You can also read this insider perspective from an Army captain. One of his observations is that "PowerPoint is everywhere--not only in the military, but also in the government and private sector."
And how. You've doubtless had some really bad PowerPoint experiences, either as an audience or perhaps as an author. Let's be honest, we've all used PowerPoint as a crutch, and the results aren't pretty.
One of my colleagues tells a good story about one of her mentors starting out at a local agency in Kentucky. The advice given about using PowerPoint was simple and straightforward: "Pictures and sayings."
Authors or presenters who follow this advice make it a joy to be in the audience. Keeping your content reduced to "pictures and sayings" usually means you have made your message exciting and sharp. As such, you can ad lib easily because your story is clear in your own mind.
Sometimes a PowerPoint presentation (or "deck" in the vernacular) really does need to have a lot of words, usually because it's meant to "travel" electronically so people can read it at their convenience. Fair enough. In most cases, however, PowerPoint gets presented, and perhaps should be written that way. With "pictures and sayings".
Your comments: Use the space below to tell us your worst PowerPoint nightmare or your best PowerPoint suggestion.