Powerpoint makes you dumb

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by AmigoMac, Dec 13, 2003.

  1. AmigoMac thread starter macrumors 68020


    Aug 5, 2003
  2. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    a coworker and i were just discussing this the other day. we work in corporate communications, presenting to high-level clients... and all of the presentations are done in powerpoint. naturally we have some good design standards and graphic work, but 99% of powerpoint users stick with something built-in... our problem with powerpoint is that everything comes off *looking* like it was done in powerpoint... jagged text, poorly laid out graphics, blue-to-black gradient backgrounds. it's dumbing down the world through bad aesthetics. and now, it's apparently destroying NASA...

    microsoft at work.

  3. voicegy macrumors 65816


    Jan 1, 2002
    Sandy Eggo - MacRumors Member since 1-1-2002
    Precisely why I use Keynote, and did so at the last Open Forum meeting I held at my district, where several hundred attended. I saved some of the more dramatic transitions for the 5th or 6th slide in...the cube transition...audible gasps from the audience, and boy did they pay attention.

    Keynote, and a remote control...ah, it's good to be an Apple user.:)
  4. caveman_uk Guest


    Feb 17, 2003
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    It's really easy to present badly in powerpoint (and keynote). I've seen some terrible slides. The worst faults are big tables and verbosity. The idea about a presentation is that people remember a lot more about what they see than what they hear. You're lucky if they remember 20% of what you tell them. Maybe more than 50% of what you show them. So put what you really want them to remember on the slides. All the rest of it - pretty presentation, subtle transitions, use of colour (color) is just there to maintain interest and so push up the %age they remember.
  5. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    I've yet to sit through an interesting and entertaining PowerPoint presentation that didn't make me want to slash my wrists with rusty razor blades. :rolleyes:

    A few years ago, I was working on a presentation for Fox Kids Europe on the topical of convergence media and platform integration that was presented to the worlds media at MiP Interactive in Cannes, and rather than take the conventional route of a generic, mind numbing PowerPoint presentation, that really wouldn't have demonstrated their predictions for future products and services we took the extra time and effort to produced a more compelling and rich experience.

    We built in Director a media rich presentation that visually enhanced and illustrated the presentation content, through interaction, video and animated sequences, a huge departure for this type of presentation but a necessary one because alot of the technology would have been hard for the audience to visualise without the visuals.

    So we demoed in the auditorium in real-time, streaming games to handheld devices, online gaming, integrated WAP site, IDTV and a virtual points-to-cash online rewards scheme that were all tied together and integrated with the Fox kids Europe website.

    Somehow, I don't think a PowerPoint presentation would have had quite the same effect :rolleyes: ;)
  6. JesseJames macrumors 6502a

    Mar 28, 2003
    How'd I get here? How can I leave?
    This is a most alarming situation. When I look through corporate want-ads, they all want people who are versed in Powerpoint.
    Almost all the Powerpoint presentations I've seen have been lame.
  7. voicegy macrumors 65816


    Jan 1, 2002
    Sandy Eggo - MacRumors Member since 1-1-2002
    Goes to show ya that just because the tools are available it doesn't make one an artist.
  8. Ajohn macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2003
    Powerpoint question

    Hey, everyone, I tried posting a new thread on this a couple weeks back, but no one replied. Does anyone know if, with a powerbook, a projector, and Office v.X one can view the screen with all the slides on the powerbook and choose at the same time which individual slide to show on the projector? Sorry to post a (pretty) unrelated question.
  9. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
    I've found a great solution to this problem, and I use it all the time.

    • Don't do the artwork in powerpoint
    • No sound effects :rolleyes:
    • Animated only simple things (wipe transitions)
    • If you have a very detailed slide, use wipes to overlay more data
    • Don't use PowerPoint tools to do artwork

    I've taken some 3D artwork, added text in photoshop and made some pretty slick stuff that makes a much nicer presentation.

    But also, one thing to know before putting together a presentation is that you need to manage the data - too little or too much kills it.

  10. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020


    Slide-based presentations are pretty much a crappy way of conveying data-based information no matter if it's done in Powerpoint or Keynote. Most heavy data can't fit on a single video page, so you end up having a series of pages where the design comes across as more important than the data AND you can't sit there and easily compare one number to another. These types of applications simply dumb-down and simplify the information for people who don't really need to understand it and just want to be kept from falling asleep.

    Powerpoint doesn't make you dumb. Powerpoint is dumb and believing that people retain any of this decorative-chart-heavy information is dumb as well.

    Same goes for Keynote, except that Keynote looks better.
  11. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus


    Oct 8, 2002
    The Bamboo Forest
    I don't know about in PowerPoint v.X but I know in Keynote you can. I know that in PowerPoint for Windows you can. I would assume the same for PowerPoint v.X.
  12. bryanc macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2003
    Fredericton, NB Canada
    I've made several scientific presentations using Keynote recently, and have been asked by several people "how did you *do* that". Keynote really wows people.

    However, I don't think Keynote is really that much better than PowerPoint with respect to the issues raised by Tufte. In fact, if anything, the sexy eye candy Keynote can generate is more prone to abuse than the ugly graphics of PowerPoint.

    I agree with Tufte, in that I think presentations should focus on their content, and not their presentation. Keynote and PowerPoint are both designed to *distract* audiences from the vapid content of sales-pitches...Keynote just does it better than PowerPoint. Both are poor tools for presenting complex scientific data, where focusing your audience, not distracting them, is the objective.

    However, for people trying to sell an idea of dubious merit, Keynote is probably a better tool than PowerPoint.

    Unfortunately, now I don't know what I should be using for my presentations...

  13. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020


    love it! :D
  14. srobert macrumors 68020


    Jan 7, 2002
    Well... I remember a lot of charts and data from Apple keynotes thanks to the slides ^_^ digital hub anybody?

    But I have to agree that 99.5% of the time, powerpoint slides look like real bad.

    A little free tip: STAY AWAY FROM CLIPARTS!!!
  15. kaosfere macrumors member

    Nov 1, 2003
  16. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020



    So, Powerpoint doesn't make you dumb. It just makes you look dumb?


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