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Subject:Re: PowerPoint in the military From:David Farbey <dfarbey -at- yahoo -dot- co -dot- uk> To:Michael West <WestM -at- ap -dot- aurecongroup -dot- com> Date:Wed, 5 May 2010 11:09:11 +0100
Many people in business and in government (including the military,
apparently) absolutely do not understand that "a set of bullet points
is not a fully developed analysis or strategy or thesis." They think
that simply by projecting text or diagrams on to a screen they can
instantly make their audience understand the text or the diagrams.
They do not understand that "knowing how to use PowerPoint" is not the
same as "knowing how to create and deliver an effective presentation".
The almost universal availability of Microsoft Word hasn't created a
planet full of excellent writers (let alone excellent typographers),
though many people are under the impression that they can write and
can design a page layout. Similarly the almost universal availability
of Microsoft PowerPoint hasn't created a planet full of excellent
presenters, more's the pity.
On 4 May 2010 07:56, Michael West <WestM -at- ap -dot- aurecongroup -dot- com> wrote:
> (Resending this with a proper subject line)
> Dan Goldstein wrote:
>>> See the article at
>>> But having said that: The offending diagram in the
>>> first article isn't actually an indictment of PowerPoint.
> Exactly. It is a silly, confused article. The reporter had little
> knowledge of the subject matter, and appeared not to know a system
> dynamics diagram from a set of bullet points.
> And while I am a great admirer of Professor Tufte's other work, I think he
> gets it wrong on Powerpoint too.
> PowerPoint is a bloody graphics program, fer pete's sake. A set of bullet
> points is not a fully developed analysis or strategy or thesis. At best,
> it's a convenient outline or summary for people who know the difference.
> It doesn't make people dumb. They have to start out that way.
> Nor is is a program for professional-quality technical graphics. It's
> slideshows for the masses, a few notches up from those blotchy, illegible
> b&w transparencies that my college professors used to throw at us.
> I reckon anyone who thinks the problem is the tool rather than the user is
> off the mark.
> A newspaper article can be just as "dumb" as a slide show, but we read the
> papers anyway.
> Mike West
David Farbey - david -at- farbey -dot- co -dot- uk
Mobile 07879 005 946
Web site/Blog <http://www.farbey.co.uk>
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