Re: Presentation software

Subject: Re: Presentation software
From: "Walker, Arlen P" <Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 30 Sep 1998 10:46:22 -0500

Could the list respond with comments about (1) which software packages
are most extensively in use for presentation materials and (2) the
statuses of Powerpoint and Harvard Business Graphics are in the
business and technical communities?

I work in a technical department here, and, if you use us as a benchmark,
anyone who's using HBG is anachronistic. We dropped it long ago, in favor
of (in order) Persuasion, Freelance, and now PowerPoint.

What Happened was that HBG fell way behind in ease of use, and so was
quickly supplanted. It may have caught up by now, but that's too late as
far as we're concerned; no one around here is interested in going back for
another look.

Now, on to another soapbox: Anyone who seriously suggests teaching students
based on what is currently in use is a fool, plain and simple. To take our
case, within a year of the door being opened to products other than HBG, no
one here was using HBG. Things in the real world change too quickly to rely
on today's software vogue to be still in place by the time the students

A far better approach is to teach your students how to create an effective
presentation. Those skills can be used with *any* piece of software, won't
go out of style with the next software fad, and will put them head and
shoulders above those poor souls who were only taught the software package.
I realize this is more difficult than simply teaching a package, but it's
also far more rewarding for the students.

Computers and software are tools. It makes no more sense to teach your
students how to use HBG (or PowerPoint) than it does to teach them how to
use a Ryobi BT-300 Table Saw. Teach them instead how to measure and cut,
how to lay out a piece of wood for minimum waste with minimum effort, how
to test-fit and assemble. Teach them effective use of graphics and white
space, teach them not to overload a slide with text and busy graphics,
teach them pacing. When they know what they want to do, and why, they'll be
able to get the how real quickly.

Have fun,
Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department
DNRC 224

Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- Com
In God we trust; all others must provide data.
Opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.
If JCI had an opinion on this, they'd hire someone else to deliver it.

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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