Death by PowerPoint

[Attention Conservation Notice: Sometimes I post things to the blog for my own research, like an Outboard Brain. If it interests you, great. If not, move on. I’m putting this up so I can find it later. Thanks, Mgmt.]

This is a nice presentation, nice design. Clearly this guy has read “Beyond Bullet Points,” and has based much of the presentation on that book. Which is nice, because this guys really helps to clearly and simply visualize what that book is getting at. Need to pass this around to department faculty and grad students.



Filed under Design, Presentation, Teaching

2 responses to “Death by PowerPoint

  1. I can relate to this, having designed a series of powerpoint slides recently. As a graphic designer I don’t get much use for powerpoint unless a client asks for it specifically.

    One criticism I have for this presentation is the length. Too many slides. It was nice not to see any slide transitions though, that would have made it longer. The slides we were designing were not even half this size.

  2. Christopher Scott Rice

    Hi John! Thanks for the comment. I am a total design junkie, though I am not a designer, so I tend to “collect” presentations like this as I attempt to educate myself on decent design principles.

    This is a long presentation – he’s clearly geared it to the “45 minute” length outlined by Atkinson in “Beyond Bullet Points.” In academia, this is the standard length of the PowerPoints I have to prepare for each lecture, though I try to go with fewer slides, and avoid “death by bullet point” by using more diagrams, charts, etc. I agree with the slide transition issue. Most slide transitions and animations are horribly lame and, imo, a distraction from the presentation rather than an addition to it.

    Have you looked at the work of people like Duarte Design? They did the design work for Al Gore’s Keynote presentation from An Inconvenient Truth. I’m also fascinated by what David Byrne (formerly of the Talking Heads) is doing with PowerPoint. Contrary to most academics, I think PowerPoint is a medium with a hell of a lot of potential, if only good design + strategy/storytelling principles are employed.

    PS – I really like the feel of your site. Has a real sense of minimalism and mystery to it.

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