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Power Pointless


On the slog in on Friday morning I sat next to a lady (who I am sure is perfectly charming).  She was tapping away on her laptop and in such circumstances I believe its beholden on the train neighbour (in this case yours truly) to inspect the content.  Purely for academic purposes you understand.

Anyway the lady was working on a Power Point presentation on some benign subject and was adding little animations and clip art characters.  And I started to think just how patronising Power Point presentation are.  I mean just because it has a lightbulb picture on it I’m not going to think its a good idea.  Because its in a thought bubble over some ridiculous cartoon character head I’m not going to remember it.  And as for those little beanie men……it’s all just stuff and nonsense.  
People who create these things…..STOP! You are auto-fellating.  Sure it makes you feel good and you get a nice warm glow on completion.  But its unproductive, pleases no-one else and leaves a bitter taste in your mouth.  Worst of all its unpleasant to behold.
When I came home that evening, my seven year old daughter was knocking up a PP presentation on fire for her homework.  And that friends is about the level of this noxious little program.
8 Comments leave one →
  1. HR Good_Witch permalink
    05/16/2009 22:32


    It’s amazing isn’t it, how we just keep on doin’ it! (Power Point, I mean. Not the auto-fellating part….)

    The best presentations skills course I’ve ever seen banned the use of Power Point.

  2. Henry Berry permalink
    05/18/2009 09:06

    You would be interested in “Beautiful Evidence” by Edward Tufte. A manifesto for the creative opportunity opened by Powerpoint. The problem isn’t the programme but the limited imaginative time and thought that people put into its use. Granted that, on a very structuralist level, there are heirarchy assumptions within the programme. But combined with the almost infinite image possibilities of the internet, powerpoint can be astonishing, ravishing, surprising, poetic. It just takes thought.

  3. Anonymous permalink
    05/18/2009 12:27

    We call it Death by PowerPoint, as more often than not it’s the end result of that other demon, Analysis Paralysis.

    That said, I agree with Henry Berry – PowerPoint can be done in such a way that it is succint, relevant, and a catalyst for change. It’s hard finding that DaVinci that can pull it off, though. Forest for the trees and all that.

  4. humanresourcespufnstuf permalink
    05/18/2009 16:15

    Powerpoint is the crutch of HR people. Too many feel a presentation equals validity. I equate them to having piano wires pulled through my skull.

  5. HRD permalink
    05/18/2009 18:15

    @HR Good_Witch – I think sometimes its purely laziness. Just knock up a quick Powerpoint. I guess if want people to understand a message we need to think about how they want it presented, not what is easiest for us.

    @Henry Berry -Never did I think anyone would be an apologist for the “It looks like you’re doing a presentation” paperclip! The program is absolutely flawed, its hard to anything innovative with it, but easy to add a beanie. That makes it bad and evil and naughty in my book.

    @Anonymous – I used Analysis Paralysis with the CEO the other day….not the act, but the phrase. They’d never heard it before….doh. As for supporting Monsieur Berry….if a smelly old sneaker has a bunch of flowers in it….doesn’t it remain just a smelly old sneaker?

    @Puff – Ouch…and I thought auto-fellatio was pushing the envelope…(did I really just say “pushing the envelope”)

  6. Henry Berry permalink
    05/18/2009 20:34

    You obviously feel strongly about it. I suugest you blog some more on this subject. You could do us a nice powerpoint on your lovely site. Mmmm. Think it would benefit it you know.

  7. G-dog permalink
    02/17/2010 00:03

    I just went through an ExecMBA program – one person on our team LOVED all this crap. Form over substance, again & again. He also recommended that another person use multiple colors (colours) of fonts in his resume (REALLY? WTF? – just write it in crayon then…)

  8. 02/22/2010 08:18

    @G-dog – Whoever that person is, you have my permission to hunt them down and present them with a kick up the butt. Multiple colours on a CV…….ffs

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