1 June 2009

How NOT to use PowerPoint

When the manuscript of my book Lend Me Your Ears was in its final stages before publication, my publisher's lawyers tried to get me to 'tone down' some of the sections that were critical of the style of slide-dependent presentation that has become the industry standard in so many companies and organisations.

They were apparently worried that it might prompt legal action from Microsoft, but I refused to make any changes for two reasons. First, my understanding of the law on defamation is that you have a defence if you can show that what you were saying is true. Second, sales would surely benefit enormously if the purveyors of PowerPoint decided to litigate.

Unfortunately, sales of the book had no such PR boost. Nor, as far as I know have other critics been sued, and I remain baffled as to why the lawyers were so cautious when stuff like the following is freely available on YouTube and, as far as I know, hasn't attracted any attention from Microsoft's legal department.

P.S. (Five months later): The interesting question is who got YouTube to remove the above version 'due to terms of use violation'? And did they think that there aren't any other copies still posted on YouTube (e.g. HERE) and/or below?



Harry Weger said...

This is hilarious. I teach, among other things, public speaking at university and I will put the link to your blog on my blackboard page for the course. Thanks for sharing these gems!

Ms Duffy said...

I have been playing cat and mouse with this video for a couple of months. It's findable but you have to work. It's such a great training aid... says it all really....

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