21 July 2011

PowerPoint on radio and television revisited



A warm welcome to BBC Radio Scotland listeners who may have found their way here after listening to this morning's discussion of PowerPoint on MacAulay & Co.

If you'd like to know more about the Anti-PowerPoint Party, you can watch the president's video above and/or sign up to support it HERE.

There's a certain irony that this is not the first time I've been invited to discuss PowerPoint on BBC Radio or the BBC website - but not on BBC television - because other parts of the corporation, most notably BBC TV news and current affairs programmes, have been falling into the trap of broadcasting more and more slide-dependent presentations by reporters 'on location' at the other side of the studio (see links in section 2 below).

Visual aids or visual crutches?
The challenge of how to avoid inflicting death from 1,000 slides and make more effective use visual aids is something I've been teaching, writing and blogging about for years - and you can find out more about the subject from either of my two most recent books - both of which are available from Amazon in hard copy and/or downloadable immediately as Kindle editions:
Or, you can check out some of my other blog posts on the subject below, many of which are illustrated by short video clips:

1. PowerPoint:
2. TV news via PowerPoint:

5 comments:

Richard I. Garber said...

Max:

One glaring exception to Mr. Poehm’s claim that flip charts are better than presentation software comes from the small minority of us whose presentations communicate what we actually see under the microscope. I can’t imagine agreeing to depend on a biopsy done by a pathologist whose training just involved seeing hand-drawn cartoons.

We might as well go back even further - to painting on rocks or the walls of caves!
The Anti-PowerPoint Party sounds suspiciously similar to the Silly Party on this old Monty Python election night special: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31FFTx6AKmU

Richard Garber

Max Atkinson said...

Richard - you are, of course dead right about this rather serious limitation of flip charts.

In my books, one of my aims was to help readers to avoid the worst excesses of PowerPoint and to make more effective use of PowerPoint - one of the virtues of which is the ease with which pictures, whether from under a microscope or anywhere else can be included. Another is the way in in which its more dynamic functions can be used to simulate some of the advantages of 'chalk and talk'.

Unfortunately, very few speakers make much use of these and the main templates offered by the program positively encourage users to concentrate on the production of lists of bullet points - which has become the norm and is at the heart of what's become known as death by PowerPoint...

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Anonymous said...

I thought you would appreciate this:

"Interested in working for Amazon? Work on your writing, not your slide decks — Bezos has banned PowerPoint presentations and requires his staff to turn in six-page papers on their proposals to encourage critical thinking over simplistic bullet points."

http://www.businessinsider.com/9-new-facts-about-jeff-bezos-2013-11?op=1