PowerPoint program on BBC Radio 4

There was an excellent Word of Mouth programme about PowerPoint on BBC Radio 4 this afternoon (excellent because so many of the criticisms were the same as those in my books on speaking and presentation!).

You can listen to it again HERE for 7 more days as from today.

It included a Microsoft executive boasting about their program being a ‘blank canvas’ and saying that one of the best PowerPoint presentation he’d ever heard had no slides with bullet points on them (!) – which raises the question of why so many of their opening templates incite users to produce lists of bullet points.

The discussion also made me wonder why the producers of BBC Television News, who have become increasingly obsessed with PowerPoint style news reports (see HERE and HERE), don’t bother to listen to and take notice of the good advice coming from BBC Radio 4.


pintosal said...

Well spotted Max.
I listened to this and found the first half very interesting. But the second half of the programme was just padding.
Typical of the BBC nowadays: 50% content + 50% filler.

Dan Harris said...

I also thought this was a fascinating program. Do you know of anywhere I can find it now that the 7 days are up on iPlayer? Was really keen to pass the link around.

Max Atkinson said...

Dan - there was a time, long ago, when you could get verbatim transcripts of BBC radio programmes, but one of the victories of the digital age is that you can't any more.

As far as the critique of PowerPoint was concerned, there wasn't much in the programme that isn't disussed in my two most recent books (both of which are extremely cheap) - which is no doubt why I thought it was such a good show!

cje said...

'The PowerPoint Effect' can be downloaded from:

(you need to register-free)
there's an introduction to using torrents (pretty easy) on the site.

for those registered, the link is