PowerPoint: No Power, No Point

Work SucksPowerPoint is the obnoxious industry standard that has blighted presentations since its creation. PowerPoint is also the nickname I gave to my penis. Sadly, my girlfriend calls it Microsoft; I call her Arial because she’s a simple type.

Moving into a role with more presentations than spreadsheets is often viewed as a promotion but this is questionable, partly because bullet points make me want a gun.

I have long since lost my patience with speakers cramming text onto their slides and then reading them out word for word. The only reason to read it aloud is because I can’t read it: you’ve used beige text in four different font sizes on a lilac background. Nice.

A typical PowerPoint presentation is as follows: title slide is followed by bullet points, line graph, two pie charts with very small titles, more bullet points about fourth quarter earnings, a summary, a thank you slide and finally a photograph of the team standing in front of a tree (all of which is animated so it slides onto the screen from the right hand side).

I fail to grasp the clipart obsession that requires signposts, cartoon workers sitting at a computer or stickmen pointing to an enlarged chart. Why one in every five presentations has a photograph of a sprinter crossing a finish line is beyond me. Correctly auditing your client’s financial statements is not tantamount to winning gold at the Olympics. Pictures of sprinters don’t belong in a room full of sedentary asthmatics whose knees are kept warm by their bellies.

Most people don’t care what you have to say and will be distracted by something as frivolous as a spelling mistake, if they stay awake at all. Years of poor presentations have left us numb to a speaker’s words.

Even a good presentation will do little more than sap an hour from everyone’s existence. It’s not worth the effort. So long as you have a slide template with sharp angles and a company logo, people will leave having been convinced that you knew what you were talking about and that the presentation was good. No one will pay any attention anyway so leaving the impression of having said something worthwhile is worth more than saying something worthwhile.

“Have you seen the meeting handout?”

“I heard there’s a lot of charts. Are the colours consistent?”

“Yeah.”

“The default colours?”

“No.”

“Damn. He’s good.”

Category(s): Work

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