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Make Powerpoint harder

It's the only way
  (+5, -1)
(+5, -1)
  [vote for,

Each new release of Powerpoint (and other equivalent products) should have extra features added that are difficult to use and inconsistent with other features. All existing features should gradually be enhanced with the same intention.

The eventual result, which will be worth it, is the elimination of presentations from corporate life. They will simply be too hard and time consuming to get right and people will change their habits. They might even use the time to make something useful.

DenholmRicshaw, Dec 10 2014

Tufte: The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint http://users.ha.uth...pt0501/09/Tufte.pdf
This is worth reading [hippo, Dec 11 2014]


       As far as I can tell, this is precisely what Microsoft has been doing for the last decade or so. Whether it's working or not is doubtful, but I have some slides which address the question.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 10 2014

       I agree that Microsoft has been implementing this, but it's definitely failing to achieve the desired goal. The switch to a new file format and our company's gradual roll-out of the new version came close to achieving the goal, but executives (who don't actually make their own presentations) demand PowerPoint, so we just had to make the transition.
scad mientist, Dec 10 2014

       I have to agree this is the direction they've been heading, but all it does is make me sit through much longer meetings, where the presenter spends half their time trying to figure out why their nifty animated gif or video refuses to play.
MechE, Dec 10 2014

       I think a faction with Microsoft was dissatisfied made by the powerpoint people and so updated Silverlight in such a way as to render Powerpoint completely unusable.   

       I am in very much in favor of presentations strictly using chalk, board and meaningful gesticulation.
bungston, Dec 10 2014

       I've been giving people choices in how to fulfill their training requirements:   

       Reply to an email and indicate understanding   

       Have a conversation with me when our paths cross   

       Take a test   

       Demonstrate understanding through interpretive dance   

       Some players still avoid the task though.   

       I do love a good white board session. I'm not certain why all the most productive meetings always develop more action items for me though.
normzone, Dec 10 2014

       I just Googled the phrase "Make Powerpoint harder".   

       A single search result was returned which relates to "Diy non surgical hemorrhoid removal"   

       Somehow this was unexpectedly appropriate.
DenholmRicshaw, Dec 10 2014

       I realise that this is probably not a majority view, but the problems people identify with powerpoint almost always stem from the fact that a large proportion of people are terrible at doing presentations: are useless at commanding attention; diabolical at organising information into a coherent structure; and just plain cack at talking. This is the issue: just about everyone learns to talk but they stop developing the skill when they hit about six years old or so. And yet we expect (a) that there is worth in the exercise in making people like this speak and (b) that software would ever be able to do something to fix the problem. It is (b) that is the issue here: if someone has a big bucket of pizzles, giving them a hi tech spoon to stir it with won't change the fact that all they bring to the party is a clumsily stirred bucket of pizzles. Making the spoon harder to use won't change the essential cock-filled nature of the bucket. Granular convection on the other hand might allow for some semi- passive cock sortage, which could in time be used as a learning point for individuals looking to sort if not information then at least meat.
calum, Dec 10 2014

       computers easily organize everything for everybody worldwide. mess up the information you put into he computer and let the internet organize everything for you through malicious editing. that, the computer compiles. basically massively distributed nit picking power points.
rcarty, Dec 10 2014

       I feel that I rather lost grip on my point, there.
calum, Dec 10 2014

       The true evil of powerpoint is the default slide deck, which feeds lazy people advice on what makes a "good" presentation. Huge margins, 42 pt font, 30 seconds per slide, and bullet-ized text snippets are only one style of presentation, and a pretty fucking overplayed one at that.   

       Instead of railing against the tool, delete the default template. Try a 3-slide presentation with information-dense slides that overflow the screen. Talk in front of each slide for 20 minutes.
the porpoise, Dec 10 2014

       [calum] that was beautiful. The old cock-filled bucket analogy. Rarely does a situation arise where buckets of penii can't be used to describe the problem, if not the solution.
Custardguts, Dec 10 2014

       Many people are crap at public speaking but this is a skill which can be learnt. What then happens is that they use PowerPoint badly which puts them back to being the crappy public speakers they once were. Wrongly used, PowerPoint is not just irritating and a yawn-inducing torture for the audience (and yes, the audience are fully aware that you're using PowerPoint as a shield between you and them, to protect yourself from their critical gaze), it actually damages and changes the content of what you're saying by its insistence on chopping up your glorious, flowing narrative into an unconnected series of 'slides' and by limiting to the point of absurdity the amount of meaningful content it's possible to actually convey on each slide.

I'm now a PowerPoint minimalist - my presentations (which are on technology strategies - it's not like I'm talking about art or something) now just have one picture - usually a photograph - per slide, and nothing else, particularly no writing.
hippo, Dec 11 2014

       meh, PowerPoint's just a tool, and it's not Microsoft's worst by far. If you think people use PowerPoint badly, look at some people's spreadsheets in detail.   

       Anyhow, a good presentation is a real skill. I see some real crap at science conferences. The stereotypical postdoc who has never been allowed to have an original idea or leave the lab in 4 years is invited to present their work. They will then fill the slides with every single detail of their work, in minute text, which they will read in forcefully poor English while staring at their own slides, tyrannical boss in the front row.   

       I like to take my laptop into our conference room, hook up to the projector and make the slides from the back of the seating area. This is best done late at night* to simulate conference weariness   

       *because the place will be empty, meaning no one will spot the beers you may or may not have secreted.
bs0u0155, Dec 11 2014

       / I feel that I rather lost grip on my point, there. — calum, Dec 10 2014 /   

       But I very much like "just plain cack". I had not used that word before, cack. I think I have a bit of a foetish for that english english.   

       I suspect Denholm is actually channelling Dana Carvey's grumpy old man; not railing against powerpoint but rather innovation, and newness, and the passage of time. "When I was young, Powerpoint showed you the words you typed in the day before. And you could have it show a picture. And it started up when you clicked it. AND WE LIKED IT!"
bungston, Dec 11 2014

       Stylish eyemask to be worn at presentations, printed with text 'I am allerjic to progector screens,
pocmloc, Dec 11 2014

       <irrelevant aside>   

       I just came back from Abroad where I was teaching various workshops. I had a 2hr slot timetabled as "discussion with students", which I thought was going to be a roundtable face-to-face with half a dozen students I mentor.   

       Instead, I opened the door into the "discussion room" to discover a lecture hall filled with 200 eager undergraduates, all rooted to the spot for the next 120 minutes. It was more fun than anything I've done with Powerpoint.   

       <\irrelevant aside>
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 11 2014

       Yes, I am indeed grumpy. What set me off was a colleague who spent 2 days making slides with wondrous graphics and lots of moving parts. He circulated them to have one responder express sorrow at having such inferior slides of his own which he vowed he would improve and make similarly wondrous. A little arms race of slide making is now breaking out and the thing we are supposed to be discussing has been forgotten.   

       If this could be avoided, we would get more time to do something useful.
DenholmRicshaw, Dec 11 2014

       //we would get more time to do something useful//

To be frank, I would prefer that the people who produce tedious/ illegible/ incomprehensible PowerPoint slides are left to spend even more time doing it. I tremble to think what would happen if they were allowed to go away & do something useful.

I never used it at all when I was delivering training classes &, armed with the knowledge that I so potently delivered, the people I trained are now beavering away, in offices around the world*, on their many & various schemes & projects to chip away at the foundations of civilization as we know it.

*'world' might be a slight exaggeration.
DrBob, Dec 12 2014

       // the elimination of presentations from corporate life //   

       It would be more efficient to arrange the elimination of presenters from corporate life (perhaps by means of a cull (with a bag limit, of course)), shirley ?
8th of 7, Dec 12 2014


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