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Death by PowerPoint

Workplace Epidemic: Death by PowerPoint

Even if you’ve never put a name to it, you’ve almost certainly experienced death by PowerPoint: sitting in a stuffy conference room for what feels like (and may be!) hours, watching a presenter click through slide after slide of bulleted points. Plenty of productivity and tech experts have argued that the program hurts presentations more than it helps, stifling creativity and encouraging laziness.

This week’s New York Times discusses the US military as the latest PowerPoint casualty. The article features a hilarious mess of a slide that was intended to portray US military strategy in Afghanistan, but instead is being circulated around the web as an example of PowerPoint gone horribly, horribly wrong. For more about death by PowerPoint, keep reading.

Personally, I don’t think the slide program is all bad; if it’s used correctly, it can make it easier and more interesting for the audience to follow along, and can help keep its presenter on point. But I’ve also experienced PowerPoint-addicted workplaces where it’s used as a crutch; I once had a boss who wouldn’t listen to any information he was given unless it was in PowerPoint format. He’d dismiss my ideas over the phone, but if I sent him a handful of slides containing the same information, I was a genius.

What do you think? Do you think PowerPoint is killing creativity in the workplace, or is it a useful tool that, like anything else, is sometimes overused?

Join The Conversation
ShaynaLeah ShaynaLeah 7 years
Ugh, PowerPoint... When I got my MBA ever class had a group project with a presentation - and every presentation had to have a PowerPoint presentation which I maintained then and now didn't add a thing to the experience except time, and the effect of the presenter having their head half turned the entire time to see the slides...and sometimes forgetting that he/she should not be reading verbatim from them. Good for creating visuals if you need them - graphs, photos, etc. --- horrible if you're just bullet pointing!
tphilli tphilli 7 years
How appropriate to have a post on presentations when I am almost finished reading a fantastic book on the subject, Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds. I don't even have a need to create a powerpoint presentation at the moment but his book is inspiring me to want to get out there and create one! Definitely recommend it to anyone that has or will have to create a presentation ever.
socalbeachgal socalbeachgal 7 years
I think PowerPoint has it place in business but it is over used and it does suppress creativity. I've been subject to those hours long presentations that put everyone to sleep!
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 7 years
maybe it does stifle creativity, but there are so many uncreative people in the workplace. I'd rather have some sort of visual to keep me awake than just listen to an uncreative person droning on and on.
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