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August 14, 2006

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met

Tools that make work easier don't substitute for talent.

Does powerpoint (the design of the software) encourage such behaviour?

You say a word-processor document would be better. If the author doesn't get 'it'... that document also might turn out to be confusing.

Garr

Amen, Met. You are absolutely right about that! I think that is a problem with education today -- too much time spent on teaching digital tools (which is important too) and not enough time on the thing itself (drawing, language, writing, music, math, design, etc.).

mec

I wonder if it laziness and not education that's to blame. Not so long ago, maybe a decade, it was clearly understood that important complex information was detailed in a written report in grammatically clear, concise English. If the information from a report was to be presented to an audience, the author would then create a separate presentation document. This document was mainly to provide the speaker with a reminder of his/her key talking points and to illustrate some of the messages in the presentation more graphically for the audience. This however, meant creating two separate documents and each one was time consuming when done properly. I think that at some point in time someone became lazy or maybe just time constrained and only prepared a slightly more detailed version of a presentation and this caught on like wild fire and unfortunately became acceptable since it cut the time to complete the briefing and presentation in half.

Hopefully PowerPoint "reports" are one of those awful trends soon fated to die a quick death--like pet rocks.

Jim Symcox

I think the idea of an easier (or lazier) way to do things is the most likely reason people rely on producing Powerpoint reports.

I also think they fall between two stools by trying to satisfy the details required for people reading later and the overview provided by the slides for now.

I did a post about creating better presentations earlier this year in March : http://acornservice.blogspot.com/2006/03/knock-em-dead-when-you-present.html

Enjoyed your post

Jim

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