When I consider the seemingly endless hours of Powerpoint-inflicted boredom I’ve suffered through in my lifetime it’s hard to believe the software has only been around for what, about fifteen years?
In fact, everyone hates Powerpoint presentations — someone proposed a constitutional amendment banning their use. Yet it’s estimated that 30 million Powerpoint presentations take place every day (note passive sentence structure concealing the thought “how does anyone come up with a number like that?”).
So why do people keep
inflicting using Powerpoint? Visual information designer Edward Tufte, in an article called “The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint,” offers an explanation: It’s easier than actually thinking about how to present information to an audience in an effective way.
“It’s much easier to write a presentation if you’re writing in bullet grunts…. PowerPoint allows presenters to pretend they’re giving a presentation,” he says. Unfortunately, “its cognitive style profoundly corrupts serious communications.”
Via the Book of Joe, where Joe concludes: “Many years ago I discovered that the key to a great PowerPoint experience is a comfortable chair â€” for myself.”