In my purple state of Colorado it would probably be difficult to ban bullets, but can we all agree to take bullets away from Powerpoint presentations? It’s the 21st century and way past time to disarm Powerpoint.
Where did I get this idea? Several years ago I had the pleasure of attending a session at Educause by Heidi Trotta entitled “Lose the Bullets” You can download her presentation here. About the same time someone recommended the book “Presentation Zen” which was an inspiration to Heidi I’m sure. Ever since that day I’ve been modelling their ideas in my own presentations and advocating for everyone to take up the cause to improve presentations. But as many times as I tell folks about improving the designs of Powerpoint presentations it still amazes me how many people have never heard of Presentation Zen, and how many bad presentations I still encounter. Recently I attended a session where the opening slide was filled with 175 words! That’s not a misprint- one hundred seventy-five words! I think folks get confused sometimes between creating a document and creating a presentation. Rather than show you their first slide and embarrass anyone, I have attempted to recreate that slide with new text of my own. Here it is, click on it to enlarge:
Please folks, spread the word about what good presentations should sound and look like-see the above resources by Heidi Trotta and Garr Reynolds. Let’s hope that there are better days ahead, with less bullets.