Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Help Stamp Out the Power Point Rangers

As the work I am trying to accomplish here in the middle of nowhere gradually circles the drain, I thought I would indulge in a little of "what he said"...

Power Point Presentations.  They are used by the lazy to bore the uninformed and can't substitute for well written, concise reports or presentations that don't need a crutch which simplifies the point and makes us stupid as a result. 

Since most donor agencies are inhabited by a species of statue who love PPT and hate concise reports or complex ideas, most of us have to deal with having the lights dimmed by people who don't know what they are talking about so they can hide behind the presentation and avoid looking at and engaging an audience or being questioned for more than five minutes. 

Some quotes from this article in the Paper of Record - which says it much better than I.

“PowerPoint makes us stupid,” Gen. James N. Mattis of the Marine Corps, the Joint Forces commander, said this month at a military conference in North Carolina. (He spoke without PowerPoint.) Brig. Gen. H. R. McMaster, who banned PowerPoint presentations when he led the successful effort to secure the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar in 2005, followed up at the same conference by likening PowerPoint to an internal threat.

“It’s dangerous because it can create the illusion of understanding and the illusion of control,” General McMaster said in a telephone interview afterward. “Some problems in the world are not bullet-izable.”
Commanders say that behind all the PowerPoint jokes are serious concerns that the program stifles discussion, critical thinking and thoughtful decision-making.

So, yeah, what he said! Without the PPT.

Go read the whole thing.

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