Electronic Chloroform

I was reading a book on presentation and the author mentioned that PowerPoint is essentially electronic chloroform. It KNOCKS you out!!

People use bullet points as reminders of their content. And yet they show them to the audience in batches of 10 or more bullet points. As they read the first bullet point out loud, the audience is already reading point #7 and has completely lost interest in what the speaker is talking about.

So next time you use or see those dreadful bullet points in a presentation, think “electronic chloroform” and try  not to pass out.

 

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3 responses to “Electronic Chloroform

  1. Thanks Norm. I’d be interested to know what book that was.

    As part of the antidote to the problem, here are a couple of posts that give useful alternatives to bullets:

    Connie Malamed has a great illustrated list of 6 options.
    http://theelearningcoach.com/media/graphics/alternatives-to-bullets/

    And here’s a post of mine that offers 7 ideas to use instead of bullets.
    http://remotepossibilities.wordpress.com/2011/12/31/minimise-blur-firstframework-part-1m/#sub_verbal

    I’m a strong believer in revealing content gradually, in sync with what’s being said. So whether using bullets or one of the many techniques I’ve linked to above, you keep the audience focused on what you’re saying.

  2. Craig….the book is by Sharon Bowman. Yes..revealing content gradually in sync with what is being said is the key. Most speakers just dump it all out there and lose the audience immediately. They don’t seem to understand that people can read a lot faster than the speaker’s spoken words.

  3. I agree. As a medical teacher, it always bothers me that a Powerpoint presentation lacks the spark that traditional blackboard teaching has. It was always gratifying to have students respond to my person than have them absorbed in an interesting slide. I maybe biased but learning accomplished with the right modulation and an ordinary piece of chalk seems to occur at a deeper level than what my slide presentations have managed so far.

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