They never learn, do they?

SESHA -redick 4I was at an environmental conference in Phoenix that was hosted by the semiconductor manufacturing industries. Lots of talk about greenhouse gas and environmental sustainability. Many scientists and engineers gave talks and all of them were in PowerPoint format. with one exception, all of the PowerPoint presentations had too small fonts, too many bullet points and too many abbreviations.

The attached slide on the right has 11 abbreviations (ASTM, ANSI, SEMI, S23, GRI, SDO and so on), 6 bullet points, 13 sub bullet points and 2 sub-sub bullet points. All cramped into one SINGLE slide! The presenter is an attorney.

The font size in another presentation was so small that the bullet points were not readable from the back of a relatively small room. 

too small prints









For a copy of my presentation (without any bullet points) on environmental sustainability, click here.


3 responses to “They never learn, do they?

  1. That’s a big difference between your presentation and the bullet point ones.

    I read in your other posts about how pictures were important, but I thought the main thing was to have one idea and not use bullets.

    After seeing this presentation, I understand the power of pictures.

  2. Hi, it depends though whether you make your presentation for à Group of Peer scientists or a lay Public. If my Students presented me with only One idea per slice, i would Be bored to Death and the student without à Job…

  3. Thank you for your comment. PowerPoint is not designed for complicated “scientifc” or “technical” presentations. All you have to do is read Professor Edward Tufte’s analysis of a single slide from NASA prepared by a team of scientists and engineers as part of the Columbia space Shuttle investigation. It had 13 bullet points and might have led to some horrible consequences.

    If you are going to talk about scientifc topics, you are better off using a board and printout. I doubt you would be “bored to death” with one idea per slide. A deep coma is more likely for you when you stare at those 13 bullet points on a single slide.

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