PowerPoint Workplace Hell

I’ve noticed an alarming trend in business: the re-purposing of PowerPoint into a pseudo-Word document. I bet you’ve seen this too. Big corporations develop a slick-looking slide design template. Add in the customer’s logo and some boilerplate text, and <!–begin rant–> then just go NUTS! Use the PowerPoint medium for EVERYTHING, even things that would be better served in Excel or Word. The more you can cram onto the slide, the better!! <!–end rant–>

Don’t get me wrong–PowerPoint is not the problem. I like PowerPoint, and I use it a lot. PowerPoint works GREAT as a visual asset to an oral presentation. It even works great for design projects (see Pecha Kucha.) But it does not work as a way to display a complex, tabled/charted teeny tiny report to a room full of people. That’s not sharing: that’s just making things difficult.

My top five rules for PowerPoint:

  1. No more than three bullets per slide
  2. No more than seven words per bullet
  3. Lots of visuals (but only if they add something to your persuasive point)
  4. No more than 20 slides (20 X 20, the Pecha Kucha standard, is kind of nice & symmetrical.)
  5. No reading your slides*
    (*One exception: if words on your slides are important to your presentation, people with visual impairments need the context. But you don’t want a slideshow full of words anyway, right?!)

 

 

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4 Comments on “PowerPoint Workplace Hell”

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