Thursday, August 18, 2011

“NEW PowerPoint® DIET!: A Must Try for ALL PowerPointers”

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What kind of diet could this possibly be? We all know from Dr. Oz and the PBS fundraising-drive, brain-and-body guys (NOTE: So far no women docs. Why?) that diets don’t work. But we do know that all diets involve cutting back or out certain foods (aka “everything that tastes good”) and substituting other foods (aka “food that tastes bad or has no taste,” like a tofu sandwich on a Styrofoam rice cake, which is barf on a stick).

So how does this semi-humorous diet chit-chat relate to PowerPoint®? Great question! It has to do with the major complaint about PowerPoints®:

A June 2011 survey of the U.S. adult population (3.2% margin of error) by IBOPE Zogby International (Allen, 2011) concluded that “death by PowerPoint®” is a national epidemic and called for a presentation revolution. Too much text and boring graphics top the list of frustrating and uninspired features. Can you relate to those findings? PowerPoint® ranks as one of the most dreaded presentation platforms, with respondents claiming they would rather forego sex tonight (24%), do their taxes (21%), go to the dentist (20%), or work on Saturday (18%) than have a close encounter of the PowerPoint® kind. (QUESTION: Does that mean the other 7682% had sex, refused to do their taxes, let their teeth rot, and went sailing on Saturday?)
Why is there too much text on PPT slides?
A. The presenter slaps the whole presentation on the slides and uses the text as a crutch
B. The presenter doesn’t know the material well enough to slap only a little text on the slides
C. The presenter doesn’t prepare a separate handout with the detailed text
D. The presenter hasn’t read my latest article, which reviews the research on cognitive overload; the audience cannot possibly understand and remember a bucket of text on each slide 

For the answer to the above test item and details on the PowerPoint® Diet, tune in to my next blog.
For several articles on the research and more detailed practices for PowerPoint® presentations, go to

COPYRIGHT © 2011 Ronald A. Berk, LLC 

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