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Feeling Nostalgic? The archives > The Joys and Horrors of Powerpoint

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message 1: by RandomAnthony (last edited Apr 27, 2010 02:30AM) (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Interesting article about bad presentations and powerpoint today in today's NY Times:

The news media sessions often last 25 minutes, with 5 minutes left at the end for questions from anyone still awake. Those types of PowerPoint presentations, Dr. Hammes said, are known as “hypnotizing chickens.”



http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/27/wor...

I have to sit through presentations sometimes, and I have to tell you, Powerpoint, in the wrong hands, is soul-deadening. People who read their slides verbatim, when they could have handed me a piece of paper or sent me an email with the some email, should be punished. Severely.

On the other hand, when I have to whip up a quick presentation, I use powerpoint, too, but I try not to do so.

Powerpoint is a tool for the lazy, and sometimes I'm one of them.

What do you think? Any powerpoint/presentation horror/joy stories?


message 2: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17337 comments Mod
I hate that I ask my students to make them. I;m not sorry that I don't have to watch them next week.


message 3: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Whoo! Thank you, Leah, for waking up Sally at all hours of the night so I have someone to talk to:)


message 4: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17337 comments Mod
Right? We're doing this thing where we try really hard to act sleepy. Then the moment I walk away we become REALLY PISSED OFF and then beg for milk to make it better. This leads to a diaper change, which then leads to couch cuddles, which then, of course, leads to GR.

Who said having a baby would make me have less time for TC? Seems this will help me to catch up!


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

What idiot first penned the saying 'sleeps like a baby'. They obviously never had one.


message 6: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17337 comments Mod
Seriously. Sleeps like a baby means "works really hard to get others completely invested in watching me do it."


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

How are things going for you?


message 8: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17337 comments Mod
Me? Swell. I'm totally in love and happy and have nothing else to do but just feed and change and love this girl. This friday my students turn in their papers and then I'll be working on a deadline to get them read and returned AND love and cuddle this girl, but other than that I'm livin the dream.


message 9: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments i use powerpoint occasionally but i do not rely on it to convey info or to be memorable. i basically add some graphics, bullet points and usually try to embed a video or something to make it more lively. i also try to NEVA read directly from a slide as that is degrading and stupid if you are the listener. "here, you are not smart enough to read this yourselves so i will read it word for word to you.." i basically use it as some visual candy and save the real sizzle for me rambling on


message 10: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments SALLY!!!! ♥♥♥ Your new schedule sounds mostly heavenly.


message 11: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17337 comments Mod
Heidi, she is cuddlicious. You would not believe. I'm actually in withdrawl right now cause she's on her daddy's chest. I can't stop taking pictures. I always said I would NOT be that person who starts uploading shit tons of baby pics to FB. I have. I can't help it. She's like the baby version of Christy Brinkley.


message 12: by Gus (new)

Gus Sanchez (gussanchez) Someone who really, really, really loves PowerPoint is David Byrne.

Sally, you will never be able to help uploading pictures of Leah as long as you live. I swore I would not be one of those parents who constantly upload pics of their children, but Sophia is so friggin' cute, and I'm not saying that because I'm her dad. So don't feel too bad about breaking that rule.


message 13: by Matt (new)

Matt | 819 comments A few years back I was at this schmooz-dinner for an IT professionals group. The speaker was some sort of vp for one of the big rental car companies (Hertz, I think). Not only did he read his slides verbatim, but the slide backgrounds were this pukey, beige color and each letter on every slide came up on screen one letter at a time like the slide was being typewritten. There were sound effects for the letters too - a pew-pew-pew laser gun sound. I can't believe the guy was a vp and didn't know any better, and i'm also surprised that nobody roughed him up in the parking lot.


message 14: by janine (new)

janine | 7715 comments that guy clearly didn't understand how he was supposed to use powerpoint. the sound effects are there for teens only.


message 15: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Lopez | 4728 comments Doing art history lectures has become a lot easier with the advent of PowerPoint--no more slide carousels to lug around. But I basically make it a rule not to use any of the program's jazzier functions. Just show an image (or maybe two images side by side) and do the usual talk.


message 16: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments wait...have i been missing out on using the laser sounds?


message 17: by Jen (new)

Jen (jeninseattle) I could dig my own eyes out with a spoon during the presentations where people simply read their powerpoint slides. Don't insult my intelligence. I can read. Likewise, the people out there who LOVE powerpoint and overdo it with graphics, animations, audio, etc. However, if used correctly, powerpoint can be an effective presentation tool. If used correctly. It's definitely an art.


message 18: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments i use it as a time killer. usually my presentations are under effective and over prepared. i go for the sizzle effect. plus i add in humor whether or not the situation is appropriate for it. that's my deal. i am that guy


message 19: by Jaimie (new)

Jaimie (jez476) | 664 comments My department was suckered into reorganizing our storage a few years ago. We had to whip up a powerpoint presentation for the entire building on the new process. We made it fun. We used all kinds of ways to go to different slides and add info to slides and we even used cartoons. But, of course, we were three creative types so we made it fun.


message 20: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17337 comments Mod
Jen wrote: "I could dig my own eyes out with a spoon during the presentations where people simply read their powerpoint slides. Don't insult my intelligence. I can read....If used correctly. It's definitely an art."

Absolutely. The best is when short videos are inserted. Short. I love that.


message 21: by janine (new)

janine | 7715 comments i got to see a lovely powerpoint presentation yesterday about the adaptation of sex scenes from book to film, including a clip from a film and a scene from a book, read by a man with a voice and intonation more suited for children's books and fairy tales.


message 22: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17337 comments Mod
Cool! Where and why? What do you do?


message 23: by janine (new)

janine | 7715 comments the presentation was for a class. everyone has to do a research project and a presentation about their research. we also had a presentation about the standardization of sex scenes in bestsellers and my presentation was about the way bestsellers still have the same themes they had 80 years ago, just presented in a different way and with references to different times and because of that probably doomed to be forgotten in a few years. i study modern dutch literature and am currently working on my bachelor (only one class left to finish) and my master simultaneously. this class is for the master.


message 24: by Youndyc (new)

Youndyc | 1255 comments My colleague does powerpoints where the slide is so full of text that it's ridiculous and then she reads it off. She is the worst presenter in our group, although she's extremely knowledgable. I don't do a lot of powerpoints, thank goodness, but when I do, I have only the key elements and I can talk for about 15-20 (more, if necessary) minutes per slide. My powerpoints, as a result, tend to be short. I figure if I add in some other slides, the audience can read them later. And, just to keep people awake, I sometimes don't change the slide on the screen when I move on or I handle the material in a different order. No sound effects, please!


message 25: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments i tried a slide once of a photo of a fly on a white background and tried to convince everyone it was a real big fly on the screen. levity = yes, professionalism = no


message 26: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11667 comments I put together a presentation last month that worked very well, probably because someone else did the talking. I limited each slide to a couple of short bullet points, then he was free to give his talk w/o feeling tied to the words on the screen. We actually got compliments on it -- because the slides weren't too wordy and he wasn't just reading the screen. Yea, us!


message 27: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments I can't stand it when people use a white background for powerpoint or red... those are the hardest to read!


message 28: by Youndyc (new)

Youndyc | 1255 comments ::whistles softly and tries to look innocent, thinking about how all my powerpoints are with a white background::


message 29: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments Ha ha ha!!!

(use blue w/ yellow or orange lettering)


message 30: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments That's what's used on teleprompters, unfortunately.


message 31: by Pamela (new)

Pamela | 4 comments The obsession with powerpoint presentations this year has driven me to the edge because so many people don't know how to give a speech anymore. The rules of eye contact and engaging the audience disappear as they stare and speak into a computer screen for an hour. I sometimes find my mind attempting to entertain itself by coming up with ways of yelling at the presenter. It is especially annoying when the person reads EVERYTHING they typed off the slides..as if I am unable to read on my own..this form of torture turns my mind to mush.

(In case anyone is wondering who I am or where I came from, "hi!" My name is Pamela and I just joined this group today because I've come to the realization that outside of my Literary Criticism class I have no friends that enjoying reading and discussing books..frightening, but true.)


message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

Welcome to TC Pamela. Books is only one of the subjects you will have an opportunity to discuss here.


message 33: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments wait a minute...Literary Criticism class? do not look at my book list

other than that, hi pamela


message 34: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments Jim wrote: "Welcome to TC Pamela. Books is only one of the subjects you will have an opportunity to discuss here."
That's for sure. Welcome.

And true what you said about eye contact and engaging the audience. I know a lot of companies have also adopting a "do/say" type training so that the expert on a subject no longer has to be the one presenting. The designated trainer just reads the presenter notes and clicks when told. NO deviating from the script.


message 35: by [deleted user] (new)

We are quickly working towards a society that presentations will be given from different room(s) than the listeners. Eye contact will be a lost art.


message 36: by Pamela (new)

Pamela | 4 comments Jim wrote: "We are quickly working towards a society that presentations will be given from different room(s) than the listeners. Eye contact will be a lost art."

WHAT?! That's awful. How am I supposed to trust a voice without a face? Maybe I'm just paranoid, but that the notion is troubling..

Thank you all for the warm welcome. Yeah, my Lit. Crit. class allows us to study and practice critical theories on a variety of books. Though my teacher is a little obsessed with post-colonialism texts we still explore other critical theories such as deconstruction and feminism.. it's actually quite exciting despite the description I just gave :P


message 37: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11667 comments Hi, Pamela. Could you maybe explain that class for us in a PPT slideshow? :->


message 38: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) And please don't just read us the slides.


message 39: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17337 comments Mod
I'm posting in this thread because I did a search for the insomnia thread. But it is interesting this is all I can find (thanks, lame GR search function) because the reason I have insomnia is an intense worry about all the power points I'm about to make, starting Monday afternoon.


message 40: by Kim (new)

Kim (britishlass929) We had to do presentations as if they were tv shows to illustrate job duties several years ago. We did The Sopranos and it was a huge hit!


message 41: by Jim (new)

Jim | 6485 comments Sally wrote: "I'm posting in this thread because I did a search for the insomnia thread. But it is interesting this is all I can find (thanks, lame GR search function) because the reason I have insomnia is an i..."

Let us know how things went Sally. I'm sure you will do great.


message 42: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Think of us all cheering you on, Sally.


message 43: by Kajah (new)

Kajah | 9 comments While I think PowerPoint can be a force of good in the world, I've seen far too many presentations in school where students with inexpressive faces placidly read their presentation to the class with all the verve of a dead squirrel. I think a piece of my heart dies every time I have to experience this.


message 44: by Kajah (new)

Kajah | 9 comments deleted user wrote: "We are quickly working towards a society that presentations will be given from different room(s) than the listeners. Eye contact will be a lost art."

I think as long as people have bodies, maintain their corporeality, there will always be a desire to see, at least occasionally, a truly wonderful speaker or performance live.


message 45: by Jim (new)

Jim | 6485 comments Welcome to TC Kajah.


message 46: by ~Geektastic~ (new)

 ~Geektastic~ (atroskity) | 3207 comments I'm a visual learner, so presentations that utilized imagery and charts were generally helpful when I was in school, but not if they were all text. I gave a few presentations, including a particularly good one about spanking (yes, I said spanking) for a feminist literature class.

I mostly use PPT now as a cheap, fast way to throw together brochure materials for my job.


message 47: by Cyril (new)

Cyril Powerpoint or not, I'll fall asleep.


message 48: by Karen K. (new)

Karen K. Miller (karenkm) | 140 comments Even if it's about spanking? I don't think I would fall asleep during that presentation!


message 49: by Cyril (new)

Cyril Yeah, I'm pretty sure I would.


message 50: by Amy (new)

Amy Neftzger (neftzger) | 304 comments Has anyone here read the Onion spoof about the Project Manager who left his suicide note in Powerpoint? It makes fun of how much businesses rely on Powerpoint for information.

http://www.theonion.com/articles/proj...


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