In a post titled How Would The Civil War Have Ended If Lincoln Had PowerPoint? Brad Feld writes:
I have a long set of rants about how most PowerPoint presentations suck. Every now and then, I see a great one, but most of the time I’m just tortured by them. Today, I got an email from Ted Dolotta (one of the first Softbank-related people I ever met) that was priceless. It linked to the The Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation. In addition to being a classically miserable presentation, Lincoln’s intro was perfect.
I share Feld's antipathy for PowerPoint presentations. I've never seen one that did anything but distract me from the speaker--in fact, I once attended a three-day conference where around 75% of the speakers relied on PowerPoint in a darkened room. Which presentations were memorable? The 25% where I watched a human face "illustrate" the points the speaker was making with facial expressions! A clever device, this human face, with its ability to form mnemonics that really work.
That said, I taught myself some rudimentary PowerPoint skills last week, in order to create a "sketch" of the Kerabu website's search page for the programmer to work from. It ended up looking quite pretty, so I turned it into a site demo, and have sent copies to a few people, intending that they would look at it on their pc's, without commentary. Will I ever project it up on a screen in a lecture hall and hide behind it while addressing a crowd? If I do, I guess I'll have to eat my words, which has happened before. It's important to injest a few words now and then for maximum health and balance--a bit like chromium picolinate or copper. Here's the front page of the presentation: