Saturday, March 11, 2006


What exactly is PowerPoint for?

If you were the richest person in the world, and your presentation skills resembled Mr Burns from the Simpsons, you would have two choices.

Either you could get the most brilliant presenters in the world to coach you in presentation skills.

Or you could get everyone else in the world to use the same mind-numbing software, so that their presentations were nearly as bad as yours.

The purpose of a system is what it does.

Further Reading

On Microsoft's use of Powerpoint: Bill Gates and Visual Complexity, Gates, Jobs and the Zen Aesthetic (both from Presentation Zen)

On not using PowerPoint: PowerPoint, sans PowerPoint (Presentation Zen), The Best Presentation (Seth Godin)

Update (May 2006)

I have to give it to Microsoft. They are making concerted efforts to improve their own use of PowerPoint, and to encourage others to use it better [comment]. Bill Gates spoke without slides in his keynote speech at Mix06 [review].

So does this refute my original (mischievous) POSIWID comment? Microsoft can now claim that the poor use of PowerPoint was a temporary aberration, a vulnerability rather than a permanent feature of the product. So let's see how many PowerPoint users bother to install the patch, and whether the patch removes the vulnerability.

Related Posts: The PowerPoint Collection

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