Saturday, July 22, 2006

PowerPoint Banned at Conference

I am in Orlando at the start of the annual NSA Convention. In the same facility, a conference for education in an industry was just wrapping up. Knowing that this industry uses PowerPoint a lot, I stopped in to the show office to inquire about the conference and topics that would be relevant in the future. A couple of the organizers were in the office when I walked in. I explained that I was with another meeting, explained my area of expertise in using PowerPoint and asked to know more about their meeting. Both of them looked at each other and chuckled. Seems that in the opening keynote address, a senior official of the organization "banned" PowerPoint for the conference. When I asked why, they explained that it was because so many of the PowerPoint presentations were so deadly. In my opinion, this is another example of misguided thinking. If you were in an organization that created poorly written reports that were not clear and concise, would you ban word processing programs as the solution? Of course not, that's ridiculous. But it seems that when it comes to PowerPoint, instead of recognizing that the organization needs training on how to use the tool properly, some ban it as a solution. It is a solution to poor presentations, but a very poor one if the true objective is better communication that enables better decisions.


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