Monday, February 18, 2008

Candidate for worst presentation I've ever seen

In sorting through some notes from last year's conferences that I attended, I was reminded of one presentation that is a strong candidate for the worst use of PowerPoint I have ever seen. Folks, I can't make this stuff up if I tried.

The presenter clearly did not understand the tool at all. He only had two slides, but apparently did not know that you could have more than one slide in a file. So he had two different files for his two slides. He opened both files before he started his presentation. He had also opened a browser window for some reason.

He starts his presentation and I noticed a red squiggly line under a couple of the words. I thought that was odd, but then I realized that he was presenting in the editing mode. Apparently he didn't know about Slide Show mode. I'd heard about people presenting in the editing mode, but this was the first time I had ever seen it.

Once he was finished with his first slide, it was time to move to his second slide. To do so, he pressed Alt+Tab, the Windows key combination to switch applications. But he switched to the browser instead of his next slide. He quickly apologized, then pressed the key combination again and got to his second slide.

When he finished his second slide, he did not need the slides any more. So he placed his Starbucks cup in front of the lens of the projector, effectively balcking out the screen.

I sat through this 20 minute presentation in awe. Awe of not how effective he was as a presenter of course, but stunned at how someone who is employed teaching students to communicate was demonstrating his lack of ability. If you aren't comfortable using the tool, don't use it at all.


Blogger Rowan Manahan said...

Dave, I stand in awe ...

That has got to be the number one, worst ever use of slideware and technology I have ever heard of.

Thank you for sharing that absolute gem.


2:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa Braithwaite said...

Sad and hilarious at the same time.

Did you consider offering him your services?

I try to remember to offer my card to speakers, both good and bad, just in case they ever want to "raise their skills to the next level" (nice way to reassure them that I'm not giving them my card because I think they're bad - even when they are).

11:27 AM  
Blogger Craig Douglas Strachan said...

Yes, I have seen that too - a speak using the edit mode. This was complete with a list of slides down the left side of the screen, and the menu-bars etc along the top.

The irony was that I had to evaluate this speech (at a Toastmasters meeting)- how to be constructive and suportive to somebody who was clearly clueless!

I got best the evaluator award that evening, so I must have done something right!


2:37 PM  

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