When PowerPoint Does More Harm Than Good

When PowerPoint Does More Harm Than Good

The New York Times details how PowerPoint presentations are a problem in the military, leading some officers to go so far as banning the presentation app. Like any tool, PowerPoint is useful when used at the right time and problematic when not, and some of the problems they’re having are likely familiar to your office.

“It’s dangerous because it can create the illusion of understanding and the illusion of control,” General [H. R.]McMaster said in a telephone interview afterward. “Some problems in the world are not bullet-izable.”

That doesn’t mean PowerPoint is broken, it just means that we need to make sure we’re using it for the right reasons — and aren’t using it when it dilutes our message. [NYT via Gizmodo]


  • Poor speakers and presenters were doing the same thing on blackboards, flip-charts and overhead projector slides long before PowerPoint came along.

    Case in point: one of my university computer science lecturers who copied from our textbook onto overhead projector slides and then recited/droned them for 50 minutes without further example or illumination.

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