What is Death by PowerPoint?

What is Death by PowerPoint?

Although both power points and PowerPoint can lead to an untimely demise, it is the presentation software PowerPoint and other similar slide-creating options (KeyNote, Prezi and so on) which I am particularly concerned about.

If you've found this site, you are probably already familiar with the term 'Death by PowerPoint'. For me, it encapsulate the idea of killing your own presentation, usually through the route of torturing your audience with difficult to read, unnecessarily detailed and/or boring slides.

  Just a few of my pet peeves...

Just a few of my pet peeves...

  In reality we get a lot of slides like this but there's still room for improvement. This might be useful as part of a Handout or paper notes but not as a Slide to go up for people to tune out of your talk.

In reality we get a lot of slides like this but there's still room for improvement. This might be useful as part of a Handout or paper notes but not as a Slide to go up for people to tune out of your talk.

Perhaps the more important question is Why does it matter?

Whilst we would like to think that we have made many advancements in the last twenty years in the world of technology, 'Death by PowerPoint' is indeed still rife amongst many arenas, particularly the medical conference and teaching one. Throughout my medical training, I have sat through well over over 1000 lectures and presentations, a great number of which featured slides which did their presenters no great favours. Killing presentations matters because time is a valuable commodity which cannot be regained. Some people can get annoyed when a train is running late. There are connections to catch, things to do, people to see, places to go. That 1hr presentation you're about to deliver for 200 colleagues or students? That's a collective 200 hours; over 8 days of collective life you're using up - so it had better be worth something.

Prevent 'Death by PowerPoint'. Make each and every presentation you deliver worthwhile: Every talk should have a purpose: a point to deliver, a story to share. Similarly, every slide should have it's own purpose as well. If you can't find your purpose, think hard before you agree to present at this time. 

If you're like me and hate 'Death by PowerPoint', what are you doing about it?

If we all take the initiative to start making changes in our own workplace, universities and schools to improve our own skills and show that we value our colleague's time - this may one of the most powerful influences in creating larger scale change that may get stop 'Death by PowerPoint' once and for all. Hopefully through this page and resources you'll be able to explore some ideas for building amazing, creative, useful presentations to avoid your own 'Death by PowerPoint' forever more!

As a taster for what is to come, here is a talk I delivered at the smaccGOLD workshops on Powerful Presentations:

http://intensivecarenetwork.com/leo-powerful-presentation/ 

"A" is for Affordance

"A" is for Affordance