Death by PowerPoint

April 18, 2011

How many more PowerPoint torture sessions must we go through before the presenter realizes that 300 slides for a 2 hour presentation is too much? As I’ve gotten older my attention span for presentations has shrunken to about 5 to 10 minutes. But if the PowerPoint is all text and no images, then it’s reduced to about 30 seconds. By the second paragraph my mind is already numb.

I just happened to stumble a type of presentation that incorporates images plus storytelling; it’s called Pecha Kucha http://www.pecha-kucha.org/ and it was invented in Japan in 2003, and slowly has crept in North America. The beauty of Pecha Kucha is that you only have 20 slides and each slide can only be shown for 20 seconds, this makes the presentations very dynamic, since the presenter only has 400 seconds (6.6 minutes) to make his point across the audience.  The idea is to keep our attention to the story and the message, supported by the images. Steve Jobs has used storytelling for years in his presentations, and always uses minimalist slides with one word or one image. So next time you have to prepare a PowerPoint presentation, try this concept out; or at least think about one or two words per slide…Your audience will appreciate it…Say no to Torture by PowerPoint!

Cheers

Carlos

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2 Responses to “Death by PowerPoint”

  1. Carlos, did you attended pecha-kucha presentation in Toronto? I agree, power point is not the most dynamic way of keeping and engaging you audience; I’ve tried Prezi and it has very good capabilities!

  2. Juan Munoz said

    Carlos, you are right! presenters just want to pack in as many slides as they can with as much information as they can, but they forget that our attention span is just, as you said, a copple of minues and when one is gone ia a day dreamexpedition in the boardroom it could bite you later on.

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