Death by PowerPoint for politicians

I’ve vented before about the horror that is PowerPoint so I was initially troubled when I read reports of plans to use this tool of Satan for presentations during “question time” in Australia’s parliament.  At first glance, this is a disaster waiting to happen: pairing the evil of politics with the evil of a really bad slide presentation.  But then I realised this isn’t about politicians inflicting Death By PowerPoint on the public, this is about politicians giving slide presentations to other politicians.

All of a sudden, I’m in favour of this proposal.  Is there any more justified punishment than politicians having to sit through a speech from other politicians while they run through an endless series of pointless slides droning on in that characterless way politicians are so fond of?  This feels like payback, people!

I want to get a job working in parliament where I get to create presentations for the pollies.  I would get endless job satisfaction by creating mind-numbing presentations that ran into hundreds of slides knowing those bastard politicians were going to have to sit through the whole thing. 

In all seriousness, this idea that PowerPoint actually improves communication must be stopped.  There is a truly horrifying story that the Bush Administration actually used PowerPoint to develop and “communicate” their disastrous plans for the colossal clusterfuck that is Iraq.  That would explain a lot.  I don’t like to make light of how badly this can go wrong because this is literally Death by PowerPoint for thousands of unfortunates. 

A good communicator doesn’t need Powerpoint but could, if they were so disposed, make effective use of it as a supporting tool.  A bad communicator is made worse when they use PowerPoint to try and cover the fact that they have fuck-all of intelligence to say.  The idea of political policy being communicated by PowerPoint is awful, pure and simple.

Stop the madness.

11 Comments

Filed under Politics

11 responses to “Death by PowerPoint for politicians

  1. I think you should teach the pollies to present policy via vlog. Wearing masks. That, at least (if you taught them how to do it) would be entertaining.

  2. Salamaat,
    hahaha…at my job EVERY SINGLE meeting is accompanied by a WHOLE deck of powerpoints. The managers actually compete on who can get the flashiest, nicest images and they would stop a bit to draw attention to their cute images.

    Yes, if it weren’t so brain numbing that it makes you wish for instant death-it could be funny!

  3. I just thought it was an American Problem linked to:
    http://www.eagleforum.org/educate/2000/feb00/dumbing-down.html
    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061127033824AAoxgWW

    But I’m beginning to suspect a global conspiracy.

    “If A Nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be”
    Thomas Jefferson.

  4. engtech: nice link, thanks!

    gruntski: fun for me, for sure

    Maliha: PP in those situation is nothing more than a crutch for people with nothing to say

    marrngtn: It is most definitely a worldwide problem

  5. Powerpoint. The last time I gave a presentation via powerpoint was years ago. In my last job, I spent most time on the content of the presentations instead of how it looked. Sure I had flashcards, but I was presenting it.

  6. Yep, a good presenter doesn’t need PP and PP doesn’t make a good presenter.

  7. I’m in the education line myself, PP is considered as a “by-default” tool. Without it, other educators and your superior would see you as not fullfilling your academic responsiblities, thus making you look like a lazy bum. But I truly agree that PP is for sissies, like what’s been said here:

    http://chronicle.com/free/v50/i14/14b01501.htm

  8. Yeah, it’s like people who buy expensive power tools think that makes them a good carpenter.

  9. Jeff

    The worst thing anyone can do when presenting is to read each and every word from their PowerPoint slides. This is on the same level of pain as scrapping one’s finger nails across a chalkboard for the audience.

    To show just how bad things can get, consider Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address as a PowerPoint presentation…

    http://norvig.com/Gettysburg/

    Go here for information on Lincoln’s speech sans any dilution from Microsoft.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gettysburg_Address

  10. Yes, that one’s a classic Jeff. I actually cited that one in my original “Death by Powerpoint” post. I’m actually thinking of doing that as a business/seminar presentation – the best possible example fo how PowerPoint sucks the life out of a *real* presentation.

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