Rick noted that he had to get his materials ready (right after announcing the winner of the Southwest Fox Scholarship winner – congratulations Dan Taylor!) and it reminded me of this post on Presentation Zen.
Now I will be the first to say that I often use PowerPoint too much and I have tried incredibly hard in the past few years to only use it as an enhancement for presentations, rather than the main focus – (thanks to Beyond Bullets).
However, if you are one of the great speakers getting ready for your sessions at any of the upcoming conferences, read this post. In the tech world, we tend to take for granted that Powerpoint can be useful way of getting across a point and then throw up some code to show “how to get it done” – but would you want your military doing the same?
This is a great read – I almost hate to quote an entire paragraph but it gives you an idea of what’s in the post.
Bad presentations are one thing. They are certainly a waste of time (that’s perhaps the least harm they do). But even in the worst of presentations, if we really need to know the answer to something we could interrupt or ask the question during the Q&A. With documents and handouts, of course, we have no such luxury. If a document is poorly designed and poorly written, where do we go to get a clarification? And if the document is crucial — even a matter of life and death — is it not paramount that the document be easily searchable with the appropriate depth of data and information? At no time should the reader be saying to themselves: “WTF!— what does this %#@*! mean?!!!”