Wall Street Journal & Eyeful on the same page

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009 by Simon Morton

We’re a learned lot here at Eyeful.  Fights often break out over who gets to read the FT first and animated debates about the finer details of Malcom Gladwell’s ideas are commonplace over a few pints on a Friday evening.

So imagine our joy when one of our favourite Wall Street Journal Graphicpublications, the Wall Street Journal, added their 10p’s worth (or is that 15 cents worth depending on today’s exchange rate?) on the hot topic of PowerPoint.

The full article, Should We Blame PowerPoint or The People Using It?, is here and very interesting it is too.

However what really caught our eye were some of the comments:

Re. that sticky NASA situation (ping us a note if you want the full story), one of the readers (a very sensible chap called Wayne) summed it up rather nicely:

NASA managers missed a key point buried at the bottom of a PowerPoint slide.  But would they have been any less likely to miss it if they were buried in the last paragraph of a 3-page summary?  The problem here was apparently an information overload, not the vehicle which delivered it.

One of the other readers, Sara (again, undoubtedly someone with their head screwed on) summed up the whole article rather nicely by saying:

I suppose it’s easier to blame PowerPoint than to take responsibility now, isn’t it?

Now we’ve never been backward in our defence of PowerPoint.  Not because we think it’s flawless…far from it (as the tired ears of our friends in the Office Product Team at Microsoft will testify).  Nope – the reason we rally against the cries of “Death by PowerPoint” and “PowerPoint is responsible for all the ills in the World…including the incessant re-commissioning of Big Brother on Channel 4” (we made that last one up) is that it’s just too easy.

Rather than use PowerPoint appropriately, normally intelligent people gorge themselves on it…and then wonder why it’s not as effective as it used to be.

Ask yourself 2 simple questions every time you power up PowerPoint:

  1. Should I be doing this in PowerPoint?
  2. Would the fine folks at Eyeful approve?

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4 Responses to “Wall Street Journal & Eyeful on the same page”

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