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Embedded World and the death of the PowerPoint presentation

Chris Hills
3/18/2010 01:00 PM EDT

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charly5139
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re: Embedded World and the death of the PowerPoint presentation
charly5139   3/20/2010 7:51:20 AM
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During my first "public" presentation back in 1978, I did not have the Power Point problem. So-called slides were drawn by hand displayed by an overhead projector. It was a late in the afternoon, and when the audience really appeared to get tired, I changed the contents from "what" to "how and why" this project was founded, started, what problems we faced. The audience waked up and I got overwhelming ovations. By the way - the project was sponsored by FAZ - the newspaper in Germany, the "what" contents was included in the proceedings and commercial benefit came with at least 2 direct follow-up projects.

LSimone
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re: Embedded World and the death of the PowerPoint presentation
LSimone   3/21/2010 9:58:36 PM
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Contrary to the bandwagon, I don't hate Power Point. It's just a tool. However, the way the tool was designed tends to encourage poor presentation habits. I agree with Chris's comments about "approved" and canned presentations, etc., but I think a huge problem is that people aren't trained to give effective presentations. Using a tool (like PPT) or not just isn't relevant for an effective presentation. How many people have been through Toastmasters or the like? Learned speaking techniques for a range of topics? Learned how to teach, to humor, to share concisely with and without visual aids? Instead, we teach presentation skills by handing someone PowerPoint. I think forbidding PowerPoint will weed out the great speakers, but in the short term it may cause some chaos as people have to learn to actively interact and educate, rather than be dragged along by their own (or their company's) pre-prepared presentations. Charly5139 gave a great example - a presenter has to know the material, be aware of the audience and react appropriately. However ... I do think having complicated pictures, drawings, etc., individually prepared and available is completely appropriate.

dmckenney0
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re: Embedded World and the death of the PowerPoint presentation
dmckenney0   3/24/2010 3:53:51 PM
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I agree that this approach will weed out the knowledgeable individuals from the marketers, but some topics cannot be adequately addressed without figures or diagrams. Maybe some figures could be done on a white board, but for many concepts this would take too long. Talking to a powerpoint diagram is much more effective than just having text, so I agree with you there.

NSC
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re: Embedded World and the death of the PowerPoint presentation
NSC   4/1/2010 10:30:02 AM
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Echoing PhoneOnFire, PowerPoint is just a tool. Banning (or abandoning) PowerPoint is not addressing the root problem. For anyone who wants to do a professional job of presenting then there are great reference materials out there (e.g. Presentation Zen,silde:ology, beyond bullet points, etc.). Further, many poor presentations are generally due to a lack of a proper review process (admittedly some people just can't present). Al presentations should be backed up by a hand-out technical paper eliminating the need for lots of technical detail on a slide. Finally, being someone who has to present regularly 5-day of detailed technical training on embedded systems, white boards and flip charts just aren't big enough for a large audience (unless you can write REALLY BIG). At Feabhas we have been using a really cool tool called PaperShow (www.papershow.com) to augment the slides. Ideally we'd use two projectors, but this isn't typically practical. Alternatively you could go back to the good old days on OHPs, foils and pens. As I'll be at the Cambridge event (as we're running an Embedded Linux training class) I'm really interested in how it actually works and my concerns will hopefully be proven wrong. Good luck Chris, I promise I won't heckle...

phaedsys
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re: Embedded World and the death of the PowerPoint presentation
phaedsys   4/7/2010 6:38:13 PM
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The point I was trying to get across is that Power Point is just a tool. those who are bad at presenting with power point also used to be bad with veiw-foils (or OHP) and often just as bad with a blackboard. The other problem is that many companies INSIST on certain sides that must be included and the whole lot has to go past marketing and the legal team before it is shown to anyone. Peer review is I think the best solution buit I have even seen this fail... Where a speakers company has a lot of commercial influnece marketing presetations have been waved though with out a peer review.

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