Extraordinary Team Blog

Death by PowerPoint

Posted by Kristin Arnold on May 11, 2010

There’s a great article in the NY Times about the use and abuse of PowerPoint in the military.  As a retired Coastie, I completely empathize, although I think PowerPoint has run rampant as an excuse to spoon feed people who “need to know”.

If you are going to put all the information you “need to know” on the PowerPoint slide, then why bother with the presentation?  The article also says that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates reviews printed-out PowerPoint slides at his morning staff meeting, although he insists on getting them the night before so he can read ahead and cut back the briefing time.

Whether you agree with his strategy or not, this is a sound tactic.  Meetings are for discussion, not for mind-numbing PowerPoint presentations.

Question:  If you do use PowerPoint, is it helping you tell the story, or should you provide the information as a read-ahead or a take-away?