Microsoft steps up to help stop the deadliness of PowerPoint

We all know the downsides of PowerPoint presentations:

  • Bullets that are too long.
  • Graphs so convoluted that the point is lost.
  • Animated transitions that become annoying for their whipsaw busyness.
  • Color schemes that look as though they were cooked up on a bad drug trip.
  • A deadly predictability and uniformity that squeeze the life from potentially powerful thoughts and concepts. (See the PowerPoint version of the Gettysburg Address, for example.)

It turns out that Microsoft, which unleashed PowerPoint more than two decades ago, knows the downsides as well. The company has put together a great new series of videos to help people find their way out of PowerPoint Purgatory. In the first set of videos, we see presenters from throughout history – cave men to hippies -botching their presentations and sparking audience revolts. In the second set, Slide School 101, the company shows how to turn leaden PowerPoints into gold.

These Microsoft videos are so good that they give Apple a run for their money on the creativity front. (The funniest ones aren’t available for embedding into this blog, but go look at them here.) If you’re serious about making your PowerPoints better and improving the PowerPoints produced in your company, check out these videos and share them with others.

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