back to article PowerPoint to start telling you that your presentation is bad and you should feel bad

Microsoft PowerPoint is set to strip away the last vestiges of humanity from presentations with tweaks to its Designer functionality and a coach to help users "deliver the perfect presentation". The BBC's Tim Harford recently added spreadsheets to his increasingly inaccurately named 50 Things That Made The Modern Economy but …

  1. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Trollface

    It looks like...

    ...you're making a twat of yourself.

    Again.

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge
      Trollface

      Re: It looks like...

      ".. do you want some help with that?"

      :)

  2. Luiz Abdala Bronze badge
    Trollface

    Buzzwords Bingo Easter Egg.

    They should add a Buzzwords Bingo Easter Egg™, that also works as a Coach tool. You can only reach bingo on the last slide, or not at all.

    It could also work as a standalone game with a RNG (RWG- random word generator? ) added.

  3. Tim Jenkins

    'about equal to the size of Texas'

    Typical US-centric Microsoft nonsense. The SI unit for any such comparison is, of course, Wales*.

    (*20,735 km², making Afghanistan around 31.5 Wales. Or rather more in the Trump version, Whales.)

    1. ibmalone Silver badge

      Re: 'about equal to the size of Texas'

      A whale is clearly a unit of volume. (And would nicely fill a six orders of magnitude gap in the reg standards converter between football and Olympic sized swimming pool.)

      1. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

        Re: 'about equal to the size of Texas'

        Indeed. What's the price of a whale of Brent Crude?

        1. caffeine addict Silver badge

          Re: 'about equal to the size of Texas'

          A Whale's worth of whale, compressed down to a smaller amount of brent crude by the north sea? Of a Whale of brent crude, regardless of the number of whales that were compressed to make it?

          1. Diogenes
            Joke

            Re: 'about equal to the size of Texas'

            A Whale's worth of whale, compressed down to a smaller amount of brent crude by the north sea? Of a Whale of brent crude, regardless of the number of whales that were compressed to make it?

            At least whales are renewable

            1. Tim99 Silver badge
              Trollface

              Re: 'about equal to the size of Texas'

              So is oil, if you wait long enough.

            2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
              Coat

              "At least whales are renewable"

              Excellent idea.

              Whale farming

              PP: I see you're making a deeply insensitive reference to whales. Do you wish to continue?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Whale farming

                PRIOR ART, PRIOR ART! And it's not Apple, it's Arthur C. Clarke (The Deep Range)

                1. OssianScotland Silver badge
                  Coat

                  Re: Whale farming

                  Worth reading, if only for the line "Prince of Whales"

                  Thank you, yes, the one with the paperback copy in the pocket, please

                  1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

                    Re: Whale farming

                    LOL, I was just wondering how we could add a "Price of Whales" measurement, and what it would represent.

      2. caffeine addict Silver badge

        Re: 'about equal to the size of Texas'

        Whales are really loud under water, but they're pretty rubbish on land.

        A london bus would be a better measure of volume. Specifically a Routemaster hitting the shoreline from the top of Beachy Head.

        1. ibmalone Silver badge

          Re: 'about equal to the size of Texas'

          To fit in below the Marshall (at 11) and Disaster Area.

      3. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

        Re: 'about equal to the size of Texas'

        Duh, you conflated a measure of length, football fields, (although that is sometimes area as well) with volume, Olympic sized swimming pools. We measure height in double-decker buses, stacked one of top of the other. Large quantities of money are normally (Europe) multiples or percentages of the GDP of Italy/Greece/Spain, US: GDP of California/Wyoming, etc.

        Larger distances are multiples of moon journeys.

        1. ibmalone Silver badge

          Re: 'about equal to the size of Texas'

          It took me a while to work out what you were talking about: a football is one of the register standard units of volume, while a football pitch is area (as is only right, otherwise which length would you use? diagonal, á la screen sizes?). They are strangely grouped at the low end; one chicken egg being about two walnuts, or one third of a grapefruit (is that a Waldorf salad?), or one thirtieth of a football, or nothing of an Olympic swimming pool, which can contain a little under 20 whales (provided the RSPCA isn't looking).

      4. jgarbo Bronze badge
        Devil

        Re: 'about equal to the size of Texas'

        Trump has decreed that a "whale" is a unit of princelyness. Chuck is a 1 whaler, while his dad, Phil is a 1.5 whaler. Trump says it'll catch on.

        1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: 'about equal to the size of Texas'

          So how many was Bob Marley?

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 'about equal to the size of Texas'

        This is a whaley good idea.

        1. OssianScotland Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: 'about equal to the size of Texas'

          Whale Oil, Beef Hooked

      6. herman Silver badge

        Re: 'about equal to the size of Texas'

        The bigger question is how many bowls of petunias are there in a whale?

        I'll get my coat - So long, and thanks for the fish.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: 'about equal to the size of Texas'

      It also depends on who you ask. If you ask something from Texas, he will tell you it's bigger <G>

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: 'about equal to the size of Texas'

        Never ask a Texan anything about Texas unless you're willing to spend the next hour listening to them tell you about how badass Texas is.

    3. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: 'about equal to the size of Texas'

      Afghanistan: about the size of Texas, but with fewer guns.

      1. Muscleguy Silver badge

        Re: 'about equal to the size of Texas'

        And probably fewer religious nutcases as well.*

        *Yes, I'm aware the place isn't homogeneous and Austin but the proposal still stands. Reasonable people have to work HARD in Texas.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: 'about equal to the size of Texas'

          My rental car from Orlando airport had Texas licence plates. Nobody messed with us.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: 'about equal to the size of Texas'

            Since the phrase "don't mess with Texas" was coined for their anti-littering campaign slogan, I assume this means that nobody threw their trash in your car.

  4. Arthur the cat Silver badge
    Unhappy

    PowerPoint is to bad presenters what Auto-Tune is to bad singers.

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
      Happy

      That good?

    2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Just that Powerpoint doesn't actually improve anything.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Or, like autotune, it actively makes things worse.

  5. Benson's Cycle

    Oddly

    I guess a lot of British military personnel would say that Texas was "about the size of Afghanistan" were they to even think about it.

    However, I have a proposal for PowerPoint which would deal with the problem without AI, without an expert rule engine, and without Clippy. It's a simple questionnaire that would come up on startup.

    Q1: Do you work in sales, marketing, or are you preparing a lecture for presentation to a specialist audience?

    Answer:

    No ---> message comes up "Do not use PowerPoint."

    Yes---> message comes up "Still do not use PowerPoint."

    1. find users who cut cat tail

      Re: Oddly

      Can't even tell the difference from here. Both Texas and Afghanistan are far, big and teeming with crazy people carrying guns.

      1. ReverandDave

        Re: Oddly

        Also mostly uninhabitable.

    2. matt 83

      Re: Oddly

      Power point is OK for sales and marketing types, it's what it's meant for. It allows you to bamboozle the audience with empty bling while imparting zero useful information to them which basically the description of sales and marketing.

      I knew someone who worked in sales who used to start his presentation by offering to not show them his powerpoint slides if the signed then and there so they could all have an early lunch. Apparently this worked about 75% of the time. When his boss found out he was angry but couldn't deny they he was the most successful salesman on the team.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Oddly

        > I knew someone who worked in sales who used to start his presentation by offering to not show them his powerpoint slides if the signed then and there so they could all have an early lunch.

        That's not fair! I'd agree to quite a lot in order to be spared the PowerPoint.

      2. cutterman

        Re: Oddly

        I'm still using PPT(X) 2004 for medical lectures.

        With a bit of imagination it can be made a fantastic & entertaining information conveyor.

        Its the the lecturer who is dull, not the application.

        I don't talk much - each set of slides tells its own story in a few trenchant words (NO charts!!!)

        Mac

    3. Ian Johnston

      Re: Oddly

      I guess a lot of British military personnel would say that Texas was "about the size of Afghanistan" were they to even think about it.

      It's really not fair to compare Afghanistan and Texas. One is a vast area of wild country inhabited by heavily armed, trigger happy, poorly educated religious fundamentalists who hate women, gays, foreigners and anyone even slightly unlike themselves, while the other is, oh, what's the point? The joke just writes itself. I'm wasting my time here.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Oddly

        @Ian Johnston thanks for the long laugh.

        I guess Austin is the Green Zone.

    4. Tim99 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Oddly

      ‘Texas was "about the size of Afghanistan" Or, from where I’m typing, less than a third of the size of Western Australia (also mostly uninhabitable).

    5. Muscleguy Silver badge

      Re: Oddly

      I remember a floor talk (science) back around 2000 when one lab head tried to give a PP talk but none of her pictures would show. She had linked to the pictures on her HD but not copied them over and taken a disc of the talk down to the seminar room. An early cautionary tale.

      That was back when talks had both a laptop and a slide projector prepped since not everyone had made the switch. Then there were those who used a slide scanner to copy their talks in silico and then just imported each slide verbatim into PP. You can imagine.

      There are lots of technophobes and just barely hanging on to a set of long outdated tech people in science.

      I had lots of respect for the support people who talked her into an upgrade (she still used actual floppies). Including a word processor 'like' her old favorite. We almost persuaded her that the learning curve from where she was to a Mac was much the same. But that WP was the killer. Can't remember which one it was, WordStar? something like that.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Oddly

        "Then there were those who used a slide scanner to copy their talks in silico and then just imported each slide verbatim into PP. You can imagine."

        I don't have to imagine -- that's pretty much how PP is used today, except people skip the step of making physical slides.

      2. rskurat

        Re: Oddly

        probably WordPerfect, my advisor and all his friends used it.

  6. BGatez Bronze badge

    Perfect addition would be auto-delete when you hit "save"

  7. find users who cut cat tail

    Now that Microsoft have developed a thing which listens to your PowerPoint nonsense, could we finally stop? Please?

    1. Steve K Silver badge

      Electric Monk

      It's an Electric Monk for PowerPoint!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Electric Monk

        Mechanical Turk v. Electric Monk, round 1!

  8. Dabooka

    Of course a cynic may consider their altruistic intentions as insincere

    I mean, one assumes that to facilitate this we have to agree to share words etc with The Cloud, allowing a massive data grab.

    I wouldn't. But a cynic might....

  9. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    Clippy: I see you're trying to run PowerPoint...

    Would you like me to reformat your hard drive now?

  10. Commswonk Silver badge

    Now You Mention It...

    From the article: On that note, we would respectfully direct users to our very own online Standards Converter for a far superior experience.

    There is (IMHO) a significant omission from the list; read on...

    When I worked for <redacted> my immediate colleague and I were getting progressively more irritated with a manager who clearly had no real idea of what we were actually doing. (FWIW we rather liked it that way, but that's another story.) My colleague had a revelation come to him and he announced that the manager's name should be used as the Unit of Wasted Space.

    A few moments later we realised that there were others almost equally deserving of immortality so we finished up allocating Wasted Space names for every standard we could think of; SI, MKS, CGS, FPS.

    Eventually, much the better for our little diversion, we got back to work.

  11. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Stop

    As I was told

    The purely verbal lecture started with this:

    "Even very smart people can't effectively listen and read at the same time.

    Most people have difficulty with either."

    1. illuminatus

      Re: As I was told

      Really? It's not that hard at all if you train yourself to do it.

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: As I was told

        Fortunately, I'm not very smart, I have been reading books while watching TV since I was a kid.

        1. Benson's Cycle

          Re: As I was told

          That however is easy because the content of TV is less than 1% of a book, so TV is the most minor of distractions, like looking in the mirror when driving.

      2. Hans 1 Silver badge

        Re: As I was told

        Feynamn, I downvoted three of you and I'll let you know why ... in short, we all think in different ways, as with anything, what might be easy for you might be damn hard for another.

        https://youtu.be/P1ww1IXRfTA?t=3354

  12. Lee D Silver badge

    I have yet to see a Powerpoint of any worth.

    Whether it's a (entirely third-party) YouTube video per slide, or just a bullet list that someone reads out, or just long blocks of text that have nothing to do with what's being said and are skimmed/skipped, I see no value in Powerpoints whatsoever.

    The presenters who need them just need a prompt, that's all. The presenters who don't, don't need anything at all really.

    There is nothing worse than having read the entire slide, getting the point, but being held to that wait-for-the-clicker moment to read the next one while people waffle on.

    Honestly... if you want to do it... say "There'll be a summary Powerpoint sent to you after the talk, so don't worry about missing anything, let's just dive right in".

    Similarly, however, I actually can't remember the last time I was in a room where someone was powerpointing where the *entire meeting* wasn't worthless. Either full of lies that never materialised, contained no useful material of interest and/or was not relevant to the majority of people there and could have been handled better with smaller individual meetings or even emails.

    As someone whose job involves *setting up* for those kinds of presentations, that just baffles me. I've yet to load something up for someone who's giving a talk and thinking "Wow, that's pretty cool/useful/interesting".

    Were I a CEO in charge of a company, emblazoned in place of the corporate "mission statement" would be a set of commandments instead:

    - Thou shalt not Powerpoint.

    - Thou shalt not conference call.

    - Thou shalt not Skype/Whatsapp/Videocall.

    - Thou shalt not call a meeting involving more than 5 staff without prior authorisation.

    - Thou shalt confirm everything in email, even if a meeting took place.

    - Thou shalt use email groups appropriately and in a targeted manner.

    1. Commswonk Silver badge

      - Thou shalt not Powerpoint. etc...

      - Thou shalt not use the words "going forward"

      Those words, plus other meaningless manglement - speak will result in disciplinary proceedings against the offender.

      1. DiViDeD Silver badge

        Re: - Thou shalt not use the words "going forward"

        - Thou shalt always refer to buying something as "buying something". Under no circumstances will you use the phrases "purchasing experience" or (my personal most cringy) "Customer journey"

        1. Chris G Silver badge

          Re: - Thou shalt not use the words "going forward"

          Can we also add ' Thou shalt not Reach Out'

          That's one of a number of phrases that trigger my slap reflex.

          1. Woza

            Re: - Thou shalt not use the words "going forward"

            Also "Thou shalt not touch base".

          2. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: - Thou shalt not use the words "going forward"

            Can we also add ' Thou shalt not Reach Out'

            Yes, "reach out" where did that suddenly appear from? The drivel mines of California I guess?

            Every time I hear it my reflex is to wretch out.

            1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
              Trollface

              Re: - Thou shalt not use the words "going forward"

              But if you don't reach out, will they be there?

        2. rskurat

          Re: - Thou shalt not use the words "going forward"

          or "sourcing" - manglement-speak is like wearing the right shoes or the right shirt, it means "I'm part of the club."

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Ditto for "utilised" where "use" will do just fine

      3. Mr Humbug

        I am confused

        Using 'leverage' or 'impact' as a verb should be gross misconduct.

    2. MJB7 Silver badge

      Re: I have yet to see a Powerpoint of any worth.

      I have. I used to attend lectures of the Cambridge University Astronomical Society. There were (of course) many bad presentations, but there were also some very good ones †. It's really hard to talk about astronomy without showing *either* pretty pictures that your telescope has taken *or* graphs (I tended to prefer the "graphs" lectures, but that's personal taste).

      † I have a theory about Professor Martin Rees: if he wants to, he can give a bad lecture. This theory is just like String Theory; intellectually very attractive, but entirely without any experimental evidence.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: I have yet to see a Powerpoint of any worth.

        Pretty pictures are fine. But graphs and other actual data are better given as handouts that you can take home for actual use and review than as a PowerPoint slide.

      2. Lee D Silver badge

        Re: I have yet to see a Powerpoint of any worth.

        A slideshow of images is a different thing altogether. The subject then *is* the image. Rather than repeating what the image clearly shows.

        I found proper exceptions: Dave Gorman. And Prof. Brian Cox latest tour that I intended (purely because humungous 8K images of the deepest universe are pretty... but even he knows to just have them as background while talking about something that needs no informational slides for him to explain).

    3. JohnFen Silver badge

      > There is nothing worse than having read the entire slide, getting the point, but being held to that wait-for-the-clicker moment to read the next one while people waffle on.

      This, so very much. Also, it drives home the fact that these presentations almost always take an hour to say what it would take a normal human being about 10 minutes to say.

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
        Boffin

        Best presentation I ever saw at a conference was a reasonably long one relating to some scientific investigation/endeavour, and had a comic strip running long the bottom of it.

        So slide to slide it was telling a story, and at the end the presenter simply asked "and I guess you all want to know how things finally concluded" and put up a totally blank slide except for the cartoon conclusion at the bottom, whilst verbally summarising the end results of the experimental investigation.

      2. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

        There is something worse: a presentation scheduled for a 15 minute slot, and a statement of the type "slide 2 of 65" in the corner. You just know this is going to go WAY over time, and that the presenter hasn't thought properly about what his core message actually is. You also know most slides will contain a load of irrelevant information. I really would like an automatic tool that cuts down all presentations to a reasonable number (say one per minute tops), by randomly removing slides. Failing that, as session chair at such a conference, I would love to have a trapdoor installed, so the speaker can be removed from the stage unceremoniously when he overstays his welcome (or before, depending on my mood).

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          I like the trap door idea, but I think I'd prefer the use of the Vaudevillian shepherd's hook because that would be funnier.

      3. rskurat

        Or 5 minutes to read

    4. 2+2=5 Silver badge

      > I have yet to see a Powerpoint of any worth. [...] I see no value in Powerpoints whatsoever.

      Then you're clearly a 'do-er'. I regularly have to produce short presentations because we have too many people with fingers in the pie. They are not necessarily managers and certainly not workers, but that worst of all breeds: people who have the power to say 'no'.

      Whenever some issue arises, the only hope for getting them up-to-speed and (with luck) being able to get them to agree on a course of action is to produce a quick Powerpoint. So it's two slides to remind them what we intended to do; one or two slides to show the problem; and another one or two to give the solution options and costs.

      While painful, there is at least one advantage: there is some evidence for later when they have completely forgotten what they previously agreed and are challenging why something is a particular way in the design. :-)

    5. swm Silver badge

      When I taught computer science I used word (what?) for my "slides". Powerpoint was landscape and word was portrait, a much better match for showing code. I never read the slides (I assumed the students could read) but added information to the information on the slides. I also handed out a (reduced) paper copy of all of the slides so the students could concentrate on the material rather than trying to copy down the slides.

      I noticed that some students, in lab, would have these lecture slide copies for reference.

      I got good reviews from the students.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Spice it up a bit

    "Opening a blank slide and keying in some text will make PowerPoint recommend a photograph to reflect the words..."

    I do so hope there isn't a NSFW filter on that, it could make meetings so much more entertaining.

    1. illuminatus

      Re: Spice it up a bit

      Oooh! Powerpoint context roulette...

      1. pick six words

      2. choose a word form the list at random.

      3. you must display the first image suggestion provided

    2. Will Godfrey Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Spice it up a bit

      Especially if it's a talk about English Pubs, such as the Cock Inn.

      I'm thinking of the one in Ide Hill village actually. Traditional Pub, lovely atmosphere right by the village green.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ecommend a photograph to reflect the words

      or better still, a bestiality video from "that" collection that you thought you stored on an external hard drive when, in reality, you were saving it to the MS cloud...

  14. JohnFen Silver badge

    The first sign that your presentation might be going wrong...

    ...is using PowerPoint (or similar).

    In the decades that I've been watching presentations, I don't think I've ever seen a PowerPoint presentation that's done anything except distract from what the presenter is saying.

  15. Howard Hanek
    Windows

    And then what?

    The 'Snowfall' screen saver kicks in and covers it up?

    1. swm Silver badge

      Re: And then what?

      or Micro$oft auto update starts.

  16. Sleep deprived
    Happy

    OS wizard now?

    Could Microsoft now release an OS design advisor and run it against its own Windows versions?

  17. chivo243 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    How is it possible

    to make death by PowerPoint any easier or better?

  18. N2 Silver badge

    Hello

    It looks like your presentation is 256 slides too long

    Either your audience will have fallen asleep or be very close to killing you.

    1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

      Re: Hello

      265 slides? I call that an eleven seconds video clip.

  19. Jonathan Richards 1

    Sinfulness

    > Reading The Slides Out Loud

    Well, that's better than almost silently and with barely visible lip movement, I guess. I would characterize the cardinal sin as "Turning your back to your audience to look at the screen and then reading the slides out loud". Sadly, I've seen it done far too many times.

    The best presentation advice I ever saw was to treat your material as a story - it has a setup, an exposition, a moment of drama (or at least hopefully some sort of revelation, otherwise why bother?), and a resolution. Story-board it like a movie short, and then create five or six slides with no more than ten words on any one.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Sinfulness

      "Turning your back to your audience to look at the screen and then reading the slides out loud".

      Public speaking is a skill that requires practice and effort, PP cons people into believing that just with this benighted piece of s/w they can shine and delight an audience with their pithy and occasionaly amusing slides and witty banter with the audience (the latter is of course deep into fantasy lala land).

      The reality is, most casual presenters brains switch to read only the moment they step up in front of their audience.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But did they fix...

    ...the unstoppable animations, that not even Ctrl-Alt-Del could cut them short?

    It was all the rage, back then, to use a NSFW image, an unskippable animation, and a loud orgarsmic female moan. Or a guy yelling GET BACK TO WORK at full lungs.

    You still have the moan version on Whatsapp these days.

    The title was something like "Your order" or "Your purchase" or "Soccer results", whatever enticed anyone to open the e-mail attachment.

  21. yatsura2016

    About equal to the size of Texas

    So that's what they have done with Encarta.

  22. s. pam
    Pirate

    I want a poison dart gun for any Powerpoint preso

    One more moppet, one more feckwit reading their slides and BANG, dart o' sedation right in the neck.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft bragged that since its appearance it has clocked up over one billion slides

    I think I was in that meeting today....

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ensure employees stay on message in visual terms at least

    you know them clips that hold your eyelids up, clockwork-orange style? Yeah, that's it, see? OF COURSE YOU DO.... Now, where's me bonus?! :(

  25. David Harper 1

    I'm slightly disappointed ...

    ... that nobody has yet mentioned the classic Dilbert "Powerpoint Poisoning" cartoon from 2000:

    https://dilbert.com/strip/2000-08-16

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For me, the presentation package rarely matters

    If I give a presentation, I do the test run without a computer.

    This is (a) to ensure what I say is compelling enough not to need slide based embellishments, (b) to make sure that I know which slides DO matter (typically graphs, a descriptive diagram or the one picture that does indeed replace a lot of words and (c) as protection against a tech or physical fail. Anything that shows up in (b) can be printed if need be as backup.

    I also don't have so many words on a slide that it takes people 5 minutes to read it because that is a totally pointless exercise and anyone doing it should be banned from presenting until they have learned their lesson and I put that here just by way of illustration of why that is so MASSIVELY irritating..

    Typically, my use of slides is twofold: (1) illustrative, to make things clear or add some amusement (I hate boring presentations) and (2) to keep me on track, which means that slides usually only contain 10 words at most because the content has to come from me as speaker.

    Last but not least, the first thing I either ignore or actively remove is a lectern. I know lab rats like to hide behind them when-they-read-their-presentation-in-a-voice-and-body-posture-that-says-they-would-rather-be-back-behind-their-desk-and-could-everybody-please-stop-looking-at-them-but-not-fall-asleep *, but in the 30 or so years that I had to explain things to people I have used it exactly once, and that was to rest my own laptop on it.

    When you're presenting, you have been granted the use of a bit of people's most precious resource in the world: their time. Don't present if you cannot treat that with the respect it deserves.

    As for software, I hate Powerpoint. Too many pointless bells and whistles get in the way of the actual story.

    * That is not their fault, it's just a mistake to assume all experts are good with audiences

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: For me, the presentation package rarely matters

      "or add some amusement (I hate boring presentations)"

      In my experience, there is no slide so amusing that it can make a boring presentation not-boring. At best, it can only distract you from the boring presentation for a brief moment.

      "which means that slides usually only contain 10 words at most"

      The only words that should appear on any slide are labels for the data visualization being presented. If the slide is not presenting data visualization, or is not purely decorative, it shouldn't exist.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: For me, the presentation package rarely matters

        In my experience, there is no slide so amusing that it can make a boring presentation not-boring. At best, it can only distract you from the boring presentation for a brief moment.

        But that's the whole point: a presentation is basically telling a story. If you cannot make that story interesting for your audience, either you or the audience is wasting their time.

  27. Aussie Doc
    Coffee/keyboard

    It does really just sound like the 2019 Cloud version of Clippy.

  28. rskurat

    Here's a tip from an Anglophone Intelligence: how about 'effective' rather than 'impactful'?

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