Monday, December 15, 2003

Does PowerPoint Make You Dumb?

Yesterday the New York Times Magazine had its annual "The Year in Ideas" issue. Ideas Futures Markets in Everything and Proving You're Human I had discussed in earlier posts here and here. Instead let us discuss whether PowerPoint Makes You Dumb?

As an avid PowerPoint enthusiast, I found the Times discussion quite misleading. The NASA scientists followed the advice of Tufte, filling the slides full of information that made them impossible to follow. One should not try to give complex ideas in a presentation; rather give an overview of these ideas and leave the messy details to technical articles. PowerPoint makes it easy to give overview talks and hard to give talks full of ugly details, crammed slides and detailed formulas, almost always leading to better talks.

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