A politician in Sweden named Matthias Poehm has decided not to focus on taxes, healthcare or jobs but something that has been really bothering him: the boredom created by PowerPoint presentations. According to CNN.com, “Matthias Poehm would rather see it all stopped. No more discussion points. No more, “Next slide, please.” No more droopy eyes tired of following along.”
He is not saying completely get rid of PowerPoint, as it can be an effective business tool, but he does want everyone to worry about the level of boredom it is causing in business meetings. He is so concerned about this boredom that he has actually formed a political party based on the cause called the Anti PowerPoint Party (APPP). The APPP sees itself as the advocate of approximately 250 million citizens worldwide, who, every month, are obliged to be present during boring presentations,” the party’s web site says. The site uses the example of a PowerPoint presentation for the U.S. Army that was supposed to be highlighting factors that influenced the Afghanistan War. U.S. commander General Stanley McChrystal said of the presentation: “When we understand that slide, we’ll have won the war.”
Poehm’s main argument is that a PowerPoint presentation can take the most exciting of topics and make them boring. In business people end up completely relying on them to make a point instead of really working on being a good speaker and drawing the crowd in that way. PowerPoint should be used more like cue cards but the message you are trying to convey should be coming from you.
Of all the things to take a political stance on, this seems like perhaps the least important but conveying business ideas in a smart and effective way should be a priority in the business world. PowerPoint is a tool used to aide a person trying to make a point but it should not be a crutch. Well I guess I am taking a stance on PowerPoint, but I’m not joining a party.
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