It's the Story, Stupid: Don't Let Presentation Software Keep You from Getting Your Story Across

His full-time job is to keep software-loving scientists and engineers from burying their “whats” in their “hows.” It’s not easy, because PowerPoint’s “hows” get more numerous and distracting with each new release. MORE, the original presentation software, was a 300k program that turned outlines into “bullet charts,” its two-word noun for slides. The latest versions of PowerPoint want 10 megs of RAM and come with 25 megs worth of files. Nearly all of it is about “how” rather than “what.” —Doc SearlesIt’s the Story, Stupid: Don’t Let Presentation Software Keep You from Getting Your Story Across (Doc Searles)

From 1998, but very appropriate in light of all the PowerPoint links I’ve recently come across. Near the bottom I found this gem: “Edit aggressively. Less is more. Create a market for your next presentation by leaving the sequel out of this one.” Of course, that assumes the speaker wants to present.

Hmm… much of the best advice on giving presentations doesn’t address the needs of students, who aren’t experts in the subjects they are asked to present on, and who are often not particularly interested in the course. I suppose from a marketing perspective that’s not an audience that will pay for a book of presentation tips… but still, I’m interested in anything that will make canned presentations more bearable and educational for the other 29 students in the class (at least some of whom may, possibly, be interested…)

Found this one via Scott Adams (the Arkansas Tech University faculty member — neither the cartoonist nor the programmer).