This website covers topics on knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

Powerpoint and gov't work

Frank Patrick's Focused Performance Weblog: What's in Your Strategy

That first presentation I made was done in traditional "work the plan" Powerpoint style, slamming my message into the brains of my audience through carefully crafted slides building my message. For my second talk, I shifted to a hyperlinked process flow chart that readers here should be familiar with.

Mike Sivertsen commented that he liked the switch from PPT and included a link to an interesting discussion on the Edward Tufte website (no fan of Powerpoint himself). Essentially, the discussion agrees that Powerpoint by itself is a poor knowledge transfer medium:

PowerPoint did not create all these problems any more than Outlook created get-rich-quick scams on the Internet. PowerPoint did, however, facilitate the packaging and distribution of a mindset that diminishes clear communication and dilutes the dissemination of knowledge.

I feel that the best solution to the problem is for the recipients of information, whether they be senior officials or seminar audiences or individual citizes to simply demand better from the presenters. And it has to be done frequently and vigorously until the prevailing mindsets behind the use (and misuse) of PowerPoint are overcome for the better. Everywhere in life we tolerate mediocrity, our reward is more mediocrity -- and visual communications are no exception.

There are many tools out there than can and have been useful for information transferred, when used the right way. Powerpoint is one of those tools, and it is frequently used the wrong way because it is so easy and so prevalent in business. That said, I would like to hear more about how people use other presentation tools, such as the way Frank Patrick suggests above.

Project disclaimers

Building information literacy