Death by PowerPoint

Let me state this for the record:

I fucking hate PowerPoint.

How many meetings do we — and by “we” I mean all us techno weeny types — sit through in a given month where the litepro gets dragged out, someone arses around with connectors and screen settings, and BOOM, there they are: three slides of awesome bullet points. Hmm?

It happens a lot. And often it’s us doing it — I know I’ve fallen into the trap on more than one occasion.

Well, sit back and take a lesson in how to do it right:

Dick Hardt presents Identity 2.0 at OSCON 2005.

Download, enjoy, and digest. Oh, and hope that some managers get to see this too… ;-)


  1. This guy is really amazing. Can't we get him to Lotusphere? :)Vince Schuurman#
  2. That is incredible. I posted a link from my site as well, because the world would be a better place if more people could do even half of this. Thanks!Ben Langhinrichs#
  3. Funny and interesting at the same time; a really good show. I agree with Ben that any other presentation will from now on bore me to tears.Jan-Piet Mens#
  4. Great presentation!

    At my workplace, we have a department that's composed mostly of consultants. They're in charge of what goes on our stands at a show we're putting on soon. (An internal one, so nothing that special!)

    Their suggestion? We can demo the webmail system we have in pilot with a looping PowerPoint presentation…

    I kid you not. No thought to putting up a live demo - which, of course, allows interaction with the audience and questions to be answered by way of demonstration. They want PowerPoint.

    What a bloody boring stand that would be! Fortunately, I won my battle and will be demoing the webmail system live.

    But I have to wonder about a culture where PowerPoint is the stock solution for such things. It's depressing, but not as depressing as realising that these people make decisions on what products we should use - probably based on static PowerPoint presentations, never having seen the product actually running, much less having used it themselves…

    I'd love to do a presentation like that one, but I fear that it'd never get past our Comms department. They'd be afraid that it would be going too fast, and possibly be inaccessible to some people. Which might sound daft, but they have a point. That presentation style will work really well with techies, who you can assume are alert and bright and can read more than five words per minute. But I fear we're stuck with the choice of live demo or PowerPoint in most other situations…
    Philip Storry#
  5. Thanks for highlighting it Ben. I passed it on to several people in my department, who have some presentations coming up soon.

    Anyone know what he might be using to put together that type of presentation?Simon Barratt#
  6. Brilliant. I have a presentation to do tomorrow so started to set up the presentation in a similar style. But unfortunately preparing and giving presentation is only a (small) part of my day to day job, so I had to give up and go back to boring flat PP. One day I'd love to try it out if I'm allowed the time to be creative and not just reactive. :-\AJP#
  7. Simon, he uses Keynote. On the Mac ;-) Ben Poole#
  8. Damn, I'm gonna get a Mac!Simon Barratt#
  9. You know it makes sense :-)

    If you absolutely HAVE to use presentation software, Keynote is pretty nice. At least, I find I get better results in it than with PP: Poole#
  10. Ben, what Mac would you recommend for home use, that the kids can smack about (are there decent kids games/educational stuff?)

    Something middle of the road, not for work, for someone who has never played with a Mac before.

    I am seriously interested!!Simon Barratt#
  11. I ihave an iMac G4 -- the classic bendy 50s lamp stand version -- and I've owned it for over a year. Bought it for a pretty decent deal on eBay. You should be able to pick a top-spec iMac G5 or eMac for peanuts, and for a family PC that will rock. Certainly an 800 MHz G4 does the business with Tiger, so go from there.Ben Poole#
  12. Dang! OK, I am going to duct tape several folks at work to their chairs and then run this presentation. Heck, he does such a fantastic job that even a non-techie would still be entertained AND would learn something.Joe Litton#
  13. Well Ben, I just ordered a iMac G5 2Ghz 20" screen, let the fun begin…

    Hope I can count on you for support!!!!Simon Barratt#
  14. Typical! The minute I order the damn thing, it is obsolete!

    Now trying to get my order modified to to get the 2.1Ghz version is proving difficuly. The website designed to take care of this, claims to know nothing of my order! And the phone support line is currentlt plating Cold Play!Simon Barratt#
  15. More on presentations, this time from Mike Evangelist. Here, he compares and contrasts the recent presentations from Gates & Ozzie for Microsoft Live! with Steve Jobs' typical Keynote style:

    Interesting… :-) Ben Poole#
  16. Even more! “Gates, Jobs & the Zen aesthetic” Poole#

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I’m a software architect / developer / general IT wrangler specialising in web, mobile web and middleware using things like node.js, Java, C#, PHP, HTML5 and more.

Best described as a simpleton, but kindly. You can read more here.