January 31, 2011
Training Tip 5: What Not to Do (The Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation)
Peter Norvig's clever demonstration of how computer slideshow software would have mangled the Gettysburg Address provides more than its share of laughs, but there is also much to learn from it.
In an accompanying essay, Norvig seems to suggest that Powerpoint presentations are always bad. Antipathy toward slide shows is understandable: A large majority of the ones I've seen have been poorly done.
However, it's important to keep things in perspective. Slide shows are merely tools. They can produce good results or bad results, depending on the skill of the workman.
One of the goals of Training Tips is to help ethics trainers make sure their presentation skills are workmanlike. We will be devoting multiple columns toward helping you come up with high quality audiovisual aids, including slide shows. In the meantime, we welcome your thoughts in the Comment section below.