BBC “celebrates” 25 years since the inception of what became Powerpoint. Oh my, how far we’ve come – not!

While I sit at Sydney Airport waiting for my flight to San Francisco and New York, a friend has forwarded me this story from the BBC reviewing the progress the world has made since Powerpoint became one of the main knowledge transfer technologies (to give it very polite credit).

Written by Max Atkinson (who is on my blog roll to the right) he starts this way:

“In the past 25 years, I’ve asked hundreds of people how many PowerPoint presentations they’ve seen that came across as really inspiring and enthusiastic.

Most struggle to come up with a single example, and the most optimistic answer I’ve heard was “two”.

So what are the main problems?”

And from there he outlines many of the criticisms which have been levelled consistently at how Powerpoint (and Keynote to a lesser degree) have been used to abuse audience over the past two decades. Click on the slide show to see the criticisms in action. And if you can’t see what’s wrong with the slides, you have truly been assimilated by the Borg!

I’ve gathered the four topic headers below and you’ll notice they are the usual suspects when it comes to a critical analysis of presentation tools:

Voila_Capture240If you read the article (located here) you ought head to the comments section, where it’s if as readers are suddenly in receipt of a revelation! Voila_Capture241 A sample of a few (right).

Just goes to show there’s a long road still to travel to bring the magic of presenting to audiences as well as those who wish to bring their presentations to another level – one better matched to how humans actually learn and remember.

On this trip, I’ll be in Manhattan and surrounds so if you’re in the mood for a summer get together to discuss presentation skills or share your ideas (especially about how you use Keynote) or you’d like a quickie seminar/workshop at short notice, just email me: les at

I’ll be in San Francisco early September for meetings at Apple, then getting ready for a one day Presentation Magic workshop in Australia’s Northern Territory capital, Darwin.

Back in the US (New York and Boston) in mid-November, so there’s another possibility of a get together with like minded presenters.

One response to “BBC “celebrates” 25 years since the inception of what became Powerpoint. Oh my, how far we’ve come – not!

  1. Wasn’t sure who Max Hutchinson was until I realised you were referring to me! But TVM in spite of that for publicising the stuff I wrote for the BBC website.

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