• ARRSE have partnered with Armadillo Merino to bring you an ARRSE exclusive, generous discount offer on their full price range.
    To keep you warm with the best of Merino gear, visit www.armadillomerino.co.uk and use the code: NEWARRSE40 at the checkout to get 40% off!
    This superb deal has been generously offered to us by Armadillo Merino and is valid until midnight on the the 28th of February.

No point to PowerPoint

#1
Powerpoint presentations, beloved of the business executive, are so ubiquitous that there are even PowerPoint presentations on how to do a PowerPoint presentation.


Now research claims to have proved what millions of bored workers have suspected all along - they have little power and even less point.

According to the report, the brain cannot cope with having too much information thrown at it at once.

Having someone speak and point to a screen full of facts and figures at the same time causes it to switch off.

A speech would be far less of a waste of time, the research claims.

The study, at the University of New South Wales, branded PowerPoint presentations a disaster and called for them to be scrapped.

Prof John Sweller said there was a scientific explanation for a room full of PowerPoint viewers yawning and looking at their watches after a couple of minutes.

He said: "If you have ever wondered why your eyes start glazing over as you read those dot points on the screen, at the same time words are being spoken, it is because it is difficult to process information if it is coming in the written and spoken form at the same time."

PowerPoint is a Microsoft program for PCs. It allows a presentation to be designed in a series of slides which are beamed to a wall or a big screen for the speaker to use as visual aids. But what tends to happen is that the speaker - often a nervous executive, trainer or sales boss - merely repeats the same words as contained in the slides, so the audience gets the information twice. Speakers also tend to fill the screens with pie charts, graphs, slogans and bullet points, often in capital letters for emphasis.

That kind of repetition makes the brain switch off, which could explain why so many audiences end up bored out of their minds during vital but dull displays at conferences.

Prof Sweller said notes should not be read aloud from a display. Doubling up does not double the chances of the message getting across.

He added: "The use of the PowerPoint presentation has been a disaster. It should be ditched. It is effective to speak to a diagram, because it presents information in a different form.

"But it is not effective to speak the same words that are written, because it is putting too much load on the mind and decreases your ability to understand what is being presented.

"PowerPoint can backfire if the information on the screen is the same as that which is verbalised because the audience's attention will be split."

Prof Sweller believes there is a limited amount of information that a person can process at once.
 
#2
My personal 'PP' gripe occurs when presenters read the slide word for word and then just move onto the next slide. (I can read, I do not need a muppet to read it for me!)
 
#3
Prof Sweller believes there is a limited amount of information that a person can process at once.[/quote]

Sorry, you lost me... maybe if you had some form of presentation on the matter I could go through it again...
 
#4
No but seriously. There is truth in what you say, death by viewfoil has now become death by powerpoint. You only wake up when they add some snazzy film clip aka Brecon stylee.
 
#5
Yes but these facts are hardly based on your average person, the study is from Australia!!! room full of Brits or room full of Ozzies, my bet would be the room full of Brits would get the point everytime compared to the Ozzie room...
 
#6
If a lesson is sheiser, then the PPT is also gonna be a load of cack. Its up to the person delivering the presentation to make sure the PPT is interesting and not rammed full of words.

The learning/point should be delivered via the speaker, with the help of props. Not the other way round.
 
#8
Powerpoint is a much abused medium. It tends to be a lazy mans way of presenting or teaching.

It should be an aid, not a single method of presenting.

If I am giving for example, a 40 minute lesson, I will use PP for no more than 15 minutes. If it is a lesson that has a ton of text on it, bin it and have the written word as a hand out. There's nowt more dull than endless screens full of blurr. Humans have an attention span of a little over 20 minutes. Even less if you just bombard the audience with PP slide after PP slide; regardless of the subject or content. At least when it was view foils, the amount of slides produced was inversly proportional to the time the instructor could be bothered to make them.

And ffs, using clever whizzy animations and 'funny' sounds aint clever or funny. Its tonk and looks like a tescos trolley collector has been let loose on the presentation.

Dark blue two tone background with yellow arial font is the only acceptable format. Anything else just looks soo 'Social Studies teacher' (acceptable if of course you are a social studies teacher).

Keep it simple, short and above all, no fcuking silly sounds and animations!
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#11
Powerpoint is the last hiding place of the illiterate corporate clone bore.

The same people that 'run things up the flagpole' because they've heard some clone exec use the term, are the same people that think that they are in the big league if they can point at a screen like they've seen in the movies when the good guys are about to go in and give the bad guys a kicking. Ever got a hard-on when you've seen people (in uniform) pointing at a vertical see-through map? These people have!

If one can talk in the simplest, most effective and direct terms, without preamble or bullsh!t, then one's message gets across effectively and others can then get back to their beers and whoring.
 
#12
PP can be really boring to have to pay attention to, especially when all they are doing is reading off the screen (as stated above), it can also be very confusing when there is way too much information on the screen.

We're supposedly taught how to use PP for our presentations that we have to do, yet our lecturers are crap in giving their own presentations so not entirely sure how we're supposed to learn anything :?
 
#13
tattooedlady said:
PP can be really boring to have to pay attention to, especially when all they are doing is reading off the screen (as stated above), it can also be very confusing when there is way too much information on the screen.

Hope that wasn't me you were referring to! :oops:


BTW I use Powerpoint a lot for work. You need to avoid lots of words on screen and use it more as an aid Memoire and speak from your personal knowledge. Use Tone & Pitch in your voice to deliver a lesson that will be remembered and make the audience take notes, that way they might actually gain some benefit from what you said. :D
 
#14
As we used to say in the ARRC, if the mission statement doesn't fit nicely on the slide, change the mission statement.
Watching our brethren from across the Atlantic, PP has largely replaced documents. This is a tragedy as no one bothers to fill in the notes so you can understand what is meant by the pithy bullet points. We'll be next so watch this space.
 
#15
I read a great little tip on a connected site; discover the B key it allows you to switch the image off so you can address the audience without them all remaining in a coma fixedly staring at the last slide. When you need to go back to the image or move on just hit the B key again.
 
#16
After reading ur comments on PP it was obvious u make, either wittingly or unwittingly, refernce to the style of MOI or BIT. I have left the army and wasnt an instructor but have achieved a teacher training qual and have just finished delivering a ressetlement course. I predominately use PP with s**t loads of video clips and it works a dream with icebreakers. It is dependednt on ur audience - are they - reflectors, pragmatists, theorists or an activist. So PP is a huge tool which used correctly and with a non-military approach works tip top. Its all in the delivery - we are all ex-military and use PP and have been attained one, if not the, best trainers in the countrty in our field - hope that dosent sound too big headed but its a point that PP can work
 
#17
When I first left the army I was spammed by my company to carry out a number of training sessions. These I did using Powerpoint as an aid, not a prop. I handed out colour printouts of all the screens at the start of each session and informed those attending to make extra notes if they wished, otherwise take them home to line the budgies cage. It was up to them what they got out of the session. Some of these pages ended up on differant company notice boards, others were never seen again....

For Fire Training I sub-contracted to a local firm to carry out hands-on practise with fire equipment instead of the usual film every 3 months.
 
#18
theres no substitute for doing, rather than being talked at. In some subjects the use of powerpoint is unavoidable but should it only be used to identify key facts then get some hands on.
 
#20
western said:
I read a great little tip on a connected site; discover the B key it allows you to switch the image off so you can address the audience without them all remaining in a coma fixedly staring at the last slide. When you need to go back to the image or move on just hit the B key again.
That's really good, isn't it? I won't stop playing with that, next time I'm teaching. I hope I don't have any epileptics in the class....
 

Latest Threads

New Posts