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Post Power-Point Trauma Syndrome

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Have you ever sat through and silently suffered during a PowerPoint presentation?

Most likely, you have more than a few times. Together with ten other teachers, I have been asked (or is it told?) to do a PowerPoint presentation about my History elective subject for secondary level students at the international school where I teach, near Barcelona.

I will not do it.

The accepted "wisdom" is that in business (and therefore schools too, because money-makers know best) you use PowerPoint as automatically as you put on a suit and tie. It is generally taken as a given that "PP" is the best way to explain things to a group of people.

PowerPoint is probably the world's most popular business "tool." Undoubtedly, it misused by many, but I (along with increasing numbers of its victims) say it is by design, bad for communication.

Seemingly, there are a few brave souls who dare to go against the conventional idea that PowerPoint is "the way it's done.' And they are not only from audiences who have sat through too many uninspiring and confusing "PP' presentations.

One director of a large medical company admits: "a presentation (in whatever form) is telling a story, and stories require careful assembly. Yet, to the uninitiated or those who simply don't know to ask, PowerPoint by itself is a device that reinforces bad habits."

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Brett Hetherington is a freelance writer and teacher living in Catalonia, northern Spain. Some of his work can be found in The Australian Journalism Review, Barcelona Metropolitan, Catalonia Today, Reportage magazine, OpEd News and the Costa Brava (more...)
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