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Anti-PowerPoint Party Formed In Switzerland

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the decide-on-the-slide dept.

Businesses 113

angry tapir writes "Many people dislike sitting through a meeting being driven with presentation software. Microsoft's PowerPoint is perhaps the best known and most hated of the slide presentation programs out there, but few would take a political stand over it. However, that's exactly what Switzerland's Anti-PowerPoint Party (APPP) seeks to do. From the article: 'According to the APPP, the use of presentation software costs the Swiss economy 2.1 billion Swiss francs (US$2.5 billion) annually, while across the whole of Europe, presentation software causes an economic loss of €110 billion (US$160 billion). APPP bases its calculations on unverified assumptions about the number of employees attending presentations each week, and supposes that 85 percent of those employees see no purpose in the presentations.'"

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Candidate? (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 3 years ago | (#36662838)

Will they be running Edward Tufte?

Re:Candidate? (4, Funny)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 3 years ago | (#36662900)

No, Stalin; because nobody can make bullet points like him.

Re:Candidate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36662924)

Very funny

Re:Candidate? (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 3 years ago | (#36662960)

What about Vasily Zaitsev? No one could fire bullet points like him!

Re:Candidate? (1)

carpenoctem63141 (2266368) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663818)

All these productivity issues would be solved if they could just figure out that magic bullet.

Re:Candidate? (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663588)

They should make a PowerPoint presentation to communicate this to the masses!

Anyone else hover the link in the summary to see if it ends in a .pptx ?

Re:Candidate? (1)

oztiks (921504) | more than 3 years ago | (#36668200)

This whole APPP thing is like something from a Douglas Adams book!

Meetings (2)

SniperJoe (1984152) | more than 3 years ago | (#36662878)

I'd imagine that their meetings are quite short. Hell, anyone who has sat through an inane PowerPoint presentation (which is likely all of us) can sympathize, however I think it's a matter of using PowerPoint effectively and using good public speaking skills that is the core issue, not PowerPoint itself.

Re:Meetings (3, Insightful)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 3 years ago | (#36662922)

Correct. I remember sitting through horrible presentations with a speaker droning on before PowerPoint existed. I have also recently attended horrible presentations that did not use PowerPoint.

If someone cannot give a reasonable presentation, PowerPoint will not help them, and it will not actually make the presentation much worse.

Re:Meetings (4, Insightful)

formfeed (703859) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663440)

If someone cannot give a reasonable presentation, PowerPoint will not help them, and it will not actually make the presentation much worse.

It has the potential of just doing that: make bad presentations worse.

There is of course the bad use of power point: "Things I am talking about, things I will be talking about,... and here we are at point 4.1.1.1 subpoint b. If you still remember the rest of the structure which was on a previous slide, it could almost make sense. Ooops, that was too fast? don't worry I'll come back to it later, but you might not be able to see it back there anyway. No it is 12 point, It just looks like 6 point to you. Sorry, the labels are also kind of off."

But then there are also power-point specific issues. And not just Tufte is criticizing those: You're forced to shorten things into statements that fit on individual slides. Information appears and disappears without warning, the overall structure is hidden. In bad cases you can't concentrate on the speaker because summaries flash in and out of existence in the other corner of the room.

Colleges love power point. The theory is that multi channel presentation of redundant information increases retention. But some studies show, that retention might actually be lower. At the very least, power point can prevent the audience from thinking-along. Quite often, I think a handout would be the better solution: you don't have to cut quotes, everyone gets the same point size, people can go back and forth on their own and have an overview of the whole structure. Ooh, and even mark interesting points or write down questions.

Re:Meetings (2)

Cinder6 (894572) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663562)

The best professors I've ever had didn't use PowerPoint, but rather wrote things on the board. It was great because they would only write down the critical information, rather than the glut you usually get with PP presentations. I've had good professors that use PowerPoint have their slides only show a general overview, while they went over stuff in more detail--on the board. And then I've had professors that read the PPT verbatim. The "best" of those also had the lecture notes available online, so you would just go in and zone out for 70 minutes, waking up only if they mentioned homework or a test.

And yet, administrators constantly recommended powerpoint to that first group of professors...

Re:Meetings (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665498)

The best professors I've ever had didn't use PowerPoint, but rather wrote things on the board. It was great because they would only write down the critical information, rather than the glut you usually get with PP presentations. I've had good professors that use PowerPoint have their slides only show a general overview, while they went over stuff in more detail--on the board.

Probably the reason why is the professors are now forced to pace themselves.

The problem with powerpoint is that everyone thinks they can present, but few actually can. So you end up with slides crammed with information that's hard to see, and the speaker just runs through at speaking speed, which is a lot faster than note-taking or reading and comprehending.

Look at how people like Steve Jobs do their presentations - the slides merely highlight the topic being talked about, while the speaker is elucidating. This can play out in the academic world when the prof puts the topic up and brief points, then runs through the details on the board.

That way, the slide deck doesn't become the textbook and the presenter merely reading from it. Problem is, it takes knowledge, skill and practice to properly pace oneself and not simply present slide after slide of dense text.

The keys to a successful and effective presentation haven't changed, just the tools have given the plebes the impression that giving a presentation is a no-skill task that anyone can.

The act of forcing the speaker to write slows them down, often enough that the audience who would've been overwhelmed before actually has time to process the information and ask questions.

Re:Meetings (1)

WorBlux (1751716) | more than 3 years ago | (#36668038)

If your presentation isn't properly organized, not way in hell that your slide presentation will be.(power point just being one program that does computerized slides) That said,they are also pretty good for what slides were originally for. Presentations with a lot of pictures do well with power point. They are good at illustrating complex relationships or odd organization.At a certain point it would be more appropriate to provide handouts, but some people are just too lazy.

Re:Meetings (2)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663556)

Powerpoint did sap a lot of creativity away though. Sure they were boring meetings before, but what happened was a few people made some good Power Point presentations and people were impressed thus others started using it, although Power Point may not suit their communication style. Back when I was at school Power Point was the new toy on the block, Most Professors didn't use it. But I remember getting a few points less on an assignment where other students in the class used power point to discuss their point and I stayed with the traditional Black board (knowing that I can read the audiences Non-Verbal Queues and adjust my presentation to keep it interesting) However the students using Power Point got more points on a more professional looking presentation, although a lot of them were long and drawn out taking equal time on uninteresting/unimportant topics as it did with the more important and interesting topics. We should try to reduce power point from being required to a tool that can be handy for some cases.

Re:Meetings (2)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663812)

Yes but before PowerPoint the boring pictures intended to increase interest tended to be different each time. Now it's the same stupid Microsoft clip art cartoons each time.

Presentations can be done well or they can be done badly, even with PowerPoint there is a remote chance that someone can do one well. A good presentation is one that has all the information you need on the slides, so that you can review the slides later and still get the facts you need and someone who missed the presentation can figure out what happened from the slides. Leave off the cutesy effects and clip art. I've seen some good animation that works during a talk but it falls flat when the presentation is viewed later without narration or in a printout.

Best is to treat the talk as a talk. The slides are in the background but the speaker is the foreground. Put some examples on slides to illustrate the points being made, don't just repeat verbatim the words that are already written down.

And don't use some stupid corporate template!

Re:Meetings (1)

evildarkdeathclicheo (978593) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665172)

Yes and no. While I agree with everything you said, empirical evidence suggests that merely having PowerPoint running in a conference room lowers the collective IQ (which is only ever as high as the individual with the highest IQ) by 5-25 points.

Re:Meetings (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#36666762)

There has been at least one study that showed that people were less likely to remember information that was presented using PowerPoint. I remember seeing that study and wondering whether or not the findings were a result of people making bad use of PowerPoint rather than just a result of using PowerPoint. However at this point, the evidence suggests that using PowerPoint (except possibly in certain very special cases) is a mistake.

Re:Meetings (1)

australopithecus (215774) | more than 3 years ago | (#36668468)

If you have good public speaking skills and a copy machine, you probably don't need power point.

Re:Meetings (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#36668664)

There's an excellent Powerpoint Presentation [youtube.com] on this very phenomenon.

APPP's Figures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36662906)

"APPP ... and supposes that 85 percent of those employees see no purpose in the presentations."

So... pie chart?

Not Software Issue, But Behavior (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36662914)

It's not the software. Just about any presentation software can be used to create valuable, compelling presentations. The problem is most untrained/inexperienced presenters are satisfied with showing people a bunch of stats and clip art, without addressing any concrete topic, and concluding without actionable items.
 
The real problem is human behavior. Good luck opposing that with a political party.

Re:Not Software Issue, But Behavior (2)

thynk (653762) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663174)

I think the article fails to take into account the inane ideas that are made to look good via a power point presentation and become policy. Or maybe it's just companies that I have worked for that this happens.

Re:Not Software Issue, But Behavior (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663594)

Software encourages certain forms of behaviour. For example, PowerPoint has a misfeature that I've not seen in other presentation tools, where if your bullets don't fit on one slide it reduces their size. This makes it trivial for PowerPoint users to cram everything that they're going to say on the slides, rather than using them to highlight key points and putting the full description of what they're going to say on the annotated versions that are available for download later.

The very fact that presentation software exists and makes it easy to create slides means that you now get lots of slides produced. When every slide needed to be hand drawn on acetate, very few people had the patience to do it. Now, anyone can throw together a 50-slide PowerPoint presentation in a couple of hours and spend ages delivering it.

Re:Not Software Issue, But Behavior (2)

dogmatixpsych (786818) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663964)

That's why I think Apple's (Steve Jobs' et al.) use of presentation software is ideal - there's an image and a little text at most per slide. I try to keep that philosophy in mind when I give presentations - little text, lots of pictures, and me filling in the rest verbally. That minimalism doesn't always work in academic settings but I've had reasonable success in emulating the Apple style (I'm not saying they created that idea, Apple presenters just do a good job at using presentation software).

Re:Not Software Issue, But Behavior (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665670)

That's why I think Apple's (Steve Jobs' et al.) use of presentation software is ideal - there's an image and a little text at most per slide. I try to keep that philosophy in mind when I give presentations - little text, lots of pictures, and me filling in the rest verbally. That minimalism doesn't always work in academic settings but I've had reasonable success in emulating the Apple style (I'm not saying they created that idea, Apple presenters just do a good job at using presentation software).

The Apple style (I think it was Guy Kawasaki who started it - something along the lines of 10 slides, 10 words/slide, 10 minutes) is one where the slides merely augment, while the presenter (Jobs, etc.) is the primary focus. If you'll see how Apple keynotes are done, the slides appear behind the speaker - they are the background.

And you'll see that Jobs uses it only as a background - to add punch to his statements. And that's probably how slides should be - they are background to the speaker. Even the few times they should be in the foreground (a chart, for example), they're still background, with the speaker reading the chart - ensuring those who can't see the chart clearly can still grasp the gist.

Re:Not Software Issue, But Behavior (1)

dogmatixpsych (786818) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665766)

Great comment. That's exactly how slides should be in most cases. The difficulty comes in academic settings but even here we could all be better in our presentations. Another problem comes with presenters not being good enough speakers to be able to pull that style off, although if the material is compelling enough, the speaker is merely a conduit, regardless of his or her skill.

Re:Not Software Issue, But Behavior (1)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | more than 3 years ago | (#36668840)

where the slides merely augment, while the presenter (Jobs, etc.) is the primary focus.

It's a bit sad that you even need to make an argument like this. This isn't just an "Apple style" that was developed by Apple -- it's imitating the best speakers who have been around ever since slide projectors were developed.

The focus should almost always be on the speaker. Otherwise, why bother having a speaker? If the presentation is all in the projected document, it should just be sent around by email and not waste everyone's time in a meeting.

For me, slides are only for things that can be conveyed more effectively or efficiently in a visual form. Again, that seems like an obvious point -- why bother with slides otherwise? If it's not necessary, it's just scenery and should be treated as such -- in the same way that a set shouldn't distract from the actors in a play.

If I have a photo or a video or a diagram or a chart or a graph that I'm actually discussing, it gets a slide. If I have a long quotation by someone else that I'm actually discussing, it might get a slide to allow listeners to engage with it better (it helps to navigate things too, since they differentiate it from me and my voice). Occasionally, I might use a short bulleted list that appears periodically to track the general progress of an argument, though I generally view that as a crutch -- a good speaker should be able to convey argument structure by adequate verbal transitions and signposts, as well as body language and even planned movement around the stage area (when possible). When I'm not using any explicit visual aids, the slide is blank and usually black -- anything there would just distract the listeners from the actual content of the presentation, which is coming from the speaker.

Rhetoric used to be a required part of any liberal arts curriculum. Any decent speaker would realize that visual aids, handouts, etc. are often distracting unless they are necessary to show something that can't be effectively conveyed aloud, or for the sake of proper discussion, or for some other important purpose.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of presentations given today are not focused on the rhetoric. In that case, as I've already said, skip the forced meeting and send out an email. There's no point listening to someone talk if they're not going to bother focusing on what they're saying and how they're saying it.

Re:Not Software Issue, But Behavior (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36668360)

Again, you're blaming the software, and not the person. "Misfeatures" in Powerpoint be damned, a competent presenter sees to the content and format of their material.
 
I once sat through an excruciating presentation by a brilliant turtle biologist... on an overhead projector. He failed to explain what he was saying, why it mattered, and he buried the point of his presentation (carving up the range of box turtles with houses and such negatively impacts their behavior and survival) at the end.
 
Powerpoint would not have helped or hurt this man, although if he had asked me for help creating a Powerpoint, I would have rearranged his material and got him to point out the important bits.
 
You can claim "software encourages" or whatever, but in the end, it's still the people.

Good time to discuss alternatives (1, Interesting)

digitalderbs (718388) | more than 3 years ago | (#36662944)

If I may highjack this thread into an AskSlashdot, I'd like to ask others what they use. I'm in science and research, and I'd like to investigate alternatives, after having used PowerPoint through wine (crossover office) for a few years. I've had dozens too many red 'X's show up in presentations, and I'd like to have something that renders quickly, that is stable, and has good eye candy. Is Keynote decent? Are any of the png/svg based viewers for linux decent? Help!

Re:Good time to discuss alternatives (4, Interesting)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 3 years ago | (#36662970)

Keynote is WAY better than Powerpoint. Even PP can be okay though (if frustrating to actually use) if you use it properly. Unfortunately MS seems to design it to encourage abuse, rather than the opposite.

Re:Good time to discuss alternatives (3, Informative)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663200)

Keynote is WAY better than Powerpoint. Even PP can be okay though (if frustrating to actually use) if you use it properly. Unfortunately MS seems to design it to encourage abuse, rather than the opposite.

Having read Tufte and seen many good and bad presentations in both Keynote and PP, I disagree that one is better than the other. Bad presentations come from bad design principles and poor communication choices, not from software. Also, many of the problems associated with digital presentations are simply a case of the wrong people being invited to a meeting, or the meeting format being poorly suited for the content (10 minutes of ideas expanded to fill a 1 hour time slot, for instance).

GP: As for your red Xs, I suggest you paste special any content that isn't coming from an image file and select Picture (enhanced metafile).

Re:Good time to discuss alternatives (2)

ljw1004 (764174) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663760)

GP: As for your red Xs, I suggest you paste special any content that isn't coming from an image file and select Picture (enhanced metafile).

I definitely would NOT use Enhanced Metafiles (EMFs). Use Windows Metafiles (WMFs) instead.

My experience with writing latexEMF/WMF conversion a decade ago was that no applications had a really good grasp on EMFs -- on their dimensions, scaling factors, colors. Even today I observe that pictures copy/pasted from R into Excel2003 as EMF get their colors and cropping messed up when moving to Excel2010.

Sure, EMFs are new and 32bit while WMFs are boring old 16bit, and EMFs have some extra capabilities, but it's not worth it.

Re:Good time to discuss alternatives (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663356)

Bad carpenter with bad hammer is bad carpenter
Bad carpenter with good hammer is bad carpenter with less money in his pocket.

Re:Good time to discuss alternatives (2)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663494)

For *nix, try: Impress!ve [sourceforge.net]

Works on any deck of pdf / image files in a directory that you throw at it. Uses OpenGL effects... effectively! Not just as useless eye-candy (though the transitions available are posh), but to help visualize, highlight, and zoom into parts of your presentation as you go.

It won't actually help you create content, though. You'll still need some tools for that. Open/LibreOffice is still kinda squishy, but works (though still too PPT-like). Inkscape [inkscape.org] is worth the time investment for learning to create reasonably involved diagrams... I've more or less switched to it from xfig and Dia.

Re:Good time to discuss alternatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665618)

Uses OpenGL effects

And everyone will be really impressed when the Linux graphics drivers lock up the system.

Re:Good time to discuss alternatives (1)

porl (932021) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667570)

yeah, i would be. it is that rare an occurrence that i would be shocked and impressed. oh you were trolling, sorry.

Re:Good time to discuss alternatives (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36663110)

If you are doing science and research that involves math, the Beamer class in LaTeX is the most widely used tool. It allows for nice and consistent slides and easy integration of math, without the hassel of formatting.

Re:Good time to discuss alternatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36663390)

If you are doing science and research that involves math, the Beamer class in LaTeX is the most widely used tool. It allows for nice and consistent slides and easy integration of math, without the hassel of formatting.

But with the hassle of LaTeX... It will produce a PDF output, so no red X's or anything like that.

Some general LaTeX advice for newbies:

1. Get TeXLive. If it's not in there, it's not worth messing around with. If you're screwing around trying to build stuff, just stop.

2. For beginners doing beginner stuff, you should not run into bugs. If you do, you're copying some code you found on the web that uses an obsolete package. There is documentation for every module virtually every package on ctan.org, and they often indicate whether the package has been superseded.

3. Don't try to understand error messages; they're useless. Create a test case that reproduces the problem, and if you still can't figure it out, you've at least got a test case you can post on...

4. A good site for questions is http://tex.stackexchange.com/ and a good general reference is http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/LaTeX .

Re:Good time to discuss alternatives (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663662)

I'll second that. Just a few additional recommendations:

Look at some of the other themes. I think the default one is quite ugly. I prefer the Singapore theme, which is pretty minimalist and leaves most of the slide for your material, without using loads of it for distracting stuff.

I use the pdfmarginpar package for annotations. With a little conditional macro, I can generate one version of the PDF for display and another for download. The download version has a load of notes on it that summarise what I'm going to be saying while the slide is up. I think this is really important, because quite often people will miss the presentation and will only have the downloaded slides to work out what you were saying. The downloadable version should contain 90% of what they'd get by attending the presentation, but you probably don't want anything like that much information on the slides themselves or people will be distracted reading instead of listening.

Oh, and if you're doing anything involving code snippets on slides, you need to mark your frames as [fragile] before you use the listings package in them. Took me a while to work out why mine were failing to compile...

Re:Good time to discuss alternatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665748)

Beamer sucks for Presentations as it's nearly impossible to make your own masters. So every Beamer presentation looks exactly the same. Plus you can't embed movies in it.

Latex based alternatives (1)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663158)

Especially in the fields you mention, you might want to look into latex based options such as beamer or powerdot. Both work in Lyx if you prefer not to hand-code the latex

Re:Good time to discuss alternatives (1)

16384 (21672) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663168)

Latex beamer is often used for scientific presentations because it's much easier to include formulas. You don't even need to know Latex, you can write the presentations using Lyx. The resulting presentation is a pdf.

Re:Good time to discuss alternatives (4, Interesting)

jrminter (1123885) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663338)

I have used Keynote and especially like the presenter view. Find it far superior to PowerPoint.

I have also used the beamer class for LaTeX (from the TeX Live distribution), using R for data analysis that needed to be included. I have also used Inkscape to draw SVG graphics to be included - typically as PDF (saved as EPS, converted to compressed PDF using epstopdf.) This latter approach has the advantage of being completely Open Source. All the packages are well-supported and have active user communities that answer well-posed questions. This is not a WYSIWG approach, but can make a good presentation. The approach follows Donald Knuth's planned workflow: the author concentrates on the content of the presentation and leaves the typesetting to the computer. The software encourages a well-structured presentation.

As others have noted, any presentation software can be used thoughtlessly (without regard for the audience) to make a horrible presentation. I admit that I am drawn to Knuth's approach of concentration my efforts on what I want to communicate to my audience and trying to give them a good return on their investment of their time and to let the software help to help achieve that goal./PP

Re:Good time to discuss alternatives (1)

vikisonline (1917814) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663488)

Latex beamer is excellent. Its not too hard to learn either. :D Science community likes latex.

Re:Good time to discuss alternatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36663836)

If I may highjack this thread into an AskSlashdot, I'd like to ask others what they use. I'm in science and research, and I'd like to investigate alternatives, after having used PowerPoint through wine (crossover office) for a few years. I've had dozens too many red 'X's show up in presentations, and I'd like to have something that renders quickly, that is stable, and has good eye candy. Is Keynote decent? Are any of the png/svg based viewers for linux decent? Help!

In science and math, LaTeX beamer has become quite common. It's easily themeable, you can use pdf transition effects (if you really want to...) and it typesets beautifully since it's LaTeX based. Like any tool, it takes some learning, but the documentation is quite readable and clear.

Re:Good time to discuss alternatives (1)

revelation60 (2036940) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665382)

I always use latex beamer + tikz for graphics for my presentations. The results are way better than powerpoint slides.

Re:Good time to discuss alternatives (1)

rmcd (53236) | more than 3 years ago | (#36666884)

Are you using LaTeX to write your papers? If so, I *highly* recommend Beamer [wikipedia.org] , which is a LaTeX style. It's pretty customizable, so you should be able to create eye candy with a little investment. But I love its straightforward use of LaTeX syntax. You display a presentation with a pdf viewer such as Acrobat. If LaTeX is installed correctly, there should not be problems with red X's. And you can just cut and paste equations and includegraphics commands from your papers.

If you're not using LaTeX, well, then, never mind!

What are they going to do about it though? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36662946)

What are their policies? Or did they not have a meeting to come up with any?

life is good (2)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#36662980)

I guess when you have a 3% unemployment rate, and only a 35% (of GDP) public debt, these are the kinds of things you can worry about.

Re:life is good (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663676)

Nah this is the stuff people worry about when things are much worse too. Why do you think we let things get bad. Because of these little stupid debates to polarize people and stop them from looking at more important details.

Beside Switzerland demographics and culture is unique, and cannot always be copied to other countries, and work just as well. Just like trying to Copy the United States say 20-40 years ago to other countries, Where these other countries quickly turned to a dictator because their culture and demographics couldn't handle that particular structure.
 

Re:life is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36663946)

And let's not forget the reason for this: A government that is actually controlled by the people. (Read up on the government structure in Switzerland, and how the people have the last word, or can make new laws. It must look like a utopia to most of us. [Still not perfect, of course.] Their biggest city [I think] even has a method of determining the seats each party gets from the votes, that is *mathematically proven to be the most fair one possible*!)

Nice stats.. (2)

formfeed (703859) | more than 3 years ago | (#36662990)

.. I wonder if they would mind visualizing that with a nice presentation?

It's the templates. (1)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 3 years ago | (#36662994)

The problem isn't Powerpoint. Powerpoint is a fine piece of presentation software. The problem is that people don't know how to present information effectively, and it's the TEMPLATES included with Powerpoint (and every other chunk of presentation software I've ever seen) that encourage this. If MS wants to alleviate Powerpoint hate, they need to revise their included templates to demonstrate what a good, informative presentation can be.

het article doesn't do PowerPoint justice (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 3 years ago | (#36662996)

If you really want to appreciate the power of PowerPoint, get the whole Army presentation: http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/MSNBC/Components/Photo/_new/Afghanistan_Dynamic_Planning.pdf [msn.com]

Re:het article doesn't do PowerPoint justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36663044)

The other 15% are managers and/or teachers.

Re:het article doesn't do PowerPoint justice (1)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663114)

Sweet galloping Jesus! What were they thinking? Visio is MUCH better suited to that kind of flowchart!

Only 85% (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663000)

Now granted I don't sit through very many power point presentations, but I would think that more the 85% of people view them as useless.

This is a little complex (3, Funny)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663002)

Maybe if they could put this into a PowerPoint presentation and make it a little easier to digest? Some pie chart graphics would really clarify things, I feel.

Re:This is a little complex (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36663420)

even easier if they made a car analogy...

Not the problem ... (1)

trevorrowe (689310) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663034)

These people need a few more critical thinking skills. If the option for PP was removed, the pointless meetings would still be held. The same 85% of people attending these meetings would continue to feel their time (and money) was being wasted. Removing PP as an option will not save 2.1 billion francs.

Re:Not the problem ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36663296)

It will at least save the liscense fees to use the redundant app, though.

Re:Not the problem ... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663686)

But probably reduce people getting digital copies of the presentation so they can reference it later.

mod do3n (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36663066)

To place a paper centr4lized models IS DYING AND ITS believe their

Party Platform (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663072)

* Powerpoint sucks
[next slide]
* Powerpoint sucks
* No, really, it sucks.
[next slide]
* General complaints
    - Powerpoint

and so on.

Those crazy Sw*s and their politics ... (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663092)

Well, its not just the Sw's (Switzerland and Sweden) but most all of Scandinavia ...

I don't disagree with them in principle ... but there are probably more important things to worry about.

I'd love to think America is the 'best country in the world' ... but I have to admit, you know you live in a pretty good place when the big political news for your country is related to the 'Anti-PowerPoint/Crappy Presentations Movement'. I can see the appeal. I don't think it makes up for living under 3 meters of snow for 9 months out of the year, but they may have the right idea.

Re:Those crazy Sw*s and their politics ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36663288)

Switzerland and Sweden have not much in common aside of starting with "Sw". I hope you are not implying that they are both part of Scandinavia because Switzerland most certainly (not even close) is NOT.

Re:Those crazy Sw*s and their politics ... (1)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663608)

He's mixing up Switzerland with Sworway and Swinland. Honest mistake.

Re:Those crazy Sw*s and their politics ... (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664746)

I think he must have confused Switzerland with Swaziland...

Re:Those crazy Sw*s and their politics ... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663740)

I think America is going threw a generational change right now. Those Baby boomers who were born after WWII are now retiring and us Generation X, and Y didn't get the best hand off. I predict that things will get better once Gen X and Y picks up the touch again and relearns some lessons, that wasn't passed down to us.

Re:Those crazy Sw*s and their politics ... (1)

zarzu (1581721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36666378)

This is not big political news here in Switzerland, it's a twenty line side note on page 15. Slashdot just likes to pick out the curiosities.

I dont understand. (1)

umask077 (122989) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663136)

I'm not sure if I understand the article? Anyone got a slide presentation on it?

No OpenOffice in Switzerland? (1)

Eightbitgnosis (1571875) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663224)

PowerPoint ain't the only presentation software in the land

Factions within the party (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36663226)

Is there a Prezi alternative?

Re:Factions within the party (1)

devincook (1929234) | more than 3 years ago | (#36668612)

Prezi is a different story. The awesome thing about it is that it tends to force you to make better presentations, ones that are organized hierarchically and have much better flow generally. It also really lends itself to presentations with lots of pictures and visual aids and fewer walls of text like you often see in power point. I love Prezi, and I've been using it for pretty much all the presentations I have to give nowadays.

I'm not saying that Prezi is enough to save a bad presenter, but in my opinion it helps good presenters make WAY better presentations.

I'm in! (1)

Jezza (39441) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663268)

Oh if there was ever a political movement to get behind it's this one! How many hours have been utterly wasted creating PowerPoint slides to be inflicted upon victims? How many times have I seen those damn "screen beans"? How often have we seen slides that seem to have "A Tale of Two Cities" on them, as some mindless monotone moron drones out some witless piffle?

Oh I hate PowerPoint... The crutch of the dull, the pointless, the vapid.

So I just need to move to Switzerland? Seems fair.

Re:I'm in! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36663434)

Thank you for that. I have just changed the name of my rock band to Witless Piffle.

Aren't all parties anti-powerpoint? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36663286)

At least the ones that aren't held by physicists?...

Powerpoint's purpose is buy-in, not comprehension (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36663332)

Most of the audience (managers) and the presenter (another manager or a speaker-to-managers) do NOT want analysis or comprehension of ideas.

The goal of the PP presentation is to get the audience to believe they've bought into whatever you're planning to do next.
Facts and critical analysis are counterproductive here. A nice neat package all tied up with no risks, contradictions, contingencies, questions, or open issues is productive.

Powerpoint stops critical thinking and gains the audience's confidence. That's its job. And functions well.

Alternative name (2)

mremrahunal (1519273) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663370)

aka PowerPoint Costs Too Damn High Party

It's really quite simple... (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663400)

From the APPP site:

In Switzerland there are 4.1 million employees (students and pupils should also be counted). Let's make the conservative assumption that 11 % of them have to assist to PowerPoint* presentations on a regular basis. In that context we will assume that the presentations take place twice a week on average and have an average number of 10 participants (in big companies and institutions like ABB, Novartis, the Army, and universities⦠. The average number of participants may be umpteen times higher). Let us further assume that not all but only 85 percent of the participants find that the presentations are killing motivation. We will then consider the Swiss average hourly rate of 56.30 CHF. These assumptions will give us an annual monetary destruction of 2.1 billion Swiss Francs!

I'm going to start a new party too! I'm calling it the Anti-Numbers-Pulled-Directly-From-Asses Party (ANPDFAP). Really, they aren't even trying here. Slide-show presentations aren't the problem. Poor management, research, writing and speaking skills are surely problems though. Unfortunately those are more difficult to address and don't lend themselves to easy scapegoats. These people need to find something more useful to do with their efforts.

Then again, maybe it's all just a big marketing ploy to sell this book [anti-power...-party.com] .

Re:It's really quite simple... (1)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664226)

I'd like to join your party! When I read the summary, this exact thing came to mind.

Morons (1)

jamesl (106902) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663450)

These are people who are otherwise unoccupied.

Alternative (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663456)

I bet the "85 percent of those employees [who] see no purpose in the presentations" are the same people who would be griping if those presentations did not exist. "No one tells me anything. I don't understand why the company does what it does. I do not know the direction this company is going. I do not feel part of this company." Yes there are presentations that are meaningless to some people but if everyone is not invited then the following gripes occur; "Why did they get invited and not me? Am I not important enough? What are they trying to hide from me?"

Yes, there are bad presentations. They will be bad if they use PP or a white board. It is the presenter not the software. As for PP allowing you to do bad things; HTML allows red flashing text on a pink background. Is HTML bad?

The alternative is someone standing at the front waving their hands and writing on a whiteboard or flip chart wasting time while they refer to their notes. Personally I prefer PP.

Really? (1)

snookiex (1814614) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663468)

Microsoft's PowerPoint is perhaps the best known and most hated of the slide presentation programs out there

Seriously? How do you know that? I mean, you could not like presentations or even meetings, but as far as I know PP does what it has to do.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667054)

Yeah, I was like "where the hell did that came from?" when I read it.

Impress and Keynote ? (1)

adisakp (705706) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663482)

I guess no one in business uses OpenSource or Macs ?

Re:Impress and Keynote ? (1)

Kwpolska (2026252) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663640)

PowerPoint is always mentioned as the representative of all presentation software.

source [anti-power...-party.com]

Re:Impress and Keynote ? (2)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663858)

PowerPoint is on Macs too. It is an equal opportunity offender.

People with nothing better to do... (1)

greymond (539980) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663546)

If employees feel they are wasting their time in uninformative meetings, it's probably true, but I don't see how that's PowerPoints fault at all. Also, this caught my attention (from the article):

So is this just a promotional gimmick?
"Yes, it is a tool to promote my book. But it doesn't end there," Poehm said via e-mail.

Well there you go. Now I see why it's being spread around the internet as "news".

Today? (1)

Kwpolska (2026252) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663590)

This `party' exists longer. In the 3rd program of Polish Radio there was a nice interview with the guy behind it. Title of this submission sounds like it was created today.

Reading a PP word-for-word is not a presentation (3, Interesting)

fuckface (32611) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663830)

My biggest problem with PP presentations at my company is that the vast majority of people put all of the relevant information directly in the PP and then read it word for word at the audience. If they're going to do that they should just write it up as a document and publish/email it instead. If they're just going to read the screen to you (while you're allegedly reading along with them) and not add any information that's not already displayed then people completely lose interest quite fast and when someone does finally wise up to this fault and tries to change the status-quo nobody will be listening anyway.

On the other hand it has enhanced my skills at reading the slide quickly so I can do other work while they read it slowly aloud. Hopefully this will make me better at Jeopardy! if I can manage to get on the show.

Re:Reading a PP word-for-word is not a presentatio (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664444)

Being able to read quickly at a distance is a definite advantage for Jeopardy! since you can start thinking of the answer while Alex is still reading it out.

I was going to comment on this sooner... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663880)

... but I was in a meeting. With a powerpoint presentation, of course. Really.

That said, I'm still not sure what the party wants to do. It seems silly to ban powerpoint; are they out to change corporate culture somehow? Of course, I'm not sure how they would legislate that, either...

Break out the overhead projector (1)

bkmoore (1910118) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664008)

I guess it's time to break out the overhead projector and photocopy our presentations onto transparent acetate. Or better yet, make photo-slides and be really old-school. Just hope none of them are in backwards or upside down. Really, this is pretty dumb. The problem is the people, not the tool.

Today's fortune is quite ad rem: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36664066)

Expert, n.: Someone who comes from out of town and shows slides.

And I can't wait for that party to go international.

Hate the Presentation, not the Tool (1)

ZipK (1051658) | more than 3 years ago | (#36666350)

PowerPoint presentations can be terrifically entertaining, just as non-PowerPoint presentations can be terrifically boring. Hatred of PowerPoint (or Keynote or OpenOffice Presentation) is misplaced. Hate the boring presentation (and its author), not the tool with which the presentation was created.

My advice on Powerpoint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36666808)

Each slide should have average 7 MINUTES display time for your presentation. Sounds extreme, but it will increase your quality dramatically. No human will remember more than that anyway, so stop overloading their shorttime memory with stuff they are gonna forget anyway.

Use less than 10 words on each slide, make it visually memorable with a picture or a shape (and I am useless at graphics)

Don't EVER read anything from your slides and don't require your audience to read. If you want them to read something, then hand them some printed material to read later.

Don't ever refer to your slides, they are there as BACKGROUND information and supporting mental aids to keep the audience on what you are TALKING about.
Make sure your goal is audience-centred - not "I am gonna brain-dump everything I know about topic X", rather "My goal in these 25 minutes is that the audience
understands that Topic X has 4 main areas, what these areas are, how they relate to each other and where to go to get more detailed information.

Look at Steve Job's presentation of the original Iphone for a good example. IPhone Introduction [youtube.com]

Re:My advice on Powerpoint (1)

Cederic (9623) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667026)

Good comments. I'd also suggest watching a few TED talks - they're mostly quintessential multimedia presentations, with a mix of art, video, pictures and graphics to back up the talk... and yet it's a TALK, not a read.

I like short punchy slides with key words, concepts and (because I'm technical) diagrams on them. The talk is the content.

And /. Completely Misses the Point... (0)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667624)

Am I the only one somewhat horrified that the comment discussion here has focussed entirely on whether or not PowerPoint is a good idea and not the Orwellian idea of a government throwing people in jail for using it?

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