How often have you been to hear a talk and found yourself distracted by the bright colours and flying animations on the Power Point behind the speaker? How many times have you been given a copy of slides before going into a conference hall and discovered the speaker is simply reading what you already have.
Well, for a group of people in Switzerland it has happened one too many times. They are trying to ban the world’s favourite presentation software. The founder of the Anti-PowerPoint Party, Matthias Poehm, believes that £310bn could be saved each year worldwide if the program ceased to exist. Matthias’ solution to the lack of presentations, “take a flip-chart”.
Giving a lecture and just being able to talk with no aids is a great skill and is arguably being lost in today’s technology-obsessed society. Rekindling those skills by forcing people to give talks with just a few prompt cards might be a step forward.
£310bn got me thinking, and after a quick Google search found that £1.6bn would save 4.2 million lives in 7 years from malaria, so £310bn would mathematically eradicate the disease with cash to spare. It is also enough to provide everyone in America, Russia, Brazil, Japan, Germany, Thailand, France, South Korea and the U.K. with an iPad. This would mean that business meetings could take place from living rooms around the world, saving more money and the environment.
So why have fewer than 300 people signed the petition to support Poehm? Well it’s not realistic is it? There are so many pointless things in this world, such as: electric pencil sharpeners, corn on the cob holders and electric staplers (it’s not that much physical effort to use a stapler is it?). If we are going to start culling products for being modern but not hugely necessary then I believe things like those should be the first to go, not computer programs that have the ability to brighten up even the dullest of talks.
Speakers will continue to stand or fall on the quality of their talks with or without Power Point.