Zoom + PowerPoint = Hell on Earth

bored woman leaning head on hands
Doesn’t this article by @Geoffrey James at Inc. simply scream “TWENTY-TWENTY?” But this version of “Hell on Earth” has been going on since acetate film met laser printers, and bullet points became part of presentation vernacular.

The equation isn’t created by Zoom or PowerPoint or Keynote or Skype or Google Slides or Google Meets. It could more appropriately be written as “Reading + Listening = Hell on Earth.” Mr. James’ version of Hell on Earth is created by anyone asking an audience to read and listen at the same time.

I’d wager money that there’s both correlation and causation between the number of slides, the amount of information on those slides, and Zoom fatigue. As written information increases, fatigue undoubtedly rises. Why? Working memory is overloaded.

And it’s counterproductive. The research is 100% clear. Because the act of doing so overloads working memory, those who attempt to read and listen at the same time understand and retain less than those who simply read. Or those who simply listen.

Anyone wishing to reduce “Hell on Earth,” needs to separate the written word from the spoken. It is the one true path to improving presentations and reducing boredom worldwide.

Read the article.

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PowerPoint Is Worse Than Useless. (Please, for the sake of all humanity, let that sink in!)

four young people bored at table
This author cites an article from Inc. magazine that said the “audience will be just as happy with your presentation if you do it without your slides.”

Actually, the research is clear. If happiness is measured by what they understand and retain, the audience will be happier if there are no slides.

Read the article.


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Your brain prefers stories over bullet points

woman leaning on hand, bored
When the world locked down for COVID-19, I attended nearly fifty webinars. The topics ranged from the economic impact of the pandemic to defining an important question: Where have all the insects gone?

In the vast majority of these presentations, speakers simply presented information as a stream of ideas (bullet points) instead of telling stories to put ideas into perspective for the audience. As the author of this Inc. article points out, shopping lists of bullet points engage only a small portion of the brain, making ideas difficult to retain. There is no engagement.

The article points out that ideas put into meaningful context through stories (the how and why of it), is much more enjoyable and memorable for audiences. As the author states: “It’s yet another reason why bullet points shouldn't be the default” for any presentation.

Read the article in Inc.com.
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How to eliminate PowerPoint, even if you’re not Jeff Bezos

Tens of millions of PowerPoint presentations are delivered daily around the world. Geoffrey James, author of this article in Inc., makes the point that “almost all of them are productivity toilets” that waste precious time.

Read the Inc. article.

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Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos banned PowerPoint. Here’s why.

Both Mr. Musk and Mr. Bezos understand that the most effective way to communicate is to separate reading from listening. If effective communication is important to effective decision-making, should other organizations follow their lead?

Read the Inc. article.

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