February 11, 2005
Okay, I’ll sneeze — I’ve been reading a bunch at Beyond Bullets, Clif Atkinson’s blog/site for his upcoming book Beyond Bullet Points. There’s a comprehensive list of his articles on his consulting website. What’s interesting is the contrast between his philosophy and Edward Tufte’s essay The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint (ironically summarized here in PowerPoint-style by Aaron Swartz).
There seems to be a Tufte-related school of thought that is arguing that PowerPoint presentations are bad because the content of the slides is poorly designed, and a Atkinson-related school taking the position that PowerPoint presentations are bad because too little focus is being given to preparing the narrative (spoken and visual). I guess it’s sort of a subtle difference at first glance. I would tend to agree that the narrative is the major missing piece, having cleanly designed slides with tasty, simple infographics would be icing.
Anyone know any good references on improving the speaking-portion of presentations?