Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Death by PowerPoint

What is the definition of torture?  It's not water-boarding.  Nor is it garroting, kneecapping, or scaphism.  It is PowerPoint.  I have had to endure numerous horrific PowerPoints that have forced me to loathe them.  It may sound harsh, and yes, all PowerPoints are not created equal, but PowerPoint presentations are the death of me.   Having had to endure two hour-long presentations that were driven by PowerPoint yesterday I have had enough.

When I read the description of your session and I go to it, it is because I am thoroughly intrigued.  I have decided that I cannot live without what you are sharing.  You had me when you began talking about how innovative your project was and how engaged your students were (and continue to be).  Then you followed your PowerPoint like a script, hardly ever veering from it.  Your examples were really good, but honestly you could have just thrown your PowerPoint online and I could have accessed and comprehended your presentation without you. 

Then there is interaction.  I am a doer.  While I know that not everyone is, you need to engage me in the idea you are selling.  Have me talk to other participants.  Have a website (or two or three or four) that I could go to and play around on.  Have examples ready that I could choose to peruse from that suit my needs, not yours.  Have me involved in a simulation that will demonstrate the power of your idea.  If you can't do that, could you at the very least make me laugh or tell me a story?  Whatever you do, don't just have me sit there and listen to you talk the entire time.  Teach me, but transform me.