The over use and abuse of Power Point has caused this to be the reaction most of us have to attending a meeting, “workshop”, or lecture.
It’s also caused a sort of creative Renaissance in the public speaking world, a new attention to design, strong development, and engaging delivery.
But, what if Power Point isn’t the best way to convey information, what if, as John Bohannon channeling Swiftian wit claims “bad Power Points are a serious threat to the global economy”? How serious? How’s 250 million dollars per day?
How does Bohannon figure this? By ingeniously calculating the number of work hours wasted on useless or poorly designed Power Points (there are 30 million new presentations created every day). But, the problem is deeper than that, Bohannon explains. Power Point creates “the illusion of understanding.” Power Point has been used as a distraction, as a false crutch for the presenter, as a way to lull the audience into sheer and utter complacency. For, what is Power Point about other than complacency? This is not a dig on Power Point on my part; I use both Keynote and Power Point regularly. However, the death by Power Point approach to creating slides is costly, and a waste of time and energy. Bohannon says, don’t cut the arts, use artists, specifically dancers, to convey information rather than Power Point.
He doesn’t just tell us that dance can help us process complex information more easily, he shows us by using dance throughout his speech. Dancers from the Black Label Movement act out the processes and beautifully executed ideas Bohannon. You can’t help but pay attention, even if the dance distracts you a bit from the speaker. It’s an ingenious and kinetic approach to presenting complex information. As one who tends to dance to match my mood during class, I’m all for a bit of kinetic reinforcement. What do you think?