Last night I attend the second Ignite Sydney event as guest of the organiser Stephen Lead and discovered the future world of business presentations. The new environments for business presentations are cabaret venues in the gay areas of a city where the audience stands and sips cocktails and hard liquor as live twittering about who is attending and who is not screens on the audio visual-screen usually reserved for video clips or karaoke. There is male on male, male on female, female on female action but instead of music and bands, the entertainment is innovative business presentations. Work and play is the new singles dance!! The evening opens when a beat box performer jumps on stage and delivers the Ignite Sydney music theme complete with scratching and explosion affects to rapturous applause. What follows is
I have recently come across a series of comments about the "death of PowerPoint" that are at best ill-formed and at worse reactionary. Professor John Sweller of the University of New South Wales argues that the use of Powerpoint has been a disaster and should be ditched. He says it is effective to speak while showing a diagram or graph because it presents information in a different form. However he argues it is not effective to speak the same words that are written because it puts too much load on the mind and decreases your ability to understand what is being presented. An article in the Melbourne Age on the same topic by Christopher Scanlon of RMIT University titled "The PowerPoint of No Return references a book The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint by Edward Tufte. Scanlan claims Tufte suggests that PowerPoint affects the way we think. " Technologies shape what we think about, how we think about it, and, more importantly, how we relate to the world around us. For the naive bullet lists may create the appearance of hard-headed organised thought. But in the reality of day-to-day practice, the PowerPoint cognitive style is faux-analytical. Bullet outlines can make us stupid, " says Tufte. The basis of these argument are incorrect because they don't address the core issues.