Monthly Archives: July 2004

The Pentagon, Politics and PowerPoint

Can PowerPoint influence the ideas that shape our government? Just ask Karl Rove, Thomas Barnett or Rob Stein, because their PowerPoint presentations have been credited with shaping the ideas that are guiding Republican White House strategy, Pentagon policy and the… KEEP READING

Board Fires CEO Over PowerPoint

When the day comes that a board of directors fires a CEO because of a PowerPoint, it will send a very clear signal about what is at stake these days when anyone gives a presentation. According to the Financial Times… KEEP READING

Healthy Seeds of Doubt

When you plant your own seeds of doubt, you can strengthen your idea against the strangling weeds of objection. Most PowerPoint presentations show a very happy land where ideas, products and services roam free, unencumbered by pesky doubts or objections.… KEEP READING

Anthony’s Thinklab

People often say that PowerPoint shuts down thinking, but Anthony Honeyfield has proven how easy it is to use PowerPoint to open it up. Anthony is an industrial designer in Sydney, Australia, who wrote me to say he had tried… KEEP READING


When the writer Gertrude Stein returned to Oakland, Calif., to visit her childhood home, she couldn’t find it, so she wrote : “There is no there there.” Unfortunately the same observation applies to many PowerPoint presentations when you search for… KEEP READING

6 Clarifying Questions

When you’re so far along you seem to have lost your way, sometimes it’s easiest to map your way back to the beginning. Often a PowerPoint presentation can become so packed with bullet points, charts and graphics that we lose… KEEP READING

The Seen and the Unseen

We usually judge PowerPoint by what we see on the surface of the slides, but we would be better off judging it by what we can’t see. In our honest attempt to communicate with people as completely as possible, we… KEEP READING

The Photographic Overlay

A picture can become more than a picture when you add a new layer of meaning. That’s what struck me when I reviewed Stewart’s first draft of slides after he tried out a new bullet-free approach. When we’re free of… KEEP READING

The Freedom of Constraints

When you love something, sometimes you have to constrain it. That’s at least the case when you love clear communications, because without constraints on your PowerPoint you’re easily imprisoned by confusion. Journalist and MIT fellow Michael Schrage said in an… KEEP READING

The Visual Book Report

If we don’t have time to read books anymore, maybe we can get to their point faster by making them visual. Many of us have a hard time keeping up with the increasing amount of information flowing across our desktops,… KEEP READING