Thank you Aaron Swartz for giving me the thrill of laughing out loud. When something strikes you as funny a number of things can happen. You can smile. Smirk. Chuckle. Even a breathy snicker.
But when something strikes an emotional chord and triggers responses from both your synapses and (uh) ventricles, it's a whole body experience that allows you to erupt in laughter. People around you (if there are any) look at you, wonder and move away.
What did it to me this time? PowerPoint. That ubiquitous presentation tool that has driven more than a stadium full of conference goers, meeting attendees and others to boredom, sleep and infinite doodledum.
So Aaron find this article (free registration required) in the Chicago Tribune Magazine about how the classic works of Robert Frost and Martin Luther King Jr. would be dumbed down in PowerPoint. Call it the teleprompter for those who need to be prompted to tell. But PowerPoint caught all the heckling and OH – No(ing) anytime someone in our outside our agency attempted to use it. I remember one of our VPs was so adamant against it he did an entire presentation in Macromedia Director. How silly, I thought. Took him probably 15 times the effort for the same effect. He felt better though. Sometimes you can't avoid it. But I always prefer dynamics, energy, interaction and eye contact from a presenter over PowerPoint. Or simply let PowerPoint provide wallpaper, or as judicious use of full multimedia speaker support.