Flip through about 10 slides from each of the following presentations:
And Exhibit #3:
Which one of the three is the best? …. My answer is – “It Depends”
All too often we want to point our finger at powerpoints and talk about how terrible they can be. Usually the very top example is at the brunt of such chatter. However, I think we really need to be more discriminating in our distaste for such wordy slides. Admittedly, to sit through #1 Presentation in a workshop or other public forum would be a killer! However, imagine Exhibit #3 in the same environment – those slides are perfect by themselves, they are beautiful in their simplicity and do not need an ‘interpreter’ between me and the information. I would ‘die’ just the same as #1, if the #3 slides were ‘presented’ to me! Exhibit #2, I’d call your typical “Modern Day” presentation – Big Images, fewer words – it’s format says, “I am a support tool for a talk”. It is clearly not meant to stand alone.
So what happens when these slideshows are moved to a repository? They now have a different purpose (I believe) but their format has not changed. As an information source, Exhibit #1 wins out. As entertainment and something worth sharing #3 stands out. As part of an archive showing good presentation examples and a legacy artifact of “What I did at ‘X’ conference”, Exhibit #2 is the winner.
It makes me wonder the motives for people using slideshare (and I am one of them!). Note-to-self…. think about re-formatting my presentation slides before adding them to such sites as slideshare if its the content I want to share. For me, slides like Exhibit #2, do not ‘recreate the talk’ or provide the depth of information, but they are great in sharing design and presentation ideas for the next live presentation I may do!
As much as people are shocked by Exhibit #1-type slides, I believe there is a place for them – as a web-product, for independant learning. Do not make me sit through a presentation of such slides but do continue to provide such online…Some might say, why not just provide a print out? I say to the author, thanks for the online ‘environment friendly’ ppt mini-book – I was able to get the information quickly, in a pleasing format and you did not have to learn desktop publishing!