Is It Finally Time to Ditch PowerPoint?

Gary Reynolds, Presentation Zen, Dec 11, 2008
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The proposition, based on cognitive load theory, is that "Since people can not read and listen well at the same time, the reporter suggested, then this may mean 'the death of the PowerPoint presentation.'" This presupposes that the words in a Power Point slide are designed to be read, that is, understood as creating meaning through encoding in a grammar. But the point of words on a slide is to give the viewer something to look at, not to read. The words are better understood as signs or patterns, to aid in future recognition, not to be read for semantic content. In other words, the writing on a slide is different from the writing in a book (which would make measuring the impact of them by the same means a somewhat ridiculous exercise). Via Shareski, who highlighted this today.
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