You know that feeling. You’re in a corporate conference room and a speaker comes to the front to present a new policy of cover sheets on your TPS Reports. They distribute a print out which includes of all the slides they’re about to present. It’s 37 slides of 10 point text!
A wave of panic overcomes you while blood rushes from your face. You glance over to the windows, but are crushed to find your one possible escape hatch doesn’t open. You wonder if texting a bomb scare could be traced back to you. You are then resigned to losing 90 minutes of your life going over five minutes of information.
Millions of doodles are done each day in American conference rooms because of PowerPoint. In fact, the bad ones have been called “hypnotizing chickens”. And while this has been the bane of the corporate world, a new study by the Editorial Staff of MullerOver has found that Microsoft PowerPoint presentations don’t just kill white-collar brain cells, but actually threaten national security. It’s true.
According to a NY Times article, General James N. Mattis of the Marine Corps bluntly pointed out what we all at some level already knew, “PowerPoint makes us stupid.” There. Finally, someone said it. I feel like starting a slow clap of appreciation.
Later on, General McMaster pointed out, “It’s dangerous because it can create the illusion of understanding and the illusion of control. Some problems in the world are not bullet-izable.”
The truth is PowerPoint has made us lazy. We truly are hypnotizing chickens. It has freed us from being capable orators or writers, and has simply become a crutch for presenters.
But now that we’ve visually numbed ourselves for 15 years with Arial 18 point font, how do we reverse the damage? We at MullerOver would like to propose this simple, but effective punishment guidelines for every board and conference room in Corporate America:
1. If you cut and paste from a Word document into a PowerPoint slide and call it done, do 50 push-ups in front of the room as a lesson to you and warning to everyone else.
2. If you insert clip-art that comes with any Microsoft product, you must stand in the conference room corner for 30 minutes.
3. If you have a slide full of text and then proceed to read the text-ridden slide to the room, take a week of un-paid leave.
4. If you dare use any sort of audio that comes with PowerPoint, especially the screeching tires when bullets fly in, you must be instantly terminated. And we’re not talking about losing your job.
Only through sensible but firm policies such as these can we even begin to retrain the millions of PowerPoint jockeys who create so much misery every day. And then we hope to start to un-hypnotize all those chickens.