Saturday, January 28, 2006

PowePoint-like presentations

I've thought about PowerPoint-like (Keynote-like) presentations for years. Probably because I've been around congitive psychologists quite a bit, I decided that the slide and corresponding speech should present the material -- maybe as cues -- in a decidedly different way, that way the audience could choose whatever works for them: aural or visual, text or graphics. This might be a totally wrong way of approaching talks, but it's worked for me.

I'm not sure why, but I've had three PowerPoint-related epiphanies at HICSS conferences: one was during lunch talking to a guy who was adament that slides should be essentially a transcript of what is spoken. He was a cognitive psychologist, and I was really disappointed :)

The second time was at the HICSS dinner/luau someone the same day I'd given a presentation in the Digital Documents track. A fairly well known guy, although I can't remember his name, said that I had the best slides of the track. This was after he'd had a few mai tais, but I still take it as a complement :)

The third time was at a HICSS plenary presentation by Elizabeth Monk Daley called "Expanded Concepts of Literacy". She was the dean of USC School of Cinema-Television. What I remember about her slides are there were almost no words. I remember stick figures, and slides that reminded me of storyboards.

Besides the Tufte stuff that I've blogged previously, you might want to look at the following:

  • A short interview from 2004 with Don Norman about PowerPoint usability. He says "Tufte misses the point completely."
  • Dick Hardt's talk about identity on the net. If you click on one link from this posting, make it that one.
  • A talk by Larry Lessig that illustrates the "Lessig Method" of PowerPoint presentation.