PowerPoint bullets and slides are not all evil

The widely-disparaged presentation tool can be valuable if used properly.

The widely-disparaged presentation tool can be valuable if used properly

Seth Godin’s a pretty smart guy but he’s no more immune than the rest of us from saying dumb things. Last week, in a post that added to the chorus of voices criticizing Microsoft’s PowerPoint, Godin wrote, “If there was any other tool as widely misused in your organization, you’d ban it.”

Not if it was a valuable tool when used correctly, I wouldn’t. After all, if we adhered to that philosophy, we’d ban access to social media in companies where employees abused it. Twenty-five years ago, we would have banned desktop publishing when every department in the company began producing 8-1/2×11-inch newsletters with six columns, 14 fonts and 27 pieces of clip art on every page.

Take a bigger step back and consider painting. The percentage of people who apply brush to canvas and produce beautiful works of art is probably very low. Most who take up painting are rank amateurs and their paintings are awful. Should we ban canvas?

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