PowerPoints and Speakers

I found this video some time ago. It does have some connection with a meeting I have this week, where I know that PowerPoints are going to be used extensively. It’s Doug Zongker’s famous “Chicken chicken chicken”, presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science humor session, on February 16, 2007. I am probably the last to comment on it, by the way. The script of this gem is here.

Why do I find this video so funny? It wasn’t designed for us interpreters, but to enlighten speakers on the use, misuse and abuse of ubiquitous PowerPoint presentations. Microsoft’s claim is that 30 million presentations are generated each day worldwide and the video focuses on the very essence of PowerPoints, their visual dimension. If they look good, they must be good, whatever the content.

May I chip in here? In all honesty, I must say that the invention of PowerPoints has made my work a little easier; when they are used properly, not too crowded, well designed, they show the structure of a presentation and supply the visual props that we were sorely missing before. For one thing, it is easier to follow a presentation when the speaker skips one, two or five slides, than it was before, when they were asked to skip some pages of a paper. Quite often we didn’t even have a printed copy of that paper!

There are other videos on the same topic on the web, but this one can be understood by everyone, whatever their language, because the content is there only to support an idea.



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