Skills for the 21st Century

Cognitive and Literacy Skills for Success in a Fast-Paced Technological Age

Archive for September, 2012

We Are More Visually Savvy than Forbes: Death of Boring PowerPoints

Posted by durencls on September 10, 2012

We were highly amused to see this online article by Forbes magazine, published 9/7/2012:

Jeff Bezos and the End of PowerPoint As We Know It – by Carmine Gallo

Basing his article on the powerful presentation made by Jeff Bezos when unveiling the new Kindle Fire last week, the author, Gallo, states:

“… his presentation slides were light on text and heavy on images. This style of delivering presentations is fresh, engaging, and ultimately far more effective than slide after slide of wordy bullet points.

I’ve noticed that many business leaders around the world are adopting the image-rich style including very famous CEO’s such as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, and even Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. The style works for any leader, in any industry.” [Emphasis added]

Not only is this article touting the efficacy of this presentation technique two years behind our recommendations, it is SIX years behind the dates of many of the resources we cited in our 2009 COABE presentation.

WE thought we were bringing an established practice to the field of Adult Literacy/ESOL education – which is often somewhat behind major technological changes in the corporate world.   Funny to find we were AHEAD of (or at least on par with) many in industry.

I was also interested by this quote by Gallo:

“I’ve discussed this technique before in more detail but in short, it’s called Picture Superiority. It simply means that the brain processes information more effectively when the information is presented in pictures and words instead of words alone. Neuroscientists have also found that when a slide (or advertisement) contains pictures and words, it’s best to have the picture on the left side of the page or slide and words on the right. [Emphasis added]

That is new news to me – I’d love to see that research cited somewhere. I’ve written the author to see if he can send me a citation.

In any case, one issue is clear – PowerPoints should be VISUAL – not text-based!!!  Join us in the (half-decade old) movement to stop ‘Death by Powerpoint’ and ineffective presentations!

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