Bill Gates probably never used it himself, but millions of MS customers around the world use PowerPoint. As the name says, it is supposed to powerfully bring presentations to the point. My personal experience as a counsellor, however, shows it to be almost exclusively a communication killer, a daily instrument of torture, a neglected chance.
I asked myself for a long time where this violation of a basically sound idea originated and whether at least Microsoft themselves use it productively. The message from Seattle, however, does not give much hope: there, too, a flood of grey-in-grey text overwhelms the PowerPoint victims.
So now it is my duty to tell the people who hired me to throw the PowerPoint slides they produced for a lot of money into the rubbish bin. If I were that unfeeling, the engineers, managers and politicians sitting opposite me would all be trembling. FEAR spreads wherever the security line PP is dismantled.
Just like some orators hold onto the desk in order to prevent it from running away or lean on it so they will not fall down, they balance from slide to slide. The best idea is to write what is projected on the wall. But none of the victims protest? There are probably two painful reasons for this:
1. Often enough, roles are reversed and victims become culprits. Communicative violation should be introduced into the legal code of offences!
2. They know nothing else! Every one of them has been subjected to the same torture at school, university or in business all the time. The awareness of suffering wears off.
The task of counselling enterprises, thereby abolishing those PP patterns, does not always just fill me with excitement. But looking at my customers at the end of this adventurous process makes me proud and content: free speech, best possible communication results, and nice feelings prevail for all parties concerned. And, unbelievable as it might sound, now there are some managers in Europe who actually know about the power and creativity inherent in PowerPoint. They know how to work the potential and magic of this instrument. I have no idea at all who was the coach who made this miracle happen.
(Translated by EG)