Swiss Group Wants to Banish PowerPoint But if you can't get around using the widely-used presentation software, here are tips for making the best of it.
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While most people might not love using Microsoft's PowerPoint to create presentations, at least one person is taking his distaste for the software to a global level.
Matthias Poehm, a former software engineer-turned-public speaking trainer has started -- yes -- the Anti-PowerPoint Party (APPP) earlier this month. Headquartered in Bonstetten, Switzerland, the APPP calls itself an "international movement" that intends to "decrease the number of boring presentations worldwide." The goal is to make it so that people who don't want to use PowerPoint "will not have to justify themselves in the future," it says.
Right. Here's the real kicker: The APPP says people who attend "futile" PowerPoint presentations result in almost $500 billion in hourly wage losses for employers worldwide. Instead, APPP says people should consider using flip charts, which it claims are 95 percent more effective than using presentation software. Here's a video of Poehm explaining his reasoning:
While an APPP representative didn't immediately return an email seeking comment, the statistics above seem to originate from Poehm's book, "The PowerPoint Fallacy." Coincidentally, Poehm is offering the book at a 37 percent discount to APPP members.
If this doesn't seem wacky enough, the group says it also wants to participate in the Swiss national elections in October and become the country's fourth-largest political party.
In the meantime, for those of us who either like using presentation software or just don't want to use a flip chart, business strategist, entrepreneur and venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki -- who's seen his fair share of PowerPoint pitches over the years -- suggests abiding by a "10/20/30" rule when putting them together. Here are his tips:
Keep it short. It shouldn't take you more than 10 PowerPoint slides to explain your project or business, Kawasaki says. "A normal human being cannot comprehend more than 10 concepts in a meeting," he says.
Don't be long-winded. You should be able to present your 10 slides in no more than 20 minutes. "In a perfect business world, you would give your pitch in 20 minutes and then have 40 minutes remaining for discussion," Kawasaki says.
Make it readable. Kawasaki suggests using a font no smaller than 30 points and to use only the content that most convincingly communicates your points. "I guarantee it will make your presentations better because it will require you to find the most salient points and then know how to explain each of them well," he says.
How have you spiced up your presentations? Leave a comment below and let us know.