Brad Feld

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Ban Bullets

Feb 20, 2005

I’ve written before about how most powerpoint presentations are miserable and gave some specific suggestions on how to make them better if you are presenting to me (or any other VC).  I read today on Cliff Atkinson’s blog that adding text to a screen in a powerpoint presentation that is identical to the narration harms the ability of the audience to understand the information.  If you remove the text, information retention increases by 28% and information transfer increases by 79%.  This is no huge surprise if you are a follower of Seth Godin’s methods to Avoid Really Bad Powerpoint – Seth’s actual article is here.

Historically, I’ve restrained myself when someone puts up a slide with bullet points on it and then proceeds to read the bullets.  I always have the urge to shout “shut up – I’ll just read it”, especially since I process information much better by reading then by listening.  It’s the same urge that I used to have as a kid when I sat in the synagogue during high holy days and wanted to jump up and shout “but I’m not sure god exists.”

I’m not going to restrain myself anymore.