Brad Feld

Back to Blog

How Would The Civil War Have Ended If Lincoln Had PowerPoint?

Aug 09, 2005

I have a long set of rants about how most PowerPoint presentations suck.  Every now and then, I see a great one, but most of the time I’m just tortured by them.  Today, I got an email from Ted Dolotta (one of the first Softbank-related people I ever met) that was priceless.  It linked to the The Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation.  In addition to being a classically miserable presentation, Lincoln’s intro was perfect.

Announcer: And now please welcome President Abraham Lincoln.

President Lincoln: Good morning. Just a second while I get this connection to work. Do I press this button here? Function-F7? No, that’s not right. Hmmm. Maybe I’ll have to reboot. Hold on a minute. Um, my name is Abe Lincoln and I’m your president. While we’re waiting, I want to thank Judge David Wills, chairman of the committee supervising the dedication of the Gettysburg cemetery. It’s great to be here, Dave, and you and the committee are doing a great job. Gee, sometimes this new technology does have glitches, but we couldn’t live without it, could we? Oh – is it ready? OK, here we go:

Take a look at the Gettysburg address via PowerPoint (or via ppt in HTML).  Now, read the real thing.  Which is more effective?