Molecular biologist John Bohannon used his recent TEDx presentation to unveil his modest presentation proposal. Use dance rather than PowerPoint.
You sense that the Oxford educated scientist doesn’t like PowerPoint. He notes that bad PowerPoint presentations are a serious threat to the world’s economy. Many of us might share that sentiment…
He arrives at his conclusion with a detailed calculation that includes the number of PowerPoint presentations created in one day in the USA, their “cost” of participation and a figure (25%) reflecting the proportion of useless presentations.
His estimate is that the global economy wastes something in the order of $100 billion on presentations each year. That does seem like a huge number. But it’s probably dwarfed by other more wasteful business pursuits.
John Bohannon’s proposal is to use dancers and choreographed dance to present highly complex thoughts and ideas. It’s a neat idea that he’s certainly implemented well in this TED presentation, and his annual “Dance Your Ph.D.” contest.
His Tedx Brussels presentation showcases, with the Black Label Movement dance company, some very complex science. The presentation is certainly ambitious and it is definitely absorbing. But should we all turn to dancers to help us get our point across?
Probably not. But that’s not to stop anyone from experimenting with new, more effective ways to communicate…using PowerPoint or not.