Molecular biologist and TED Presenter John Bohannon used his recent TED presentation to unveil his modest presentation proposal. Use dance rather than PowerPoint. Now it’s not the first time that we’ve looked at alternatives to PowerPoint. There are a lot of them. But dance? An alternative to 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. Certainly Matthias Poehm does. He formed the anti-PowerPoint party in Switzerland to campaign against the presentation software. Bizarre.
But Ted Presenter John Bohannon arrives at his conclusion with a detailed calculation. This 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 such as commuting or meetings.
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.
The fewer words the better.
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. However, it’s your choice whether you use PowerPoint or not.
When you have to do a PowerPoint presentation we have lots of presentation tips for you. Better still, why not join us on a regular scheduled presentation skills course. And, because we have more than 40 training centres you are never that far from your nearest venue. Please don’t hesitate to call when you want to discuss.
The Principal Trainer at training business Time to Market. Based in Oxford, I run presentation and public speaking training courses, coaching sessions and seminars throughout the UK. Andrew Ivey on Google+
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