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Bill Brown

A complicated man.

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I have an utter disdain for Microsoft PowerPoint, and I’m not alone there. Edward Tufte, the famous information design author, just came out with a booklet entitled The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint.

I’m debating about buying the book. I’m sure it’s excellently done and compelling, but I just don’t use PowerPoint if I can help it. And normally I can (so can most if they try hard enough). I’ve purchased Apple’s Keynote but I have yet to even start it up. Why? Because when I give presentations, I give what’s called verbal cues about my outline and where I’m at in the presentation. I don’t need slides to give an effective speech.

Perhaps, though, I could use slides to give my presentations more visual appeal. I guess I’ll have to look into Keynote a little deeper.

[UPDATE: Aaron Swartz posted The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint recast as a Powerpoint presentation. Ironic.]

[UPDATE 2: Peter Lindberg just posted his review of Tufte’s booklet. He generally likes the tome, but thought that it should be about how to make better cognitive use of PowerPoint instead of deriding slides instead of paper handouts. Personally, I’ve found Tufte to be something of an antiquarian about such things.]