Author Topic: The harm that PowerPoint does to the way we think and speak  (Read 14238 times)

Joe Carillo

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In “How PowerPoint has killed the art of rhetoric,” a highly engaging parody that came out in the June 23, 2016 issue in the Off Center section of, the magazine’s contributing writer Michael Lind gives a lowdown on PowerPoint by arguing that its advent in 1987 has been “inadvertently bringing about the collapse of Western civilization.”

                                                 IMAGE CREDIT: THESMARTSET.COM

He tragicomically laments that because of PowerPoint, the art of oratory has all but collapsed: “The traditional speech is extinct, except for ritual speeches like commencement addresses and presidential State of the Union addresses. At some point these, too, will probably become PowerPoint presentations.”


Lind intones with transcendental anguish: “It is said that ‘God created men, and Colt made men equal.’ Like the Colt revolver, the PowerPoint presentation is an equalizing and democratizing technology. It has eliminated the advantage enjoyed in earlier ages by speakers who organized their material well and mastered the arts of acquiring and maintaining the attention of an audience. Today you can flourish in the corporate, academic, government, and nonprofit worlds, even if you are illogical and inarticulate — as long as you can slap together a boring slideshow.”

Read Michael Lind’s “How PowerPoint has killed the art of rhetoric” in now!

“The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint” by Edward R.Tufte


Edward R. Tufte's “The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint: Pitching Out Corrupts Within” (Graphics Press, 2006) is a 31-page critique of the popular PowerPoint templates. Tufte argues that these templates usually weaken verbal and spatial reasoning and almost always corrupt statistical analysis. He examines how these problems can be avoided and makes recommendations on how to improve Powerpoint and other presentations.

Tufte is an American statistician and professor emeritus of political science, statistics, and computer science at Yale University. He is noted for his writings on information design and as a pioneer in the field of data visualization.

“Harvard Just Discovered that PowerPoint is Worse Than Useless”
In “How to make a good teacher,” an article in the June 11, 2016 issue of The Economist (UK), it is propounded that the secret to stellar grades and thriving students is teachers, but here should be a concerted effort to ensure that every teacher can teach, and to do away altogether with the tenacious myth that good teachers are born, not made. It cites an American study showing that in a single year’s teaching, the top 10% of teachers impart three times as much learning to their pupils as the worst 10% do.


Thus, teachers need to be assiduously trained how to impart knowledge and prepare young minds to receive and retain it. They must learn how to set clear goals, enforce high standards of behavior, and manage their lesson time wisely.

Read the article “How to make a good teacher” in The Economist (UK) now!
« Last Edit: August 31, 2019, 07:14:20 PM by Joe Carillo »