I always did hate Powerpoint.

Via Ace Of Spades

Looks like I’m not the only one…

For headquarters staff, war consists largely of the endless tinkering with PowerPoint slides to conform with the idiosyncrasies of cognitively challenged generals in order to spoon-feed them information. Even one tiny flaw in a slide can halt a general’s thought processes as abruptly as a computer system’s blue screen of death.

The ability to brief well is, therefore, a critical skill. It is important to note that skill in briefing resides in how you say it. It doesn’t matter so much what you say or even if you are speaking Klingon.

Random motion, ad hoc processes and an in-depth knowledge of Army minutia and acronyms are also key characteristics of a successful staff officer. Harried movement together with furrowed brows and appropriate expressions of concern a la Clint Eastwood will please the generals. Progress in the war is optional.

Sounds like every sales pitch I’ve sat through for the last fifteen years.

Unfortunately Colonel Sellin didn’t clear that article with higher ups and now has articles of his own to deal with.

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5 Responses to I always did hate Powerpoint.

  1. Linoge says:

    Speaking from some experience on the matter, I can honestly say that a surprising number of officers, especially senior ones, would spend more time quibbling over the style and arrangements of the slides, during briefings, than the actual material being presented. To be fair, some people simply should not be permitted to touch PowerPoint, and the instances I am referring to were not terribly common, but that they happened at all is indicative of the problem…

    On a related note, the Colonel, especially a Colonel, probably should have known better than to whip off that complaint without checking with his superiors first… Tolerance for that kind of thing is vanishing fast.

  2. Old NFO says:

    That is just flat ass true… Period, end of subject…

  3. That’s one reason I never saw myself ever going above the Bn level in Marine Arty, and why I had decided to go MSgt instead of 1stSgt

  4. Lissa says:

    What made you hate PowerPoint — the program itself, or how quickly it became the standard in How To Bore Your Coworkers To Tears?

  5. ZerCool says:

    PowerPoint can be a phenomenally powerful teaching tool.

    Sadly, very few people have the ability to use it as such, preferring instead to use it as a projected set of cue cards so the audience can read along at storytime…

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