A true powerpoint obsessive writes:


The boards of directors of every organization should immediately ban the use of bullet points on PowerPoint screens …

Adding text to a screen in a multimedia presentation that is identical to the narration harms the ability of the audience to understand the information. Removing the text increases retention, or the ability to remember the information, by 28%. Even more significantly, removing the text increases transfer, or the ability to apply the information, by 79%.

Stirring stuff – though some of those who comment on the article argue – plausibly to my mind – that the problem may be less bullets as such, and more allowing bullets (or anything else on the slide) to be a substitute script for the presenter.


  1. I totally agree. However, how often is powerpoint used to communicate an issue without a face to face presentation. The worst example in the world was the last JC+ service delivery model in powerpoint throughout – impossible to read and text down to 6pt at times to ensure fit to the page.
    The proper use of microsoft office is to build a picture in powerpoint and then embed into an appropriate document like word if you want to add a commentary or narration. – in my opinion

  2. John – I agree. If you look at the site this item comes from, you’ll see that almost the next post is on that very point. The context there, though, is distributing something which did start as a presentation. But I think you are talking about using powerpoint as a tool for producing docuemnts which were only ever intended to be read rather than presented. Many of the big consultancy firms do that all the time, which I think is where the rot comes from. Since my view is that using powerpoint as a word processor is barking mad, I have never quite understood why they do it.

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