Show Reference: "The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint: Pitching Out Corrupts Within"

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Slides are presenter-oriented---the format in itself does not provide for interaction between presenter and audience.

Slides have low spatial resolution.

When creating slides, one is tempted (if not encouraged) to abridge important information.

PowerPoint encourages structuring information hierarchically. However, not all information is naturally structured hierarchically.

PowerPoint's popularity stems from its convenience to the prestenter, not the audience.

When putting all information into slides, one is required to over-fill slides or break up information into very small chunks.

Low spatial resolution leads to "over-generalizations, imprecise statements, slogans, lightweight evidence, abrupt and thinly-argued claims."

Low spatial resolution leads to "over-generalizations, imprecise statements, slogans, lightweight evidence, abrupt and thinly-argued claims."

"Probably the shortest true statement that can be made about causality and causation is "Empirically observed covariation is a necessary but not sufficient condition for causality". Or perhaps "Correlation is not causation, but it sure is a hint"."

"Many true statements are too long to fit on a PP slide, but this does not mean we should abbreviate the truth to make the words fit."

Low spatial resolution forces one to spread the information over long sequences of slides. Sequences of slides make it hard to understand context and relationships.

(Bullet) lists are ok in presentations for conveying three kinds of facts:

  • sequentiality (in time, space etc.)
  • priority
  • set membership

If the relationship is any more complex, different means of presentation are necessary.

Tufte states that a sentence or series of sentences usually is more informative than the abridged statements on slides. However, a presenter does not want the audience to read while they are talking. Thus, sentences and series of sentences shouldn't be on slides.

Hierarchies tempt the audience to stop reading after the first level which typically is especially over-simplified.