Re: PowerPoint considered harmful (was Re: Barely literate minutes)

Randall Gellens <> Sun, 02 December 2012 05:52 UTC

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Date: Sat, 01 Dec 2012 14:41:23 -0800
To: Keith Moore <>,
From: Randall Gellens <>
Subject: Re: PowerPoint considered harmful (was Re: Barely literate minutes)
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At 9:48 AM -0500 12/1/12, Keith Moore wrote:

>  On 11/29/2012 06:06 PM, Pete Resnick wrote:
>>  On 11/29/12 3:45 PM, Lee Howard wrote:
>>>  I can't take notes while I'm standing up, facilitating discussion.
>>  Interesting. I am forced to (only somewhat facetiously) ask: Why 
>> are *you* standing up, facilitating discussion, if you are the 
>> editor? Shouldn't that be the chair's job? More seriously: Since 
>> we started this PowerPoint/Comments-at-the-mic thing oh so many 
>> years ago, doing document reviews in presentation form where the 
>> editor is the one doing the slides has created this problem. 
>> Perhaps a better mode would be for the editor to write up the list 
>> of open issues, have the chair project them if need be, and the 
>> editor can get up to the mic with explanations/questions as needed 
>> but otherwise remain seated so they can jot down the notes they 
>> need. I think I've done something like that a long time ago as an 
>> editor. Worth trying, I'd think.
>  +1
>  More generally, every time I go to IETF I'm appalled that working 
> groups have gotten into the habit of filling the time with 
> PowerPoint presentations.[*]   PowerPoint (and similar tools) 
> should be used sparingly, if at all.   Most of the time, the 
> projector should be off, or the screen blank.
>  The point of IETF meetings is to facilitate discussion, not to show 
> things to people.
>  PowerPoint tells meeting participants to be passive, or that it's 
> okay to take up space in the meeting room while browsing the web 
> and not paying attention, not being engaged.  Both of these are 
> detrimental to IETF work.
>  Keith
>  [*] And yes, I realize that this has been the case for over 10 
> years, but I remember when it was not the case.

When I started, WGs had projectors on, but were used as white boards, 
to facilitate discussion.  The editor or anyone wanting to discuss an 
issue would write out the topics on a transparent sheet of plastic 
and project it.  As the discussion developed, points would be written 
on it.  It seemed to work.

Randall Gellens
Opinions are personal;    facts are suspect;    I speak for myself only
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