PowerPoint considered harmful (was Re: Barely literate minutes)

Keith Moore <moore@network-heretics.com> Sat, 01 December 2012 14:48 UTC

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Date: Sat, 01 Dec 2012 09:48:24 -0500
From: Keith Moore <moore@network-heretics.com>
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Subject: PowerPoint considered harmful (was Re: Barely literate minutes)
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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.

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.


[*] And yes, I realize that this has been the case for over 10 years, 
but I remember when it was not the case.