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PowerPoint at Gettysburg, rev.

From: Jackson Braider
Length: 07:07

What is it about PowerPoint that makes it capable of ruining the Gettysburg Address?

Gettysburghome_small PowerPoint has been designed to help people make presentations in front of audiences -- at sales conferences, in class, at Republican Party Headquarters. With a little skill, you can create a PPT presentation that will allow you to leave the room even as the show goes on. Still, as Peter Norvig, former computer researcher at NASA, discovered in 1999, there is something profoundly flawed with the program. Witness his effort to put the 266 words uttered by Lincoln at Gettysburg to the PPT test.

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Piece Description

PowerPoint has been designed to help people make presentations in front of audiences -- at sales conferences, in class, at Republican Party Headquarters. With a little skill, you can create a PPT presentation that will allow you to leave the room even as the show goes on. Still, as Peter Norvig, former computer researcher at NASA, discovered in 1999, there is something profoundly flawed with the program. Witness his effort to put the 266 words uttered by Lincoln at Gettysburg to the PPT test.

4 Comments Atom Feed

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Review of PowerPoint at Gettysburg, rev.

Well done piece. Enjoyed the "OZ" comparisons very much. I recently wrote a paper entitled "To PowerPoint or Not to PowerPoint: That is the Question." The original designer of PowerPoint never intended for the program to have templates. The program was to contain blank slides for the creator's ideas. The templates were started when MicroSoft purchased the program. Studies conducted by MS revealed that people were having a hard time coming up with their own ideas and needed a prescribed jumping off point; hence the templates. I liked Braider's comment, "When you have a hammer like that [PowerPoint], everything else becomes a nail." I still contend it's not the program itself - it's the way people use it. Thought provoking piece and still timely as PowerPoint abuse continues.

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Review of PowerPoint at Gettysburg

There are some great ideas embedded in this piece, I just think it needs to pick a direction (commentary/reporting) and tighten up its focus.
At first, I thought all the sound effects were a bit annoying, but that annoyance makes a clever point later in the piece.
Writing and production are fine with the exception of some inconsistent audio levels and some occasional distortion.

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Review of PowerPoint at Gettysburg

The piece is interesting, but like power-point, a bit jarring with the inter-cutting of sound files. Not a smooth piece, but good nonetheless. As an anttendee of many events with power-point presentations, I do agree that the best use of the software is to not put your most important points in it. Further, the over use of power-point shows the continued decline of public speaking skills in America.

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Related Website

http://www.norvig.com/Gettysburg/