The problem isn't PowerPoint, it's how it is used

Twice in the last month I have been shortchanged in a course of instruction, by an instructor who chooses not to subject me to "death by PowerPoint. Let's go ahead and get our hands on the equipment instead, you'll learn more."

It would be forgiveable if the instruction were accompanied by sound handouts or preceded by comprehensive read-ahead material. A few block diagrams would help too. Instead I am explaining in whispers to colleagues what all this gear is supposed to accomplish and why, and learning little for myself.

I've cursed PowerPoint myself, in this very space in fact. But dammit, y'all, PowerPoint isn't the problem here. The lazy tendency to shovel a tech manual into PowerPoint, now that's a problem. Making your slideshows underinformative, oversizing them with raw digital photos, adorning them with MS's clip art, those are the problems. Fix them and slideshows won't bore people to death, they'll actually be informative and useful.

Both times, the instructors were contract employees for defense contractors. They represented the same company, in fact, though I suspect this is a trend and is much more widespread. Anybody else encounter this sort of thing?

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