Professor Decries PowerPoint

They don’t call it “death by PowerPoint” for nothing. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that presenters who use PowerPoint presentations and read verbatim their display slides are making it harder, not easier, for the audience to understand the information.

John Sweller, a University of New South Wales professor who developed the "cognitive load theory," harshly criticizes the popular Microsoft program that is so heavily used in virtually every presentation from the private board room to the government meeting. “'The use of the PowerPoint presentation has been a disaster,’ Professor Sweller said. ‘It should be ditched,’” the Herald reported.

But Sweller, who is pictured in the Herald giving a PowerPoint demonstration, doesn't say graphic presentations are bad per se.

"‘It is effective to speak to a diagram, because it presents information in a different form. But it is not effective to speak the same words that are written, because it is putting too much load on the mind and decreases your ability to understand what is being presented,” he is quoted as saying.

Hat tip: Slashdot