Shiny Skyscrapers, Dull Presentations

On the up side, glass skyscrapers let in light. On the down side, they let heat, lots of it – think of greenhouses – which can be a problem in warm countries. So they have developed ‘intelligent glass systems’ to adjust the tint of the windows at different times of the day, blocking the sun’s …

Clicks and More Clicks

Ciaran, an engineer, sent me a presentation from a work trip he had been on as part of an internship programme. It’s not so much an awful presentation as an awful idea for a presentation. It was basically two groups of people who had done the same thing, telling each other what they did for …

Strong Words | Words Are Not As Important As Emotions

I got this email from Colm, a statistician: Barry, I just had a speech from a senior manager who at one point looked down at his sheet of paper to read out the words “I really care about….”  Colm Inspiring stuff! It makes me wonder, again, has a presenter ever read anything that excited anybody? …

Top 5 Presentation Peeves

After my recent request for awful presentations, I received the following note from an engineer named Jeff: Barry, I think you have touched a nerve. I see the first slide in some presentations and want to scream. The things that really grinds my gears are: 1. Text heavy document pasted into slides and read out …

Pain on the Plains | The aerial view PowerPoint presentation

PowerPoint Presentation Hell ‘My worst experience of a presentation was given by a colleague on his PhD research,’ recalls Sean, an academic. ‘He had about 50 PowerPoint slides all of which consisted of black text on a clear background and he proceeded to talk through these in a monotone until I had to clench my …

2020: A Lack of Vision | Boring Speeches

Horizon 2020, the largest European research and innovation fund to date, was launched three years ago in the Dublin Convention Centre. I was hard pushed to find a seat in the impressive 2000-capacity auditorium as I had arrived late. It occurred to me when I sat down, though, that I should have arrived later. A …

Awful PowerPoint Slides – A Point on Simplicity

Have you seen a PowerPoint slide anything like this recently? Or this? I’ll bet you have. In fact, I’d be surprised if most of the presentation slides you’ve seen aren’t like this: intricate, text-heavy and inelegant. Of course, the above slides have been taken out of context and I’m sure many of you would say, …