Wednesday, April 28, 2010

PowerPoint Rangers - hypnotizing chickens

“PowerPoint makes us stupid,” Gen. James Mattis of the Marine Corps, the Joint Forces commander, said this month at a military conference in North Carolina. (He spoke without PowerPoint.)

Brig. Gen. H. R. McMaster (U.S. Army), who banned PowerPoint presentations when he led the successful effort to secure the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar in 2005, followed up at the same conference by likening PowerPoint to an internal threat.

“It’s dangerous because it can create the illusion of understanding and the illusion of control,” General McMaster said in a telephone interview afterward.

“Some problems in the world are not bullet-izable.”



Anonymous said...

Good call on the General's part. Now if we could only get fleet leadership to understand that and take an equally critical view of leadership via email, chat etc...
(place tongue in cheek)
I'm just waiting for the day maneuvering and stationing orders are tweeted from the DESRON. (tongue removed from cheek)


Anonymous said...

I would take that a step further and say some problems cannot be explained on one page. We have this desire to make things simple and concise, and the world is not like that.

Anonymous said...

This post made the CHINFO news clips.
CONGRATULATIONS - you copied someone, who copied someone, who copied someone else. Highly original!

Anonymous said...

My favorite essay on this subject can be found at the Armed Forces Journal. Definitely worth the read.

Anonymous said...

Captain Lambert,

If an individual does not know how to use the tools he has available, he is certainly at a loss. It is ridiculous to blame your tools for your lack of presentation skills, and knowledge of what you have as presentation materials. I was producing computer generated slides with Power Point, Persuasion, Word Perfect, Page Maker and even Coral Draw over 20 years ago. This was before BRAC closed down the Charleston Naval Base and many presentations were sent to us from the Navy, but mostly we did presentations for the Medical University of South Carolina. My point is it did not seem to matter who the presentations came from they were generally unsatisfactory for many reasons. In the years (about 7) that we generated slide presentations we would be lucky to have one presentation per year we could print on our film editors with out a great deal of modification to the presentation. The post mentioned bullets and we used to laugh at presentations that used bullets because the authors of many of the presentations did not understand how to use bullets and there always seemed to be extra bullets, talk about distraction to the audience.

There was an idea that was always expressed when I was a Navy instructor, that if the students haven’t learned the instructor hasn’t taught. And if the instructor does not know his tools he certainly will not be able to impart much knowledge to the student.

Very Respectfully,