Tufte and Powerpoint

July 31, 2006

I have always loved Tufte’s work on visualisation and it informs a lot of the design of Sensemaker™. My thanks to John Maloney on the Value Networks list serve for making me aware of his wicked attack on Powerpoint.

That web site also contains the news that Tufte has written a monograph The Cognitive Style of Powerpoint.

The counter to this which just came in the same list serve argues that because we have bad speakers powerpoint is a good idea. There is a simple solution to that – only use good speakers and also train people to present. When I was in school from the age of 11 we did several things that improved this:

Firstly we debated every week – and we were not told the motion or which side we were on until we stood up to speak

Secondly we had to learn poems by heart

Thirdly we had to perform or at least read through a play or two every year

Some of those disciplines seem to have left education of recent years – and while I realise I am now becoming old and romanticising the past, but I think we have lost something.

Incidentally you will see I have now got the hand of references. At one point it looked like I might have to give up using Safari and break my only Apple products rule (there is nothing like a recent convert for fanaticism) but thanks to our outstanding web master I have now been taught basic XML so the day has been saved. Apologies for messing around with this entry this morning, but I have been getting the syntax right!

Recent Posts

About the Cynefin Company

The Cynefin Company (formerly known as Cognitive Edge) was founded in 2005 by Dave Snowden. We believe in praxis and focus on building methods, tools and capability that apply the wisdom from Complex Adaptive Systems theory and other scientific disciplines in social systems. We are the world leader in developing management approaches (in society, government and industry) that empower organisations to absorb uncertainty, detect weak signals to enable sense-making in complex systems, act on the rich data, create resilience and, ultimately, thrive in a complex world.

Cognitive Edge Ltd. & Cognitive Edge Pte. trading as The Cynefin Company and The Cynefin Centre.


< Prev

the Skeptics Dictionary

In respect of my dislike of Myers-Briggs (see the extended text in the entry below) ...

More posts

Next >

Festival of Bureaucratic Hyper-Rationalism

Another good post from John Maloney on the deadly (literally) impact of Powerpoint, and the ...

More posts

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram