The Death of PowerPoint? Let's Sure Hope So

You might be able to divide human progress between the pre and post PowerPoint era.

Before the creation of this most hideous of “advancements,” our ancestors came together and spoke, listened, argued, cried, and laughed.

First was around the warmth of a fire. Then, later, in places such as the western side of Athens near the hill of Colonus, where Plato set up his Academy; and the Roman Senate, boisterous and alive with passionate debate.

In the pre-Guttenberg era, hand written manuscripts of Lucretius and Aquinas broadened the mind.

Moveable type regionalized and later, globalized, the beauty of the Renaissance and the revolutionary thought of the Enlightenment. Human development surged.

Then came along PowerPoint…

At its best, a child’s picture show and Twitter-like 140 character snapshot of the presenter’s deepest insights.

At its much more common worst, a crutch for the intellectually lazy; a shelter for the weak minded.

Fortunately, there is a new hope to escape this morass.

It comes from Ashton Carter, the recently appointed U.S. Secretary of Defense, who has mandated that the military’s top leaders ditch the slides; and, instead, have a real human conversation about the issues of the day.

I don’t know how effective he will ultimately be as a leader. Yet, he is sure off to a great start.

Godspeed Ashton Carter!

About the Author

Andrew R. Thomas Blog | Associate Professor of Marketing and International Business

Andrew R. Thomas, Ph.D., is associate professor of marketing and international business at the University of Akron; and, a member of the core faculty at the International School of Management in Paris, France.

He is a bestselling business author/editor, whose 23 books include, most recently, American Shale Energy and the Global Economy: Business and Geopolitical Implications of the Fracking Revolution, The Customer Trap: How to Avoid the Biggest Mistake in Business, Global Supply Chain Security, The Final Journey of the Saturn V, and Soft Landing: Airline Industry Strategy, Service and Safety.

His book The Distribution Trap was awarded the Berry-American Marketing Association Prize for the Best Marketing Book of 2010. Another work, Direct Marketing in Action, was a finalist for the same award in 2008.

Andrew is founding editor-in-chief of the Journal of Transportation Security and a regularly featured analyst for media outlets around the world.

He has traveled to and conducted business in 120 countries on all seven continents.

Sponsored Recommendations

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!