Letter to the editor

Thierry Gregorius, Shell, shares his thoughts on our recent PowerPoint editorial.

I read you article about mind-numbing PowerPoint presentations with great amusement. I think you should claim a patent on your formula, there must be some money in this idea. I've always applied a less rigorous formula, thinking that it is ok to spend as much time preparing for the presentation as the combined time the audience is putting in. I then limit myself to 2 days work for a 45 min talk, but I had never thought of applying a formula to the actual content quality. It is quite scary really, because your reverse banality test (RBT) makes almost everything obsolete. However if you apply it to your own article then there is also not much left of it either, but I guess that just proves the point. Edward Tufte wrote in his book, ‘Envisioning Information,’ that PowerPoint has annihilated the quality of information and should be banned from schools and universities. My boss just asked me for input for a presentation he is giving, which is awkward as I can’t get the RBT test out of my mind: ‘The purpose of data integration is to integrate information so that it is not disparate’—you get the picture. All the best.’ Thierry Gregorius, Shell.

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