Powell's Presentation

In PowerPoint of view, Ben Rooney writes:

It has become, without doubt, the most pervasive and ubiquitous business tool invented. But until the US secretary of state, Colin Powell opened his presentation at the United Nations security council earlier this week, never has this piece of nearly 20-year-old software been, indirectly, a casus belli. Was this PowerPoint’s finest, or most ignominious, hour?


It helps you make a case, but it also makes its own case: about how to organise information, how much information to organise, how to look at the world.

One feature of this is the AutoContent Wizard, which supplies templates - “Managing Organizational(sic) Change” or “Communicating Bad News”, that are so close to finished presentations you barely need to do more then add your company logo, or in Mr Powell’s case, the Seal of the President of The United States of America.

My (thankfully limited) experience associates PowerPoint with stupefying sales presentations. I’ve been in the business of slapping together information-sparse presentations for a little longer than I care to remember. Powell’s visual presentation looked more like a boshed-together CNN production (read ‘vernacular’) than an automated business presentation. I think the author can rest assured it wasn’t “the ‘communicating bad news’ wizard that is driving US policy in the Gulf”. It was probably something a bit more advanced than that.