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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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Ban Bullets

Comments (9)

I’ve written before about how most powerpoint presentations are miserable and gave some specific suggestions on how to make them better if you are presenting to me (or any other VC).  I read today on Cliff Atkinson’s blog that adding text to a screen in a powerpoint presentation that is identical to the narration harms the ability of the audience to understand the information.  If you remove the text, information retention increases by 28% and information transfer increases by 79%.  This is no huge surprise if you are a follower of Seth Godin’s methods to Avoid Really Bad Powerpoint – Seth’s actual article is here.

Historically, I’ve restrained myself when someone puts up a slide with bullet points on it and then proceeds to read the bullets.  I always have the urge to shout “shut up – I’ll just read it”, especially since I process information much better by reading then by listening.  It’s the same urge that I used to have as a kid when I sat in the synagogue during high holy days and wanted to jump up and shout “but I’m not sure god exists.”

I’m not going to restrain myself anymore.

  • http://www.theconglomerate.org/weblogs/sideblog/archives/2005/02/rethinking_powe.html Subsidiary Thoughts
  • http://metacool.typepad.com/metacool/2005/02/creatiing_cool_.html metacool

    Creatiing Cool Stuff with Storytelling, part 3

    I’ve always worked in product development.

  • http://dmate.s55.xrea.com/mt/archives/000133.html d-mate weblog

    Banning bullet points

    This article is trial to write in English to send a trackback to a weblog in English. After the article in English, I’ll place the same article in Japanes. So if you want to read it in Japanese, please scroll…

  • http://metacool.typepad.com/metacool/2005/02/creatiing_cool_.html metacool

    Creating Cool Stuff with Storytelling, part 3

    I’ve always worked in product development.

  • Partha

    I agree that just bellueted points don’t make much sense for the presenter to read it in front of the audience. Rather, I have always used graphics along with text. That way, you can keep the interest going and also give more ‘graphic’ meaning to your content. Too much of text in slide won’t help too. After all a picture is as good as thousand words, right?

  • http://www.microsoft.com Sean

    If you really want to see audience retention rates plummet, just plant some self-righteous, obnoxious rich guy in the audience to constantly interrupt the presentation with tedious, petty critiques of the slides.

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