About six months ago, a group of physicists in the U.S. working on the Large Hadron Collider addressed a problem they’ve been having for a while: Whenever they had meetings, everyone stuck to the prepared slides and couldn’t really answer questions that weren’t immediately relevant to what was on the screen.
The point of the forum is to start discussions, so the physicists — from then on, they could only use a board and a marker.
“The use of the PowerPoint slides was acting as a straitjacket to discussion,” says Andrew Askew, an assistant professor of physics at Florida State University and one of the organizers of the forum at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois.
He says it was as if “we removed the PowerPoint slide, and like a big glass barrier was removed between the speaker and the audience.
A group of physicists banned PowerPoint from forums, and they aren’t the only people who say we should cut back on slide-based presentations: Others include Amazon, LinkedIn and NASA.
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