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Here's a great article from Wired that you don't want to miss. It talks about Microsoft's Dave Karle, an Army veteran whose latest mission is to get people in the Army, and eventually elsewhere, to use PowerPoint correctly, or at the very least to stop using it incorrectly.
It's an idea that fits perfectly with one of the main themes we've been focusing on here at the PowerPoint Blog (SlideFest being one example). As the article states, "Karle isn't trying to get the Army to use Microsoft's presentation software. PowerPoint is already ubiquitous within the Army - to the chagrin of many an officer. Karle's mission is much harder: stopping the Army from using it stupidly."
Or not use PowerPoint at all, depending on what the presenter is presenting. “Use Word sometimes instead of PowerPoint. Use a whiteboard sometimes,” Karle says. “It’s all about fixing the tool behind the tool.” He pauses. “I love that phrase.”
You can find the article here: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/06/microsoft-helps-the-army-avoid-death-by-powerpoint/.
Karle has his own blog, too. It's called Modern Presenter.
-- Erik Jensen
Hi Erik, MS could do more to avoid 'death by powerpoint' by including better templates with office. I know you have started to do this with Office 2010, the templates that came with previous versions of office where just embarrassing.
When you are working on office 15 please tell me there is someone looking at improving the templates, and not just for powerpoint, for all the office apps. Why not even get pro designers involved? There is no reason why powerpoints need to look as ugly as they do. You need to save users from themselves, and ship PP with attractive modern templates.
Modern, slick templates go along to improving the image of Powerpoint. Users use what there is, and if what is there is a dog then you can't blame them when their presentation goes woof.