Fairy Tales And Famous Speeches (As Told By PowerPoint)

As you know by now, I’m not a PowerPoint basher.

PowerPoint has its place. Used well, it can make entire presentations more memorable and specific points stickier. But there are times, of course, when the use of PowerPoint can interfere with the story the speaker is trying to tell. In this post, you’ll see two funny examples of PowerPoint gone awry.

Example One: Cinderella as PowerPoint

The first example comes from Dublin-based presentation expert Rowan Manahan, who delivered Cinderella as a PowerPoint presentation. In this case, the PowerPoint slides enhanced his presentation, but only because they were part of the joke.

Although Manahan has the rare ability to use PowerPoint for comedic effect similar to how late-night talk show hosts use video, most speakers kill their narrative by burying it with too many similarly loaded slides.


Example Two: The Gettysburg Address

The second example, a famous one from Google Director of Research Peter Norvig, looks at what would have happened if Abraham Lincoln had used PowerPoint to deliver his Gettysburg Address. It’s a sharp way to make the point that far too many speakers diminish their impact with completely unnecessary and counterproductive slides.

His complete six-slide PowerPoint presentation is below, and is being used with permission.

Gettysburg 1

Gettysburg 2

Gettysburg 3

Gettysburg 4

Gettysburg 5

Gettysburg 6


Want to use PowerPoint the right way? Check out our recommended reading list!