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PowerPoint Again: Sex and the Grimm Facts

While I am resisting the urge to establish a PowerPoint category for this blog or even to focus to any great degree on tools for online learning development and delivery, the cognitive train wrecks—many of them purposely funny at this point—caused by the ubiquitous Microsoft application inevitably lead to a bit of rubbernecking out on the information highway.

Such was the case as I was doing some research recently on distributed cognition as it relates to online learning (more on that later). I ran across a gem on Chris Collison’s blog that, as Collison suggests, clearly demonstrates the way many PowerPoint presentations eviscerate good stories. (Credit for the presentation itself belongs to Rowan Manahan. If the image below does not load, click to access the presentation on slideshare.)

The suggestions highlighted in an earlier Mission to Learn posting, Life by PowerPoint, can certainly contribute to a much more effective presentation for online learning purposes, but beware—Collison also quotes a great recent TimesOnline posting that reveals what business executives are really thinking about as they listen to presentations:

Prepare to be startled by the next sentence. More than 60 per cent of business executives think about sex while listening to boring presentations. Shocking, eh? Most of us would have put that figure nearer to 99.9 per cent, the other 0.1 per cent possibly being dead. But research by the Aziz Corporation finds that on average only 76 per cent of men and 35 per cent of women eye up the speaker’s bottom or scan the room for totty during a slideshow. This is a risible performance and perhaps confirms that long working hours really do sap the libido.

Take heart, though. A stonking 88 per cent of business people aged over 60 admit to thinking about sex during presentations. Or maybe it’s just that as you get older, you’re more likely to tell surveys the truth.

So there you have it. If presentations are part of your business or personal life, you may need to alter you thinking about what will really keep your audience’s attention!

Jeff Cobb
Mission to Learn

Visit UltimatePowerSpeak to learn how to communicate so effectively no one will be thinking of sex (unless you want them to, of course!)

About the Author Jeff Cobb

I am an avid lifelong learner who writes and speaks frequently on the critical role of learning in our fast-changing world.

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“Naked” is Optimal Optimization « Social Media Playground says

[…] Last summer, Jeff blogged about a study that revealed 60 percent of executives surveyed reported actually thinking about sex while watching boring Powerpoint presentations.  http://blog.missiontolearn.com/2007/07/powerpoint-again-sex-and-the-grimm-facts/ […]

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