Like any good desk jockey, powerpoint presentations are a big part of my work life (or, as we say in Mandarin, PPTs). I write them regularly for presentations of my org’s work and am often forced to sit through them in endless, torturous external meetings.
I am of the opinion that PPTs have done more than any other technology to lengthen meetings beyond the realm of absurdity since they allow people who really should not be allowed to speak in public to feel that they may keep everyone from eating lunch until two hours later than scheduled.
As such, I have developed a very particular set of rules for what I believe constitutes the acceptable use of PPTs. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I believe there should be a licensure process to even be allowed to handle this format publicly.
NOTE: This process will be applied particularly strictly if you are a Chinese bureaucrat.
After a passing a written test involving identifying the basic rules of engagement (making participants read neon green text against a black background is not very nice), PPT hopefuls would be made to recite an oath of “I shall nots”, including:
- I shall not use a font size smaller than 12-point, such that even sturdy young people’s eyes bleed while attempting to read my slides.
- I shall not make up for the fact that I am a failed novelist by cramming more text onto a single slide than Dr. Bronner saw fit to put on his soap labels.
- UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES shall I include in my PPT blurry photos of previous PPTs I have given at similarly aneurysm-inducing events.
Can you tell I experienced 7 hours of tremendously exciting presentations today?! And that I am gearing up for day 2 of this impossibly stimulating event tomorrow?!! Oh. My. God.