There are so many different ways to fail at powerpoint. We’ve probably all suffered through the myriad deadly approaches: slides of uninterrupted text and bulleted lists; unevaluated, raw data; long, thoughtless mind dumps; ugly and confusing design; poor visuals or none at all; wrong subject, wrong place….
While this seemingly endless uphill battle to improve powerpoint presentations might seem discouraging, lately I’ve been having some fun. I’ve developed a presentation for my powerpoint seminars I call “Death to Death by Powerpoint”. Why not just tackle the problem head on.
Ever since I was a youngster I’ve loved the game of Clue. The idea that you could actually solve a murder by asking questions, using deduction and bluffing by zipping from the exotic conservatory to the mysterious billiard room (who had rooms like that?), as Miss Scarlet or Professor Plum just entranced me. I also loved the idea of a presentation that builds on childhood memories of rolling dice around the Clue board on a rainy Saturday morning. So I decided to see if I could build a useful and entertaining presentation by basing it on the characters and the weapons of Clue. I found some lovely old images of the playing cards from an early version of Clue to use in my presentation. I’ve toughened the presentation up a bit with a reference to another love of mine: film noir. The posters for those great films from the forties are just incredible and make for a lovely springboard into ways to prevent death and mayhem.
Each of the characters from Clue is a suspect with a alibi and the weapons, of course, kill the audience in a variety of horrible ways. For example, Mr. Green’s alibi was that his ideas were too complex to be presented visually – his special type of information could only be told by text. The revolver is used to kill ‘em with bullet points.
I did research on Clue before leaping into building my presentation and discovered that in the earliest versions of the game (from the late 1940s) there were 10 suspects (Mr. Brown, Mr. Gold, Miss Grey and Mrs. Silver were eliminated) and eleven rooms (including a gun room). The axe, the bomb, syringe and fireplace poker and other juicy weapons were removed as well. Alas, as all of these elements could be added nicely to a “Death to Death by Powerpoint” presentation.
Get Presenter Updates
Keep up to date with our FREE monthly newsletter.