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Chapter 7. Visual Aids/Graphics A Pictur... > Computers Mean Better Visuals, Don't...

Computers Mean Better Visuals, Don't They?

Nevertheless, poor visuals are still being used in presentations. Many can't be read, or they obscure more than illuminate. Those handy software templates may be useful somewhere, but for many business presentations they are not appropriate and are best deleted to avert negative responses from audience members. Some presenters can't resist trying out the many options, leading to presentations that are more exercises in technology than communication.

An article in the Wall Street Journal was a wake-up call to many briefers and business development directors around the country. Titled "What's your point, Lieutenant? Please, just cut to the pie charts," it quoted high-level military leaders' dissatisfaction with many high-tech presentations. An order issued by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said, in essence, "Enough with the bells and whistles—just get to the point. . . . We don't need Venetian-blind effects or fancy backdrops. All we need is the information." The Secretary of the Navy had a similar lament: "The idea behind most of these briefings is for us to sit through a hundred slides with our eyes glazed over, and then to do what all military organizations hope for . . . to surrender to an overwhelming mass." Another problem noted was that all the fancy gimmicks of "booming tanks and spinning pie-charts" were gobbling up way too much Internet bandwidth.[5]


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