With over 500 million users worldwide, Microsoft’s PowerPoint software has become the ubiquitous tool for nearly all forms of public presentationin schools, government agencies, the military, and, of course, offices everywhere. In this revealing and powerfully argued book, author Franck Frommer shows us that PowerPoint’s celebrated ease and efficiency actually mask a profoundly disturbing but little-understood transformation in human communication.
Using fascinating examples (including the most famous PowerPoint presentation of all: Colin Powell’s indictment of Iraq before the United Nations), Frommer systematically deconstructs the slides, bulleted lists, and flashy graphics we all now take for granted. He shows how PowerPoint has promoted a new, slippery “grammar,” where faulty causality, sloppy logic, decontextualized data, and seductive showmanship have replaced the traditional tools of persuasion and argument.
How PowerPoint Makes You Stupid includes a fascinating mini-history of PowerPoint’s emergence, as well as a sobering and surprising account of its reach into the most unsuspecting nooks of work, life, and education. For anyone concerned with the corruption of language, the dumbing-down of society, or the unchecked expansion of “efficiency” in our culture, here is a book that will become a rallying cry for turning the tide.