The first time i ever heard that term was just a couple weeks ago while having a conversation with a lead researcher for a large market consulting firm. I stopped her and asked, "what's a 'deck'?" She just sort of stared at me slack jawed for a few moments and was absolutely astounded that i, a professional computer scientist and media producer, referred to them as "powerpoint presentations". She said she couldn't remember the last time anyone had used that term.
So is everyone in on this "slide deck" term except me?
Probably the worst use of them i've encountered was a Worship leader at our church who told me "having the slide change between verses is very intrusive and distracting. Please wait until we're at least 4 or 5 words into the next verse before you change the screen." I said, "HUH??? What???" and he said "just trust me, it will be a lot better." After the service i had 250 people complaining to me about being late with every slide and asking how they were supposed to sing along when they didn't know what verse to sing and was i even paying attention to what was going on. It was the last time we did delayed slide changes.
When I read "slide deck" above, I assumed someone was referring back to the old carousel slide days,
I have a "regular" job every two years when the local Physiotherapists Association hosts a National Symposium. My job is to make sure each speaker's Power Point Presentation is loaded on time.
I've never heard the expression 'slide deck' outside this thread, and hopefully that will continue ....
Generally I agree that reliance on slides is overused, but occasionally someone comes up with a well put together presentation that complements their talk, rather than obscuring it. My pet hate is "fancy" transitions, particularly the dreaded typewriter effect!
I remember a talk I attended many years ago. The speaker was droning on about his topic, which I have now long forgotten. I interrupted him with a question or comment, and soon others did likewise. I thought the talk then suddenly became alive.
In talking to my boss afterwards, he said that the talk went to pieces after my intervention.
That article is actually VERY scary: the supposed "brightest" minds in the military, science & business are ADMITTING they can't think on their feet.
Creepy. Kind of makes you wonder why I've seen people who make less then $50k a year answer questions and do great presentations with slides but those who have great responsibility can't deviate from the predetermined program. Sounds like a good round of firings are necessary.
I guess I should clarify: I never heard to Powerpoint refered to as a "slide deck". I've heard "slide projector" which refers to one of those roating slide-film projectors and slides, which refer to the individual films for a slide projector or used in a Powetpoint.
I actually use to use "slide decks". Back in 1988 I travelled from NY to Belgium with a round carrousel of slides in my luggage to speak at the SAA Today conference on Distributed Application Design and had to give them to the projectionist when I got there a day early so that they could be loaded before my talk the next day. Before loading the slides into a carrousel, they would be stacked like a deck of cards with a rubber band around them. The last thing you wanted to do was drop the deck before loading it into the carrousel and have all of the slides spill out randomly. This is why I did that in NY and carried the extra carrousel with me.
Later we used term "foils" to refer to the "transparencies" used in an overhead projector. (I believe the predecessor to the plastic transparencies used with overhead projectors used some type of foil material but that was even before my time) These transparencies were created with physical pens by a piece of hardware called a "plotter" that only supported vector graphics. We would fight for time on the plotter to make our transparencies only to find that one of the pens dried out right in the middle of plotting so you had to change the pen and submit your job again. The nice thing about transparencies and overhead projectors is that you could use a felt pen on them to annotate in real-time. Kind of a low-tech smart board.
The first personal computer graphics program to become popular in the business world was Lotus Freelance Graphics in 1986 which was 4 years before PowerPoint was released in 1990. Freelance supported the vector graphics required by plotters as well as raster graphics for printers. We use to save our charts as CGM files which was a vendor neutral format for vector graphics. I still have CGM files from some of my presentations from back then.
So be thankful that we are not still carrying around slide decks with rubber bands ...and that's my history lesson for the day. ;-)
When I worked for IBM, we had a program that ran on VM (I believe) called Foils (version #). It included a cryptic graphics markup language and the output could be sent to a system attached printer to be printed on transparencies. Of course, you had to get to the printer to make sure transparencies were loaded.
Excuse me if I don't remember every detail accurately as I've worked hard to forget the whole episode.
At the risk of being incredibly self-serving, this very flattering article about moi, which was written almost a quarter century ago at the dawn of the PowerPoint era, shows that even back then, many (most) audience members experienced a revulsion from being fed nothing but word slides:
P.S. Thanks to JohnnyRoy for the history lesson. I remember being intimidated by people who could afford to produce those Carousel trays containing professionally produced graphic slides. They were not easy (actually, impossible) to produce yourself, although Polaroid had a nifty gadget that connected to your computer that sort of let you do it yourself.
The ability to speak on your feet and the abilty to solve certain technical problems are very different skills. I am better at the latter.
Except the ones who are complaining are supposed to do both. A general is supposed to be able to plan, follow the plan, and solve issues that come up with the plan as the happen. Like your RADAR going out or your destroyer getting sunk.
The stated problem shows that they are neither prepared for their presentation or any questions people will have about the material.
Majority of the power point slide show I've attended also included a handout of the presentation and after every subject you could ask questions. With no irony what so ever, the speaker already had quick answers to questions that would most likely be asked.
The entire article can be summed by with this: The amount of effort to get the information is more then the amount desired.
It's no different then the recent news story about scientists (I guess it was "true science, eh?? :) ) who were using a computer program to write their articles.
> "I remember being intimidated by people who could afford to produce those Carousel trays containing professionally produced graphic slides. They were not easy (actually, impossible) to produce yourself, although Polaroid had a nifty gadget that connected to your computer that sort of let you do it yourself."
Yea, they were definitely not done in-house. We had a 3rd party create them. In fact, I would create the slide in Lotus Freelance, export them as CGM files, and they would send us back slides with the text and graphics. Very professional looking at the time when the only other options was an overhead projector. Computers were not used to drive projectors back then. In fact, I had a ThinkPad where the back of the lid came off and the LCD was see-through and you placed it on top of the transparency projector and that's how we drove the first presentations via computer graphics!
As you can see from this advertisement in a 1984 Infoworld, we (when I was at Digital Research) had created a way to create presentation slides directly from our early, crude, "Powerpoint"-like software. The Polaroid device used their instant slide film to create slides directly from your IMB PC compatible computer. It used (I think) some sort of raster scanner to expose the film. You then developed and mounted it yourself. There was quite a bit of labor involved, and as usual, the Polaroid emulsion was much grainier and had much less color fidelity than "real" film. However, even way back then, thirty years ago, you could do these yourself. Here's the link:
I've made thousands of 35mm presentation slides by producing the graphic full-screen on the monitor and snapping a picture of it with my 35mm SLR camera, then processing the Ektachrome film myself. Sure, resolution was limited to the 1024x768 of the screen, but then most LCD projectors were limited to 800x600 until recently.
It was surprising what good quality could be obtained photographing a CRT in a darkened room using a long exposure (usually a full second) and having the focus *just slightly* off. I'd start with a neutral grey screen (rgb 127,127,127) to get an exposure reading and leave the camera on manual with that setting.
This is simple - it is a poor craftsman who blames his tools. Powerpoint is a tool. A hammer can be used to bludgeon someone, so can Powerpoint. It can also be used for its intended purpose though, and it is actually quite good at it.
Years ago, while recuperating from back surgery, doped up on Oxi, I created a spinning, twirling, floating, sparkling, magnificent and glorious PowerPoint masterpiece. Regretfully, it was too embarrassing to be shown in public.
JR, thanks for the history lesson, you’re getting old.