I just wanted to give Garr Reynolds from Presentation Zen credit for this one. He tracked down an article (in Japanese) by Mr. Watanabe, CEO of Toyota that cites him berating the use of PowerPoint. Apparently the old A3 has turned into pages and pages of A4.
“Watanabe said that (in the good old days?) they used to use one piece of paper to make a clear point or proposal, or to summarize an issue, but now everything is in PowerPoint, he says, which uses many sheets of paper and expensive colors…but it’s a waste.”
Finally, somebody at the top has noticed these wasteful presentations that are getting shoved down our throats. I wish my CEO would make a similar comment. I can’t even count how many meetings I’ve been in where the use of an A3 would have cut the meeting time in half or eliminated the need for it at all.
Reynolds goes on to clarify Watanabe’s statements:
“The CEO is not saying that PowerPoint is necessarily harmful (he does not mention its use for actual presentations), but he is saying printed "documents" made with the presentation tool tend to have less content, less clarity, and yet use more paper/ink and take more time.”
Yep, that pretty much sums it up. But I think the bigger issue is that PowerPoint has destroyed the critical thinking skill of synthesizing information to make it accurate and concise. This is one of the more powerful components of the A3 process. With PowerPoint you can throw every piece of information attained into the slide deck and if that gets crowded just build a section called “Backup” and throw it in there.
Rant over for now.