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Principle officers of NATO and US army express grave concern about excessive PowerPoint presentations utilizing on strategy planning and military operations meetings. Some general officers pass an opinion that presentations with slides not only simplify the reality but make such trivialized approach habitual for our perception that infects any decision making, New York Times reports. “PowerPoint makes us stupid,” Gen. James N. Mattis of the Marine Corps, the Joint Forces commander, said several days ago when appearing on the conference in North Carolina. He’s not alone with his opinion.
“It’s dangerous because it can create the illusion of understanding and the illusion of control,” Gen. McMaster said, he’s well known due to the fact that he prohibited PowerPoint usage in the course of successful operation of Tel Afar defense in 2005.
In point of fact when we review compact diagrams and tables in the presentation we always can refer to any of its parts and we don’t have to think and bear it in memory – everything is in front of our eyes. We just need to perceive the presented information that makes decision making process easier. But sometimes it could cause improper decision as well.
It must be said that US army PowerPoint dependence grows constantly, presentations appear in approximately half of meetings. Junior officers are often called “PowerPoint Rangers”, New York Times reports, cause they are working on one single task: presentations preparing for their command.
From the other side is it true to fact? When people staring at presentation see just what is displayed are they so smart and long-sighted if they don’t reckon up front? It’s a very useful method for visualizing complicated information to let people get maximum from it without making them prepare for every meeting and read many pages with details. After getting a broad picture people can draw conclusion easier and faster. In fact it’s difficult to define this tool importance, though its necessity cannot be exaggerated sometimes. Contrariwise people making such presentations should look into a matter themselves and arrive at right conclusions – if they don’t represent the information without fear of favour or if their calculations are wrong so the decision as well could be wrong. And finally is it possible that the chiefs rely on the presentations only?
For me e.g. presentation is a kind of way to simplify huge information scope and provide eventual data to colleagues without making them enter into every sentence. Though is PowerPoint always to the point? I guess army is not the place where one should misuse this tool, is it? What do you think about it? Vote in our poll.
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