现在的位置: 首页设计思维>正文
think category
别再冤枉PPT了
发表于3年前 设计思维 评论数 3 ⁄ 热度 304℃

 

作者:英国《金融时报》专栏作家 蒂姆o哈福德

 

我接下来要做一件鲁莽的事情,那就是反驳露西o凯拉韦(Lucy Kellaway)。不久前,这位商业蠢行大无畏的观察者做的有点过了:她呼吁禁止使用PPT

这位控诉者的理由很简单:许多PPT报告非常糟糕。这确实不假,但它并不能成为呼吁颁布禁令的理由。好工具被错误的人使用会产生可怕的结果,所有见过我组装置物架的人都可以作证。禁止使用螺丝刀并非解决问题的方法。

PPT同样如此。它是一件平淡无奇的实用工具,经常被不当地使用。它并非最雅致的工具,但如果最终的作品拙劣难看, 那要怪也要怪“工匠”。人们借助PPT做的许多糟糕的报告,不用PPT还是同样糟糕。听一个紧张的演讲者即兴发表漫无边际的讲话,认知感完全崩溃,难道会更好吗?还是在黑暗中观看一个制作专业但毫无意义的影片会更享受?许多读者会记得PPT诞生前的企业生活。那并不是失落的伊甸园。

PPT并非世界上最棒的软件。长期以来,它的内置模板一直丑陋难看,剪贴画俗不可耐,动画引人发笑。就好像铁了心要让自己名副其实一样,它会无缘无故地往文本里加入用于列举的项目符号。这样一来,原本应该很简单的文本对齐工作就变得复杂起来。(我仍在使用2003版的PPT。你完全可以把我这篇专栏当成是一个托儿的夸夸其谈。

尽管存在这种种缺点,但PPT有两个任务完成得不错。它可以让演讲者迅速罗列出演讲要点,制作出显示图片与图表的幻灯片。而当人们将这两个功能混为一谈时,问题就来了。

大概记下演讲要点以辅助记忆没什么错。PPT在这方面的作用不亚于其它任何一种工具,尤其是如果你字写得像我一样烂的话。对于绝大多数演讲者,这种演讲要点比其它方法更可取,比如背诵、现场即兴发挥或将整篇演讲稿写出,然后呆头呆脑地照本宣科。

 

问题在于,不知道出于什么原因,许多演讲者决定将他们的演讲要点投射到墙面上,而不是将它们打印成明信片大小,粘贴到3×5英寸的卡片上。我经常会借助PPT列出我的演讲要点。但我更喜欢将这些幻灯片留给自己看。

 

PPT的第二大用途是将视觉辅助内容投射到屏幕上。在这点上它做得非常好——而且过去那种老掉牙的剪贴画如今已几乎消失不见。现在,人们从呆伯特(Dilbert)那里“借”漫画,从网络上抓照片。效果通常让人足够满意。

 

如果人们学习一点关于字体的东西,那就更好了;再者,如果他们了解到按字母“B”键,屏幕可短暂清空,那就好上加好了。但我们不能苛求完美。

 

露西还持认同态度地提及了杰出信息设计师爱德华o塔夫特(Edward Tufte)对PPT的著名谴责。塔夫特教授反对PPT出于下面两个理由:一个是“无止境的序列,一张该死的幻灯片跟着一张该死的幻灯片 ”;一个是演讲者与“受众”之间非对称的关系。

 

这很奇怪,因为塔夫特没有坦承他实际上反对的是公开演讲本身。有什么比演讲具有更无止无尽的序列呢?一个该死的词跟着另一个该死的词。如果你讨厌演讲这个想法,没关系。但你必须照实说。

 

不用花费多少力气就能大大提高多数人PPT报告的质量——比提高企业官腔质量所需的功夫要少得多。那又为何要呼吁颁布禁令呢?

 

真正的问题要让人忧心的多。在公司中,我们会被要求阅读不会写作的人写的乏味文章,观看既没天赋也没接受过培训的人表演。出于某些理由,这些外行比大多数作家与演员的薪酬都高。所有这些都让人感到沮丧,但我们不能将其归咎于PPT。

在结束这篇文章前,我必须正视在我看来PPT存在的一个最严重的问题:那就是“自动内容向导”功能——如果你无法自己罗列演讲要点,这个功能可以引导你完成这个工作。《纽约客》(The New Yorker)曾经报道过,自动内容向导的命名就是个笑话,“完全是对其目标客户的嘲讽”。推出该功能的想法本身就已经非常致命,但真正可怕的是,它是为了满足某种需求才被创造出来的。

幸运的是,这一需求可能也已经自动消失:2007版的PPT已经去除了自动生成内容的功能。

 

译者 | 何黎

 

中文译文很晦涩,英文好的同学可以直接看英文。

 

I am about to do something rash, which is to disagree with Lucy Kellaway. Last week, the fearless observer of business follies went too far: she called for PowerPoint to be banned.

 

The prosecution’s argument is simple: many PowerPoint presentations are very bad. This is true but it hardly makes the case for a ban. Serviceable tools can produce awful results in the wrong hands, as anyone who has seen me put up shelves can attest. Banning the screwdriver is not the answer.

 

So it is with PowerPoint. It’s an unromantic, practical piece of kit. It is often used poorly. It is not the most elegant tool, but botched jobs must be blamed on the workman. Many of the bad presentations people deliver with the help of PowerPoint would have been bad presentations in any case. Would it have been better to hear the impromptu ramblings of a nervous speaker in total cognitive meltdown? Or to watch a piece of professionally produced but irrelevant film, in the dark? Many readers will remember corporate life before PowerPoint. It was no lost Eden.

 

PowerPoint is not the world’s most wonderful piece of software. The built-in templates have long been ugly, the clip-art tacky and the animations risible. As if determined to deliver on the name, it inserts bullet points into text with little provocation. It is harder than it should be simply to make all the letters line up. (I am still using PowerPoint 2003. By all means dismiss this column as the ranting of a corporate shill.

 

Yet for all its flaws, PowerPoint performs two useful tasks well enough. It quickly allows one to compose speaking notes and to create slides showing images and graphs. The trouble starts when people confuse the two jobs.

 

There is nothing wrong with jotting down speaking notes as a memory aid. PowerPoint is as good a way of doing this as any, especially if you have handwriting like mine. For the vast majority of speakers, such speaking notes are preferable to the alternatives, including memorising, ad-libbing on the spot or writing the whole speech out and reading it in a wooden monotone.

 

The problem is that for some baffling reason, many speakers decide to project their speaking notes on to a wall rather than printing them out, postcard size, and sticking them on to 3×5 inch cards. I often sketch out my speeches with the help of PowerPoint. I just prefer to keep the slides to myself.

 

The second use of PowerPoint is to project visual aids on to a screen. This it does perfectly well – and the clichéd clip-art of yesteryear is now almost extinct. These days people “borrow” cartoons from Dilbert, or grab photos from the web. The effect is often pleasing enough.

 

It would be better if people learnt a bit about fonts, and better still if they learnt that by pressing “B” they could temporarily blank the screen. But one cannot have everything.

 

Lucy approvingly mentions a famous condemnation of PowerPoint by the brilliant information designer Edward Tufte. Professor Tufte attacks PowerPoint partly for its “relentless sequentiality, one damn slide after another” and partly for the asymmetric relationship between speaker and “followers”.

 

This is odd because Tufte does not acknowledge that he is really assaulting the idea of public speaking itself. What could be more relentlessly sequential than a speech? One damn word in front of another. If you hate the very idea of a speech, fine. But say so.

 

It would take little to improve greatly the quality of most people’s PowerPoint presentations – far less than it would take to improve the quality of corporate Newspeak. So why call for a ban?

 

The true problem is far more troubling. It is that in a corporate environment, we are asked to read prose by people who cannot write and watch performances given by people with neither the talent nor the training to perform. For some reason these amateurs are better paid than most writers and performers. There is something depressing about all this, but the blame cannot be pinned on PowerPoint.

 

I cannot finish without confronting the greatest sin in my version of PowerPoint: the “AutoContent” function, which sketches out a speech if you cannot do it yourself. AutoContent, The New Yorker once reported, was named as a joke, in “outright mockery of its target customers”. The very idea of the function is pernicious indeed but the real horror is that it was created to satisfy a demand.

 

Fortunately, that demand may have worked itself out, too: AutoContent was discontinued in 2007.

  1. 刚才测试了这个,很棒。“再者,如果他们了解到按字母“B”键,屏幕可短暂清空”
    虽然不知道什么时候会用到。