Since joining Microsoft seven weeks ago, I've seen more PowerPoint presentations than I had seen in the previous five years. It quickly became apparent to me that the primary forms of communication at Microsoft are email and PowerPoint.

You may be familiar with Edward Tufte's scathing indictment of how PowerPoint is generally used to communicate information. I have, however, recently come across some presentations that I thought were terrific examples of using slides to compliment an oral presentation rather than serving as a teleprompter.

Dick Hardt's "Identity 2.0" presentation:
http://www.identity20.com/media/OSCON2005/

Lawrence Lessig's "Google Book Search" presentation:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5l2nrbmBQXg

Lawrence Lessig's "Free Culture" presentation:
http://lessig.org/freeculture/free.html

You'll notice that Lessig uses a typewriter-style font that's quite a bit difference from Courier New. I haven't been able to get the actual font he's using, but here's one that works pretty well:

Typist Font (click to download)

I find this style of presentation far more engaging than the usual deck of titles and bullet points. It may sound strange, but it actually reminds me of the bumps on Cartoon Network's [adult swim].


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