Slides and other forms of multimedia are not appropriate in every case. In the case of many leadership speeches, for example, we want to see the man (or woman) and be informed and inspired by their words and perhaps even moved by their presence. Images on a screen? Perhaps. But in many of the great speeches of our time the images are painted with the speaker's words. Bullet point slides? You've got to be kidding. To illustrate the point of just how absurd bullets can sometimes be, imagine how much "different" (i.e., totally ineffective) it would have been if you listened to Obama's now famous "Yes We Can" speech against a backdrop of really bad PowerPoint slides. If bad slides can take some of the impact off even this kind of speech, imagine what wordy slides could do to your ability to connect with an audience.
The slide deck above is from Shmula.com. For fun (if you can call this fun) start the Obama speech below and then click through the slides to follow along.
If you missed the Obama speech, would reading these slides above help? This example is extreme for comedic impact, yet these slides are not so different than the millions of slides being sent around the world everyday to people who missed the presentation and said "Hey, just send me your presentation!"
JFK & bad ppt remix
If the Obama slides were not horrifying enough for you, here's one more. To see how it would work if you put slides in sync with the spoken word of a great speech, checkout this one of JFK below by Benjamin Larsen.
These two both remind of me of the (in)famous Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation from years ago.