How PowerPoint Makes You Stupid

The Faulty Causality, Sloppy Logic, Decontextualized Data, and Seductive Showmanship That Have Taken Over Our Thinking

An explosive book that shows how the world’s bestselling communications software is corrupting our minds—in board rooms, in schools, in government, in the military (in short, everywhere)

“To the executive who has never dozed off after lunch in an atmosphere subdued by a PowerPoint meeting, who has never experienced the desperation of trying to summarize an entire year’s work in ten slides and fifty bullet points: let him cast the first projector at Franck Frommer.” —Le Monde

With over 500 million users worldwide, Microsoft’s PowerPoint software has become the ubiquitous tool for nearly all forms of public presentation—in schools, government agencies, the military, and, of course, offices everywhere. In this revealing and powerfully argued book, author Franck Frommer shows us that PowerPoint’s celebrated ease and efficiency actually mask a profoundly disturbing but little-understood transformation in human communication.

Using fascinating examples (including the most famous PowerPoint presentation of all: Colin Powell’s indictment of Iraq before the United Nations), Frommer systematically deconstructs the slides, bulleted lists, and flashy graphics we all now take for granted. He shows how PowerPoint has promoted a new, slippery “grammar,” where faulty causality, sloppy logic, decontextualized data, and seductive showmanship have replaced the traditional tools of persuasion and argument.

How PowerPoint Makes You Stupid includes a fascinating mini-history of PowerPoint’s emergence, as well as a sobering and surprising account of its reach into the most unsuspecting nooks of work, life, and education. For anyone concerned with the corruption of language, the dumbing-down of society, or the unchecked expansion of “efficiency” in our culture, here is a book that will become a rallying cry for turning the tide.

Praise

“An original and brilliant study . . . Frommer’s call to resist the ‘powerpointization’ of our souls carries in it the lucidity of a new social critique.”
Les Inrockuptibles
“In an in-depth study, Franck Frommer has unearthed a new killer of brain cells.”
Télérama