Meetings association bans bad PowerPoint

Meetings and Events Australia, a not-for-profit organisation "dedicated to fostering professionalism and excellence in all aspects of meetings management" has banned PowerPoint at its annual event.



Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) has banned PowerPoint at its major conference for 2012.

MEA describes itself as a "national, independent not for profit organisation dedicated to fostering professionalism and excellence in all aspects of meetings management. It also promotes the value and effectiveness of meetings as an important high-yield sector of business travel and tourism."

Linda Gaunt, the organisation's CEO, says MEA is banning PowerPoint because it is an outmoded form of communication.

“The bullet point model was created in the pre-digital era, when there was a shortage of expert information," she said in a press release issued today. "It was worth flying somewhere to hear that kind of speech. Now the web is full of expert presentations you can watch in your own time and location, so meetings need to provide something beyond that."

Presenters at MEA's Sydney event have been issued guidelines for their talks, including a banned list of classic PowerPoint techniques. "Bullet points, flow charts, template backgrounds, clip art, reading from the screen, and other proven yawn-inducers are all forbidden," the press release says.

Simpler, more involving material including photos, videos, demonstrations and storytelling are encouraged. All on-screen images are to be accompanied by no more than ten words.

“As an industry, we manage everyone else’s events. It’s up to us to set an example to show that when you get people together, it doesn’t have to be a process of dull, passive one-way communication,” Gaunt said. “We’re pushing everyone outside the comfort zone, and we think it’s going to be involving and inspiring. It’s the future of meetings.”

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