Help the US military! Makeover this slide

New York Times, in all their wisdom, has identified PowerPoint as the enemy that the military needs to go after.

The article describes a meeting heavy culture, where people spend days creating presentations, only to put everyone to sleep when its actually presented. Its easy to blame the tool, but it sounds like they are avoiding facing a larger issue - ineffective communication patterns.

The NYT also posted a crappy visualization as an example of how terrible presentations are in the military, The slide is indeed terrible. If this is the level of design the military is working with, that is a problem. They need better designers and where better to find great designers than on SlideShare

I am sure all of you know how to improve this slide. Please do a makeover of this slide, and post a link here. Or suggest for how it could be improved (make a blog post or comment in this thread). What would be your approach? We will pull it all together and send it to some of the names mentioned in the article.

Interestingly the US Army, Navy and DOD also share their own presentations on SlideShare – so you can get a sense for what kind of slides they have typically.
http://www.slideshare.net/USNavySocialMedia
http://www.slideshare.net/USArmySocialMedia
http://www.slideshare.net/DepartmentofDefense

Thanks to Guy Kawasaki for the idea! Please tweet this post so we get lots of makeovers.

  • http://ingridkoehler.com IngridK

    I think this slide probably achieves EXACTLY what the presenter intended.

  • http://clanrossconcepts.blogspot.com/ Jonny

    As a reservist in a slightly different military and infantry not rear echelon might I suggest the best way to engage the enemy and defeat them is in combat not in numbing the brain of your own forces with Presentation bling.

  • http://www.peacemapping.com Susanne Hoogwater

    My make-over suggestion is to create live visuals in the meeting room. Use flip charts or have a graphic recorder assist.
    Let the experts talk and synthesize their knowledge and strategy, while a graphic recorder captures the essence of what they discuss. The result looks sketchy, but is a true and lively representation of the thinking and decision making process. The people in the room can take a print of a photo of the map home, as a visual remember of the who/what/why.
    This would save a lot of preparation and over-analyzing time for the speakers (probably days!)

    To get a sense of the look:
    See real time flip chart capture that I made during a 60 minute webcast of the USIP on the war in Afghanistan. http://peacemapping.com/peacemapping/

  • http://www.mindjet.com/campaign/click.aspx?campID=196 Michael Deutch

    I think you’re reading the slide out of context and incorrectly. Calling it ‘crappy’ is…well, crappy.

    What you’re looking at is the final product and it was presented in ‘builds’. The intent of the slide is to show how complex the situation is and how all the pieces of the puzzle are interconnected. It was presented in parts, by system, identified by color. It represents a very complex situation in a very smart fashion.

  • http://www.bosley-250.com Bosley

    just amazing , must have put a lot of work into it

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  • http://www.bencraig.com Greg Tippmann

    excellent presentation unfortunately the difficulties inside afgan are not going to be easily resolved but your slide does present some interesting points, thanks.