The perfect powerpoint

I’ve been reading this book “The Pentagon’s New Map” for awhile now, very very slowly each night before bed. The author, Tom Barnett, was a military analyst for the U.S. Naval War College. He describes the quest among the analysts for “the perfect powerpoint slide” – the one slide that can get funding for a proposal, or at least move it up the executive foodchain. His book is basically oriented around his own perfect slide, which is an image of the world broken up into the “Functioning Core”, and the “Non-integrating Gap”. The “Functioning Core” is the area of the world which is engaging in globalization; the “Non-integrating Gap” is the area of the world which is not. His assertion is that the countries in the Gap will continue to be a problem and we should seek to bring globalization to them however possible. The real clincher in the slide is the depiction of all militiary conflicts over the past fifty years (or something) as little dots – and they all reside in the non-integrating gap.
Annnnyway. So I’ve been writing a lot of powerpoints lately and I keep thinking about this. For me, what I’m really interested in is creating the perfect powerpoint: how can I communicate my message effectively in bite-sized chunks so that someone will read through it, and yet have it retain its power?
Lately, this has evolved. As technology continues its inexorable march, I’m faced with a new challenge. That challenge is: how can I write the most perfect Blackberry-sized message, so that someone who receives it will be engaged and interested enough to then open my Powerpoint? πŸ™‚
What’s next? Pretty soon I’ll be trying to figure out what one word captures the reader’s attention the most so I can shoot it into their retina at the most opportune moment. Maybe I should take some damn marketing classes or something. πŸ™‚