Have the PowerPoint presentations at your place of work gotten particularly stale lately? Are most people unable to string together one line of cogent thoughts without the aid of a slide, fumbling around and embarrassing themselves when technological problems strike, rendering them script-less? Do you want to throw your colleagues into real-life situations wherein, guess what, they might not always have a chart on Slide 5 to save the day? Have you been itching to add an element of competition to these things? If you answered yes to any of the above, we'd like to suggest introducing PowerPoint Karaoke to your office, which is apparently a real, actual thing that's happening at corporate firms across the nation.
On a sunny Friday afternoon earlier this month, about 100 employees of Adobe Systems Inc. filed expectantly into an auditorium to watch PowerPoint presentations. “I am really thrilled to be here today,” began Kimberley Chambers, a 37-year-old communications manager for the software company, as she nervously clutched a microphone. “I want to talk you through…my experience with whales, in both my personal and professional life.” Co-workers giggled. Ms. Chambers glanced behind her, where a PowerPoint slide displayed four ink sketches of bare-chested male torsos, each with a distinct pattern of chest hair. The giggles became guffaws. “What you might not know,” she continued, “is that whales can be uniquely identified by a number of different characteristics, not the least of which is body hair.”
Ms. Chambers, sporting a black blazer and her employee ID badge, hadn’t seen this slide in advance, nor the five others that popped up as she clicked her remote control. To accompany the slides, she gave a nine-minute impromptu talk about whales, a topic she was handed 30 seconds earlier. Forums like this at Adobe, called “PowerPoint karaoke” or “battle decks,” are cropping up as a way for office workers of the world to mock an oppressor, the ubiquitous PowerPoint presentation.
You're wondering how you went this long without PowerPoint karaoke, are you not? Don't waste another precious second. Email the team and start preparing slides for your favorite colleague to riff on, on the topic of pro-wrestling, real or fake, or the mating rituals of the praying mantis. Sky's the limit.