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What Would You Do to Avoid a PowerPoint Presentation?

A new survey suggests people will go to great lengths to avoid PowerPoint presentations, either giving them or listening to them.

Just how excruciating do people find PowerPoint presentations?

Nearly a quarter of workers would rather forego sex for the night than sit through a lame presentation, says a new survey. (In the interest of full disclosure, the survey of 1,000 adults was commissioned by start-up SlideRocket, whose Internet-based presentation creation software is a PowerPoint alternative. The company was acquired by VMWare in April.)

Some findings:

A third of those surveyed said they dread creating the presentations, while 29 percent dread sitting through them.

A fifth said a trip to the dentist was preferable to being stuck in a chair watching slides click by. Nearly another fifth—18 percent—said they’d rather work on a Saturday.

Fully a third said a boring presentation literally has put them to sleep, and 30 percent admitted to sneaking out of a presentation at least once.

If you’re the one giving the talk, you may want to keep respondents’ pet peeves in mind: too much text, boring graphics, lack of analytics, and large file size.

Last updated: Jul 8, 2011


Inc. contributing editor Courtney Rubin was for five years a London-based staff writer for People magazine. Rubin, a former senior writer for Washingtonian magazine, has written for the New York Times magazine, Time, Marie Claire, and other publications. She is the author of The Weight-Loss Diaries.

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