“We want the number of boring PowerPoint presentations on the planet to decrease and the average presentation to become more exciting and more interesting,” Anti-PowerPoint-Party (APPP) founder Matthias Poehm, from Switzerland, told The Local on Tuesday.
The party says it is fighting for people's right not to be subjected to PowerPoint or other presentation software. APPP believes its battle could benefit about 250 million citizens worldwide, including business executives and students who are obliged to give or attend presentations - a requirement that the group dubs “a grievance.”
APPP stresses that it does not want to abolish PowerPoint or other software entirely, only the obligation to use it. The party hopes its efforts will mean "that those who want to renounce PowerPoint will not have to justify themselves in the future."
“PowerPoint will almost never beat a real person who is creating something on a flip-chart,” said Poehm, who is a public speaking trainer.
The group said it decided to form an international political party in Switzerland because anybody in the world can become a member of a Swiss party. The APPP said it plans to become the fourth largest Swiss party, with a stated goal of 33,000 members. The party does not have any ideological affiliations, but proponents say the initiative will help boost their cause with the media and the general public.
“The APPP wants to participate in the Swiss national elections in October and win at least one seat,” they said.
According to APPP, about €350 million is lost worldwide annually as a result of the time invested in the presentations, a figure based on the hourly wages of those who attend.
The party’s website features a section of “horror slides of the month” as well as a –rather short- list of companies that have already given up using PowerPoint.
The offending slides include the impenetrable "Afghanistan Stability" chart that prompted General Stanley A McChrystal of the US Army to remark: "When we understand that slide, we’ll have won the war."