Admit it: just the thought of watching a PowerPoint makes your eyes glaze over.
We’ve all endured endlessly boring, unimaginative PowerPoint slides and that’s why alternatives like Prezi and Haiku have become so popular — particularly with the under-30 set.
Microsoft even rolled out its own PowerPoint killer called Sway last November.
But now business people have discovered a way to love PowerPoint, thanks to a game called PowerPoint Karaoke, also known as “Battle Decks.” And while the game isn’t new, it has recently become all the rage in the Valley, reports the Wall Street Journal’s Shira Ovide.
It works like this. A person is given a random topic to present on. That person is also given a PowerPoint presentation filled with slides she’s never seen, mostly a bunch of odd or awkward pictures and/or inscrutable phrases. She’s got to use the slides to talk on the topic. The goal is to pretend it’s a legit presentation, make people laugh, and demonstrate quick wit.
Earlier this month Adobe Systems held a PowerPoint Karaoke contest where about 100 employees showed up, Ovide reports. It’s a corporate favourite at Twitter, too, given that this is a game taken straight from comedy improv and CEO Dick Costolo is a former improv comic who studied at Second City.
The game involves drinking and quickly becomes NSFW.
Although the game is experiencing a resurgence, it’s almost a decade old. According to a website called PPT-Karaoke, which aims to be your online source for playing the game, it was invented by “somebody in Germany” in 2006.
Ovide’s investigative report included a big selection of photos of the game.
We found a couple, too, to give you the idea:
And here’s one from an entire PowerPoint Karaoke comedy event, the Speechless comedy festival in 2013.