Tired of PPT: Start power point karaoke

3/12/2008 | Christian Kreutz


Bill Ives wrote a nice post about power point karaoke -- a great way to relive us from boring presentations and to laugh about the mass phenomena of non stopping slides and too many buzz words. He writes, "This trend combines two of the most boring things around, PowerPoint and Karaoke so maybe it would be funny." It was actually invented here in Germany by an ppt_karaoke.pnginteresting creative "think tank" called "Zentrale Intelligenz Agentur" (Central Intelligence Agency), who also runs the blog riesenmaschine.de. By the way, this guys also wrote an interesting book called "We call it work - the new digital bohemian," which deals with new working models and the escape of 9-5 jobs. (Unfortunately, I think it only is available in German).

How to do Power Point karaoke?

I am pretty bored with Power Point presentations, but still quite surprised about the fact that slide records can be always beaten, and the amount of buzzwords that can be used. So, I must say that this is lots of fun!!! We did it in our team some while ago and enjoyed it. It definitely trains you in holding presentations in outer circumstances and improvising. It also feels good to talk random nonsense once in a while because, at the end, that is sometimes needed in case somebody gives you a presentation about all sorts of stuff. I am sure there are many ways to experiment with it, but this is how we did it:


  • Go to Google advanced search and click the drop down menu "file type" and select Power Point (.ppt)
  • Now, search with random key words the web for PPT and check the presentations. Good results are, for example, strategic communication (surely full of buzzwords), ornithology, fire extinguisher or simply beer.
  • If you find some presentations, which shall not take longer than half an hour, you can rate them by the level of difficulty. We had three levels. When you look at each presentation, it becomes obvious that an ornithology presentation is not as easy as one about kitchen equipment -- but who knows? Name the PPT files with the topic and sort them in three different folders.

Power Point Karaoke

  • Everybody has only 5 minutes to present. The presenter already knows the topic and the number of slides to be shown at the minute he/she has to begin.
  • The presenter can choose between the different topics within one category (level of difficulty). Just show the folder over a projector with the different files and topics.
  • The listeners give grades after each presentation is given and judge the performances. But please be fair, it is not that easy, I can tell from my own experience.
  • Once all have presented, and everybody stood naked in front talking about the weirdest things and maybe had to go through 80 slides in five minutes, the presenter with the worst grade passes out.
  • Then, a next round starts with less players and one level harder.
  • In the end there should be a winner, who improvised and impressed the best and came up with the most bizarre stories, which luckily, of course, have nothing do with the real content of the slides.

So it does not have to be a mass event or contest. It can be a great team exercise with PPT overdoses. Have fun!