Russell Davies

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Everything I Know About Life I Learned From PowerPoint

Everything I know about life I learned from PowerPoint

I wrote a book about PowerPoint. This page will mostly be apologies and corrections. People I forgot to thank, things I got wrong. And then some links and DVD extras.


There is apparently a Kindle version of the book. I've never seen it but, I can imagine, on the standard grey scale Kindle, the book will look awful. I can't recommend you buy it. Sorry.

The books in the book

Books that should have been in the book

Notes on the text

Page iii The title Everything I Know etc was suggested by my agent, the wonderful Antony Topping. I tell you that mostly because I like using the phrase 'my agent'. I didn't really want to call it that. I wanted to call it 99 Slides. And then it would literally be 99 Slides with a bunch of accompanying text. A bit like A History of the World in 100 Objects but not boring. I still think that'd be a good book but, unfortunately, we couldn't get/afford the rights for most of the slides I'd want to use.

Page v Mark and his armpits

Page 15 Interesting/Boring. Interesting was a series of conferences I organised at the Conway Hall. Just talks about things by people who were interested in those things. Boring was the same, but with a much better name. And then it became a podcast which was a genius idea.

Page 17 There's a Walrus in my Fridge and it Won't Shut Up A presentation from a golden age when we thought maybe the Internet of Things would have some positive aspects. Maybe.

Page 20 The Big Red Button An intervention designed to let me take my laptop on stage. It was just a silly idea but Alex said it was buildable and got Daniel Soltis to build it. Thanks to both of them. It ended up (briefly) in the Museum of Modern Art. How odd.

Page 21 Death by PowerPoint 190,000 results.

Page 25 Ella Fitzsimmons Who helped me be better.

Page 26 Rachel Coldicutt Who taught me about performance.

Page 29 Robert Gaskins The man.

Page 39 U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell Addresses the U.N. Security Council PowerPoint helps launch a war.

Page 63 When We Understand That Slide, We'll Have Won The War The most famous chart in military history.

Page 65 Amazing Military Graphics by Paul Ford @defensecharts The craziest charts in military history.

Page 77 A Visit From The Goon Squad Jennifer Egan's PowerPoint chapter.

Page 80 MORE What could have been.

Page 149 The YouTube pitch deck

Page 159 Leave it to Lee Longlands The best ad ever.

Page 160 Strong Verbs, Short Sentences The podcast of the desk sign.

Page 162 The Upgoer Text Editor The ten hundred words.

Page 171 Shakespeare or Supermodel?

Page 177 'A friend of a friend'. Why was I so coy? It was John Shaw. Hello John. It was a friend of John's. I don't remember his name I'm afraid.

Page 187 Let's Occupy Technology With Love by Rachel Coldicutt

Page 190 Owais Raza appears to have disappeared from twitter. Fair enough. I'm mostly doing the same myself. The tweet/chart was popularised by Rishi Desai.

Page 198 Perfect Pitch by Jon Steel. You can watch an interview with Jon about this stuff on YouTube

Page 200 Pointing at Things by Austin Kleon A short, brilliant blog post about art and attention. The more I think about it. And the more time passes since I wrote the book, the more I realise how much of it was based on stuff that Austin Kleon has said, or linked to, at some point, on his blog. The man's a genius. And an invaluable resource.

Page 214 Lucy Prebble on the In Writing podcast Are you a violin?

Page 236 Nat Author of great decks

Page 262 Carbon Calculator