POWERPOINT PERVERSION : Part 1. Mixed Messages


Now, I'm by no means a business expert. I don't give lectures on public speaking. I've never been involved in corporate communications. In fact, I've never given a Powerpoint presentation in my life.

However, I have sat through countless presentations and I know when things make sense and when they don't. There's a general rule of visual logic, which applies to street signs and Powerpoints: The image should always clarify, not confuse the subject.

Slide 1

The City Attorney's Office started out OK. 

Possible Interpretation:
1. The Office of the Attorney General is at City Hall.
2. Ethics applies to everyone at City Hall.
2.  San Antonio is a very ethical city.

Slide 5

The next slide containing an image isn't so clear.

Possible interpretations:
1. Young, professional, black women and old, gay, white men necessarily have conflictng interests.
2. Young, professional, black women and old, gay, white men working together is improper, at least where money's concerned.

Now, of course, while the message is mixed (in more ways than one), I was willing to do the Stephen Colbert thing and pretend not to see race. After all, it's just clip art. But then ....
Slide 12.

The next time you see two people together, it's also a black-white binary relationship. Her hair's different, but it's the same business suit: The young, black, professional woman has become a character in this slide show ... and a mascot for unethical practices.

The question is whether, based on her cameos, she symbolizes a city representative or a special interest. My guess is we're supposed to identify with her a city official. So, then who's the white woman?

Possible Interpretations:
1. Black women are involved in conspiring to forward The Feminist Agenda

2. Black women will pander to white women to advance through the system.

3. Black women carry hand buzzers.

Slide 13.

In defense of the City Attorney's office, we must introduce this slide, which tells employees/officials they can't buy into matters pending before the city.

Possible Interpretations:
1. Selling your house is an ethical violation
2. Buying a house is an ethical violation.

The text and the image don't seem to correlate. So, perhaps we're just confusing racism with slop.


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