I have been trying to figure out how to make this point since first seeing Professor Lessig in action, but have been unsuccessful to date. My point is a simple one -- if you want to understand the "power" in PowerPoint, watch a Lawrence Lessig presentation. They are a fantastic combination of content, art and brand (if you've seen one of Professor Lessig's PowerPoint presentations, you'll forever associate the white typewriter font on black blackground with Lessig -- in fact, the association is so strong that Professor Zittrain was able to get a big laugh at iLaw by simply converting one of his slides into the Lessig style).
Larry Lessig as PowerPoint Virtuoso
Larry is one of the most extraordinary PowerPoint virtuousos I've seen. It's not just the white-on-black typewriter font. He uses phrases as anchors into his talk: the slides are signposts that let you glance up and pull out key words and ideas from his talk. He's also brilliant at taking slides he's previously shown and modifying them to put new twists on those ideas. At the DRM conference, he changed background colors to show the expansion of copyright; today, he's played with the color and placement of text. When he flips through the slides showing copyright terms in various years, it's almost an animation. And when he's talking about old films decaying and disappearing, he uses a blank black slide.
Entrepreneurs starting the VC circuit would do well to watch a Lessig presentation before creating the PowerPoint with which they will tour Sand Hill Road. What Lessig does particularly well is to use his PowerPoint to emphasize a point, without spelling out the entire argument on the slide itself. If you are giving a presentation, there is no need to provide all the information on the slide. The slide should be used as a jumping off point. It should be used for emphasis and as a roadmap. So, if you're reading your slides, they have too much information on them. Perhaps Lessig's single word slides go too far in the other direction, but I'd sure rather see that than a slide overloaded with statistics, quotes, etc. If you need to create a PowerPoint in any context, I highly urge you to track down one of Lessig's. There's lots to be learned there.