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figbash's avatar

Has anyone ever been to an Edward Tufte presentation? Was it worth attending?

Asked by figbash (7441 points ) July 17th, 2012

I produce a lot of communication for my job, and have always been fascinated by Edward Tufte’s approach to presenting data and information. He’s long held that PowerPoint makes people stupid and is a master of displaying quantitative information visually.

That being said, I may have to fork out the cash to see him myself, and I’m not quite sure if his lectures are just ‘cool’ or actually provide pragmatic ways to apply his theory. I can’t decide whether or not to go.

Has anyone else here attended his presentations? What did you think?

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2 Answers

dabbler's avatar

I enjoyed one of his presentations about a year ago. He’s as lucid a speaker as he is thinker.
He covered some topics that are in his books, and a few advanced ones besides.
He’s also a sculptor and he made a small side-trip into presenting some his work in that area.
If you have his books, though, you can get all the same insights from them.
If you don’t have his books, note that you get all four of them included at the workshop!

wundayatta's avatar

I attended one of his presentations some years ago. I didn’t pay for it, and if I had to, I doubt I would have gone, but it was very influential to me. I haven’t cracked open any of his books since, but the main message to me was that we should never use slides for reading. Illustrate your talk. Find useful ways to combine information in your slides.

Of course, the devil is in the details, and I think it is worth going to a talk to see how he puts his rules into action. Highly worth while. But not more that $200 worth while to me. More than that, and the boss has to pay.

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