Avoiding Human Contact Using PowerPoint: 3 Easy Steps


Do you hate being asked to talk to people about issues that come up at work? Does your boss sometimes just come by your desk... and ask you questions? Well never fear! PowerPoint is your savior.

Do you hate being asked to talk to people about issues that come up at work? Does your boss sometimes just come by your desk... and ask you to explain things? Trust me, I know, I hate it too. If I could just get through the day without having a meaningful discussion or talking to anyone I'd be a happy camper.

Below are 3 time-tested steps that I've honed over the years to avoid most (if not all!) human contact throughout the day. The last thing you want at work is to interact with people. If I wanted to talk to someone I'd go to a ball game or pub. Take it from me, follow the 3 steps and you too can practically vanish into the woodwork and maintain adequate job security indefinitely.


1. The 1-Siderâ„¢

The 1-Slider is a technique used to initiate the avoidance of contact. Essentially the 1-Slider is a business term (feel free to check Urban Dictionary also) that refers to a short PowerPoint presentation describing a simple problem/solution combo. For instance it could be a single slide with 4 bullet points as to why you were late this morning, or an infographic of Peet's vs Starbucks coffee in the break room. The beauty of the 1-Slider is that it's universal, and can be used for damn near any situation.

The 1-Slider technique is also quite simple to implement, you just need to remember one step. Whenever someone asks you for an explanation about something, even for the simplest thing, you just say "Hey, let me send you a 1-Slider on that!". Done. That's it, it's so so simple. This technique, when used correctly, says to the person "Hey, I hear ya, let me spend some time thinking about it and send you a refined presentation on my findings, now go away".

Not only is the 1-Slider technique a great way to avoid personal contact, but you can also cut down your work by recycling old content. I've sent the same 90% of slides to business associates for the last 8 years and every time I get wicked good feedback. Here's a little reco I received from an associate just this morning.

Thanks. -Jim

With praise and recognition like that, it's not hard to see why he's the boss. Totes appreciate it, bro.

2. More Text = More Better

The trick to a good slide deck (what us experts call PowerPoint files) is lots and lots of text. Text is one of those high-brow status symbols that adds legitimacy to your slide deck. If you have less than 10 bullets and 500 words on each slide, then it just looks like amateur hour.

Sometimes, though, you may find yourself in a writers block situation and not able to complete the necessary word count minimum. Don't fret! A trick I use is to head over to http://www.cipsum.com/ and generate some content automatically. It's pretty great, it's like the Corporate Ipsum knows exactly what I'm talking about every time. Let's say your boss asks you for a 1-Slider (see #1 earlier in the article) about why payments were not working on the website last night for 4 hours:

Efficiently unleash cross-media information without cross-media value. Quickly maximize timely deliverables for real-time schemas. Dramatically maintain clicks-and-mortar solutions without functional solutions.

How do they do it?! It's perfect! Game, check, hole in one.

3. Size Matters, Make It Longer

My personal rule is the only way to judge how hard someone worked on a PowerPoint presentation is to just look at the length, that is, the number of total slides. I mean, take the film Lawrence of Arabia for instance. It has an 8.4/10 rating on IMDb, and the running time checks in at just over 3-1/2 hours. Coincidence? Doubtful.

I know when I look at a slide deck of less than 10 slides and think to myself (and sometimes out loud) "Like, did Walter even try on this thing? Did he whip it up over his lunch break or something? You can't even get past 4-play with 10 slides!".

Here's my rule of thumb:

  • 1-Slider: 5 slides
  • Negative customer feedback analysis: 20 slides
  • Fireable offense: NO LESS than 100 slides

Believe you me, if I had a job for every time I created a slide deck longer than 100 slides, I'd never be unemployed!


Think of PowerPoint as corporate currency. The more slide decks you send out, and the longer each deck is, the greater sense of self importance you'll have and leverage with your coworkers and boss. But don't forget, the best part about all of this is that you can totally and damn near completely avoid any critical thinking or human contact by using PowerPoint.

In the end, if we're not increasing the art of mediocrity, then what the hell are we doing here?