Table of Contents Technology ShowcaseBuilding an Engaging Online Student UnionTechnology Showcase: Implications of the Internet of Things (IoT)Technology Showcase: The Natural Limitations of Technology: 4K TVsTechnology Showcase: Students Organize HackathonsTechnology Showcase: LEDs EvolveTechnology Showcase: Beyond Facebook: Social Media 2.0Technology Showcase: The Potential of Virtual Reality GamesTechnology Showcase: What Event Planners Need to Know About WiFiTechnology Showcase: 10 Pro Tips for Using Microsoft WordTechnology Showcase: It's Just a Video in PowerPoint–What Could Go Wrong?Technology Showcase: Competitive Presenting with PowerPoint RouletteTechnology Showcase: Adjusting Procedures to Provide Better A/V SupportTechnology Showcase: Tracking A/V Inventory in DEA EMSTechnology Showcase: Applying Innovative, Inexpensive Technology in a Theatre SpaceTechnology Showcase: Raspberry Jammin'Technology Showcase: Road Test: Apps for NotetakingTechnology Showcase: Road Test: Student Employee Scheduling ProgramsTechnology Showcase: Road Test: Project Management Software10 of the Top Commons Posts of 20152015 Education and Research Fund DonorsNeeds Assessment Identifies Strengths, Room for GrowthCAS Provides Better Tools for Relevant Functional AreasNew Team Provides Educational Tools, Discussion Opportunities Related to Campus ViolenceVolunteerism In the AssociationFrom the President: Who was Your First?From the Chief Executive Officer: Promoting Dialogue About Campus ShootingsMarch/April 2016 KioskOn the JobUnion Spotlight: Linda E. McMahon Commons at Sacred Heart UniversityUnion Spotlight: Andorfer Commons at the Indiana Institute of Technology
Volume 84 | Issue 2
March/April 2016

Technology Showcase: Competitive Presenting with PowerPoint Roulette

Anticipation flows unevenly. The room is electrified as the audience glues their eyes to the front of the room. The presenter takes a deep breath as the screen behind them lights up with the topic: cat memes. Those watching erupt into fits of giggles while the presenter stumbles as they try to explain Grumpy Cat and how it relates to the graphs on the next slide.

The presenter didn’t know they were giving a PowerPoint presentation about cat memes, but they knew they were giving a presentation about something.

PowerPoint Roulette, also known as PowerPoint Karaoke and Battledecks, is an improvisation game where a person presents a slideshow to an audience without knowing the contents of the PowerPoint. Several campuses in Canada have introduced it as a program, including Queen’s University and the University of Waterloo.

The game was invented in 2006 by Zentrale Intelligenz Agentur (ZIA) in Berlin originally as a form of protest against PowerPoint. According to their website, PowerPoint is a “software with fatal consequences” that brought clipart animation and “bulletpoint thinking” into everyday life. ZIA collected random PowerPoints online and participants were judged on their presentations.

The main concept has remained the same as it has become more popular. Sometimes PowerPoints are created specifically for an event, or random ones are found online and used. Typical rules are that the presenter can’t see the slides before presenting, the presenter delivers each slide in succession without skipping slides or going back, and the presentation ends when all the slides are presented or after an allotted amount of time. Games can be judged by applause, by popular vote, or by a panel of judges based on how well each presenter did. Factors presenters can be judged on include, but are not limited to: content and credibility, poise, flow, and audience response.

Besides being a fun game, PowerPoint Roulette allows for creativity and pushes participants to practice thinking on their feet. Becoming tongue-tied in the middle of a presentation happens to the best of us. This game allows people to develop ways they can continue while under some pressure after faltering. If a presenter can make it through a PowerPoint they know nothing about, they can present about a subject they know.