Presentation design – AI vs reality

I’ve been asked about using AI to write presentations. I’m sure things will change in the future, but right now my answer is “Don’t”. As an illustration I asked for a medium length bio about me which I’ve put in black below. My thoughts are cut in, in red.

Bio for Dr Simon Raybould – presentations trainer and speaker

Dr Simon Raybould is a renowned speaker, trainer, and coach based in the United Kingdom. He has over two decades of experience in helping individuals and organizations improve their communication skills, enabling them to achieve their goals and realize their full potential.

Never been a coach in the sense that people think of it. I don’t have the patience or the training. And while I get the sentiment about “achieve their goals and realise their full potential” a real person would have known I’d have hated this approach. I’m about ‘having more impact’ in your presentations’ but this way of phrasing things is far too woowoo and sales-y (is that a word?)

Simon holds a PhD in Physics from the University of Bristol and has worked as a research scientist for several years. However, he eventually found his true calling in helping people communicate more effectively. He is the founder of Presentations Skills Training, a company that provides training and coaching to individuals and organizations on how to create and deliver effective presentations.

Nope. I hold a PhD in Medical Geography/Statistics from Newcastle University. Life is too short for me to try and figure out who I’m being confused with but that level of blatant tosh is scary!

Oh, and my company isn’t called “Presentation Skills Training” either, but let’s not worry about trivial things like that, eh?

Simon is also a sought-after keynote speaker, delivering talks on a wide range of topics, including communication, leadership, and creativity. He has spoken at numerous events and conferences across the globe, inspiring and motivating audiences with his engaging and insightful presentations.

Not specifically wrong, but not my style. It’s just wordsalad

In addition to his work as a speaker and trainer, Simon is an accomplished author. He has written several books on communication and presentation skills, including “Presentation Genius: 40 Insights From the Science of Presenting,” which has been widely praised for its practical and evidence-based approach.

This paragraph at least, I’m conformable with.

Simon’s work has been recognized with several awards and accolades. He is a Fellow of the Professional Speaking Association and a member of the Global Speakers Federation. He has also been featured in numerous media outlets, including BBC Radio, The Guardian, and Forbes.

Only one of the facts here is true. See if you can guess which one.

Through his work, Simon Raybould has helped countless individuals and organizations improve their communication skills, enabling them to achieve greater success in their personal and professional lives. He continues to be a leading voice in the field of communication, inspiring and empowering others to communicate with clarity, confidence, and impact.

Over-hyped and not my style at all… but at least not actively wrong 😉

Okay, so it’s wrong, and not your style but surely it’s a start, Simon?

Yeah, I guess it’s a start, but what’s missing is as important as the mistakes here, too. There’s nothing about my approach to presentations training – that I bring the science of things to my work, avoiding “do it like me” as far as I humanly can. And given how often I’ve said that and written it and how important it is to me, this is a fatal blow.

Honestly, I think I’d spend more time correcting it and honing it than if I’d just written it from scratch in the first place.

But that’s writing a bio, not designing a presentation!

Yeah, which is an easier test for it to pass – and it still failed. Let me give you an example taken from one of the leading AI presentation designers… if I give it the words “better presentations” the slide I’m given was this.

Presumably it’s a better presented billboard? 😉

Given that I need to start changing things manually, even for a two word instruction, I’ve not saved any time.

So what’s the point?

A two word instruction isn’t a lot for the AI to work with Simon. Be fair!

Okay, fair point. So for fun, I gave the AI generated bio to the AI which generates slides.

If anyone can explain the image generated for the first slide to me, I’d be grateful!

Again, to be fair, there’s more text here than should be on a single slide, so what about if I just ask for an introduction slide – perhaps using my name?

I think we can all agree this is just going from bad to worse. It’s not as if there aren’t lots of images of me, correctly labeled and named, floating around online.

Just ask google! (oh, I did). Google got it right, so why can’t the AI?

My point? If an artificial intelligence can’t even scrape a google image search, how intelligent is it really? 😉

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