Introducing the “Cluttered Slide Contest”
for College and University Students

Students upload photos of the most cluttered,
crowded and confusing slides shown in class
to be eligible to win the $1,000 grand prize!

For Immediate Release

September 8, 2015—Petticoat Creek Press Inc., publisher of the groundbreaking book 5 Steps to Conquer ‘Death by PowerPoint’, is launching the “Cluttered Slide Contest” for college and university students across North America.

Until September 30, 2015, post-secondary students are being encouraged to upload photographs of the most cluttered, crowded and convoluted slides shown in their classroom or lecture hall to Facebook, Instragram and Twitter.

The winning entry will receive $1,000.*

“We started this contest to improve the quality of classroom education,” says Eric Bergman, author of 5 Steps to Conquer ‘Death by PowerPoint’. “The research is absolutely clear: The more cluttered the slide, the less effective the lecture.”

Three separate studies from universities in Purdue, Barcelona and Munich have compared the presentation of lectures using PowerPoint versus presenting exactly the same information without showing a single slide. Researchers then administered quizzes to test student understanding and retention of the material presented during the lecture.

“Each study came to exactly the same conclusion,” Bergman says. “Students who weren’t exposed to PowerPoint scored 20 to 30 per cent higher on the quiz. In one study, this held true even when the same professors delivered the same information using both styles—with slides and without.”

On October 5, the best examples of cluttered slide photos posted by students between September 8 to September 30 (which have been verified by the selection committee as having been shown in class) will be uploaded to the same hashtag—#ClutteredSlide. “We’re calling this the best of the cluttered worst,” says Bergman. The slide that gets the most likes, retweets and shares by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, October 9 will win US $1,000.

“Ultimately, the goal of this contest is to motivate students to demand a higher standard from their education,” Bergman says. “It is the most significant investment they will ever make in their future.

“We also want professors to recognize that it’s time to pay attention to credible, peer-review research that refutes the thinking that the use—especially the overuse—of slides in the classroom somehow benefits the learning process.”

Written by Eric Bergman, 5 Steps to Conquer ‘Death by PowerPoint’ encourages all presenters—including university professors—to reduce their reliance on PowerPoint and conduct effective conversations with their audiences. The foreword is written by John Sweller, Ph.D., emeritus professor of education, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

He writes: “The various recommendations Bergman makes are based on strong research evidence he has brilliantly applied to the art of presenting information to a live audience. Eric Bergman’s techniques are a window to the future of this important human activity.”

* To be eligible for the grand prize, entries must be photographs of slides projected in class during lectures by professors. All entries must be posted under the hashtag #ClutteredSlide on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. The professor, class and institution need not be named. However, the judging committee will verify all finalist entries as having been shown in class, prior to being named a finalist.

Please read the full set of rules for the contest.


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As one article put it, cluttered slides in class are a leading cause of student boredom.



The research is absolutely clear: The more cluttered the slide, the less effective the lecture.




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We’d be a bit surprised if the slide above wasn’t a finalist.

To be eligible, it would have to be photographed in class, and the student taking the picture would have to verify the institution at, class in, and the time and date on which the photo was taken.

The top 10 finalists will be posted on October 5, 2015. The one that receives the most likes, shares and retweets from separate accounts by end-of-day October 9 will win the prize.




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Slides like this may benefit professors by helping to organize lessons, but when shown in class research shows they hamper the learning processby as much
as 30 per cent!