Article Category: The Lighter Side

How the Grinch Stole PowerPoint

Last week, we published a list of the Top 35 Presentation Books based on expert ratings.

As my daughter looked at that article over my shoulder, I began thinking about the books I like reading to her the most. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss is definitely a favorite this time of year.

Inspired by the good Dr. Seuss (and since it has been too long since the 12 Days of Public Speaking Christmas), I offer this PowerPoint parody to you. I hope you enjoy it.

How the Grinch Stole PowerPoint, by Six Minutes

Every presenter at the conference liked speaking a lot…
But the Grinch, who preferred email and reports, did NOT!

The Grinch hated speaking — the whole act of presenting!
Now, please don’t ask why he was so unrelenting.
It could be that his head wasn’t screwed on quite right.
It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.
But I think the main reason for his lack of brain fiber
May be that he wasn’t a Six Minutes subscriber!

But, whatever the reason — his head or his sneakers —
He stood there on Conference Eve, hating the speakers,
Staring down from his cave with sour, Grinchy gloom
At the warm lighted projectors below in their room.
For he knew every speaker at the conference, sure enough,
Was busy now, adding more PowerPoint fluff.

For tomorrow, he knew, each woman and man,
Would deliver their slides according to plan.
And then, oh, the bullets! Oh the big round black bullets!
That’s one thing he hated: those big round black bullets.

The speakers, young and old, would then start to talk!
And they’d talk! And they’d talk! And they’d talk, talk, talk, talk!
They would talk about this, and they’d talk about that,
Mostly reading their bullets, boring to look at.

Then the audience would do something he liked least of all!
Every audience member, the tall and the small,
Would rise from their chairs where they were all napping,
They’d put their hands up and politely start clapping.

They’d clap, and they’d clap. And they’d clap, clap, clap, clap!
And the more the Grinch thought of this nap and this clap…
The more the Grinch thought, “I must end all of that!
Why, for fifty-three years I’ve put up with it now!
I must stop the conference from starting… but how?

Then he got an idea!
An awful idea!
The Grinch got a wonderful awful idea!

I know just what to do!” The Grinch laughed in his throat.
And he made a quick janitor’s hat and a coat.
And he chuckled and clucked, and laughed a great belly laugh:
With this coat and this hat, I look like cleaning staff!

Then the Grinch jumped in his van with his mops and his brooms
Toward the hotel and all its dim conference rooms.
He parked in the back near the dark service gate,
And he slipped through the doors where they loaded the freight.

All their laptops were dark. Quiet fans filled the air.
All the speakers were dreaming sweet dreams without care.
When he came to the very first laptop charging there.

Then he slithered and slunk up and down on his trek
Around the whole room, deleting every PowerPoint deck!
Gone were the bullets, both the big and the small,
Gone were transitions, gratuitous and all.
Gone were every 3-dimensional pie chart
Gone were the light bulbs and other clip art.
All were deleted – there’d be no more clicks.
The backups went too, right off memory sticks.

Then (to be thorough) he deleted Keynote files too
Off the iMacs, and iPads, and those iPods – “Adieu!”
You would think that these actions would have sufficed,
But then he stole every single electronic device.

Then he found all the briefcases, purses and totes,
And proceeded to shred every last page of notes.
No more reading out loud, no more eyes looking down,
They’ll be scared if they’re forced to look at the crowd!

Then, he did the same thing in the other conference rooms.
All while pushing around his fake cleaning-up brooms.

He left the hotel, and sat out in his van
Giggling and smirking, with his ears up to scan.
Pooh-pooh to the speakers” he was Grinch-ish-ly humming.
They’re finding out now that no conference is coming.

They’re just waking up! I know just what they’ll do!
Their mouths will hang open a minute or two.
Then all the conference speakers will all cry ‘Boo-hoo!’”

That’s a noise,” grinned the Grinch, “that I simply must hear!
So he paused. And the Grinch put a hand to his ear.
And he did hear a sound rising from the hotel.
It started in low. Then it started to swell…

But the sound wasn’t sad! Why, this sound sounded merry!
It couldn’t be so! But it WAS merry! VERY!

He peeked in at the conference. The Grinch popped his eyes!
Then he shook! What he saw was a shocking surprise!

Every speaker at the conference, the tall and the small,
Was speaking! Without any PowerPoint at all!
They were making their points and being quite persuasive.
Their message was sticking and being quite pervasive.
He hadn’t stopped presentations at all. They came!
Somehow or other, they came just the same!

And the Grinch, from his brain right down to his toe,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could it be so?
It came without projectors with lecterns to the sides!
It came without PowerPoint bullets on slides.

And he puzzled three hours, ‘till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
Maybe presenting,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a slide.
Maybe presenting… perhaps… comes from passion inside.

And what happened then…? Well, at the conference they say
That the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day!
And the minute his heart didn’t feel quite so small,
He entered the building and walked down the hall.
Then he waited for the speaker to finish and pause…
And he — he himself — the Grinch led the applause.

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Comments icon20 Comments

  1. Laura says:


  2. Carol says:

    This is brilliant-much more interesting than the original Grinch story! Very clever. I will read it aloud to my college students next semester — without slides!

  3. Emily says:

    I love it!! Great job.

  4. I love it! Dr Seuss would have been proud. (I don’t think he’d have been a great fan of powerpoint either).

    1. Andrew Dlugan says:

      No, I don’t imagine he would have enjoyed bullet-heavy slides at all… though imagine what he could have done with visual slides to accompany a speech!

  5. George Tyler says:

    What a wonderful story! We should have the Grinch in our briefcases next year, and our presentations will soar. Great article.

  6. Jon Nuelle says:

    Brilliant! Merry Christmas, and many thanks for this. With your permission (to use and abuse) I’m planning to adapt it a bit to read for a Toastmaster’s manual speech, from the “Interpretive Reading” manual. I’ll definitely credit you and send some of my club members to your very useful site!

    1. Andrew Dlugan says:

      Hi Jon:
      Feel free to use recite this poem in your Toastmasters club, along with attribution back here. I hope your club members enjoy it.

  7. Love it…! And others loved it too.
    And for this post… I say thank you.
    I’m not sure who might like it most…
    But thanks for another great blogpost.

    1. Andrew Dlugan says:

      Thank you all for the comments above.
      Thank you all for the tweets of love.

      1. Ha…! It’s like having a Seuss-off…! 🙂

  8. Helen says:

    Awesome!! Well thought out, creative, entertaining, and ….. NO BULLET POINTS!!

  9. PA Smith says:


  10. Saundra Loffredo says:

    Love your Grinch poem! It’s smart, informative, creative, and funny all at the same time.

  11. Dale Klein says:

    Absolutely brilliant, Andrew. You’re immensely creative.

  12. Valerie Locke says:

    Outstanding! Thanks for a good laugh and enjoyable read. Very well done- my compliments.

  13. John Fooks says:

    I’ve been writing all my life and could not write something this clever. I have one of Anne’s books and was captivated by it. But this is just the Cat’s Meow! :))))

  14. I am joining your mailing list because I absolutely loved, How the Grinch Stole PowerPoint!!!!!

  15. Rosemary Smith says:

    Loved how the Grinch stole Christmas

  16. Carl s. says:

    Some of my fellow toastmasters feel that way. I honestly think it can be boring, but sometimes in business it is necessary. Toastmasters can be used to test when we do have to present business and engineering ideas. It helps when clarifying ideas and techniques with diagrams.

    There is a lot of truth to the grinch’s assessments though.

    Love it.


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