To: All News and Wire Services
For Immediate Release:
Professor PowerPoint™ Loses Tenure
By Tom Bunzel
As an active member of the Visual Being web log, the Presentations Council of InfoComm International and the presentations community at large, I need to inform you all of a change in my circumstances necessitated by my recent correspondence with Microsoft’s law firm, Katten Muchin Rosenman.
I was contacted by a member of that firm a short while ago and informed that my use of the phrase “Professor PowerPoint™” was an improper use of its trademark and among other matters, potentially created confusion as to my relationship with Microsoft.
As many of you know, I have spent a fair amount of time and effort writing articles and books, educating users and in many ways promoting the use of PowerPoint™ in creating and enhancing presentations. However, when I explained these circumstances in some detail, I was informed that while Microsoft certainly appreciated my endeavors, my continued use of the trademarked name PowerPoint™ in my business and web site was inappropriate.
After consulting Microsoft’s web site pertaining to the proper use of its trademarks, I realized that there was no way I could continue as Professor PowerPoint™ without violating the clearly set forth canon of: “Do Not Use Microsoft Names or Trademarks as Part of Your Name”. There was very little wiggle room in that sentence.
To my relief the attorney added that Microsoft was not taking an aggressive posture in this issue. Since I had no great interest in retaining a law firm with the names of three partners on its letterhead, I appreciate that position immensely and sincerely.
So it is with some regret that this week I am publicly and irrevocably renouncing my position as Professor PowerPoint™, and now also admit that I got most of my diplomas through self study. (My B.A. in English from Tufts University is, alas, legitimate).
Obviously I had hoped to complete my career as a fully tenured Professor PowerPoint™ basking in the glory of a position in an albeit virtual and wholly nonexistent campus, but that is not to be. As of today the ProfessorPowerPoint™ web site is no more, and I have assumed a new position…
Henceforth my web site will be www.professorppt.com, and I hope that those of you who have linked to me in the past or referenced me in your own work will make the necessary adjustment.
The title of this web site has now been changed to “The Presentation Professor” (even though I shall remain, in reality, a humble untenured teaching assistant).
Let me make it perfectly clear that this entirely new web site has no relationship with either Presenters University or Presentations Magazine (even though I am an intermittent Contributing Editor at Presentations). Let me state for the record that I am also in no way connected to the “Ask the Professor” professor at Presenters University, the Video Professor on national television, nor any other real or virtual institution of higher education in the presentations industry. If in fact there are any other professors, real or virtual, teaching in the presentations community, I simply ask, can we all just get along?
It is indeed with a sad and heavy heart that I leave this entirely nonexistent campus, and set forth in search of new vistas in the presentations (and not just PowerPoint™) universe. I hope you will not forsake me for my past transgressions and continue to count me as a valued colleague as I carve out what I hope will be a new area of specialization and expertise beyond PowerPoint™ and into the virtually infinite realm of communicating more effectively using technology. (Oops, not to be confused with David Paradi’s http://www.communicateusingtechnology.com).
I will post my new office hours shortly but drop in any time. With fondest memories of a great ride, I remain sincerely,
The Presentation Professor