It begins when a higher up asks for some information.
You prepare a deck. You gather research and input and end up typing in the very words you would have said out loud were you actually holding a conversation.
And then you review what you prepared with colleagues, before you pass it on up to your supervisor, who then immediately rips it apart and directs you to put his opinion on the pages, not yours, but do it in your own words.
And by the time you’ve gone through multiple rewrites, and the meeting is finally scheduled and rescheduled, you eventually present your deck to the original requestor who has forgotten what he originally asked for and bides his time texting while you’re reading the slides out loud.
There is only one way to break this cycle. And it starts with you. When asked for information, open your mouth and give an answer. Don’t fall for the PowerPoint Trap! Lead by example, by responding to inquiries with actual conversations, and when you receive a huge deck, respond with a polite, “Have you got a minute to talk about this right now?” and then never pull out the deck when discussing it. And if all else fails, hide all the power cables to the overhead projectors.