A PowerPoint party is exactly as nerdy as it sounds, but it’s the most fun I’ve had with friends while being sheltered in place.
I’m not alone either, it’s one of a few quarantine trends cropping up, like making bread and whipped coffee.
How our PowerPoint parties work: Every week one person in our group of six researches a conspiracy theory and presents their findings during our regular Zoom happy hour. The slides break down some of the theories, and the presenter explains which one they think is the real answer, or at least the most intriguing. (Here’s a tutorial on how to share a PowerPoint presentation on Zoom.)
Our group doesn’t have any hard rules, but the unspoken requirements are to keep the presentation brief and to use some humor.
I’ve yet to be convinced of much, but I’ve laughed a lot — and I have great cocktail party bits in my arsenal when I need those again.
Picking a topic: So far we’ve discussed what really happened to Marilyn Monroe and whether the Great Hope Diamond is cursed, and the Denver airport and moon landing are obviously on the docket.
I’m looking into the disappearance of Maura Murray, a college student who crashed into a snow bank 15 years ago and hasn’t been seen since. I’ll be watching documentaries, listening to podcasts, and going down the Google rabbit hole for my research.
Some other popular conspiracy topics include UFOs, Illuminati, and Big Foot, or you could try to answer more hard-hitting, controversial questions, like “Who was Jesus’s wife and why was it Mary Magdalene?”
We went with conspiracy theories for a loose theme, but you could also do more random, quirky topics, like a ranking of the hottest cartoon characters or weigh in on the “is a hot dog a taco or a sandwich” debate.
Timing: We have weekly Zoom happy hours. So one person presents for around 30 minutes, we ask questions, and then normal useless chit chat resumes.
But you could also have everyone share on the same day if weekly Zoom meetings are too much of a commitment, or if you’re looking for hours of entertainment to fill the weekends.