Lots of people have been asking me recently about the use of PowerPoint in presentations. Contrary to popular opinion I do NOT think PowerPoint is the devil incarnate. I simply recognise that people misuse and abuse a tool which has the potential to add meaning, clarity and energy to your spoken word. People use PowerPoint so badly however, in my opinion, that it has become counterproductive and generates derision, dismay and disinterest most of the time it is used in business presentations. I’ll write about some hints and tips in subsequent blogs but here are three reasons why I think PowerPoint stinks!
#1 Some people think that PowerPoint is the presentation. It ISN’T! What you say, how you say it and what action you want people to take after the presentation is the presentation. The sooner we recognise that PowerPoint is the supporting cast and not the star of the show, the better our presentations will be.
#2 Many people prepare their presentations by first switching on the laptop, opening PowerPoint and brain dumping all they know bullet point by boring bullet point by even more boring bullet point. PowerPoint should be the last thing you prepare AFTER you know what to say and how you are going to say it.
#3. A wise man once told me, ‘Catherine, when you use visual aids (including PP) the clue is in the name – visual! Not verbal, visual.’ Too many people fill their slides with words, phrases, sentences and god forbid, full paragraphs. Be ruthless, replace words with pictures, graphs, charts. You are the one with the passion, the clarity, the human interest factor. The slides are there (if at all) to add colour, emotion, clarity and visual stimulus.
What do you think about PowerPoint as a presentation aid? What are your worst experiences? What are the best presentations you have seen using PowerPoint? Add in your comments below. Look forward to hearing from you.