Having just wrapped up my presentation at the Indiana Bankers Association’s 2013 Mega Conference, now seems as good a time as any to tackle a topic that has been on my mind for a while now.
Or, more specifically, how much people HATE PowerPoint. There are many good reasons to dislike PowerPoint, but I’m here to recommend that we stop blaming the tool, and start blaming the users.
When utilized properly, PowerPoint, Keynote or any other presentation solution, can support and enhance a presentation. Slides give a backdrop and evidence to support a speaker’s point, as well as assist the speaker by providing visual cues.
Slides should not be opportunities for all of us to read along with the presenter, or allow someone to simply skip the session because they can download the slides. They are also not a substitute for a handout with takeaway items for attendees – that’s what the free pads of paper on the tables are for!
And I guarantee this – the quickest way to destroy a presentation, and cause a few migraines among your audience, is to put too many words on your slides.
If you take a look at the slides I’ve uploaded to the Sundin Associates SlideShare, you should notice a theme – lots of images, very little text. In fact, I know I’ve done my job correctly when those viewing my slides without attending don’t know exactly what I was talking about, or more importantly, what point I was trying to make.
I have great respect for those people who are able to speak without the support of PowerPoint or similar program. And I completely understand the frustrations of the PowerPoint-haters. But I continue to believe that PowerPoint doesn’t ruin presentations.