There’s a lot of buzz that PowerPoint should be abolished. In fact, in Switzerland, the trend has borne an entire political party, the Anti-PowerPoint Party (APPP). The call to end the use of PowerPoint presentations is not a new phenomenon. I can understand why people love to hate presentation software… it’s a convenient way to explain why presentations stink. It’s not about their slides or their presentation style!
Does the “death to PowerPoint” movement make you feel inadequate? Uncool? Uninformed, and out of date? Stop feeling like a hack and think logically. It’s not the software!
Repeat after me: PowerPoint and the other presentation software packages like SlideRocket, Keynote, and Prezi are not really responsible for mind-numbing presentations. It’s like saying a fork is responsible for a horrible meal.
Come on now, folks… Let’s be rational. Could it be that presenters often use presentation software poorly? Of course. Often presenters don’t use best practice in adult learning theory . They don’t think about how they would like to be engaged if they were in the audience. And they don’t take the time to seek out any of the easy-to-find tips and tricks that can help them deliver powerful presentations. Oh no… they just slap up bullets and charts and proceed to read from them. BORING.
By the way, webinars would be pretty hard to do with flipcharts, and using webcams for talking heads gets old after a while. Virtual presentations require even more skill to engage participants, so it’s critical to learn more and do more when you present virtually.
Stop blaming the tools and buying the hogwash from people who are trying to sell you another method. Brush up on your technique and learn a little bit about best practice. Think about how to communicate authentically with the people who come to hear you share your expertise. Here are some great resources to help you avoid the pitfalls of heavy dependance on bad slides:
The Virtual Presenter Blog by Roger Courville
Make Better Presentations – The Anatomy of a Good Speech by Chris Brogan
Great Webinars by Cynthia Clay
Presentation Zen, the Blog
Presentation Zen, by Garr Reynolds
17 Examples of Great Presentation Design on Hubspot
Really Bad Powerpoint by Seth Godin
There are literally thousands of really great resources to help you use PowerPoint (or your favorite presentation software package) well. There’s no reason to feel badly because you use slides. But you should feel terrible if you use slides poorly. Don’t be lazy and blame the tools, get off the stick and learn something new to dazzle and engage your participants.