Powerpoint Presentations

Wired 11.09: PowerPoint Is Evil

I read this article after being directed to it via Scoble’s blog. It bought back many terrible memories of Powerpoint presentations that lurked in my past. My University days alone were enough to haunt thy esthetic soul.

Perhaps I too was amazed at how cool it was to watch text zoom across the screen the first time I learned to use the animations and text effects. But once any self-respecting speaker has sat through 20 consecutive presentations on the same subject where the only thing that changed was the direction and colour of poorly formatted text, they would vow to never do that to their audience as long as they lived.

The problem isn’t any particular piece of software. Think of the millions of websites that still exist to this day with “under construction” animated gifs, MIDIs and marquee tags. It?s not the fault of the language surely.

Even in the non-technical world there are many demonstrations of people who have completely different tastes than the rest of us. Maybe it?s the house on the corner with so many lawn ornaments that you can’t see any grass. Or the Dodge Shadow down the street painted at least 30 different colours…on purpose. Different strokes for different folks right.

I respect people for having their own unique tastes even if I don’t get it. The problem is that you need to keep your own flare and style separate from the needs of your audience.

What does your audience need? Surely it depends on the situation. But more than likely they are looking for relevant information, clarity and way to keep from dosing off too often in the middle of your presentation. And at least if they do fall asleep, give them some kind of quick aid when they wake up to tell them where you are.

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