Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Good old Powerpoint

Powerpoint seems to get a hard time of it and some of my fellow bloggers of late have been sticking up for the medium. I thought I’d also throw in my tuppence worth.

Don’t get me wrong, I have watched many a poor Powerpoint presentation and in my earlier days produced a few bad presentations myself. Too much information per slide, text too small to read properly, complete lack of any excitement in the slides, a template that takes away from what is actually being said. I’m sure many of you have committed the same crimes.

But, as I produced more presentations and actually started to research what makes a good presentation and put some planning in beforehand, my presentations improved. Surprise, surprise. I wholeheartedly agree with my more experienced bloggers – blame the presenter, not the medium. I mean, do we blame cinema as a whole for a rubbish film? Powerpoint is only what you make of it. And while I have admitted to seeing some very poor presentations, I have also witnessed many excellent presentations.

Dan Taylor writes a great
article in defence of Powerpoint which offers 8 golden rules for your presentations. Some may seem quite simple or obvious, but it’s often the most obvious things that we ignore or forget. And for me at least, the most difficult thing is trying to be ruthless. As Stan points out though, the use of the notes section in Powerpoint can help surmount this problem.

Funnily enough, as with almost any marketing activity you conduct, by planning and considering who your audience are, you can produce something very effective. I know I’m just reiterating what others have already said, but it still amazes me how often these two important points are overlooked. Then, instead of blaming ourselves or the creator, we blame the media. Granted, Powerpoint has provided us with the tools to produce monstrosities, but it has also provided us with the tools to produce something spectacular. The finished product is down to us. Damn.



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