DonnaM » Blog Archive » Powerpoint is evil

Powerpoint is evil

I hate Powerpoint.

Actually – I don’t hate Powerpoint. I hate the presentation culture that expects me to stand up and talk in front of a screen full of silly dot points.

I write well, and I speak fairly well. I love telling stories as part of my presentations – I watch the audience, and stories are the parts that people really listen to.

However, when I’m forced to distil an otherwise good story into a few dot points, all of the power of the story and the elegance of the narrative disappears. I am held to the rigid listing of points on a screen. They control me and try to make me elaborate on each as a point, rather than weaving them together into something lovely.

Oh, I know that I can use them as reminders and triggers, but when the audience expects to use the slides as a takeaway of the presentation, this just isn’t enough.

So, what should I do – retain the eloquence of the verbal presentation, or provide the audience with the visuals and takeaways…maybe I can find a way to provide some combination of both

4 Responses to “Powerpoint is evil”

  1. Joshua Kaufman Says:

    Who’s to say it has to be distiled into a few dot points? Presentations are whatever you make them to be and it’s much more about the presenter (you) than what’s on the slides. Get creative and stop limiting yourself to templates!

  2. Donna Maurer Says:

    Hmmm…just doesn’t work for me. My creativity is in the words, not the slides.

  3. Dennis Reed Says:

    How about this:
    Record the presentation and type up a transcript later. Make only one slide, consisting of a URL where the transcript will be available within N days, where N is some acceptable integer. Unfortunately, this is quite a bit of work.

    Alternatively, use Powerpoint only for graphical things: flowcharts, tables, diagrams, pretty pictures of sunshine and kitties, keeping your outline/notes on index cards where they belong.

  4. Donna Maurer Says:

    Good ideas (especially the sunshine and kitties), but won’t work in this case – it is for a conference where I have to prepare a presentation. I don’t think they’d be happy with a URL ;)

    I actually worked in reverse anyway – I prepared a full paper, then trimmed it into slides.

    Anyway – finished now…

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