PowerPoint: Should You Be Using It For Presentations?

The other day, a co-worker said that he felt he was getting mixed messages from this blog regarding whether or not he should be using PowerPoint.

So, let me be clear. In response to the question: “Should you use PowerPoint for your next presentation?” My unequivocal answer is no. Unless you need to. Then I say yes.

How do you know if you need to use PowerPoint? Well, what would happen if you didn’t use slides for your next presentation?

Perhaps a better question is: what would happen if the power went out or the LCD project bulb blew? Would you still be able to deliver an effective message without your slides? If the answer is “yes”, then perhaps you don’t need slides in the first place.

My problem isn’t with PowerPoint software. If you feel visual aids will enhance your presentation, then please go ahead and use PowerPoint. BUT, if you’re going to use PowerPoint, then you have a responsibility to your audience to make sure your slides add value.

Your slides should look more like this:

 

Or this:

 

But if your slides look like this:

 

The truth is that your audience will probably be reading all the information on your slides instead of listening to you. If that’s the case, what value are you bringing to the presentation?

If your slides look like this:

 

Your audience may just fall asleep.

These last two examples are ho-hum. Nothing special. And they’re probably like slides you’ve seen dozens (if not hundreds) of times over your career. They may even take a lot of time to put together. And they add little value.

If you want to use slides, go ahead. If you want to make sure the time you invest in creating a slide deck is worth your (and your audience’s) while, then spend a little time on your design.

Interested in learning more about how to craft more effective slides? Try this article: Trick Out My PowerPoint.

 

 

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