We come in peace

I’ve seen this practically everywhere over the last few days, but as someone who actually likes Powerpoint, I couldn’t resist re-posting it.

We have met the enemy, and he is Powerpoint

I fully accept that there are a lot of things wrong with Powerpoint, but it’s also an easy-to-use, decent enough application that does the job. A bigger problem is teaching people how to give good talks. Powerpoint is just a computer programme, it can’t turn your speaker into Barak Obama. I don’t give a lot of talks, and so I don’t have much cause to learn anything other than Powerpoint. In fact, I don’t need to learn how to use Powerpoint, since I find it pretty instinctive. I do get frustrated when people literally read out what’s written on their slides, or use the jaunty animations that look so entertaining while you’re sitting at your desk but are usually such a bad idea when you’re standing in front of an audience. Hopefully somewhere out there are tutorials on how to use Powerpoint to give a good talk, rather than just how to turn your text upside down or explode in fireworks.

Of course, having said all this, you’ll have to judge for yourselves how well we do in using it when it comes to our talk at the New Professionals conference…

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1 Comment

Filed under #npc2010, Found on the internet

One response to “We come in peace

  1. Shayna

    I hope your presentation went well!

    I completely agree about Powerpoint. It’s a decent tool in the right hands, but it takes experience and sometimes explicit instruction to use it appropriately. One of the things I teach in my classes is presentations/public speaking, and at one point in general talk about content and delivery, I veer off to a separate presentation on Do’s and Don’t’s of Powerpoint Presentations. It includes things like the animations you mentioned, as well as slide transition sound effects, background and text colors that can be painful to look at, effective use of titles and white space, awareness of copyrighted images, and relevance of graphics. I’ve even had the need to include a list of types of images that might be offensive and should be avoided. Oh, and reading from the slides! Sigh. I tell them that if all they’re going to do is read to us, they might as well just photocopy the slides, hand them out to us, and sit down, because we all (more or less) know how to read.

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