Powerpoint Doesn’t Kill People…
…bad presenters do.
PowerPoint gets a lot of hate— but usually not in the NY Times. Sure, alcohol is probably the only thing abused more than power point, but just like alcohol, we keep it around for a reason.
PowerPoint lets you quickly and easily make a visual companion to a talk. It adds a lot of power to in person talks, is essential for staying on the same page during remote meetings and conference calls, and can be a useful gateway to passing around knowledge. The key is knowing when to go easy on the detail, include lots of links, write everything you know, or use only pictures.
The best way to learn what works when is to look at a lot of them. At work, PowerPoint presentations are often standalone briefings or tutorials on a topic — they need a lot of detail because no one will be talking about them. Online, you tend to find examples used along with a presentation. Check out Note & Point, a compendium of well designed PowerPoint decks — you’ll notice that most of them don’t tell the whole story, but because they are designed to be talked through, that makes them good.
Don’t hate the PowerPoint, hate the presenter.