Do good presenters need Powerpoint?


That beloved business tool, Microsoft Powerpoint, was the topic of much discussion in the office yesterday.

The main talking point was whether good presenters need Powerpoint or not.

All too often I see presentations where the Powerpoint slides seem to take over – the combination of flashy graphics, unnecessary transitions and the way the presenter seems led by the slides, rather than the flow of the presentation itself combine to detract from the overall impact.

Yet some of the best presentations I’ve seen have used Powerpoint. It’s been used as a visual aid for the audience, not the presenter. The presenter has had the skill to ensure that the main focus of the audience’s attention is their content, not what’s on the screen.

Personally I do use Powerpoint in most presentations I do, but I make a real effort to use it as an occasional aid and focus on showing pictures rather than words.

I write my initial presentations in Powerpoint, but then hide most of the slides with words on that guide what I say, and keep images, screenshots, video and audio that supports, rather than dictates, what I’m saying.