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PowerPoint or not

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2020-09-15

We have all been there. Either in the audience or on stage. Those keynotes where the PowerPoint backdrop takes too much focus, stealing attention. Or worse yet; those keynotes where whatever PowerPoint slides do not work due to technical issues causing the speaker to lose focus, forgetting points and issues while worried organisers run around frantically trying to locate the right HDMI cable.

The easiest way to avoid such situations? Drop PowerPoint. You can deliver your points powerfully enough on your own. If, however, you choose to use PowerPoint, which can be a useful tool at times, there are certain guidelines to remember in order to make sure your presentation will be as good and memorable as possible. For a start do not pile up too much text in your slides. People will forget anyway since they will be trying to read long sentences while you do your talking. As the name suggests; use points. However, what are the pros and cons of using PowerPoint? It goes without saying it all depends on what type of keynote we are dealing with. If you are doing a presentation on budgets or new research PowerPoint can be useful for showing graphs and figures, however, if you are to deliver a personal story or a motivational peptalk on job satisfaction PowerPoint is best left at home.

 

CONS

  • Technical issues; computer, screen, projector, electricity
  • Too many slides can cause people to lose focus
  • Too long sentences can cause people to lose focus
  • Fonts and colours can play a negative role if they result in people being unable to actually read your slides
  • Guests will be sitting in the dark and might get more easily tired while the speaker will have a harder time reading their faces and response

 

PROS

  • Overview
  • Visual cues
  • A guideline for the speaker (where am I headed, where was I)
  • You can give PowerPoint slides to interested guests after the presentation
  • Graphs, numbers and figures are better represented visually
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