The Problem With PowerPoint?

The BBC website is carrying a feature on PowerPoint. It’s 25 this month if you didn’t realise! The author of the article details some of the problems with presentations and some of the common mistakes that people make.

If you are interested in presentations and improving your slides, regardless of what tool you use then I suggest that you take a look at these 2 websites.

http://www.presentationzen.com/

I first came across the book a few years ago and it changed the way that I thought about presentations. I’ve recommended the book to lots of colleagues and have had to re-order as we keep giving away our office copy to clients and friends. The website is well supported by a range of videos that provide an insight into the presentation zen style. The author is Garr Reynolds, a designer who has worked in the US and Japan and he advocates the use of strong imagery and a single key message. The book shows several iterations of the same slide to show how simple design changes can dramatically alter the power of a slide.

We have used the presentation zen style on a few occasions. It is hard to get right and I don’t think we’ve mastered the art but it certainly improved the quality of our presentations.

http://prezi.com/

Visit the prezi website and view the 1 minute video to find out how it works in detail. The basic idea its like using one big canvas that you can move around all areas of the canvas, linking objects and delving into specific areas.

http://prezi.com/w79q1epfl27s/view/ – is an example using emerging technology.

Is PowerPoint really the problem? Surely the issue is how we decide to use the tool? We should be thinking about how porly constructed PowerPoint files are now being transformed into e-learning content using Rapid Development tools. The tools are not the issue it is the content that is being used to create the courses. Rapid tools have an important place in the e-learning sector for developers and internal teams but we need to make sure that we are getting the learning design right.

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The Problem With PowerPoint?

One Response

  1. Interesting article. I agree that the issue lies with the presenter and not the tools, but PowerPoint does encourage the herd down a particular path which has nothing to do with aiding communication.

    Have a look at the famous PowerPoint version of the Gettysburg Address at http://norvig.com/Gettysburg/

    Frankie O'Brien October 13, 2009 at 4:08 pm #

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