Modern Presentations: Why Use PowerPoint?

PowerPoint has a bad reputation with many users and is often dismissed as amateurish. They say PowerPoint presentations look bad, are boring, confusing and distract from the essentials. One prominent exponent of this view is Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who last April issued a general ban on PowerPoint in his companies. Instead, his employees must use six-page memos for corporate communications.

However, much of the criticism levelled at PowerPoint is based on preconceptions and clichés and has nothing to do with the program itself. In fact, many presenters are unaware of what the program has to offer and don’t know how to use it. PowerPoint offers a huge amount of options and possibilities to create interesting and visually appealing presentations.

As its name implies, PowerPoint empowers users to present high-impact content. PowerPoint shouldn’t be used to upload endless data tables or serve as a presentation cheat sheet. The potential to create high-quality presentations is there, so it’s important to know HOW to use PowerPoint.

PowerPoint is a Visual Tool, Not a Verbal Tool

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PowerPoint is designed to help visually convey thoughts and content. PowerPoint presentations should consist of short, concise text segments and keywords combined with large, impressive images. Running text and tables, even sentences, are out of place – content should be presented, not read.

Presentations Tell Stories

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PowerPoint can help a presenter pace their content. An effective presentation tells a story, has a compelling storyline and an arc of suspense. It allows the presenter to build in pauses and key points in a targeted and focused way. PowerPoint offers every opportunity to inspire an audience!

Every Audience is Different

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A successful presenter knows their audience.

  • Who is my target audience?
  • What are their interests, passions, likes and dislikes?
  • Why am I presenting? And what is my relationship to the audience?

A presentation’s narrative should be tailored to its audience and fascinate them. If you’re presenting the same content to different audiences, you may need to adapt it.

Excellent presentations are a combination of strong content and compelling visuals. They tell a story that is both fascinating and unique. PowerPoint provides you with the tools to connect with your audience. It is up to you to use them!