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PowerPoint Good, Bad Or Ugly?  
User currently offlineJafa39 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 9 months 1 hour ago) and read 1726 times:

I use PowerPoint a lot, I have even attended a course on how to avoid "Death by PowerPoint" I love it, some people spit at its very mention.

How do a.netters feel, do you miss flip charts and fat marker pens? (at least you could sniff them and get off your face during a presentation!)

26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDeltaGator From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 6341 posts, RR: 13
Reply 1, posted (8 years 9 months 1 hour ago) and read 1725 times:

PowerPoint has always been the red-headed stepchild of the MS Office suite. IIRC they still have that development group in the SF Bay area versus the main site in Redmond.

I hate suffering Death by PowerPoint and usually bring along some of my own markers to sniff during the presentations that go too long.



"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
User currently offlineYOWza From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 4902 posts, RR: 15
Reply 2, posted (8 years 9 months 1 hour ago) and read 1708 times:

It's better than most similar softwares out there. The least of many evils...

YOWza



12A whenever possible.
User currently offlineSmithAir747 From Canada, joined Jan 2004, 1636 posts, RR: 28
Reply 3, posted (8 years 9 months ago) and read 1689 times:

PowerPoint?? Heck, I've only used it once--after struggling for weeks on how to make a PP presentation in the first place!

Historically, even to this day, I've always used overhead projector, transparencies, and OHP pens to make my presentations--both at home in my American university and here at King's College London.

SmithAir747



I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made... (Psalm 139:14)
User currently offlineAirPacific747 From Denmark, joined May 2008, 2450 posts, RR: 24
Reply 4, posted (8 years 9 months ago) and read 1687 times:

I like power point. It makes it very easy even for amateurs to create a presentation

User currently offlineSearpqx From Netherlands, joined Jun 2000, 4344 posts, RR: 10
Reply 5, posted (8 years 9 months ago) and read 1680 times:

Love it - if the user knows how to use it. In the hands of someone who doesn't understand the mechanics or rules, it's murder.

My favorite is the noob that discovers all of the animations and effects, and loads each slide w/ pops, stars, cartoons, sounds and of course at least 10 different colors.

The opposite end of the spectrum are those that put 2 or 3 full prose paragraphs on each slide, slide afer slide after slide after slide afte. . . z z z z z z z



"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
User currently offline9V-SPF From Germany, joined Sep 2001, 1375 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (8 years 9 months ago) and read 1678 times:

I think it´s pretty easy to use. I´ve been making all my presentations with PP since I used it for the first time a few years ago. I didn´t attend any course so I had to teach myself which sometimes can be tiresome but often most efficient.

User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6515 posts, RR: 54
Reply 7, posted (8 years 9 months ago) and read 1677 times:

PowerPoint is the absolutely best sleeping pill ever invented.

With charts and markers it is legal to ask questions. Details can then be explained with another chart. The people asking questions can use the charts and markers to clarify their questions. It all makes it worth staying awake.

With PowerPoint the author must dream up all possible questions before the presentation. Which of course is impossible.

PowerPoint is a virus which has hit businesses world wide and has cost billions in lost efficiency. And sleep.

Used correctly - as a supplement to a living presentation with charts and markers, then PowerPoint can undoubtedly be used to advantage. I have never seen that being attempted. And the "sequential nature" of PowerPoint does not support that philosophy very well.

When you do attempt a good and living presentation with charts and PowerPoint combined, then you will very often end up telling over and over again: "And now we will load another small PowerPoint file, let's see, what stupid name can I have put on that file?". And the audience will reach out for the thermos in an honest attempt to stay awake, wondering what the next few frames may contain.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineMax999 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 1077 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 9 months ago) and read 1664 times:

PowerPoint has incapacitated our ability to comprehend anything beyond a bulletin point.


All the things I really like to do are either immoral, illegal, or fattening.
User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6515 posts, RR: 54
Reply 9, posted (8 years 9 months ago) and read 1661 times:

Quoting Max999 (Reply 8):
PowerPoint has incapacitated our ability to comprehend anything beyond a bulletin point.

Exactly!



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7801 posts, RR: 16
Reply 10, posted (8 years 9 months ago) and read 1655 times:

As much as I like to bash PowerPoint (and I do use it a fair bit), there were just as many bad overhead project/transperancy and/or flip chart presentations in the the Pre-PPT era. If you sucked doing a presentation w/o PPT, then you will still suck no matter how good you are at using the technology.

Part of the problem is that most presenters use powerpoint wrong, let alone know how to use their own computers. So inevitably they spend the first 5 minutes trying to figure how to open the file, how to start the slide show, what to do if they need to go back to a previous slide. And it is an easy crutch to the underprepared speaker... basically putting your talking points on the slide and speaking from there (which I am sure a lot of us have done).



Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineRossbaku From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 673 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (8 years 9 months ago) and read 1649 times:

It's ok I suppose. It can convey across your point but sometimes people use it too much and things just start to get messy and overcomplicated.

Thumbs: hovering in the middle, folks.

RossBaku  Silly


User currently offlinePope From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (8 years 9 months ago) and read 1646 times:

Day 1 of my first job in public accounting, my supervising senior gave me a rule that was to be used whenever you were preparing a powerpoint presentation. That rule - ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS make sure you have a non-digital backup for every PowerPoint presentation.

Nothing makes you look more stupid or looses you more credibility than your presentation failing. We made it a rule within our group to always order both a digital projector and a traditional overhead machine whenever we made a presentation. I can't tell you the number of events when we won a job just because our competition couldn't show their presentation due to computer / projector or software problems.


User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12147 posts, RR: 49
Reply 13, posted (8 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1637 times:
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Love it, though with that said there is a fine line between to much bells and whistles and boring.


You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineJBirdAV8r From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 4491 posts, RR: 21
Reply 14, posted (8 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1633 times:

PowerPoint can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Unfortunately, for most, it's the latter.

PowerPoint is the biggest crutch ever in the history of public speaking. I find that most presentations that use it become "reading skill demonstration" affairs, with presenters turning their back on the audience and just reading off the slides.

I personally use them for visual aids (pictures/graphs, videos, and sounds) with key points thrown in as well. If they've got a lot of text, they're bore-fests and lose your audience pretty quick.



I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
User currently offlineUAalltheway From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (8 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1627 times:

PowerPoint is okay, but sometimes its presentations can get dull (looking). I'd rather do something cool in Flash or Keynote (Apple program).

User currently offlineSearpqx From Netherlands, joined Jun 2000, 4344 posts, RR: 10
Reply 16, posted (8 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1626 times:

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 10):
If you sucked doing a presentation w/o PPT, then you will still suck no matter how good you are at using the technology.

 checkmark  PPT is a tool, just like transparancies and markers, you either know how to use it or you don't. It can help make points, or lighten up dry info, but if you can't make an effective presentation without it, no transition or twinkley text in the world is going to save you.

Quoting Pope (Reply 12):
ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS make sure you have a non-digital backup for every PowerPoint presentation.

I learned the same thing - we always came prepared with transparancies made from our slides, along with printouts/handouts.



"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (8 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 1606 times:

Quoting Pope (Reply 12):
Nothing makes you look more stupid or looses you more credibility than your presentation failing. We made it a rule within our group to always order both a digital projector and a traditional overhead machine whenever we made a presentation. I can't tell you the number of events when we won a job just because our competition couldn't show their presentation due to computer / projector or software problems.

If you're in the legal business and someone trots out a Powerpoint presentation, better have all your motions canned and ready to argue.


User currently offline777236ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (8 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 1604 times:

Quoting Pope (Reply 12):

Nothing makes you look more stupid or looses you more credibility than your presentation failing. We made it a rule within our group to always order both a digital projector and a traditional overhead machine whenever we made a presentation. I can't tell you the number of events when we won a job just because our competition couldn't show their presentation due to computer / projector or software problems.

What's worse is when the person giving the presentation doesn't know how to use it. Switching between slides by going out of the presentation, having to open separate video files etc. It makes me (and the audience) cringe. Powerpoint is a tool, like anything else it must be learnt and used as a cool. It's not a panacaea.


User currently offlineJafa39 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (8 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1565 times:

I have a remote device that allows me to wander about when presenting, draw on charts etc and flick back and forth between slides, as many have said, a bad PPT SUCKS! a good one can keep you in your seat. I have more pictures than words, I find it really helps.

User currently offlineDeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8912 posts, RR: 12
Reply 20, posted (8 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1555 times:

I'm a fan of it. Of course, a good deal of it is knowing how to use it. If you put everything on the screen and read word for word from it, you're a fish in a barrel and someone's standing over that barrel with a gun. It's excruciatingly painful.

Personally, I use PowerPoint, putting the main bullet points up there. I might put 2-3 points up there, and then I'll elaborate on each one with stuff not on the slide for about 1-3 minutes each, depending on how significant each point is. However, I will supplement this by using other methods - handouts, overhead projectors, etc. This way, the audience does not become fixated on the Powerpoint and listening to my voice in the background...it keeps their eyes moving around, having to look at a chart I have up somewhere else in the room or flipping to something in a small 3-4 page supplemental handout I might have given out. You keep people engaged, you stand a much better chance of keeping their attention.

Short and sweet is the way Powerpoint should be; if you have more than 50 words on a slide, then you lose your audience.

Jeff


User currently offlineMax999 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 1077 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (8 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1547 times:

Quoting DeltAirlines (Reply 20):
Short and sweet is the way Powerpoint should be; if you have more than 50 words on a slide, then you lose your audience.

That's the main problem with PowerPoint for some users. Some will use the 'short and sweet' bullet points to cover up the lack of real substance and detail in a presentation. I've sat through some meetings where I ask a detailed question, the presenter will just regurgitate the bullet point for me.

While I don't like using the program and I rarely do, I agree that you can't have too many words on a slide.

[Edited 2006-03-01 05:45:00]


All the things I really like to do are either immoral, illegal, or fattening.
User currently offlineAirPacific747 From Denmark, joined May 2008, 2450 posts, RR: 24
Reply 22, posted (8 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 1521 times:

the good thing about powerpoint, excel, publisher and word is that if you know how to use one of the programs, the others won't take long to learn how to use either.

User currently offlineMhodgson From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2002, 5047 posts, RR: 25
Reply 23, posted (8 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 1520 times:

My teachers at school were awful with powerpoint, they got to the stage of using it to teach us - we'd be copying notes from slides full of text.

It's a great tool, but people tend to rely on it too much, letting it do the talking, rather then allowing it to prompt them and give the audience an outline of what is being discussed.



No trees were harmed by this message. However, several million electrons were terribly inconvenienced
User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7801 posts, RR: 16
Reply 24, posted (8 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1501 times:

One major gripe that I have w/ PPT. You can spend more time trying to put together a good presenation than you do with your actual speech/lecture. In fact I think that is the root of the problem w/ PPT.


Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
25 Scott2187 : I love it when people make PPT presentations that have clashing fonts and backgrounds that you can't read at all. I've done a few presentations, and I
26 Jaws707 : Personally I feel powerpoint made college too easy for some people, especially in the business college. In many management classes all we did was prin
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