Saturday, April 23, 2011

Why Use PowerPoint?

The digital world is so prevalent today.  We no learn through all types of mediums including audio and visual.  PowerPoint has become widely used in all types of presentations, mostly in corporate settings and in academia.   Here are some reasons why we use PowerPoint according to Dave Gray:
  1. PowerPoint is accessible. For the novice, it’s easy to learn and use.
  2. PowerPoint is everywhere. Pretty much everyone has it, or has the ability to view a file. This makes it easy to share ideas and generally move meaning around. Slides can be borrowed, stolen, recycled and re-used.
  3. PowerPoint is flexible. The same document that is used to present information in a meeting or conference, can, with little or no modification, be emailed as a document or shared online, retaining much of its meaning.
  4. PowerPoint is easy to read. PowerPoint documents can be scanned and understood more rapidly than text documents. Because they are primarily visual they tend to be more easily understood and remembered.
  5. PowerPoint is modular. It can be broken down into single slides, which can be arranged and rearranged into numerous different sequences. Over time you can build up a storehouse of slides that represent your – or your team’s – collective knowledge about any subject, which can be distributed, shared, discussed and modified as things evolve over time.
  6. PowerPoint is powerful. For the more experienced user, it’s a powerful multimedia tool, with animation and other advanced effects. It’s easy to add information of any kind: Video, charts, photographs, maps – just about anything that can be digitized can be added to PowerPoint.
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These are all great reasons however if the presenter is not well prepared, the PowerPoint will not be as effective.  Many people are pressed for time and try to prepare at the last minute and may rely too heavily on the PowerPoint versus the overall presentation.  I view this as “PowerPoint gone Wild” because the presenter may read directly from the slides.  It becomes evident to the audience that the presenter is not as knowledgeable on their topic as they should be. This may cause the PowerPoint to lose its importance.  Even though PowerPoint is an effective tool for presentations it is imperative to be prepared in case of equipment failure.

PowerPoint presentations are essential for presentations however it should not be the main focus.  The presenter makes the presentation. The PowerPoint serves as an aid or visual.

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