Why PowerPoint is Brilliant!

The so-called intellectuals and military/industrial “leaders” are beginning to think PowerPoint is bad and they want to get rid of it!

For an example, see We Have Met the Enemy and He Is PowerPoint by Elisabeth Bumiller, April 26, 2010, in the New York Times.

They’re dead wrong – PowerPoint is brilliant and here’s why.

You rule!

First, think of the presentation situation: you get to dominate the meeting!  It’s true!

Like a preacher, college professor or big shot executive, you get to stand up front, maybe with a lectern, and no one will tell you to stop!

Even if you loose control and the meeting degenerates into “an exchange of ideas” or “a meaningful discussion,” you can get control back again with your next slide.

And nearly everybody will stay until you’re done! You can waste a whole afternoon!

You’re brilliant!

You really get to show off with a presentation. You don’t even have to know the material!  Put it all on the slides and read it!  You’ll never get lost!

Don’t worry about editing – Put it all in there! Nothing is more impressive than loads of stuff – it shows you’ve really been working hard!

Include all your best stuff, even if it’s not relevant. This shows “outside the box thinking” and will really impress your boss.

This way, your presentation will be a good thick handout.

Be funny! Show your incredible sense of humor! Comedy is easy and it will really lighten the mood. Check out clip art! Dilbert is always good.

Gurus will tell you to use meaningful visuals – this is hard!  What does “meaningful” mean, anyway? So don’t worry too much about visuals – you think in text, don’t you?

You can have fun with PowerPoint!  At work!

It’s much more fun to play with PowerPoint than to create a really “informative” presentation. Besides, PowerPoint is really easy – your 9 year old can probably do it.

Don’t worry, nobody will restrict you. There is no corporate control when it comes to PowerPoint – you can use cartoons and even music!

Here are a few tips:

  • Fill up your slides – blank space is wasted space.
  • Decorate your text with bullets – this can make it look organized, even if it’s not.
  • Use a lot of bright color so people won’t be bored. Check out the gradient presets – rainbows!
  • For the same reason, use several different fonts – you probably have a lot of them you haven’t even tried.  Some of the script and decorative fonts are really great. And try out WordArt.  Make your text really different!
  • Check out all the really cool free backgrounds and stuff on the web.  Microsoft provides backgrounds and templates so you know they’re good.
  • Animation is really fun! Use it at random to perk things up – there’s even a “random” animation effect. And always pick from the “exciting” animation effect category.
  • Photos of your kids or your car (or better yet, kittens) will add a personal touch and improve any business situation.
  • If you show data, spreadsheets, etc., use a lot to impress and make it small so you won’t have to answer questions.  More is more!
  • Complexity is your friend – it shows how smart you are and inhibits those annoying questions. Here’s an excellent example from those smart guys at the Pentagon:

Military strategy in Afganistan

The best thing of all is that presenting this way puts you right in the corporate/military/industrial mainstream. Everybody does it!

And if there’s trouble, you can always blame PowerPoint – it made you stupid!

2 Responses to “Why PowerPoint is Brilliant!”

  1. 1 Ellen Finkelstein May 11, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    Love it!
    I hope no one takes it seriously! Let’s reverse engineer:
    1. It’s not about you, it’s about the audience and interactivity between you and the audience.
    2. Keep it as short as possible.
    3. If it isn’t relevant, leave it out.
    4. Use visuals that actually help your audience understand and remember the visual. If there isn’t such an animal, don’t use a slide for that point.
    5. Use humor when it helps your audience understand and remember the material. If there isn’t such an animal, don’t use it (or other cartoons that are copyrighted)
    6. Keep slide design simple (so people can understand and remember them)
    7. Avoid bullet points – your talk isn’t an outline and it’s hard to avoid reading them — which audiences hate
    8. Keep backgrounds muted, or don’t use on at all (what a concept!)
    9. Use one nondescript font and stick to it.
    10. Keep colors simple and muted (unless you’re presenting to kindergartners).
    11. Use animation when it helps your audience understand and remember the material. Otherwise leave it out.
    12. Leave out irrelevant images (I prefer puppies to kittens!)
    13. Keep data clear and simple. If you have to present complex data, use a handout so people can look at it up close.

  1. 1 Lessons from the “Experts” on Presenting | powerpointy Trackback on April 10, 2013 at 1:31 pm

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