Is PowerPoint evil?

Fresh SpectrumA colleague recently sent me yet another article about how PowerPoint is inherently evil and should be banned. I’m familiar with these articles. They usually point out that the templates are rubbish and encourage people to develop endless and meaningless lists of dot points which are not helpful to anyone, especially when you are not there to provide an explanation.

I always feel a bit silly defending PowerPoint, but I really do believe that PowerPoint is an awesome tool. It has its limitations, but it also has a lot of good points.

Things I like about PowerPoint

  1. It’s really easy to share. Remember the olden days when you couldn’t share your documents with someone unless they were also using a Mac? (Or windows as the case may be).  It was an absolute nightmare to continue working on a document at home after you’d finished work. By contrast, everyone in the world seems to be able to open a PowerPoint file these days, even Mac users.
  2. Most people have a basic understanding of how to use PPT. You don’t usually need to give people instructions about how to open and screen the slides. Most people can manage the three options of slide view, slide sorter, and normal.
  3. You can change the orientation of the slides. Actually not every knows that you can work in portrait view with your slides. I do this all the time to create documents. I don’t have any other options at work for creating documents with the words and pictures just where I want them. (Word is hopeless for this).
  4. You can create quite nice presentations if you put your mind to it, use a restrained and thoughtful approach to the design of your slides and you are clear about your messages.

I love the cartoon above which I have reproduced from a wonderful site called Fresh Spectrum. You should check it out.


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