Don't Blame PowerPoint! It's just a vehicle

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  • Hi Ed, I could not agree more with your ideas, we must talk more soon.........
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  • I have expanded in a blog post on my comment below and made a few suggestions about what Microsoft could do to improve PowerPoint in ways that support good presentation design.
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  • @frgagnon If PowerPoint is the Reliant Robin, which program would be the Volvo of presentation software? Ironically, the Wikipedia article cited states: 'Despite the car's reputation for being unstable, a 2011 survey reported that Reliant Robin owners were statistically Britain's safest drivers.' :-)
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  • at last i saw this one..great!amazingly real
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  • Given your knowledge of design, I'm surprised that you missed the basic reason why PowerPoint is largely responsible for bad presentations: it is designed for this outcome.

    Would you say that the design of a three-wheel Reliant Robin is not responsible for an accident? That it's entirely the careless driver's fault? Then why would the most of the same maneuvers in a new Volvo not lead to an accident?

    Design is how it works. Good design means that, under normal use, a tool should do no harm. This cannot be said of PowerPoint. The only way to make a good presentation with it is to fight it, resist its nudges and have specialized presentation knowledge. It shouldn't have to be that way.

    Blaming the users misses the real potential for having a huge impact on millions of users by tweaking a single leverage point: recognizing the problem and improving PowerPoint.
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  • 1. Don’t BlamePowerPointIt’s just a vehicle
  • 2. Don’t BlamePowerPointIt’s just a vehicle…That is often driven poorly
  • 3. In a car crash it is nearlyalways the driver who isto blame
  • 4. NOT the vehicle itself
  • 5. But when it comes tobad presentationspeople are quick toblame PowerPoint
  • 6. Some misguided peopleeven start politicalpartiesagainst it
  • 7. This is stupid.
  • 8. This is stupid.Really Stupid.
  • 9. A PowerPoint deck is notthe presentation
  • 10. A PowerPoint deck is notthe presentationPowerPoint is a vehiclefor your visual aids
  • 11. Your presentation is yourmessage and yourinformation.It takes hours of carefulcraft and consideration
  • 12. Your PowerPoint is yourvehicle to communicatewell thought out andcomplementary visualaids.
  • 13. PowerPoint isn’t “evil”
  • 14. PowerPoint isn’t “evil”It’s neutral
  • 15. We don’t think of othercontent vehicles in thesame way…
  • 16. For Example…
  • 17. Outlook & Gmail arenot to blame forcrappy emails
  • 18. It’s your annoying Boss and his inability to be concise I write a damn fine email :-)
  • 19. It wasn’t the physicalvinyl records that madethe Beatles awesome
  • 20. It was their music, creativity & the hard work that went with it
  • 21. George Orwell wasn’tfamous because he choseto write on paper…
  • 22. It was his stories, writing style & insights
  • 23. It isn’t your phone’s faultthat your conversationsucks
  • 24. It’s just that your friend is a really boring guy!
  • 25. Blaming the vehicle/medium in any of thesecases would be
  • 26. Absurd
  • 27. It is the content & howit is delivered that isimportant
  • 28. NOT the vehicle usedto do it
  • 29. As a presenter you need tobring your audience from
  • 30. As a presenter you need tobring your audience from Mental Point A
  • 31. As a presenter you need tobring your audience from Mental Point A To Mental Point B
  • 32. You should use whatevervehicle works for you
  • 33. The audience don’t see…
  • 34. The audience don’t see…
  • 35. The audience don’t see…
  • 36. The audience don’t see…
  • 37. They see a screen…
  • 38. Tell a good story andmake effective, thoughtfulvisuals and they won’tknow or care whatsoftware you used
  • 39. Concentrating on thevehicle, rather than theroute cango badly…
  • 40. What’s more…
  • 41. It’s a freakingLAZY excuse
  • 42. The worst thing aboutthe PowerPoint blamegame is that it distractsfrom the real issue
  • 43. Laziness
  • 44. By blaming thepresentation softwarewe take focus off thereal problem
  • 45. Lazy Users
  • 46. We absolveusers of any realresponsibility
  • 47. We absolveusers of any realresponsibility Are you calling me LAZY!
  • 48. Hell YEH!We absolveusers of any realresponsibility Are you calling me LAZY!
  • 49. The reality is that makingbad presentations is auser-choice
  • 50. Makingbulletpoint filledslides is a choice
  • 51. This…
  • 52. Was a choice
  • 53. This was a choice
  • 54. Yep…
  • 55. A choice
  • 56. You can use PowerPointas an autocue, butagain thatis a choice
  • 57. You can choose toignore great books like
  • 58. Poor usage of thevehicle is a choice.
  • 59. Like with a car, you canchoose to driverecklessly
  • 60. You can choose to driveto the wrong place
  • 61. And you can choose toignore the maps…
  • 62. But that isn’t thecar’s fault
  • 63. So…
  • 64. Let’s focus on what reallymatters
  • 65. Let’s focus on what reallymatters the Presentation
  • 66. And send the vehicleblame game to thescrapheap
  • 67. If you agreethen whynot spreadthe word
  • 68. Check out my site @ www.clearpreso.comOr click here to send me a tweet! @clearpreso