Microsoft launched the original PowerPoint back in May 1990. Since then, video projectors started to become available to the masses. With that combination, more and more presenters were switching their traditional visual aids to the modern “digital” medium.
“Let Me Show You A PowerPoint Presentation…”
Yes, the digital age of presentation has arrived. Anybody who has access to a video projector can now whip up a presentation slideshow in a couple of minutes. Before this, you needed several days, or even weeks, of preparation work. How many of us remember using traditional media like transparencies on Over-Head Projectors? And how many more remember using the 35mm slide projectors.
As the digital workload got simpler, the human presenter got lazier. Fed with a wide variety of readily available templates, all one needs to do is to fill in the blanks of the prearranged placeholders with his or her own contents, and Voila!… One complete slide down, another handful more to go…
The templates concept was so successful that almost everybody who uses PowerPoint swears by them. You simply start filling them in according to their sequence. Before you know it, you have a uniform format presentation for the world to see. Whether it’s a corporate sales review, new product launch, thesis presentation, or even just something simple to show off your hobby to close friends. Nearly all of the PowerPoint slideshow formats somehow look eerily identical to one another…
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that Microsoft PowerPoint is a bad product. Quite the contrary actually. Microsoft PowerPoint (or any other presentation slideshow softwares for that matter) are merely tools for our convenience. There is no good or bad in the product at all. The real problem is that things got so simple, that humans stopped trying to think creatively. We readily settled for some really bad slideshows. And the irony is that the bulk of the slideshows (regardless whether international sales performance, final year project presentation, or merely trying to show your extended family your honeymoon photos in Paris), they all suffer from similar problems.
The results?… Your audience fall asleep half-way through your presentation. And they probably don’t remember 90% of what you just presented to them half-an-hour ago.
Surviving A PowerPoint Presentation
Fret not, there IS a solution to this “problem”. If you observe the pointers in the next few articles, you might even turn out to be a very effective presenter. So stay tuned, I will be posting some solutions over the next few weeks.