The Point of PowerPoint


“There is an ever present danger that the excitement of creating multimedia slides and presentations will distract students from the very real and difficult challenge of addressing a human audience, face-to-face, eye-to-eye.”

– McKenzie, Jamie. “Scoring Power Points.” From Now On 10.1 (Sept. 2000). 30 Jan. 2006

The point of PowerPoint is to be a presentation TOOL. It should not be the focus. An excellent presentation is done by a person who knows what they want to say, speaks clearly and confidently, makes eye contact, and connects with his/her audience. PowerPoint can provide visual and audio support to make the presentation better. It cannot (and should not) be a substitute for a good speaker.

Before you ever start a PowerPoint, know what you want to say. Then, figure out what is most important and highlight that on the slides. Put in supporting material (pictures, audio, etc.) to enhance your speaking points. THEN make it look nice (backgrounds, fonts, etc.).

The best looking PowerPoint in the world is no good if there is no worthwhile content in it, and no knowledgable speaker in front of it.