Thursday, May 05, 2005

Busting through my PowerPoint walls

I'm not a big fan of Powerpoint. I don't have list of media reasons (dumbing down, bad design). I don't like it because I enjoy public speaking, I like interacting with the people in the room and my Powerpoints of lists have gotten in the way of that.

I'm preparing for a meeting in Cleveland and decided, because I need to keep more than just myself on track, that I should turn to the standby. I've been reading Cliff Atkinson'sbeyond bullets blog for a while and decided to take it for a spin.

I downloaded the PowerPoint add-in and fumbled my through it based on what I'd read on the blog. And just that made my presentation a radically different thing. So yesterday, I decided to fork over for the book. I read it last night and I felt my PowerPoint walls come tumbling down.

The two really a-ha moments for me?

  • The notes section really is a part of the presentation. It's not just where I leave cues for myself -- I prefer index cards anyway -- but I can use it give the audience information (in the form of a handout) freeing up the slide itself.
  • Using the slide sorter view to see view the presentation across slides.

If you give presentations a lot, I can't recommend the book highly enough. It gives the presentation advice I'm used to but joins it with Powerpoint in a way that really heightens impact.

The downside? Everyone in my office is looking at me oddly. Wait, they're saying. A book about PowerPoint has changed your life?

(in: powerpoint, presentations)