Your powerpoint is not the presentation

Your PowerPoint is not the presentation. If you believe that it is, then you have entirely missed the point of every single presentation you have ever “delivered” or “received”. You are not alone in this erroneous belief but you are wrong in terms of education, psychology and simple communication. Your PowerPoint is a big problem.

a hugely complex slide with adiagram, bulletpoints and a data graph that has a massive paragraph of unreadable text

The online experience following the pandemic has brought into sharp relief the false belief that all that is required for a presentation is to read out one’s slides. To use the slides as message, media and duplicated delivery fails as communication and knowledge transfer. Personal experience of “receiving” such presentations is all the proof that is required. The reasons are multiple. The need for change is obvious.

The fact that this approach to presentations is almost ubiquitive does not make it correct or effective. It is not a reflection of a lack of effort or care on the part of the presenter or of the audience. The fact that the world knows that it doesn’t work and yet continues in this denial is actually the more startling fact. This is the reason for repeating (again) this simple statement in the blog.

The Powerpoint (or Keynote or heaven forbid the Prezi) is the problem. It is viewed as the foundation of the presentation and even those with a degree of insight start there in attempting change. This is wrong. We must fundamentally change our view of the aim, objective and mechanism of the presentation and start afresh. Your PowerPoint is not the presentation.

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