The mere mention of PowerPoint presentations puts lots of people to sleep. If you're still awake, however, you can learn about some of the disadvantages to PowerPoint presentations in the workplace and ways to make them more engaging and less coma-inducing.
Lack of Flexibility
PowerPoint enables you to create and edit slides using the tools within the program, limited as they may be. During the actual presentation, however, you can not edit or change contents on the fly. In an increasingly interactive and engaging culture, this poses a problem.
PowerPoints often bring out an exaggerated use of bullet points to fill white space. The sight of bullet points can instantly kill an audience's engagement, as bullet points suggest repetitive information already being spoken by the presenter. Too many bullet points also force too much information on the audience, working against the information retention you are hoping for.
Detract From Presenters
Presenters who rely on PowerPoint to get their points across may become overly reliant on the software to give the entire presentation. Instead of speaking when she should, the presenter may fall back on the PowerPoint slides to tell her story, creating an awkward silence in a room full of bored co-workers.
Creating Good PowerPoint Presentations
Good PowerPoint presentations do exist. If you absolutely have to use a PowerPoint, do not use more than six words per slide. If you use images, pick from a professional stock. Avoid using dissolves and other transitions for no other reason than the effect alone. If you use sound effects, don't use the stock sounds. Try using pop music instead to get the audience more engaged.
Johnny Kilhefner is a writer with a focus on technology, design and marketing. Writing for more than five years, he has contributed to Writer's Weekly, PopMatters, Bridged Design and APMP, among many other outlets.