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PowerPoint Misuse Raises Threat of Losing Audiences

8boxTechnology has changed the way we prepare for and make presentations. Commanding about 95 percent of market share, Microsoft PowerPoint has become the most widely used presentation technology tool. A powerful weapon of persuasion, it initially was created to improve presentation quality and help presenters organize their material.

According to Microsoft estimates, more than 30 million PowerPoint presentations are given each day. These may be internal or external and serve various purposes: selling, employee training, corporate communications, client education and customer retention. As with any tool, mishandling can result in disaster. Compared to a nail gun disaster, casualties of PPM — PowerPoint Misuse — may be less bloody, but the negative impact to your organization can be huge. PowerPoint disaster-recovery efforts are costly, time-consuming and sometimes impossible.

Smart companies recognize that presentation quality directly affects their bottom line.

Unfortunately, rather than improving presentation quality, PowerPoint has exponentially increased the number of ways presentations can go sour.

Most of us have had the unpleasant experience of sitting through a bad PowerPoint presentation. So, why has PPM reached epidemic proportions?

Fear. Most people would rather die than give a presentation. PowerPoint enables many to, like the Wizard of Oz, hide behind the screen.

The 007 effect. We are gadget freaks. Commercials tell us cool toys make us look cool.

Many presenters hope an interesting PowerPoint with bright colors, psychedelic animation and fancy graphics will make them more likable.

Plus, PowerPoint offers:

A crutch. Many presenters don’t take the time to actually learn their content, looking to the screen for support.

In this case, the PowerPoint becomes a security blanket rather than a powerful visual persuasion tool.

Convenience. We are busy! Who has time to actually craft the presentation, incorporate visual aids and rehearse? It makes presenting easy.

Type it all in, throw in a few pretty pictures and graphs, voila! Dress up and show up. This “type it in and show up” mentality is a recipe for disaster.

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