Is Powerpoint the scourge of event communicators?

Does Powerpoint create a breed of ‘lazy communicators’? Does it make it all too easy to fake 'communication'? I believe the secret of successful business presentations lies in the quality of the conversations they generate. Conversations are the currency. In fact, once your audience stop talking, sharing and caring about what you are trying to communicate forget it - you’re on your own. Think for a moment. How many of your most important business decisions were consummated in a coffee shop or over a drink in a bar? Why? Because that is where we can talk opnely and honestly. That’s where we get to practice the ‘cut and thrust’ of human conversation. And, that is how we make sense of our world - through meaningful conversations and sharing stories. So, why does the world of business still so besotted with Powerpoint. Well, the answer is simple. It is easy to use. But, you can have too much of a good thing. The once hailed “killer app” has run amok. When was the last time you had a conversation with a Powerpoint presentation? Let’s not kid ourselves, the fallout from the widespread misuse of Powerpoint as a primary communication tool is literally killing conversations in business. You know the drill, Death by Powerpoint: all graphs, bullet-points, headlines and no heart!

When are we going to come to our senses? Or, do we have to wait till Powerpoint detox centres and self help groups spring up all around the business world to try and wean addicts off this obsessive behaviour? Best advice for Powerpoint use - all things in moderation including moderation. Human beings need to interact with other human beings. Tools like Powerpoint force them to not interact which is tantamount to locking people up in solitary and making them stir crazy.

Bring back the chat. We are not the only one’s calling for a return to sanity within the corporate world. A number of luminaries like Seth Godin and leading the charge.

Or if you really are into it the most noted critic of the abuse of Powerpoint is Edward Tufte who was appointed by President Obama to his Recovery Independent Advisory Panel. Edward Tufte is Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Statistics, and Computer Science at Yale University. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the Society for Technical Communication, and the American Statistical Association. If you have time for the detail this is the final word in the debate

That being said I have seen Powerpoint and Keynote and Prezi used powerfully as an adjunct to a well prepared presentation. But if you rely on a great Powerpoint alone to connect with your audience - forget it! Might as well email it to them. Email, now there's another subject ... for another time.