Don’t Blame PowerPoint

Don’t Blame PowerPoint

Do we live life in bullet points? Hardly, so why do we insist on bombarding the viewers of our PowerPoint presentations with so many of them?


If you’re as ‘lucky’ as me and sat through 8 years of small business 10-minute presentations at 8am every Friday morning each week you’d habitually see the same thing – people talking about their backgrounds, how long they’d been in business and a whole host of other ineffective information written out long-hand for us lucky readers.

But it doesn’t all have to bring out the pillows and it’s not PowerPoint’s fault. Used creatively, with the audience in mind and with some imagination, you can easily WOW your viewers and create something unforgettable. How? The intelligent use of images combined with powerful copy.


Don’t you think you can convey more with an image, 3-6 words and your voice than a blank background and 50 words being read monotone verbatim? Isn’t it more pleasant and engaging for the viewer?

You don’t even have to be there in person. And it’s far more natural for you to actually talk to your audience’s faces and not stand there reading the words robot-fashion off the screen at a rate far far slower than they have. Your people are well ahead of you and now getting bored waiting for you to catch up. This is why PowerPoint sucks so often.

I am sick and tired of hearing the phrase, “Death by PowerPoint” or seeing supposedly humorous illustrations of people sat round boardroom tables asleep in front of a projector.

What’s all this negativity surrounding a potentially vibrant and uplifting medium in the transferring the enthusiasm?

I’m not just talking sales messages here. PowerPoint has a whole host of applications. We once used it a dear friend’s funeral and loaded up about 100 photos of her life to play in the background at the wake. Customer service messages, instructions, short stories, examples illustrations, annual reports and anything you wish to say can be conveyed through slideshows. The most common place most of us come into contact with PowerPoint presentations is inevitably in a sales environment though.

However, you can easily create something aesthetically pleasing, load it up to a website like and then merely share the link [not a 25MB file] to the presentation via email or social media. It’s fresh, rapid, uncomplicated and enjoyable for your audience now.

Look at the some of the presentations on and you’ll appreciate how fine a PowerPoint slideshow can actually be. Things have moved on and it may even excite you!


My simple 3-step advice to give your presentations the edge on your competition [if they’re even utilising the power of them] is based on a fascination with the subject for many years now and is merely this:

  1. Only say one thing, or make one point, per slide. So what if you have 45 slides? They only need be on the screen for 15 seconds each.
  2. Use an appropriate full-screen image to back up each point. This is fun for you to create and engaging for the viewer. Humour works brilliantly.
  3. Keep your words minimal and your font large. It shouts your message off the screen

So next time you see a terrible PowerPoint show, don’t blame PowerPoint itself, look at the person presenting it. What you’re seeing is entirely their idea.

Tim Coe


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