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Sue Beatt

People Solutions (Scotland) Ltd


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Article ‘dissing’ PowerPoint


Bit of a simplistic viewpoint. Like any tool, it depends who's using it and how it's used.

14 Responses

  1. completely agree
    Definitely Sue, it’s all about the workman and not the tools. PowerPoint can still be very effective when used properly, in my opinion.

  2. I agree but still not a fan…..

    Hi Sue, I'm sure it is possible to use powerpoint in a really impactful way but I've just  never, ever seen it.  I dread sitting in front of one and I avoid using it like the plague. 

    I've seen really enjoyable presentations where the speaker has used powerpoint but in that instance they've literally used it to show a picture and then told a really engaging story.  So, I think it's them that makes the difference, not powerpoint.

    I am open minded though and if somene can point me towards something that really does an amazing job, I would be prepared to eat my words.

  3. I agree to a point…

    Whilst I agree with you all with that it purely depends how you use the software, powerpoint is old and there are limits to how exciting you can make it. Yet I think presentations are imperative for conferences and education.

    Clive if you're willing to try something new, something similar to powerpoint but interactive and exciting, with the ability to truly engage an audience, have a look at, sign up for a free trial and see what you think! 

  4. Variety

    Perhaps it's the issue of powerpoint being the only visual aid used in most lectures/presentations, rather than utilising posters, demonstrations, flip charts etc.


  5. Bryan, totally agree! There’s

    Bryan, totally agree! There's a new company called Glisser. The presentations are interactive and are much more engaging! Also, it's perfect for the technology and media available now.

  6. No place for PP in learner-centred training!

    I agree 100% with Clive Boorman.

    We did some research into the qualification requirements for university lecturers in the hope that we might influence them to try a more engaging style of improving learning (isn't that the ultimate aim, that learners learn something from these lectures?)

    We learned that lecturers don't need any qualification other than a PHD, potentially making many , not all, of them the worst possible communicators and educators the education industry has known. They are in many ways the equivalent of Subject Matter Experts in the commercial world, who pride themselves on knowing everything there is to know about their specialism (and they probably do) but 'telling' as a means of education is possibly the poorest for engagement.

    The use of PP, I agree with Clive should be absolutely limited to a relevant visual, which the educator can talk around and bring to life.

    I'm intrigued by the statement in the Guardian 'My friend also told me that when he removed PowerPoint from lecture theatres, his students demanded it back, because without it they had to organise their own notes'. This implies an element of laziness on the part of the student. Sit down, pin your ears back and listen. It is proven to assist students in embedding and understanding their lectures if they were to make their OWN reflective notes, condensing them as they go and making sense of them, rather than relying on someone to do it for them.

    Our own programmes are designed to be diametrically opposed to 'presentation/lecture' style in the belief that engaging the learner in their learning is central to achieving deeper understanding and the transfer of learning. Sorry, pet passion of mine.

  7. other tools…..

    …. I have used other tools, like Prezi and I do like to make a powtoon currently.  @ Liv, I'll check Glisser out.

    I think my dislike for powerpoint is that even the most advanced user, (in my experience) uses it as a kind of script whereas I want the individual to be engaging and speak from the heart.  The best people I have seen have kind of ignored the 'rulebook' and not been particularly polished but they have had charisma and not used powerpoint.  The best of the best did have a 30 slide powerpoint but didn't actually use it at all.

    @Adrian, you have hit upon my pet subject – listening.  For some reason we just don't 'really' listen to each other anymore.  I say let's get back to listening instead of jumping in with an alternative opinion or advice.

  8. As if by magic….

    I agree Clive. I was thinking about this question all the way home (it's an hour and a half drive most days) and also came to the conclusion that engaging an audience in a learning environment requires questions. It is only questions from the trainer/facilitator/lecturer that drives people to engage their brains and think for themselves.

    I came across this article just this morning – it links to the discussion:

    Clearly, there seems to be some evidence that passively engaging doesn't do much for understanding and deeper learning.

    Interesting points.



  9. @clive Let me know what you

    @clive Let me know what you think! With Glisser you can ask questions through your device as the presentation goes on, and then all questions are emailed with contact details of those who asked the questions, so it's an interesting dynamic of actually feeling like your questions are being answered, and as a student only a year ago, that was something that I feel ticks a massive box for learning and satisfaction. 

    @Adrian, couldn't agree more about passive engagement and the lack of true understanding, almost just glazes over and you have the moment of listening, but without true engagement and as you said questions to include the audience, nobody will ever truly understand. Without shamelessly plugging Glisser again, if what you said is truly something you believe you should check it out like clive. Glisser allows presenters to include live polls that are answered and results are shown and talked about during their presentations. This works in both a corporate and educational environment, engaging audience and students and increasing learning and understanding. As I said above, I would have killed to know about this as a student, to coerce my lecturers into using it, and even using it myself to enhance my own student presentations. It really is a key piece of software that helps all. 

    Let me know what you think, the trial is free so have a play around! I made my family endure a rather long harry potter presentation, and they weren't half as bored as they normally are! 

    Really interesting conversation guys! 



  10. predictability can be boring…

    Hi Liv, just in terms of visual aids; I think predictability is a cause for disengagement.  When we create a presentation using a tool, whatever it is, we tend to use it in a way that we feel comfortable with and it therefore becomes predicatble.  Yes; Glisser is whizzy but thinking about my regular audiences I can see them becoming bored with it quite quickly; oh no not another poll!!! oh no not another question to vote or answer on.!!!

    This may not be the experience of the many but I still stand by my position that it's the person that makes a presentation engaging.

  11. Still missing the point?

    Glisser may well be great for 'presentations', but addressing the original question – it was about PP in 'training' sessions.

  12. sorry to be contrary Adrian, however,…,

    @ Adrian, I don't think there was an original question was there? The original post is a statement about PPT with a link to an article which does consider the use of PPT in presentations. 

    I think that it's a natural progression of this thread to conclude that there may be other tools that have surpassed ppt even though I personally don't think any tool would replace an engaging person.

    Concerned that your last post might stop this conversation dead in it's tracks.

  13. Yes but…

    99-99999999999999999999999% of PowerPoint problems are because of the people who use it.

    PowerPoint is an amazing tool that makes my life a lot easier and my courses a lot more interesting than they would be without it.

    It really isn't Microsofts problem.

    A flipchart is also a dangerous weapon in the hands of many people who use it.

  14. agree Steve…

    …. I agree Steve; it is people who make ppt boring.  My personal top 3 ppt turn-offs are:

    – bullet pointed lists (that the presenter then reads verbatim)

    – cheesy clip art – particularly those little white characters you can get that look like plastic play people

    – densely-packed chart, graphs etc

    My bugbear, I guess, is that the really juicy functionality isn't that easy to get to grips with, (compared to other tools).  For example, I looked at some videos of how you add animation to ppt and it seemed much more diificult that something like powtoons where you can get a template (including music) and just go for it.



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Sue Beatt


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