Use PowerPoint only when it adds impact to your presentation. Here are some good reasons for leaving the laptop behind:
- It interferes with your image as a leader. When you project a parade of PowerPoint slides, you divide your audience’s attention, forcing them to choose between looking at you and at the screen. When you want to command listeners’ full attention and come across as a strong leader, leave the slides in your office.
- It anchors your presentation to reality. PowerPoint is a good way to display information. It is less effective at engaging listeners’ imaginations and emotions. So if your goal is to inspire listeners, avoid using PowerPoint.
- It dilutes your audience’s interest. When they see your first slide, listeners know that you already have determined the content, scope, direction and order of your presentation. The message to them is “Sit back and observe.” If your goal is to solicit ideas and encourage listeners to participate, you need to give up complete control.
- It takes a lot of time. If you are delivering a brief talk, don’t waste time setting up the computer, connecting the projector and troubleshooting the inevitable problems that accompany PowerPoint presentations.
— Adapted from “When NOT to Use PowerPoint,” Chris Witt, Witt Communications, http://www.wittcom.com.
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