I'm delivering a PowerPoint presentation on how to deliver PowerPoint presentations on Saturday for Free Debate. I spent a bit of time on it over Christmas, and did a couple of run-throughs with the crew.
It's been interesting seeing people's reactions to the preso. I took the opportunity to get on my communications soap-box and construct an argument about dot points. I worry that my rant is too self indulgent. It's a good rant though.
PowerPoint is the most maligned, misused and overused of the Office Suite. It has the fiddliest parts of Word (text boxes, hanging indents and margins) and Excel (charts), unfamiliar and unhelpful features (auto line-spacing, unfriendly template management) and the worst presets ever (puke green backgrounds). How did the ppt extension become so ubiquitous?
First mover advantage (Harvard Graphics anyone)? Bundling with the suite and OS (PDF vs Read Only)? Network effects? Probably a bit of each.
But is it a good product? Is its crappy output and fiddly interface actually a blessing? People now don't tolerate bad presos, and they really appreciate stand-outs. Maybe that's a good thing.