I think it was Seth Godin who said that Power Point was created as a tool by and for programmers to allow them to communicate with the marketing department. But the thing is that it should be a tool as a reinforcement for the story, but not a replacement of the story and human communication.
The reason #1 why most talks suck is that people use Power Point as a tool to avoid human communication.
I remember in my first year at college I had to do a talk. It was a short one where I shared a story about something. So it was obvious that a power point wasn’t gonna help.
Well, it turned out I was the only one who didn’t use slides. Some students did a nice work, others not so much, but I had something that they didn’t… Full attention.
When you don’t use slides people look at you. And that’s powerful. It allows you to connect with other human beings as a person, having the opportunity to resonate with them.
Giving a short talk doesn’t require a power point. When you’re dealing with longer periods of time, yeah, you can use images and short sentences (no more than seven words per slide), but only if it reinforces your story, not replace it.
So next time you have to give a talk, remember, do you need power point? If the answer is yes, why?
PS In that talk I had a really bad score, because the lecturer decided that having a power point was required. I’m not gonna get into the education system in this post, but maybe it’d help to force students to not use power point at all. Just saying.