Want to Bore Your Audience? Use PowerPoint.

Want to bore your audience? Use Powerpoint

Those who were around in 1990, will remember …

• “The Simpsons” is aired on Fox for the first time.
• The demolition of the Berlin Wall officially begins.
• The movie “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” launches.

And, PowerPoint was officially launched on May 22, 1990, as a part of the Microsoft Office suite.

That was 25 years ago. So why are we still using PowerPoint as the core for our employee training?

If you don’t think it is a big problem, do an A / B test for yourself. At the beginning of your next training session with more than one group:

A. Present your introduction on a PowerPoint slide, having an observer watch your audience.
B. Present your introduction as a short audio / video clip, again observing the audience.

My experience is that the ‘A’ group will push back in their chair, preparing for a boring presentation, while the second group will be engaged and much more ready to learn.

Best of all, you do not need to be Steven Spielberg to create something. Look at YouTube. The use of home audio / video is well accepted today, and still the presentations are very engaging. We accept ‘less than perfect’ presentations since we are after the content and can look past the quality.

So how do we create something like that?

With today’s technology it is easy. There is plenty of animated clip art and audio files out there. And creation tools which can be used by the novice to make your presentation come alive, like Audacity for audio. There are also new tools [like Prezi] which work similar to PowerPoint, but are dynamic in the way they display your materials.

Time to do yourself and your audience a favor and come out of the ‘90s with your training.