If you need to make a formal presentation, one of the best supportive tools you can use to create visuals for those attending is Microsoft PowerPoint. It can be found in Office 365 subscriptions for both personal and business use.
The primary advantage of using PowerPoint is that visual representations can help to reinforce the key points you’re speaking about. Humans are visually orientated when learning new skills or ideas, so having a graphic representation of what you’re speaking about makes it easier to retain the information.
The primary disadvantage is that it takes time to learn how to use this software. For those unfamiliar with visual presentation software, the process can become difficult. It may even cause some to give up trying to learn it. Here are some of the other pros and cons of PowerPoint presentations that are worth thinking about as well.
What Are the Pros of PowerPoint Presentations?
1. It is easy to download and use virtually anywhere.
PowerPoint is considered a standard product in many professional settings. This allows you to take your user license virtually anywhere to be able to create the graphics needed for your presentation. It is so expected, in fact, that you may create a negative first impression if you don’t have a PowerPoint presentation to offer.
2. It can make a presentation more interesting.
Even interesting presentations can grow long and boring. With an animated presentation or interesting quotes or other fun slides, you can bring people back from their boredom.
3. It is easy to customize each slide to meet specific needs.
Images on a slide can be decreased or increased in scale to fit your needs. It only takes a few clicks to insert, alter, and align images to create a needed visual representation. You can even use arrows, pointers, or other shapes to highlight key areas of information you want people to know about.
4. It is a simple process to create follow-along hand-outs.
You can print each slide directly from PowerPoint. Then you can copy those slides to become a helpful hand-out that can be given to each presentation participant.
5. It is reasonably affordable for most professionals.
Business plans for Office 365 start at just under $10 per month. This gives you 1 license to use on a computer of your choice. For $15 per month, you receive 5 computer licenses to use.
What Are the Cons of PowerPoint Presentations?
1. There’s always the chance of running into technical difficulties.
Even tech-savvy individuals can run into presentation issues when the technology doesn’t work as intended. Maybe the computer stops working. Or you lose power to your outlet. Or the overhead display doesn’t work right. This can alter the positive first impression of a presentation very quickly.
2. Slides with too much information on them can become overwhelming.
Because there are so many options that can be included on a PowerPoint presentation, it can be easy to go overboard on the number of colors, sounds, shapes, and other items that can be used. By adding to many things, you can detract from the information that needs to be shared.
3. It isn’t a substitute for what a presenter must do.
Many who use PowerPoint tend to rely on the information on the slide instead of providing a learning narrative. It is easy to become too reliant on this software and forget that there is an actual presentation that needs to be completed.
4. Costs are always ongoing.
Because it is part of the Office 365 package, you no longer receive a proprietary software license for one specific cost. You must pay a monthly or annual subscription cost, which over time can add up to more than what the proprietary license once offered. You must also download the software to each computer, which consumes data that may be capped for some small business owners.
5. Some participants may tune out your narrative.
If your PowerPoint is very detailed, some participants in your presentation may focus on your handouts and slides more than your actual narrative. This may make it difficult to make the call to action that you want participants to follow at the end of the day.
The pros and cons of PowerPoint presentations show that with careful planning, any narrative can be enhanced for those who are participating in the event. Without that planning, the presentation may do more harm than good to the narrative.
Do you use Microsoft PowerPoint for your presentations? What helpful tips do you have to refine the presentation creation experience?