Nov 9, 2009

Knowing PowerPoint DOES NOT make you a better presenter

"A good presenter is one who is good at PowerPoint (or Keynote)."

What do you think about this quote? How true. Is it not? I mean, if only you knew the software better you could have made a better presentation. That's what is keeping you away from 'presentation stardom'. If only you got some free time and you could master PowerPoint. "Gosh I don't know those cool animation tricks and amazing transitions." And if I don't know then how can I impress my colleagues and especially my boss?

Well, I disagree. I do not think there is any relation between you as a presenter and you as a PowerPoint user. They are just two different worlds. Get this feeling out of your mind that you need PowerPoint to make you a better presenter. It is a presentation myth.

I am not saying shun PowerPoint. I am not saying that people who do not know PowerPoint are better presenters. I am just asking you to throw one thing out of your mind and hearts. "Just because I know PowerPoint well, I am a better presenter. If I do not know PowerPoint well, I suck at presentations."

I agree knowing PowerPoint (or Keynote) well will help you express yourself better. It will even give you confidence. But that's it. It's all in the mind. Do not let your inadequate knowledge of a software weaken you as a presenter.

You might be able to create cool slides on PowerPoint but to present it to the audience in a manner that they understand and remember is an art. The art of public speaking. And your slides are just a tool which help you present better. Knowing how to use a tool better, just makes you more comfortable but does not necessarily make you a better presenter.

Tell me what you think about this.


  1. I agree. Slideware can be a useful tool, but it is passion and humanity that sell an idea, not projected light.

    When planning a presentation, ask yourself "why I am using slideware at all?" Sometimes you will find you need it. Usually, you will not.

  2. Hi Adam

    Your last point is extremely valid. If we ever stopped and wondered about it, the need for a slideware would be reduced drastically.

    Many presenters feel the slides are the most important thing in a presentation. And this myth makes them spend too much time preparing the slides and ignore other things. In the end, this does not help.

    Thanks for dropping by Adam.

  3. I agree Vivek - there should be more thinking about the audience, and less typing of bulletpoints (grrr..).

    I am enjoying your blog!