We might well discuss this using one of the tools.

Is Powerpoint the only presentation tool?

It most definitely is not.

In an article about the topic, one observer noted

not that PowerPoint is a terrible tool, but the way it inherently asks you to make a presentation (with bullets in a linear fashion) is just plain wrong in my opinion.

If you share that thought, you might consider

Use the tool that can do what you need done.

Some good advice on why you might want to use Prezi

But if you use PowerPoint, Microsoft has an online help tool that is worth bookmarking.

Let's use an example to see how it can be used.


Is it evil?

New Yorker PPT cartoon Design your life, by Ellen and Julia Lupton

One respected person implies that it is.

But other voices suggest that it can be useful

PowerPoint has gotten a bad rap on account of the ugly and inane stuff people do with it ... Yet PowerPoint (is) not inherently evil ... (it has) been abused and over-used to the point of exhaustion (p. 179).


Or is it good?

We can easily find bad examples. But are there good uses for it?

Or is it just how we (mis)use it?

Doonesbury cartoon, 20070814


Is PowerPoint bad?

No, in fact, it is quite a useful tool.

  • Boring talks are bad.
  • Poorly structured talks are bad.

Don't blame the problem on the tool.


We will view most of these topics using PowerPoint itself

Tour of the workspace - note the commonalities with the other Office applications

basic views

In the Slide pane, you can work directly on individual slides.

  • Dotted borders identify placeholders where you can type text or insert pictures, charts, and other objects
    • placeholders

      Boxes with dotted or hatch-marked borders that are part of most slide layouts. These boxes hold title and body text or objects such as charts, tables, and pictures.
    • object

      A table, chart, graphic, equation, or other form of information. Objects created in one application, for example spreadsheets, and linked or embedded in another application are OLE objects.)

The Slides tab shows a thumbnail version of each full size slide shown in the Slide pane. After you add other slides, you can click a thumbnail on the Slides tab to make the slide appear in the Slide pane. Or you can drag thumbnails to rearrange the slides in your presentation. You can also add or delete slides on the Slides tab.

In the Notes pane, you can type notes about the current slide.

Working Views

You can edit text on slides by typing either in the outline tab or the slide pane and you can change the order of slides by moving slides in the outline tab or in the Slide Sorter view.

Normal View shows you three frames simultaneously

outline pane
  1. outline of entire presentation
    • you can also use the outline tab to edit text on slide formats
    • or the slides tab to see a miniature, which you can edit in the slide pane
  2. individual slide
  3. notes to be attached to slide

Slide Sorter View shows you miniature images of all the slides in the presentation.

slide sorter view

Slide Show View takes over your screen to show you a single slide in presentation format.

slide show view


PRESENTATIONS IN GENERAL | designing | next session