About Not-Using PowerPoint...
June is almost over...and I have been not-using PowerPoint to develop and deliver business presentations for the entire month. Rather, I have been experimenting with Impress by Open Office.
One of the key reasons Open Office worked so well for me this month is my personal style. I prefer developing slide shows with simple, clear graphics and limited animations and special effects. And to this extent, Impress works very well.
Online, I found a review that matches my impressions on the key differences between PowerPoint and Impress.
While the article (written by Bruce Byfield in 2004) might seem a bit dated, the summary and main points still hold true in 2006. The summary of this article reads:
"Impress matches PowerPoint in the basics, outclasses it in graphics, and is outclassed itself in special effects."
In June 2006, I found this assessment to be valid.
So how important are PowerPoint's special effects? Personally, I seldom use them in stand-and-deliver type business presentations.
But I have clients who require more advanced audio and video effects. Many clients use PowerPoint not so much for stand-and-deliver type presentations, but for kiosks, trade shows, electronic signage, and the like. And in many cases, PowerPoint's special effects can be an important communication device.
But for a good deal of training and sales presentations, a slideware alternative like Open Office Impress is an excellent choice.
In fact, if you are looking to become a better "stand-and-deliver" presenter, you might do well to design your presentation with Impress. Why? By taking your focus off of PowerPoint's myriad of special effects, you might be able to better focus on the stuff that really matters when delivering an effective presentation.
You know -- the really important stuff. The 3 r's of presenting:
Researching - 'Riting - Rehearsing!