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Why Powerpoint Isn’t The Problem (And It Never Was)

Powerpoint doesn’t deserve your contempt.

The problem with Powerpoint is that many people abuse it or use it in lazy ways – and their presentations (and audiences) suffer. This week Microsoft announced they are adding a bunch of new features, including AI-enabled presentation coaching that will make suggestions to help you get rid of those “um’s,” fix your pacing, encourage you to rehearse and get rid of sensitive phrases or unclear language.

The tools will use artificial intelligence to help people be more compelling and persuasive presenters. There are also enhancements to automatically improve your slide design to make it less formulaic and help you get rid of your reliance on bullet points.

The problem with Powerpoint, and the reason for all the negative sentiment it often receives, is that people are bad at using it and resort to boring templates and pitiful presentation styles where they simply read bullet points. If the haters are right that “death by Powerpoint” is one of the biggest problems in business communication, then fixing that problem while helping people improve their speaking skills should be considered the single biggest advance in business communication, if it works.

The point is, these innovations can help people not only become better presenters but also help them use Powerpoint the way it should be used. Maybe along the way the tool will finally get the respect it deserves.

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Rohit is the author of 9 books on trends, the future of business, building a more human brand with storytelling and how to create a more diverse and inclusive world.


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