Now it turns out that using PowerPoint for a presentation is a bad idea: Harvard researchers warn of its disadvantages
If you want to express an idea or talk about a project, nothing better than to do it with a good presentation behindthey say. A scheme that helps you synthesize, organize ideas and condense the focus of the issue.
That seems the reality behind which hides the absolute success of PowerPoint in this area, but now Harvard researchers warn: about having that visual support does not help but makes things worse and diverts attention. Better to speak directly, from you to you.
Powerpoint, loves and hates
It is difficult today to make a presentation of any kind and do it without the help of PowerPoint. The Microsoft application – which is also used to create surprising illustrations – has become the absolute benchmark thanks to its veteran status, but of course it is not alone in this segment.
In fact, Apple has also been promoting its own solution, Keynote, and there are dozens of alternatives Among which are Prezi, Impress (part of the LibreOffice suite), Google Slides or highly web-oriented platforms such as Revealjs.
All of them raise the same thing: the possibility of spice up presentations with visuals that theoretically help convey an idea.
The problem is that they do not always succeed, and although there is a whole legion of users who support this solution – not to say the entire industry and jobs / income generated from PowerPoint – there are also those who defend that PowerPoint (and its alternatives) they do not help to convey ideas, quite the contrary.
It doesn’t matter that you no longer have to depend on those big slide projectors or acetate slides. The benefits of PowerPoint were obvious to organizations, but according to Matthew Fuller, professor of cultural studies at the University of London, they had another side effect: they made middle managers they will expose their deficiencies.
For other analysts like Sarah Kaplan of the University of Toronto, “I noticed how people built their strategy around PowerPoint. The slide itself becomes the end goal, ideas are no longer. or the analysis embedded in it. ”In fact, Kaplan recalled how Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, ended up banning them because they were precisely distracting from how the idea was communicated.
Presentations without bits or bytes
As early as 2007, the University of New South Wales carried out a study in which the psychologist John Sweller discovered that when you show the audience the same words you are speaking on a screen, you are not improving the understanding of that speech, but making it worse.
The problem with saying the same thing that puts a text that you have on a screen behind it is that people are not paying attention to a single thing (what they read on the screen or what you are saying to them, which is after all. same), but both: that does not help them retain the idea, and in fact makes those words easier to forget and do not hold back.
Harvard University has also joined that attack against PowerPoint validity, a tool that according to their conclusions “was rated (by online audiences) as [una herramienta] worse than verbal presentations without visual aids. “
Be careful, because that same study does not say that all visual tools are harmful when presenting an idea. For instance, presentations made with Prezi -another well-known alternative- were more organized, attractive, persuasive and effective than PowerPoint presentations and oral presentations.
There is a whole book dedicated to the subject: it was written by Franck Frommer in 2012 and it is titled ‘How PowerPoint Makes You Stupid’. It highlights how the visual tools of Powerpoint “have supplanted the traditional tools of persuasion and argumentation resulting in the corruption of language and the humiliation of society. “
They are somewhat strong words, but the truth is that they make us consider the validity of a tool that is omnipresent in presentations of all kinds, from school and academic to business. If you use PowerPoint, maybe you should consider trying to give your next presentation without that help.
Image | Unsplash
Via | Inc