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PowerPoint presentation skills are commonly used, and they have a lot of scope for ensuring instructional and technical presentations. The desire to learn PowerPoint skills is fueled by the fact that PowerPoint is widely used in the creation of presentations, especially in the worlds of business and technology. Despite its widespread use, PowerPoint has both positive and negative facets. This article examines both the positive and bad sides of studying and using presentation skills in order to better appreciate the relevant aspects as well as the risks or shortcomings of PowerPoint presentation skills.
For starters, mastering presenting skills enables the learner to plan their presentations professionally. With proper PowerPoint presentation skills, one can design a presentation professionally. Lari (2014) explains the features present in Microsoft PowerPoint to offer highly professional presentations. To enhance professional presentation skills and also ensure clarity and professionalism, the PowerPoint slides are set to ensure clarity of the content, by having different types of slides for different contexts.
Secondly, with the presentation skills, it becomes possible to make an appellate and a more stimulating presentation. The appeal of the presentation occurs by skillfully and carefully mixing the media. The presenter is in a position to incorporate sophisticated auditory and visual media into their presentation (Nowak, Speakman, & Sayers, 2016). Embedding the proper and contextual media into the presentation creates an appealing presentation. Additionally, the use of PowerPoint presentation occurs electronically creating an electronic file format which allows distribution with an open chance for modification. The editing of the PowerPoint files for correctional or additional purposes is easy and comes with no reprinting costs.
Despite having some good elements in the learning of the PowerPoint presentation, there also exists some drawbacks and negative aspects. Lari (2014) note that the most common bad side in the total reliance on using PowerPoint skills in presentation is the lack or complete set of technological elements required to ensure efficacy in the presentation. It is a prerequisite to possess a well-functioning computer, the PowerPoint program, and a set of external delivery technology such as the computer projector system. Possession of the skill may not be helpful without having the required gadgets and software. The issue of scarcity of the technological resources is common to many organizations and institutes, and it creates hindrances in the use of the presentation skills.
In addition, the use of PowerPoint to make presentations in the class or conference setting require the use of the technology, which associates with several technological risks and limitations. There is a possibility of equipment failure, which means that a component of the whole set up may fail to work as expected (Lari, 2014). In their study, Nowak et al. (2016) pinpoint the risk of the incompatibility of the media; explaining the possibility of realizing the file format of the presentation is incompatible with the system being used during the presentation. Also, cases of file corruption are often evident in cases of PowerPoint presentations and thus pose a risk and poor element of electronic presentations.
Learning the PowerPoint presentation skills offers the learners and the professional users of the PowerPoint program an opportunity to acquire and improve their presentations. With efficacy in presentation, one can present ideas in a more professional and precise way. The program is also advantageous because of the electronic file format which is both transferable and modifiable. However, learning the skills does not shield the learner away from the technological limitations and risks. The technology used is prone to risks of file corruption, equipment failure, and media incompatibility.
Lari, F. S. (2014). The Impact of Using PowerPoint Presentations on Students’ Learning and Motivation in Secondary Schools. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 98(Proceedings of the International Conference on Current Trends in ELT), 1672-1677.
Nowak, M. K., Speakman, E., & Sayers, P. (2016). Evaluating PowerPoint Presentations: A Retrospective Study Examining Educational Barriers and Strategies. Nursing Education Perspectives, (1), 28.
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