There is no doubt that PowerPoint is a fantastic tool.  It allows us to reinforce visually a critical message which we are trying to get across.  Whether as a trainer or a manager delivering a presentation, it can be a great tool to get your message across.  Of course, we also know that in the wrong hands, PowerPoint can be the most annoying way of delivering a presentation or training session.  We have done many blogs regarding the overuse of PowerPoint and of course ‘Death by PowerPoint’ syndrome.

When I am delivering our Train the Trainer courses and Management Programmes (online and face to face) where we cover presentation techniques, I am still amazed at how many people think it’s everything.  What also concerns me is when trainers use this statement “I like using PowerPoint, as it helps me”.  A hazardous statement as it reinforces where our priorities are when training, i.e. me or I.

Not only does it highlight our real thoughts and where we are thinking (ourselves), but it fails to take on board what the purpose of PowerPoint is.  The reality is that it’s not for you; it’s for the audience.  PowerPoint is a visual aid used to reinforce a key point you are making or to add a visualisation to something we are building with the group.

It is not a prompt for us, and it is not a vast amount of text that we read from the screen.  It is a visual aid for the audience.  In the right hands, PowerPoint can be highly effective.  Remembering it isn’t for you, it's for the audience is a vital skill that all trainers and managers need to be aware.

Ralph Moody is the founder of Target Training and specialises in trainer and management development.  You can read more about him here.