PowerPoint animations are comprehension killers?

June 17th, 2009

A great deal of attention has been given to this recent blogged about study that said PowerPoint animations are comprehension killers. Why should this be such big news? As a professional working with presentations for over 20 years, it was clear 20 years ago that if you load up your slides with animation after animation, all you will accomplish is making audience dizzy and tune out.

PPT Animation can kill comprehensinFor any visual effect (and in the new PowerPoint there are many), you need to use them sparingly to have them have any impact. If you keep your slides simple and consistent except for when you want to make an important, memorable point – you add an animation or other visual effect for impact.

People just love to hate PowerPoint. I’m still not sure if people really hate PowerPoint or they just hate it by association of meetings and deadlines that they hate.

I find it interesting that with all the blogs and tweets I saw about this study yesterday, NO ONE mentioned a small important comment made in the study: “Both presentations dramatically improved the students’ scores”. YES, the presentations dramatically improved the students scores which proves the point that PowerPoint can improve communication, just leave out the fancy animations.

I’m so sick of hearing the “death by PowerPoint” cliche when it should be Death by BAD PowerPoint. I’m going to start a new effort to change the cliche to: LIFE by PowerPoint. PowerPoint (when used correctly, and effectively) can give life to ideas, careers and companies.

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