Making PowerfulPoints

By Vusi | 22 May 2015 Blog home

Murder accused turns 25

Riots, earthquakes, massacres, tornados: in time, 22 May has seen them all. This year, it’s also the 25th birthday of the alleged mass killer, PowerPoint.

Google “death by” and PowerPoint wins, as its verbal complement, every time (with chocolate a close runner-up).

Wiktionary has the phrase as an uncountable noun (like information, comprehension, scenery and applause) with “deaths by PowerPoint” an extremely unlikely expression, let alone real-life occurrence. There are uncountable sites devoted to its avoidance, though, and all point to one thing: the speaker’s civic duty to not bore the audience. defines Death by PowerPoint as “a phenomenon caused by the poor use of presentation software”. And we agree. It’s not PowerPoint that’s all-too-often the problem – it’s its users: passion-free presenters who fail to internalise message or meaning; bad craftsmen, blaming their tools.

Before PowerPoint (BP), as explains: “There were slides. Real ones. Making slides was a trained profession for highly skilled designers and technicians. They were simple, clear, visual, and highly conceptual.”

We’d all do well to remember that, trying to craft one memorable point.

Did you know?

  • Animation = the customised entrance, emphasis and exit of elements on a slide
  • Transition = movement between slides


“The perfect slide is minimalist, with good automatic animation and no bullets. All long text (what you say) must go in the notes section. Visual information should be big and bold.”

Debra Wheelwright, Worker Ant Design

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Blue Moon loves PowerPoint (AD). We love distilling the essence of what needs to be communicated and then carefully crystallising its visual expression. Used optimally, PowerPoint can be your trampoline into a differentiated space, where real engagement really happens.