Is PowerPoint dead?
On and off over the last couple of months I’ve come across various articles/blog posts describing how PowerPoint is not dead. To be honest, I kind of feel sorry for PP, as it’s become too popular for its own good in a way… Anyway, as I’m usually keeping an eye out for things that build on commonly-used technology (this is not to say that I’m keen on outdated stuff, it’s just that it’s a lot easier to train someone to use a new toolbar rather than a whole new application), the things that I’m most excited about at the moment are:
- Articulate Studio 09 (you may also find cool stuff on the University of Leeds site I look after): this works brilliantly with PowerPoint and if you’ve got a sensible presentation, you can turn it into Flash in a few clicks with Articulate Presenter. As most people don’t actually have sensible presentations, Articulate Engage and Quizmaker can help you break them up, present stuff in more engaging ways and make sure your students haven’t fallen asleep listening to you talk to your computer (or snore if you yourself have found talking to your monitor a bit tiresome ;))
- LiveWeb: everyone’s buzzing about social web this, web 2.0 that, etc. With this PP add-in you can bring in webpages in real-time when you deliver your exciting face-to-face sessions. Do you need more specific ideas? How about having a small window covering a portion of your screen opening up your Tweeter page so that at all times people can Tweet you and you can reply to their comments without the need for additional screens/projectors and all that madness that comes with them? Straightforward to install and easy to configure. Beware, though: you will need the add-in both on the authoring and the presenter machine (if they’re not one and the same).
Let me know if there are other tools out there to make the PowerPoint experience easier on the part of the receiver. I am a great believer in putting in individual effort for the greater good, so I’m not only looking for things that are dead easy to operate (although that is clearly a bonus ;)). All in all, I must say I quite like PP (especially 2007 and especially the custom animation paths – though they were there since a few versions back, I think). It does say something about you and you CAN get people to see that there is life after PowerPoint, too 🙂