PowerPoint is not just for speakers


My main focus is on helping people produce slide presentations for use in a speech or talk to help reinforce, illustrate, clarify or enhance (RICE) the message they are trying to get across.

But, taking off my presentations hat for a short while, there are other things that PowerPoint can be used for and I wanted to briefly talk about these in this article. I’ll come back to these in more detail in future articles along with concrete examples so, watch this space.

PowerPoint icons

Standalone show. No presenter, just the slides. This might be, for example, an intro sequence to a conference as people are filing into the room or once people have sat down and the lights have gone down.

Exhibition presentation. A looping slide show running on a screen on your exhibition stand, showcasing your products or services.

Booth presentation. Maybe in a shopping centre or other venue outlining what’s on offer at the venue. This could even be made interactive so that the user can click on buttons to be taken to the information they require.

Digital portfolio. To showcase your pictures, art, etc. A presentation that you can tote round on your laptop or tablet when visiting clients or that could be converted to video and uploaded to YouTube.

Point of sale. In your shop, on or above the counter altering shoppers to the latest offers or demonstrating how a product works.

Interactive tutorials. PowerPoint is very good at being interactive although most people never use this functionality. It can be used for quizzes and training modules, allowing the user to touch or click items on the screen and be taken to other pages / slides within the tutorial presentation.

Producing video. PowerPoint is surprisingly good at producing clear and high-quality video. I use it all the time. If I have to add a presentation to my articles or anywhere on this website, it is first exported from PowerPoint to video and then uploaded to YouTube and linked from there.

As a teleprompter. This one is inspired by people who say they use PowerPoint slides as a prop. No!!! Your slides are there for your audience. However, if you need a prop, set up the slides on your laptop so you can see them and just don’t connect up to a projector. That way, you can use the slides as a teleprompter to help guide you through your talk.

And finally one thing you shouldn’t use PowerPoint for – print design. There are so many better tools for this. Even Word is better than PowerPoint, although still not ideal. You should always use the best tool for the job in hand and when it comes to design for print, that ain’t PowerPoint.

Can you think of any other ways to use PowerPoint?