All Presentation Software is Broken by Ilya Grigorik.
From the post:
Whenever the point I’m trying to make lacks clarity, I often find myself trying to dress it up: fade in the points, slide in the chart, make prettier graphics. It is a great tell when you catch yourself doing it. Conversely, I have yet to see a presentation or a slide that could not have been made better by stripping the unnecessary visual dressing. Simple slides require hard work and a higher level of clarity and confidence from the presenter.
All presentation software is broken. Instead of helping you become a better speaker, we are competing on the depth of transition libraries, text effects, and 3D animations. Prezi takes the trophy. As far as I can tell, it is optimized for precisely one thing: generating nausea.
Next Presentation Platform: Browser
If you want your message to travel, then the browser is your (future) presentation platform of choice. No proprietary formats, no conversion nightmares, instant access from billions of devices, easy sharing, and more. Granted, the frameworks and the authoring tools are still lacking, but that is only a matter of time.
Unfortunately, we are off to a false start. Instead of trying to make the presenter more effective, we are too busy trying to replicate the arsenal of useless visual transitions with the HTML5, CSS3 and WebGL stacks. Spinning WebGL cubes and CSS transitions make for a fun technology demo but add zero value – someone, please, stop the insanity. We have web connectivity, ability to build interactive slides, and get realtime feedback and analytics from the audience. There is nothing to prove by imitating the broken features of PowerPoint and Keynote, let’s leverage the strengths of the web platform instead. (emphasis added)
Imagine that. Testing your slides. Sounds like testing software before it is released to paying customers.
Test your slides on a real audience before a conference or meeting with your board or important client. What a novel concept.
By “real audience” I mean someone other than yourself or one of your office mates.
When you are tempted to say, “they just don’t understand….,” substitute, “I didn’t explain …. well.” (Depends on whether you want to feel smart or be an effective communicator. Your call.)
Presentation software isn’t fixable.
Presenters on the other hand, maybe.
But you have to fix yourself, no one can do it for you.