Is PowerPoint a good thing or a bad thing?

I am proud to be part of a great team that gets to spend one week a year with the dynamic, motivated and clever students in the IESE Executive MBA Programme. We help them hone their public speaking skills so that they are able to communicate more effectively the great things on which they are working.

Our team is led by Conor Neill and includes Tony Anagor, Florian Mueck, Tobias Rodrigues and me. While in Barcelona, Conor interviewed us on a wide variety of public speaking issues. I will be posting those videos from time to time on this blog.

Today’s video is about slide presentations.


About John Zimmer

International speaker, presentation skills expert, lawyer, improv performer
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9 Responses to Is PowerPoint a good thing or a bad thing?

  1. Sol Young says:

    I think PowerPoint is a great tool; it gives its users enough rope to hang themselves. 50 slides full of bullets is a disastrous deck. Seven slides with imagery or charts that eloquently back up the speaker’s story a is a thing of beauty.

    • John Zimmer says:

      Completely agree, Sol. In a similar vein, 50 well designed slides are much better than seven poor ones.

      Thanks for the comment.


      • Christina O'Shaughnessy says:

        Thank you for your prompt response to my comment, John.

        In view of the traditional macho culture in certain countries, such as Spain, I would have thought it proper to ensure that such a team would include women. The institute does have women students, I think.

        Signals shouldn’t be underestimated. It’s a source of great comfort to me that the US voted Obama in as President. The role model thing…

        • I think choosing role models just so they can be “role models” is not fair.
          John’s comment is commendable. Sometimes it just works out that way. In the future, female members may join the team and it will more closely represent the make up of the general population.
          And honestly, who’s propagating stereotypes here with the “macho cultures, such as Spain” remark? Do you live there? Or is that just the way you think it is there?

        • John Zimmer says:

          Thanks, John.


  2. nick morgan says:

    Nice video, good lessons, and a poised, confident, sharp performance by Mr. Zimmer! Good job.

  3. Christina O'Shaughnessy says:

    Just wondering why there aren’t any women on the IESE team. I find it strange that the team is an all-male one!

    • John Zimmer says:

      Christina, as I was the final addition (last year) to a team that has been built up over several years, it is not my place to comment at length on the composition. Having said that, I don’t see any problem with it. There are many different teams out there made up only of men; and there are many teams made up only of women; and there are teams that are mixed.

      One of the great teams of which I am a part is lead by Olivia Schofield. We have held events across Europe. Thus far, it has been Olivia as the lead with the rest of the team being men. That’s just how it has worked out. When I was a member of the Geneva Writers’s Group Steering Committee, our team was (as I recall) three or four men and seven or eight women. I wouldn’t read too much into the composition of a team. What’s more important is that the team works well together and produces quality work.


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