Sunday, June 29, 2008

I hate PowerPoint

And while I'm in the mood for a rant.....

God, I hate f***ing PowerPoint!

I've agreed to deliver a 2.5-hour presentation this week (trying to inspire science graduates to improve their spoken English if they want to have a chance of getting a job with a foreign company).

It's just a little bit out of the usual run, and the pay is OK (not by any means great - but I can't afford to be too fussy at the moment; it's threatening to be a very lean summer). It is, however, a lot of time to fill. I am expected to provide all my own materials. Including PowerPoint slides. I don't have anything ready to hand that quite fits the bill.

So, yesterday I spent 5 solid hours preparing the slides for the bleedin' presentation. 5 hours!

OK, it would help if I knew my way around the program a little better. And it would have helped if Google weren't being so sodding slow that every time I wanted to add a picture, it took me 20 or 30 minutes to find something suitable.

But PowerPoint, I find, is an exceptionally fiddly, finicky, non-user-friendly programme - even by Microsoft's dismal standards. (Why is it so tricky to click on the edges of a text box when you want to move or re-size it? Why does it keep on automatically reducing the font size to fit when there isn't really any need to do so? And how can you disable this? How come you can align left or centre, but not right or both sides? How come you lose the numbering when you cut & paste in bullet-points? Is there any easy way of saving your font colours, or do you just have to try to remember what you've used before for each kind of heading? I could go on......)

Another day of my life gone. I just hope I'll get the chance to use the presentation more than once.

And NO, you may not film it.


Anonymous said...

I occasionally use PowerPoint for lectures, but mostly if I need maps or images. I find it to be limiting when speaking or teaching, perhaps I need more practice.

On the other hand, as this link demonstrates, PowerPoint doesn't necessarily bring a whole lot to the table, presentation-wise.

Froog said...

OK, the link was fun... but I've learned this now - Do not click on a link in someone else's comment while you're writing your own reply because it will GET LOST.

What I think I was writing was.....

I really hate PowerPoint.

I have this thing I do occasionally (well, only a couple of times so far, but I hope to parlay it into a regular big-bucks seminar gig one day) where I start off by doing the whole 'How do I make good PowerPoint slides for my presentation?' 101.... and then I say, "So, what happens if..... your file is corrupted, or your projector breaks down, or there's a power cut, an earthquake, a terrible flood, LOCUSTS?" You rejoice silently. Because now you can do your thing rather than worry about all that distracting crap up there, now you can concentrate on what you want to say rather than whether the right slide is up or whether people can read it OK, now your audience may actually listen to you.

All Microsoft programs are the ejaculate of Satan, but PowerPoint is the stickiest, smelliest, and least washable.