PowerPoint 2007 ROCKS !!!

I’ve never made a secret of the fact that I’m artistically challenged.

I’m a developer, but the foundation of my job at Microsoft is the COMMUNICATION of software Engineering concepts. This might seem like a minor distinction but I don’t think it is.

Being a developer is the fun part, and in some ways the easy part. When you write code, the computer either “gets it” or not and generally tells you right away if it doesn’t.

You don’t have to be entertaining or funny to get your point across to a computer. Your computer does even care about the esthetics of your work. You don’t have to worry about offending your computer, being politically correct and inclusive, or finding a happy medium to effectively communicate with a thousand different personality types.

Communicating with people is MUCH harder. Especially technologist because…….

  • They are generally very smart people.
  • They are VERY opinionated.
  • They are allays right.
  • They could do what you do better than you – and they’ll tell you about it.
  • Their needs are unique.
  • etc, etc, etc.

I cringe when I hear people refer to a PowerPoint deck as “the presentation”. A PowerPoint deck is NOT a presentation. It should be more of a reminder. A reminder to the presenter so he or she doesn’t forget any of the points they want to cover and a reminder to the audience after that fact, as to what the presenter discussed.

Having said that, visual imagery can have a profound effect on an individual’s understanding and retention.

For me, the problem with PowerPoint has always been that it took more time than I had to build visually compelling PowerPoint decks and the the ones that I could swipe that are visually pleasing are usually too fluffy or they tell someone else’s story and not the story I need to tell.

Enter Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007

Huge compliments to the Office / PowerPoint UI and feature teams.

First, apart from all the negative rhetoric in the press about Microsoft changing the Office products UI, the new ribbon based UI really is better. Better, by my definition includes……

  • Faster.
  • Easier to Use
  • More Intuitive
  • More effective use of available screen real estate so I get  …..
  • More functionality in the space available.

Secondly, they have added a TON of new, easy to use, design features that turn simple data like lists, into compelling visual representations.

I’ve given hundreds of presentations since coming to Microsoft, it’s now actually fun to do preparation in PowerPoint.

Just when you think we can’t squeeze any more value out of an Office product ……..