What I use for talks instead of Powerpoint

Steve Simon


Someone on LinkedIn asked a question about what technologies people use for their presentations (laptop, flipchart, or whiteboard). For most of my presentations, I use none of these technologies. Instead I create a webpage of my presentation and then print it and hand out copies.

I dislike Powerpoint or any similar software that relies on a computer projector for a variety of reasons. First, there is no guarantee that everyone in a crowded room will be able to see all of the screen. Second, I enjoy having to bypass the setup required for computer projection. Third, paper never suffers from computer glitches. Fourth, I like to leave people with something tangible after my talk. Fifth, having the handout as a webpage helps to promote my website.

There are some downsides. First, it is not a very “green” solution. Second, you have to be careful when the size of the audience is unpredictable (though paper documents can be shared). Third, it will not work well when your audience is in the hundreds or thousands. You’ll have too much paper to carry and it will take too long to pass out copies.

I do use Powerpoint and a computer projection device when I have to, and I am pretty much committed to it for a webinar, since distance prevents me from easily passing out paper. Still, I am much more comfortable using a paper handout.

You can find an earlier version of this page on my website.