The Benefits of Powerpoint Presentations
The complexity of technical information increases every year. With each fresh discovery, each new refinement of existing techniques or each renovation of a previous model or theory to better match the reality of a situation, comes a new elaboration to be mastered. Greater precision necessarily means greater detail, and to stay on the cutting edge and succeed–either as a private individual or as an organization–one needs to know it, and be capable of conveying one’s understanding to others. Technical information can be difficult to convey–it is dense, it requires context to be of any use, and in its rawest form it is not easily processed into memory. However, the correct use of software can solve this problem and make the presentation of otherwise esoteric knowledge efficient and informative.
Powerpoint, Powerpoint-like applications, and PDF presentations are excellent teaching materials. They allow for knowledge to be arranged in a narrative format–a story, in other words–which is the easiest way to ensure someone remembers information, as it creates a series of cues. Upon mentally reviewing information later, the learner naturally asks “What happened next?” In many disciplines–particularly mathematics, statistics and econometrics, as well as the sciences in general–there is no easy answer, because the information is not a “story”. However, laying it out in a distinct series–both from slide to slide, and by using pointed lists within a slide–facilitates the recall of information because each piece of data has been placed in a framework where it leads to another piece and, in turn, was led from another piece. It is hard to memorize an entire lecture, but after viewing a software presentation, one can remember everything one needs to just by bringing to mind a single segment of that presentation.
Further, the use of presentation software allows one to add illustrations and graphs alongside purely textual descriptions. By using pictures and words in tandem, the presentation activates both visual and verbal learning in the brain, creating a powerful learning experience for everyone. This includes the presenter; organizing materials in this manner is a powerful cognitive tool. For students at universities, colleges, or high schools, it is an excellent study aid. For writers, editors, or authors–whether print or web, whether writing research papers, books or journals–it is an extremely effective way to organize thoughts and create an outline. When you next write, consider making your outline in presentation form. It will prove surprisingly effective.