I started using PowerPoint in the early 1990's as a trainer developing training materials. I needed an easy way to ensure the materials I taught were consistent from session to session and were easy to follow. Because I was training in the use of computer software, I needed to use a tool that allowed multiple computer programs to be run at the same time on a single machine. PowerPoint allowed me to not only run multiple programs, but also to swap between my presentation and the programs.
I also found myself using PowerPoint to create presentations of many other kinds, including:
Status reports on the training classes
Publicity presentations for classes
Student evaluation summaries
As my familiarity with PowerPoint grew, so did my skills. I became known as a presentation expert, especially skilled at enhancing presentations.
As I consulted with other organizations, I learned of the many different ways people used PowerPoint to communicate information. The most common problems encountered by my clients are addressed in this book. In each chapter, you will find an example of how a client used PowerPoint to communicate with an audience and how using the tool helped get the message across in a more efficient manner.
Before we get to how people use PowerPoint, I want to introduce three terms I will be using throughout this book.