Microsoft PowerPoint is a powerful presentation software that has changed the way people present ideas and information to an audience. With just a few clicks and keystrokes, you can add graphics, text, audio, video and animation to a slide show. Customized presentations can be saved and modified as needed and used again as needs arise. If time, quality or convenience is a factor, PowerPoint has definite advantages over traditional visual aids.
Educational Setting Advantages
In the classroom, PowerPoint's ability to integrate sound, animation and video in a slide show can capture the attention of media and video-savvy students. Text in a PowerPoint is easier to read than notes jotted on a blackboard. Teachers can have greater flexibility in presenting lessons, which can be used repeatedly and modified as needed to different classes. During parents' night, teachers can create PowerPoint presentations to keep parents up-to-date with student work. Traditional flash cards of the past can be updated as PowerPoint slides and used for reinforcement. Interactive book reports created by students help bring their book reports to life.
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Time Saving and Ease of Use
If you were to create a slide presentation with old-school visual aids such as chalkboards, overhead projectors or hand-drawn illustrations, it would be time consuming. PowerPoint's user-friendly functions can create slides in quick order for those who might not be creatively-inclined or who might not have even considered using visual aids in the past. Professionally-designed templates also save time by providing the initial "bones" of the slide show. Simply add text, graphics, forms or documents, plus a company logo, if desired and your PowerPoint presentation will have a cohesive look throughout.
Dissemination of Information and Sharing
PowerPoint has the ability to create a handout version of your slide presentation. Your print options are full-size slides or multiple pages on a page. This allows the audience to retain a hard copy of your information and draw upon it for future reference. The PowerPoint presentation can also be sent electronically via email for computer users who prefer to have a copy on their hard drive. PowerPoint presentations can be created as a collaborative effort via email with the reviewing and merging capabilities. Team members can work on slide shows and then email their revisions back to the creator of the PowerPoint project who can then merge any changes with the original presentation.