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Although the PowerPoint software had been used to generate transparencies for over a decade, this usage was not typically encompassed by common understanding of the term. In contemporary operation, PowerPoint is used to create a file called a "presentation" or "deck" containing a sequence of pages called "slides" in the app which usually have a consistent style from template masters , and which may contain information imported from other apps or created in PowerPoint, including text, bullet lists, tables, charts, drawn shapes, images, audio clips, video clips, animations of elements, and animated transitions between slides, plus attached notes for each slide.
A smartphone remote control built in to PowerPoint for iOS optionally controlled from Apple Watch  and for Android  allows the presenter to control the show from elsewhere in the room. In addition to a computer slide show projected to a live audience by a speaker, PowerPoint can be used to deliver a presentation in a number of other ways: In practice, however, presentations are not always delivered in this mode.
In our studies, we often found that the presenter sat at a table with a small group of people and walked them through a "deck", composed of paper copies of the slides. In some cases, decks were simply distributed to individuals, without even a walk-through or discussion.
Other variations in form included sending the PowerPoint file electronically to another site and talking through the slides over an audio or video channel e. Another common variation was placing a PowerPoint file on a web site for people to view at different times.
They found that some of these ways of using PowerPoint could influence the content of presentations, for example when "the slides themselves have to carry more of the substance of the presentation, and thus need considerably more content than they would have if they were intended for projection by a speaker who would orally provide additional details and nuance about content and context.
In an analyst summed up: That's the real question. How come PowerPoint is everywhere? Robert Gaskins, who was responsible for its design, has written about his intended customers: I did not target other existing large groups of users of presentations, such as school teachers or military officers. I also did not plan to target people who were not existing users of presentations Our focus was purely on business users, in small and large companies, from one person to the largest multinationals.
The result has been the rise of presentation culture. In an information society, nearly everyone presents. Lucky could already write about broader uses: A new language is in the air, and it is codified in PowerPoint. In a family discussion about what to do on a given evening, for example, I feel like pulling out my laptop and giving a Vugraph presentation In church I am surprised that the preachers haven't caught on yet. How have we gotten on so long without PowerPoint?
Over a decade or so, beginning in the mid s, PowerPoint began to be used in many communication situations, well beyond its original business presentation uses, to include teaching in schools  and in universities,  lecturing in scientific meetings  and preparing their related poster sessions  , worshipping in churches,  making legal arguments in courtrooms,  displaying supertitles in theaters,  driving helmet-mounted displays in spacesuits for NASA astronauts,  giving military briefings,  issuing governmental reports,  undertaking diplomatic negotiations,   writing novels,  giving architectural demonstrations,  prototyping website designs,  creating animated video games,  creating art projects,  and even as a substitute for writing engineering technical reports,  and as an organizing tool for writing general business documents.
Julia Keller reported for the Chicago Tribune: In less than a decade, it has revolutionized the worlds of business, education, science and communications, swiftly becoming the standard for just about anybody who wants to explain just about anything to just about anybody else. From corporate middle managers reporting on production goals to 4th-graders fashioning a show-and-tell on the French and Indian War to church pastors explicating the seven deadly sins PowerPoint seems poised for world domination.
Cultural reactions[ edit ] As uses broadened, cultural awareness of PowerPoint grew and commentary about it began to appear. Edward Tufte An early reaction was that the broader use of PowerPoint was a mistake, and should be reversed. These costs arise from the cognitive style characteristics of the standard default PP presentation: Tufte particularly advised against using PowerPoint for reporting scientific analyses, using as a dramatic example some slides made during the flight of the space shuttle Columbia after it had been damaged by an accident at liftoff, slides which poorly communicated the engineers' limited understanding of what had happened.
While his approach was not rigorous from a research perspective, his articles received wide resonance with the public at large Steven Pinker , professor of psychology at MIT and later Harvard, had earlier argued that "If anything, PowerPoint, if used well, would ideally reflect the way we think.
It's like denouncing lectures—before there were awful PowerPoint presentations, there were awful scripted lectures, unscripted lectures, slide shows, chalk talks, and so on. Richard E. Mayer and Steve Jobs Keynotes A second reaction to PowerPoint use was to say that PowerPoint can be used well, but only by substantially changing its style of use. This reaction is exemplified by Richard E.
Mayer , a professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who has studied cognition and learning, particularly the design of educational multimedia, and who has published more than publications, including over 30 books. Instead, we have to change our PowerPoint habits to align with the way people learn.
Mayer's ideas are claimed by Carmine Gallo to have been reflected in Steve Jobs's presentations: Steve Jobs's slides adhere to each of Mayer's principles Although most presentation designers who are familiar with both formats prefer to work in the more elegant Keynote system, those same designers will tell you that the majority of their client work is done in PowerPoint.
Stephen Kosslyn A third reaction to PowerPoint use was to conclude that the standard style is capable of being used well, but that many small points need to be executed carefully, to avoid impeding understanding.
This kind of analysis is particularly associated with Stephen Kosslyn , a cognitive neuroscientist who specializes in the psychology of learning and visual communication, and who has been head of the department of psychology at Harvard, has been Director of Stanford's Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and has published some papers and 14 books.
In think-cell, positive data values in waterfalls build up, negative values build down. This works automatically, even for stacked segments. Segments can cross the baseline and build upon segments in any category — not only the previous one. Try for free Learn more Data-driven visual annotations Whether it be total labels, percentages, averages, breaks, difference arrows or CAGRs — think-cell will help you to tell the story behind your data by offering dozens of data-driven visual annotations.
And what is even better: All calculations and placements are done automatically. Your derived data will always be correct and labels or arrows will never overlap. Try for free Learn more Mekko charts for complex analyses Want to show market share for different competitors and different product categories at the same time? Why not add a second dimension to your data visualization? A Mekko also known as Marimekko is the perfect chart for this job. Column widths are calculated automatically or can be provided by you.
Values can be ordered by size and small values can be hidden in an "other" series. Try for free Learn more Smart text boxes When it comes to slide layout in PowerPoint, all your options entail unsatisfactory compromises: You may use an inflexible PowerPoint table, combine standard text boxes and face many tedious manual adjustments, or you may use a template from PowerPoint's SmartArt or your own library and soon bump into its limitations.
Using think-cell's smart text boxes, you can quickly build up complex slides like this one. When adding text and other elements, the slide layout is continuously optimized automatically. Meaningful actions like snapping together, aligning and moving elements define a smart grid so that you never need to place or resize shapes manually.
Try for free Learn more Flexible process flows Have you ever tried building a simple process chain in PowerPoint? Are you still struggling with the right positioning of basic shapes or trying to combine weird SmartArt objects that never align correctly and fall apart after a few interactions? Then meet our process flow.
More features If yes, you know that this doesn't work very well. If not, you might still use basic boxes and lines to draw them yourself. You create and update calendar-based Gantt charts directly in PowerPoint. Features such as 5- or 7-day work weeks, remark and responsibility labels or time span brackets make sure that your work time on Gantts reduces to a few minutes instead of hours.