I always ask my clients to describe the most powerful speech they can remember hearing from a leader. What did the leader do, I ask, that made the speech so impressive? Their answers vary, although they inevitably touch upon similar elements: the leader's sense of presence, conviction, passion, quick wit, or ready humor, ability to reach out and touch the audience, masterful delivery, and -most of all- an engaging and memorable message. In all the times I've asked the question, never once has anyone answered, "I liked how the speaker used PowerPoint."
And there's a reason for that.
Professionals and academicians often debate the merits of PowerPoint. Both sides of the argument have one thing in common: They assume its purpose is to transmit information. And that's precisely why leaders -real leaders- want little to do with it. Becaus they aren't primarily concerned with communicating information. They speak to promote a vision, a direction, or a passion. They're seeking to influence and inspire. And no one thinks PowerPoint is the way to do that.
True, if you're making a report, conducting a training session, or leading a seminar, communicating information becomes more critical. But it should never be the sole or even the primary reason you're speaking. Speak like a leader and you'll present information not for its own sake, but in a way that shapes how the audience thinks about it and influences how they act on it.
Whether you like Powerpoint, Prezi, or some other visual presentation aid, remember that great presentations are built on great people - if your message is to matter to others, it will be more because of your character and story than your slide deck.