WIRED is still a good read after being in print for more than a decade. Its latest issue debates PowerPoint. Personally, I prefer Edward Tufte’s take that the presentation software is evil. Musician and artist David Byrne considers it an "artistic agent" and loves using it—for everything BUT presentations.
Byrne's affinity for .ppt is no surprise. You would like it too if one of your songs was bundled into Microsoft's XP platform. The Rolling Stones probably dig using Excel to chart investment performance and Madonna surely cannot live without Internet Explorer to stay current on Stateside news.
Trust someone who has committed some of the sins this article details—PowerPoint IS evil. The average presentation file size is reason enough to stop this software (PowerPoint is the best thing that ever happened to Intel). Clicking through slide after slide and simply reading them is brutal for everyone, no matter what is written on them.
Tufte notes PowerPoint "elevates format over content." It certainly can with everything from Word art to slide transitions.
If your presentation is concise, substantive and audience-focused, you are halfway there. Content is king, but my CEO also stresses the need for theatre when presenting. Rather than rely on PowerPoint to engage an audience, the individual must do so. Your timing and energy shows the passion you have for the work you are presenting. Passion is contagious and it will deliver your message.
Remember that you are telling a story. Make it one your audience will want to tell after the presentation.