A Breakup Letter

Dear PPT,

I have a feeling you knew this time would come. And I have to say that it’s not you, it’s all me.

You and I have been through hundreds of presentations together and our relationship has been pretty good. Up until now. You never demanded exclusivity and I didn’t imagine I’d need to go anywhere else for my presentation needs.

Sadly, it has come to this: I need to see other applications.

I’ve started to look around and I’m finding that there are many different ways that I can share information without your homeliness (mostly in the sagging visual and functional constraints areas). I know that sounds unfair—I have my own constraints. Face it, PPT, the world has changed and you’re just not the stunner you used to be.

Why, just the other day I had to share a lot of data with a client and wanted to flip through different scenarios. I admit that I have been spending a lot of time with your sister application Excel. But it’s not what you’re thinking. Once I took out the gridlines, labeled the tabs, jacked-up the typeface, and went to full-screen, I was practically in the world of slide-ware. And Excel offers built-in tables, calculations, nice visual alignment, more flexible charting, easy interactivity, and many of your drawing features. Excel’s been around the block but still managed to keep up with the times.

You might argue that we are talking about a non-traditional presentation format. But here’s the really bad news: I’ve found myself dazzled by Keynote. That’s probably the last thing you want to hear, I know. Unspoken, I knew I should have kept away, but once I had the Mac, that little temptress consumed my thoughts.

Oh, the shocking out-of-the-box design appeal is just too much for a presenter not to fiddle with. Check out a few of your default templates:

Now take a look at what Keynote will do for me:

Oh, PPT, why did you let yourself go like this? I know, it shouldn’t be all about sizzle. And to be fair, I’m not so sure that Keynote provides the range of functionality that I’ve been accustomed to with you, PPT. But it sure does push me toward better looking presentations. You know how visual we MBAs are.

I thought back to the times I used you to merely to compile and organize information. You know I dumped your other sister Word for this task (I hope Thanksgiving wasn’t too awkward for you that year). But then I ran into OmniOutliner. What a great tool for capturing information, organizing my thoughts, and structuring a story. Here’s a look at how it can integrate different file types into one information document:


PPT, you know I used to try and juice up my presentation while I was thinking through my message. But now I know that it is far better to separate data from presentation—two distinct steps. You may have noticed that when we spend less time together, I’m off writing in a plain text editor. Massaging my thoughts before I use your presentation capabilities.

We need to redefine our relationship. I still love you for your strengths but I need more than this. I have to go elsewhere for those things that you don’t do as well.

Don’t hold this against me. Particularly in the middle of an important presentation.

Regretfully yours,


P.S. See you Wednesday if it isn’t raining.