Love it or hate it or both, PowerPoint is a ubiquitous tool (which also sounds like the name of an avant garde rock band). Still, based on your own experience, what do you think is the ratio of good PowerPoint presentations to bad ones – the ones that make you want to run screaming from the meeting room in search of a pair of crochet needles so you can pry your eyes from your sockets so you’ll never have to sit through one of those again.

But give PowerPoint a break. According to the folks at Atrixware, it’s not the program itself that makes you want to gouge out your eyes. It’s the users.

We may blanch and make gagging noises when we hear the customer or boss “wants it done in PowerPoint,” but even a moderately-skilled designer can create a slide deck that doesn’t offend the eyes. And a skilled presenter knows that, just like a map is not the territory, PowerPoint is not the presentation itself. Just as Word or some other word processor doesn’t automatically make you a better writer, PowerPoint doesn’t automatically make you an artist.

Like any tool, it takes time to develop the skill to use it effectively.