Why? Numerous reasons:
- There is a terrible tendency for presenters to circle the spot around and around and around, leaving the audience watching the moving spot as opposed to taking in the area on the screen.
- Most people cannot use laser pointers smoooothly and deliberately and instead have the laser spot whipping all over the place.
- They are often too bright, making it difficult to see the area on the screen.
- They don’t work well on many flat screen and TV displays (the displays have coatings that disperse the laser light, as opposed to direct reflection).
- Their batteries die just when you need them most.
- They are illegal in a number of countries, particularly the more powerful varieties.
Recommendations for pointing instead of laser pointers?
- Use your hands: They travel easily, they are readily available, and can be used expressively. I also recommend the “Two-Finger” pointing method (or the Full-Hand method) for maximum precision and clarity.
- Use a telescoping pointer: Again, easy to transport as well as to deploy, use, and return to a “ready” position. Also great as swag or a give-away item to the best performers on the team (some readers may recall the highly coveted Great Demo! emblazoned “Encrispenators”).
- Use an old-school stick pointer: You are able to point smoothly and precisely, and they can double as a tool to whack audience members who get out of line!