It’s no exaggeration to state that Microsoft, and its ubiquitous offspring PowerPoint, have completely revolutionised presentations. I’m old enough to remember a time before animations, transitions and slides filled to the gunnels with content – some of it I miss (the need to carefully plan and craft before committing your ideas to an expensive carousel slide) and some of it I’m glad to see the back of (death by overhead projector, illegible content and dodgy bulbs).
There’s no getting away from the fact that PowerPoint presentation design has made creating presentations easier for anyone armed with a PC and a copy of Office (an oft quoted estimate suggests 30 million PowerPoint presentations are created and delivered across the globe every day). Frankly, most of these presentations will be pretty dire affairs, each helping perpetuate the ever popular ‘Death by PowerPoint’ rants of the great and the good. Oh dear.
But before jumping on the same old bandwagon, I implore you to take a moment to think. Yes, it’s misused by many and yes, it’s often looked down upon by arty types and high profile business leaders…but the reality is that when it’s used properly, PowerPoint is an incredibly powerful tool. And it doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon – according to our recent survey, PowerPoint continues to be the weapon of choice for 82% of business-to-business presenters.
With great power comes great responsibility…
Microsoft could have sat on their laurels, counted the cash and enjoyed the ride…and few people would have blamed them. Instead of doing this though, they decided to put their customers first.
They decided to do something positive to empower the PowerPoint faithful to create better presentations instead repeating the mistakes of old. They want PowerPoint, Sway, Mix and the like to be used in ways that see not only presenters get more out of them but, more importantly, audiences too.
To make this happen, Microsoft decided to join forces with a UK company with a global remit to improve the quality of business presentations, Eyeful Presentations (that’ll be us, then). It makes perfect sense – the creators of the world’s most popular presentation tool working alongside the people who quite literally, wrote the book on the formula behind powerful presentations, The Presentation Lab.
The net result is a month long series of videos, Sways and thought provoking content to spur presenters on to Thinking, Acting and Delivering their presentations differently.
The aim? To make sure that you put your very best foot forward next time (and every time) you present. Make no mistake – your audience deserve it.
I’ll conclude by stating that I’m no Microsoft fanboy – like every large company, they do things that frustrate me – but I’m incredibly proud to be part of what Microsoft are doing to support presenters. Not only will millions of PowerPoint presenters across the world benefit but, more importantly, so will their audiences. Surely that’s something to celebrate?
Find out what all the fuss is about here.