The End of PowerPoint Culture

“Yay! I’m going to create a PowerPoint presentation today. I can’t wait to get to work,” said no one, ever.

But that’s about to change. There is an entirely new way to make, manage, use and even think about the slides and decks that are so critical to businesses and other organizations.

A new discipline called presentation management is bringing decades-old presentation technology into the 21st century. In short, presentation management stores and manages slides in the cloud, so the slides can easily be re-used, shared, updated, tracked and organized for the whole enterprise. The slides become smart – embedded with data and analytics so you can gauge their performance. Machine learning technology can learn about the slides in the system, understand what’s happening during a live presentation, and suggest slides to help the presenter instantly find a slide that matches the conversation in the room.

Most importantly, presentation management is a state of mind. It flips the very notion of a presentation on its head, making it more natural – like the way people used to talk and tell stories long before PowerPoint was invented. Slide decks force us to build rigid presentations that we must follow in order, no matter how the room is reacting or what questions get raised. (How many times have you heard: “Hold on, I’ll get to that slide in a minute,” when someone asks a question?) Presentation management solves this problem. With presentation management, the slides follow the conversation instead of the other way around. Discuss a point, and the right supportive slide appears. Take a turn into an unplanned side topic, and the slides go along for the ride.

Instead of presenting in meetings – which is a one-way lecture that quickly gets boring – this new approach means we will talk to each other and always have the right supportive materials at the ready.

A growing number of companies are embracing a presentation management strategy. They range from U.S. Bank to Royal Caribbean Cruise Line to major media companies, consulting groups and medical research labs. Companies that adopt presentation management find they get immediate benefits. They are also putting in place a system for changing the culture of presentations and making them more effective for years to come.

In the presentation management era, the dread of making, giving – or enduring! – a PowerPoint presentation can all but disappear. This, then, is the story of presentation management and a guide on how to adopt it, make it work, and use it to drive change in your presentation culture.