Time to Step Away from the PowerPoint

An oft-quoted statistic is that over 30 million PowerPoint presentations are created every day.

That's a vast number of slides, bullet points and transitions being thrown at unsuspecting audiences every day. I may be going out on a limb, but I wager that not each and every one of those presentations will be adding value to the audience or to the business that they are serving. We can also make a huge assumption that the creation of these presentations is not a particularly efficient process - there's the research for new content, trawling libraries for the right image, wrestling with SmartArt and, of course, the perennial search for that elusive slide that your colleague did three years ago.

Acknowledging this challenge, the presentation industry has attempted to speed up the presentation creation process. Companies like Eyeful provide technical PowerPoint skills training to speed up the slide development process, from becoming a dab-hand at shortcuts through to being able to navigate your way around that PowerPoint ribbon quicker than ever before. Then there are tools embedded within PowerPoint, such as Designer, which applies an AI-powered ‘spit and polish’ to your slides or a range of plugins that will allow you to align information or ‘format paint’ animations, all with the intention of improving the speed of creating presentations

The net result? Even more slides.

On second thoughts, maybe 30 million new PowerPoint slides being created every day was lowballing it? And does an increase in speed necessarily equate to an increase in efficiency?

The other end of the scale could be weaning yourself off PowerPoint completely. After all, Jeff Bezos has very publicly stated that Amazon performs better because it doesn't spend its time creating and then reading through decks of PowerPoint slides. What he doesn't mention is the fact that the same ills that befell poorly considered PowerPoint presentations are just as likely to fall upon the Word document and memo structure that he holds so dear. Snidey comments aside, Bezos does raise a very valid point - does the world really need any more PowerPoint slides?

So, what is efficiency?

I contend that we simply need to rethink the definition of ‘efficiency’. If a presentation that will drive real change within an organisation, impacting the strategic vision and mindset of the employees, takes a week to create - from blank page through to completed story, with powerful visuals and an engaging presenter - we'd suggest that's probably good value for money. On the flip side, if you're spending a week developing slides to win a project that might be worth $2,000, that is the dictionary definition of inefficiency.

Ultimately it comes down to a simple equation, how much effort and energy do you need to put in to drive the action that your presentation needs to deliver?

The Efficiency Equation

The team at Eyeful take this area of presentations very seriously. Presentations are too powerful, too important, too engaging, to not be taken seriously. And while we’re passionate about presentations, we’re not blind to the fact that making them quicker isn’t fixing anything – it’s merely treating the symptom rather than addressing the cause.

To help presenters to rethink their approach to presentation efficiency, we’ve created an on-demand webinar and insights study to allow you to take a second look at the processes of presentations within your own organisation. To learn more, simply click the button below...

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