There’s no doubt about it; we are a presentation culture. By some estimates, Microsoft’s PowerPoint® has been installed on roughly one billion computers. Plus, an average of 350 presentations are given every second of every day.
We’ve adopted this behavior for a good reason: presentations are one of the best ways to communicate ideas, persuade an audience to adopt an idea, and pursue a course of action. Yet, many popular articles have grabbed headlines and won praise by calling for an end to presentations. While we wouldn’t go so far as to say “presentations are evil,” we at Duarte do believe that the business culture could do a better job of creating and using them. In fact, Nancy Duarte has built a thriving business and published three best-selling books on how to make presentations more effective and enjoyable. However, even the best presentation won’t work if it’s not delivered in the right context. Just like you wouldn’t give a presentation to tell someone there’s a tiger behind him, there are certain business settings where a presentation isn’t the right approach. But most people do it anyway, because it’s what we know. And that’s where the trouble begins.
The Right Tool for the Job
Presentations play a vital role in many settings, but they need additional support through slidedocs to continue the momentum.
You should create a slidedoc if:
- You have detailed information to convey, but you won’t be around to explain it
- You have detailed subject matter that is conducive to being conveyed with visuals and prose
- People consume your information better when it is broken into smaller, more visual chunks
- Your sales team needs modular collateral and tools that are flexible enough to get the right material to the right customers
- Your information could be consumed ahead of time and the meeting time could be used for consensus building