Five predictions for presentations in 2009

Nancy Duarte

Written by

Nancy Duarte

I was asked to contribute to a blog post being pulled together by Olivia Mitchell from New Zealand who has a great blog called Speaking About Presenting. The criteria for submission was to answer the question: “What trends you would like to see in PowerPoint slide design in 2009?” First of all, it’s nice to see the use of the words PowerPoint and design used in the same sentence—that alone shows a significant shift of mindsets.

In the year 2009…

1. The rise of new visual benchmarks for solving complex communication problems

Large photos and sparse text are quickly being adopted, which is great. But they only work for keynotes and marketing. So what about the physicians, scientists, and engineers? Best practices for these folks should arrive on the scene in 2009.

2. Presenters will feel the pressure: Status quo isn’t good anymore

Presenters will begin to feel audiences demand quality communication. There’ll be heckling and protesting from the audience when the presenter doesn’t design their visuals well or rehearse their material.

3. PowerPoint will become a rich multimedia environment

This one’s a bit of a crap shoot, but wouldn’t it be great if PowerPoint could provide a simple media-editing and management system that had nice playback and actually worked each time?

4. PowerPoint will be used by the President

Obama seems to embrace technology, so he just might embrace PowerPoint. If he does, he’s smart enough to do it right. Oh dread the day we take a big step backwards by having politicians confuse us even more by utilizing this medium.

5. Corporations that replace bad PowerPoint with designed stories will will see their stock price increase

This is the year where we’ll start to see some companies hit a tipping point. The ratio of good to bad PowerPoint will tip towards good and their company value will be clearly seen by customers, employees, and investors.

Photos of the Palm Pre

We have very recent proof of prediction #5 starting to happen. Palm’s announcement of their new pre phone at CES was one of the most successful launches we’ve seen in quite a while (Apple launches don’t count). They clearly treated this like a significant presentation by planning, rehearsing, staging and building a presentation that was beautiful and came off flawlessly. They’re becoming a culture that values how they communicate in a presentation environment!

Check out these related courses

Presentation Principles™

Learn presentation basics

Follow a step-by-step method to write compelling stories, amplify ideas visually, and present with confidence while learning at your own pace.


Turn ideas into visuals

Use visual thinking and design principles to transform information into effective and memorable graphics for presentations.


Create “skimmable” documents

Build helpful pre-reads and impactful leave-behinds with presentation software to support knowledge sharing and decision-making.