Is it time for PowerPoint to be put out to pasture?
Would you be content to run a marketing campaign, without amendment or modification, identical to one you used in 1990?
The chances are slim – and yet there is an analogous decision made each and every day in meeting rooms and board rooms all over the world.
Microsoft PowerPoint was launched on the 22nd of May 1990 and, though there have been improvements in the last decade and a half in terms of graphics and animation, the overall effect of a PowerPoint presentation has remained largely unchanged.
In fact, according to research carried out by Tim Themann (Visual Logorrhea – On the Prevalence of Slideuments)of one and a half thousand presentations online found that the majority of these had retained the default presentations and font choices.
In addition to this – a study by April Savoy et al (Information retention from PowerPoint and traditional lectures) found no evidence that information retention was in any way improved by this type of presentation.
So why do we so consistently choose to run with those outdated 90s ad campaigns? Two reasons: the cost and a lack of vision.
It is less costly to wheel out another uninspiring and predictable presentation and easier to do, than to invest in the alternative.
The alternative is certainly no secret and is already used by some large corporations.
Offering the potential to have a perfectly timed professional handle the voiceover, skilled artists to manage animation, graphics and layout, the alternative offers the chance to really stand-out and set a company apart from its competition.
What is this alternative? It is, of course, a multimedia presentation.
While other presentations are immediately struggling to recover ground lost due to the tired and now, frankly, outmoded method of their delivery, those who deliver a multimedia presentation can relax in the knowledge that their tailor-made presentation will be delivered perfectly every time.
PowerPoint, though a useful tool in the 90s has, like most technology approaching twenty years old, has been replaced and improved upon, in this case by interactive multimedia – the key for any business now is to take advantage while their competitors figure this out.