Before the widespread popularity of software like PowerPoint, people relied on limited visual aids for their presentations. However, with the recent rise of technology, presentations are now branching out into more diverse possibilities. Sooner or later, some presentation factors in the boardroom will change to keep up with the demands of the modern era. There are specifically five aspects of presentation that will face the most change.
1. Digital Media
The digital world is becoming an attractive avenue for companies to keep track of their target audience’s interests. Digital media is the biggest game changer in the presentation playing field. According to business strategist Michael Wolf of Business Insider, tech and media activity will increase by 2016. Businesses will no longer have to sift through tons of hard facts to get what they need. Digital media will make it available to them.
Online references like virtual surveys and trending tags will give easy access to insights on market activities and preferences. Aside from this, the growing importance of digital media in people’s lives will push companies outside the boardroom and into the internet. With the increasing popularity and accessibility of smartphones, going mobile may just be the next big thing to watch out for.
In a constantly changing social environment, businesses should keep themselves on their toes. Stay updated by observing digital media trends closely, and adjust your presentation tactics if the need arises.
2. Audience Engagement
The audience has always played a crucial role in deciding the fate of a business pitch. However, in the future of company presentations, they will take on an even more active role. Far from being silent judges, your audience will vocally proclaim what they want from your business.
This is, again, due to the upsurge of digital media. According to Staging Connections Digital Event Services General Manager Tim Chapman, social networks can break the barriers holding you back from your listeners. Knowing what people expect in your business gives companies a head start to craft presentations according to these preferences. On the other hand, trends also fade as fast as they come in, so constant vigilance is necessary in the market.
Operate your social media accounts to actively engage the audience at all times. Keep track of their needs and wants to optimize your presentation.
3. Time Limits
With people becoming more accustomed to fast-paced lifestyles and multi-tasking, presenters can’t afford to beat around the bush with their pitches anymore. The attention span of the average human being has reached its shortest at eight seconds, according to a Microsoft study cited by Leon Watson of The Telegraph.
That said, your audience members would be more likely to appreciate a compact and concise pitch that cuts to the chase.
But this doesn’t mean you have to resort to a plain deck and a bland delivery. If anything, it allows you to be more creative about how you’ll be cutting your presentation. Business guru Guy Kawasaki’s famous 10-20-30 rule is ideal for a crowd that’s constantly on-the-go. According to Kawasaki, you should keep your presentation to 10 slides at 20 minutes, with 30-point font. These 10 slides already contain everything everyone needs to know about you—from the market situation to the summary and call to action.
This just shows that you don’t need to stretch your time limit to get the point across, but you shouldn’t just relate the details either
4. Use of Visuals
By the late 20th century, a large part of the population is identified as visual learners, according to Visual Teaching Alliance. This means that they’re more inclined to learn when data is presented to them visually, through diagrams, images, or illustrations. In terms of presentations, it’s better to abandon the wall of text and opt for more visuals. You might even drop the bullet points, which are seen for the longest time as the alternative to text-heavy slides.
However, your visuals should also complement your message. The point of catering to visual learning is to reduce the fatality of Death by PowerPoint. Stay focused on large, engaging images that you can relate to your pitch. Don’t clutter your deck with too many miscellaneous details, lest it defeats your point of drawing people’s attentions to what really matters. Finally, use colors that are easy on the eyes and that evoke positive emotions.
Presentations adapt to the tendencies of the target audience. In this case, the attention to visuals and the way it impacts viewers will definitely play a central role in the ability of business presentations to convince and convert leads.
5. Constant Innovation
The development of technology steers toward innovation. While others may condemn presentation software for boring audiences, innovation improves both the audience’s and the speaker’s experiences.
Just this year, PowerPoint released its latest add-ins, Designer and Morph, which make presentation layout and design easier. The visual aspect of a presentation is enhanced in presentation tools like Prezi, which provides templates that users can customize on their own. Nonetheless, people need to remember that a good feature can backfire when misused. After all, when PowerPoint first came out, bullet points and awkward animations were accepted as designs until they were deemed passé.
The use of presentation tools should still be coupled with some guidance. This is why companies are highly encouraged to consult presentation gurus when setting up their business pitch.
The Future and Beyond
The future of company presentations holds a number of possibilities, partly due to the turn social trends have taken in recent years and will continue to take in the years to come.
People now have a wide range of software tools to choose from. Other digital avenues like social media allow them to form more intimate connections with their audience. A fast-paced society demands shorter presentations and a more concise content. At the same time, audiences are no longer impressed by slides that tell everything. To avoid boring a modern crowd, opt for relevant visuals that directly correspond to your core message.
Track the trends to avoid becoming outdated. Roll with the pitches and keep your company brand relevant.
Chapman, Tim. “The Future of Presentations: Top 3 Predictions.” Staging Connections. August 29, 2014. www.stagingconnections.com/events/the-future-of-presentations-top-three-predictions
Danielson, Tess & Nathan, McAlone. “Epic Slide Deck from Former Yahoo Board Member Lays Out the Future of Tech and Media.” Business Insider. October 21, 2015. www.businessinsider.com/michael-wolf-predicts-what-will-happen-in-the-tech-industry-in-2016-2015-10
Kawasaki, Guy. “The 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint.” Guy Kawasaki. December 30, 2005. www.guykawasaki.com/the_102030_rule
Koenigsbauer, Kirk. “The Evolution of PowerPoint: Introducing Designer and Morph.” Office Blogs. November 13, 2015. blogs.office.com/2015/11/13/the-evolution-of-powerpoint-introducing-designer-and-morph/#Jy7F8TwAkgcSCMfb.97
Watson, Leon. “Humans Have Shorter Attention Span than Goldfish, Thanks to Smartphones.” The Telegraph. May 15, 2015. www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11607315/Humans-have-shorter-attention-span-than-goldfish-thanks-to-smartphones.html