Tuesday, 11 December 2012

The Death of Powerpoint

There was a time when, as a medium for getting your message across, Powerpoint was king.  I read an article recently that expanded on the idea that Powerpoint is dead as a presentation medium.  After reading it I had to admit, if it wasn’t dead it is at least looking a little sickly around the edges these days.

When I first started my Virtual Assistant business, I was churning out dozens of Powerpoint presentations every month.  Powerpoint was the bread and butter of my business and every client used one.  Now days I have to admit, it’s been a while since I have put one together.

Many of my clients are presenters and run workshops or speak at other peoples workshops and seminars.  A quick survey of some of them revealed what I had already suspected.  Hardly anyone uses Powerpoint anymore, or certainly not to the extent they previously did.  Why is this I wondered?

There is a term created for presentations where slide after slide of graphics and statistics are shown and the presenter just reads from the slides like cue cards.  It’s called “Death by Powerpoint” and it seems presenters everywhere are so conscious of subjecting their audiences to it, that other methods of getting your message across are now being trialed.

Many speakers are choosing to use their own personalities and presentation styles as means to hold their audience’s attention.  In an age of digital saturation sometimes it is refreshing to just hear a person speak. Props like the old fashioned white board and flip chart are still being used but less reliance is being placed on the need for a “whiz-bang, bells and whistles” Powerpoint .  One of my clients commented: “We’ve got Utube and other social media now to engage with people . “  It seems people don’t want to see more of the same when they come to a workshop they the want practical stuff.  Many of my clients are also doing more webinars now than face-to face workshops.  The overheads are lower and the attendance rate is much the same with the added bonus of being able to “package” your recorded webinar and use it again and again as a training medium.

So where does that leave me and my business of producing Powerpoint presentations?

Like all businesses, the Virtual Assistant industry is not immune to change.  It stands on the cutting edge of technology and there is nothing changing faster than technology at the moment.  Most VA’s are extremely “tech savy” and  as long as there are people in business,  there will be a need for an extra pair of hands in every business.  Changing and evolving are part of the territory.


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