Reality and entertainment collided in a fictional 1960 when Don Draper introduced us to the Kodak Carousel. The Carousel, according to Don, ” isn’t a spaceship, it’s a time machine. It goes backwards, and forwards… it takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It’s not called the wheel, it’s called the carousel. It let’s us travel the way a child travels – around and around, and back home again, to a place where we know are loved.” The carousel popularized the phrase next slide please, and became the metaphor over 30 million* presentations a day are built on.
Don Draper probably drank his way to advertising heaven in 1985, so he can’t eloquently introduce you to three new technologies that may have the same impact as the carousel did, back in 1960. Technologies that may impact the way you present today, and use PowerPoint tomorrow. A note before we go on. There are many presentation tools and add-ons to PowerPoint. You can tell, they have slide in the name — SlideShare, SlideShark, ClearSlide, SlideDog. Most of them either help distribute slides or add features. For a more detailed discussion of those, go here. We’re going to look at three new players. SlideKlowd, Prezi and HaikuDeck. Each of these innovations attack a specific problem in presentations that PowerPoint has at least enabled and in some ways encouraged. Monologuing, Disconnected thinking and Ugly slides.
In my opinion, the most innovative of the three, SlideKlowd takes on the problem of monologuing. For those of you that aren’t aware, PPMS (PowerPoint Monologuing Syndrome) is rampant among all presenters from the novice to the very experienced. A PPMS stricken presenter falls victim to the belief that their role is to impart information and knowledge, and inadvertently places that on a pedestal above engagement. It’s particularly pernicious in large keynotes where the audience has wireless access. This leads to online scrabble, poker, email — everything but engaging with the presentation.
Rather than insisting people put phones, tablets and laptops away SlideKlowd uses them to engage with the audience. Your presentation shows on a large screen, while pushed wirelessly to your audience. That allows you to ask questions and interact: voting, polling, even social media engagement. If you do it right, you can drive the energy in the room, as well as increase the level of engagement. It also has measurement and analytic capabilities that give you valuable feedback on how well you engaged in a presentation.
You may have guessed from the name, it’s cloud based and very easy to use. Simply take your existing presentation (prepared in PowerPoint) load it into SlideKlowd, add the interactions you want, click a few buttons and you’re done. Audiences log-in to your presentation with an event key, and you or a colleague control the interaction, polling display, etc. on the big screen, through your phone or tablet. The hardest thing (which is actually a good thing) is in preparing your presentation, you have to think dialog, not monologue.
Large audiences and keynote events. Educators and roadshows. Great for the Counselor, Teacher and Coordinator presenter types.
Watch out for:
If you are presenting to a small audience, using SlideKlowd is like using a
hammer sledgehammer wrecking ball to crack a nut.
Up Next, Prezi.
*Maybe, possibly. It seems this figure may be an urban legend, like the alligators in your sewers.
Gavin is a founding partner at fassforward consulting group. He blogs about PowerPoint, Presenting, Communication and Message Discipline at makeapowerfulpoint.com. You can follow him on twitter @powerfulpoint.