1987 – Do you remember anything great about this year? You may or may not! To me, this was the year which changed the way people made presentations! Till then, creating a presentation was a combination of art and science (it is still the same, but the users have forgotten it). Mary Eleanor Spear, author of Practical Charting Techniques (1969) shares with us how presentations were created. You had three major players – the Communicator (the one who will deliver the presentation), the Graphic Analyst (who decided on the type of visual to use – charts, photos, layout etc) and the Draftsman (who focused on the materials, content, format etc). So a final presentation was a product, put together by these expert individuals and their teams.
But in 1987, all this changed – one bit at a time! Robert Gaskins launched the product called PowerPoint and Apple helped by venturing capital to this unique product. So Apple Mac got the first PowerPoint application. Now the big boss was watching and very soon, Microsoft acquired the product and Robert Gaskins began to spearhead the growth of PowerPoint in Microsoft.
I know it is all pretty exciting to hear that one can create presentations so easily! You had the layout, the visual designs, the chart types, the clipart, and of yeah, the never ending bullet points – yes, Microsoft created templatesfor its revolutionary product but the result was disaster to the audience!
Suddenly, people found that their boss can create presentations on his own (or with his secretary’s help); they had the same tool used by even the top communicators; they were now at par in putting together presentations – isn’t that good? Yes and No. For suddenly the whole corporate world and every institution that embraced technology (read ‘windows’) began to output a phenomenon called ‘death-by-PowerPoint’. The no-option available audiences sat through, or died through dull, boring, read-aloud, bullet-after-bullet, non-impacting-clipart pasted stuff that filled a big white screen – sometimes to the extent that lights were switched off, so the audience can see this sleep-inducing stuff titled “Presentation’. The only good thing was audiences could catch some shut-eye! But even that was not to be, as questions were asked at the end and the sleepy nod, was most-often, mistaken for understanding. So much for PowerPoint, that some people began to call this evil!
The fact is PowerPoint failed to address a simple truth – that it is a supporting tool which is meant to show slides which connect, impact and tell a story. That is exactly what Presentations were! A visual storytelling experience which connected with the audience and led them by visual imagery and imagination to understand the message of the presenter (Spelled ‘Communicator’)
I am not here to blame anybody, because even today, PowerPoint calls its projected slides as a slide-show. And that is exactly what it is – a slide show; (Remember the 35mm slide projector which presented movies) one that tells a story; one that connects you to the story through meaningful visuals; one that takes you one slide at a time on a journey of understanding the message of the presenter.
Thankfully through the work of some design people, we have found the freedom from this wrong usage of PowerPoint. Credits must be given to all those who understood that PowerPoint is a visual storytelling tool.
What about you?
Are you still sitting through the ‘death-by-PowerPoint’ in your meetings or trainings?
Are you still using PowerPoint to make dull, bulleted stuff that hinders understanding?
Then, welcome to the art of Visual Storytelling. The real reason why PowerPoint was created!
If you want to learn how to tell a Visual Story which impacts meetings, sales, trainings, keynotes, launches, tech-stuff or just want to know more - then just connect to www.storypreso.com
PaulWriter.com attracts 750+ members, 40+ authors, 21000 views within a month
Bangalore, India. 16 September 2010 Paul Writer announced the launch of India’s first community dedicated to B2B marketers at www.paulwriter.com. Envisioned as a place that provides the B2B marketing community access to high-quality content, discussion, and research in a single location, the site has already garnered over 21000 views since going live for beta testing.
“Our aim is to have PaulWriter.com become the platform of choice for B2B marketers for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and continuous learning, so that the industry as a whole benefits. At the broader level, by involving marketing service providers, showcasing relevant technologies, and providing advisory and educational services, we hope to create a vibrant eco-system that enriches India’s B2B marketing infrastructure, and leads to the creation of more global brands,” said Jessie Paul, founder & CEO of Paul Writer.
The community was launched during a conference on “Transforming to a Marketing Superpower: Revive, Renew, Regroup”. The speakers were eminent industry leaders like Hari V. Krishnan, Country Manager - India, LinkedIn, Jeremy Cooper, RVP - Marketing, Asia-Pacific, Salesforce.com and Sumit Virmani, Head Marketing - Products & Platforms, Infosys Technologies. The marketing platform was launched with a unique unveiling by Nakul Shenoy, one of India’s leading user experience evangelists, also a world-class psychic entertainer.
“We are big believers in communities being the source for the richest business insights. In a networked world, Indian businesses and professionals actively seek the best tools to help them grow. As the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn provides them with tools to engage in meaningful business development and brand building activities,” said Hari V. Krishnan, country manager of LinkedIn India. “Communities like PaulWriter.com will add to the ecosystem and provide marketing professionals a platform to provides insights and share best practices.”
“India has a tremendous need to nurture and develop its marketing talent particularly in booming categories like B2B where demand already outstrips supply. PaulWriter.com has the potential to play a valuable role in developing and nurturing talent, as well as providing a peer learning platform for senior marketing professionals,” commented Sumit Virmani, Head Marketing - Products & Platforms, Infosys Technologies.
Speaking at the conference, Jeremy Cooper, Regional Vice President, Marketing, Asia-Pacific, Salesforce.com said "Salesforce.com sees communities as an important collaborative force for the future. We are keen to work with Indian marketers to help them leverage the power of business networking tools. Forums such as PaulWriter.com can be useful in spreading the message of the benefits of such enterprise collaboration."
PaulWriter.com offers free lifetime membership and is ideal for CEOs, marketing professionals, academics, and management students. PaulWriter.com extends its reach and relevance through social tools such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, SMSGupShup, and Slideshare. The site is built using open source Joomla technology and is hosted on a cloud to enable scaleability and flexibility.
About Paul Writer
Paul Writer aims to enhance the marketing infrastructure of India through Advisory, Community Building and Professional Development. In the Advisory space, Paul Writer has had the privilege to be associated with firms such as NIIT Technologies, Allied Digital, Ramco Systems, SYSTIME, IDS Softwares, Venkataramanan Associates and Aujas Networks. In the area of Community Development, paulwriter.com is India’s leading community platform focused on B2B marketers, and is working towards creating an environment of peer learning and continuous growth. To facilitate professional development, the firm offers workshops and interactive sessions on areas such as branding, digital strategy, and frugal marketing to corporates and educational institutions, and will be launching public events in December 2010. Paul Writer was founded in January 2010 by Jessie Paul who was previously CMO of Wipro’s IT business and has held senior marketing positions in Infosys and iGATE prior to that. She is the author of No Money Marketing, Tata McGraw-Hill’s fastest selling professional book on marketing, and is a regular columnist for Business World and Inc. For more information, please visit www.paulwriter.com
Click here for the pictures of the launch event.
Also do check out the presentations made by our speakers at the launch.
Will communities be the next big thing in marketing? - Hari V. Krishnan, Country Manager - India, LinkedIn
Business is now Social - Jeremy Cooper, Regional Vice President-Marketing (Asia Pacific), Salesforce.com
Point - Counterpoint: Services vs Product Marketing - Sumit Virmani, Head of Product Marketing, Infosys Technologies
Paul Writer - The Story - Jessie Paul, Managing Director, Paul Writer Strategic Services
- Neela Saldanha (1)
- Lakshmanan (Lux) Narayan (3)
- Rob Leavitt (6)
- Soumitra Agarwal (1)
- Venkat Vishwanathan (1)
- Jeremy Woolf (1)
- Harjiv Singh (1)
- Harish Bijoor (1)
- Karthik Nagendra (4)
- Daksh Sharma (1)
- Ashika Sripathi (1)
- Abhijit Das (6)
- Sushma Rajagopalan (1)
- Jessie Paul (78)
- Azra Fathima (4)
- Karthik S (1)
- Hilton Barbour (10)
- Merlin Francis (12)
- Ashley Vinil (6)
- Radha Radhakrishnan (3)
- Sridhar R (12)
- Pareekh Jain (4)
- Sumit Virmani (1)
- Nithya Mehta (2)
- Paul Hewerdine (7)
- Nanda Kishore Sethuraman (2)
- Anil Varghese (1)
- Judy Schramm (1)
- Joe Pulizzi (1)
- Shreesha Ramdas (2)
- Nischala Murthy (2)
- Melissa Arulappan (5)
- Christopher Koch (14)
- Padmaja Nagarur (25)
- Paul Writer (65)
- Jaspreet Sidhu (1)
- Amit Somani (1)
- Dhruv Shenoy (1)
- Anol Bhattacharya (5)
- Gautam Ghosh (1)
- Hareesh Tibrewala (1)
- Rajeev Suri (1)
- Avinash Raghava (1)
- Peter Claridge (1)
- scgandhi (2)
- Namrata K (1)