PowerPoint has become a mission-critical application — one that will not (and should not) be going away anytime soon. But while it’s the de rigueur standard for delivering presentations, PowerPoint was not built with collaboration in mind. As a result, developing presentations in concert with a team has some noteworthy challenges.
Prysm is relentlessly focused on improving our ability to collaborate in every way, and presentations are no exception. Following are the top five challenges around preparing and delivering PowerPoints, as well as an overview of how our digital workplace platform addresses these challenges.
- Today’s presentations require live data. PowerPoints only allow you to show static content. They cannot include live data, such as database queries, video feeds, web pages, or applications (such as a dynamic reporting application, Salesforce, etc.). Prysm gives you all of those options. Participants can also choose to take closer looks at content, without interrupting the presentation.
- Projects thrive on momentum. In a typical company, you might hold several meetings with contributors leading up to a presentation. After a meeting, someone usually emails notes, which often drown in over-full inboxes. Action items languish in these missives. Net-net, there’s a lack of continuity between meetings, which can stymie forward motion. Prysm is the perfect antidote. Notes and content live inside always-on workspaces. Every time you log onto the workspace or pull it up in a meeting, everything — even the screen positions of your content — is exactly how you left it, preserving momentum as the project progresses.
- Accurate data is current data. When assembling a presentation, we often need to include data, graphics, and other information from a variety of people throughout our organizations. However, data is constantly changing in value and position. In other words, the content itself evolves, and as it passes through the hands of various people in the approval chain, its actual location changes, too. So when gathering information for our presentations, we are often in the position of “chasing” the most recent data as the date of the presentation approaches. Prysm’s persistent workspaces give project participants a place to asynchronously update their own pieces of the puzzle, eliminating endless email chains, as well as the data chase.
- Human thought is not linear. PowerPoints are a succession of slides that progress in sequential order. The problem with this is that humans don’t think or learn that way. Attending or reading one of these presentations is like being grabbed by the nose and pulled through a maze by the presenter. Only the presenter knows where you are going. You can’t look left or right or backward to get reference points, and you’re stuck going at the presenter’s pace. In contrast, Prysm allows you to layout information concurrently. It allows participants to explore any content in any order they like, for maximum understanding and retention.
- Presentations shouldn’t have to be a solo act. PowerPoint forces us into a position of appointing one person to deliver a presentation — even if the material would better be presented by multiple team members. With Prysm, several people in various locations can interact with content simultaneously, allowing them to participate in a joint presentation. Presenters can also take turns without the disruptive act of “passing control.
At the end of the day, Prysm is the perfect accompaniment to and platform for PowerPoint, allowing teams to create joint presentations, maintaining continuity between meetings, and enabling the inclusion of live data. What's more, the ability to display multiple pieces of content onscreen at once helps add visual interest to your presentations and heightens engagement.