In the olden’ days, presentations were generally created and used multiple times. Otherwise, it wasn’t worth the cost or time to spend so much effort in preparing a presentation for a single use. This reality is not the case anymore, quite the opposite. Even as technology erodes the time we spend speaking to other humans face-to-face, I say that presentations are sticking around.
6 trends and reasons why presentations are not going extinct:
1) Presentations are Going Casual – This shift to a casual setting is in sync with current trends for workplace atmosphere; presentations are also going casual making it a more comfortable experience for both presenter and audience. Like wearing jeans to a casual office meeting, presentations are taking on the same vibe.
2) Audiences are Demanding Participation – Today’s listeners [and buyers] do not want to listen solely, they wish to be a part of the presentation as well. More and more conferences are asking presenters to include ways for the audience to participate. People want to give their opinions, ask questions, and share reactions and ideas. Presentations are quickly becoming more interactive and engaging, not only during a presentation, but afterward as well. With social media only a touch away, listeners also want to tweet, share, or converse on information from the presentation. This participation in social media engages even the quietest members of the audience and involves people outside the room.
3) Smaller Audiences – When someone mentions the word “presentation,” the majority of people visualize a person on a large stage with an audience of several hundred. Conference organizers are beginning to ask speakers to deliver more focused keynotes and breakout sessions with small audiences. These small audiences are being invited into intimate settings to strengthen the connections between listeners and presenter. This trend also bleeds into “talks” with a committee of 5-10 people for a bid, the audience doesn’t want to select a team purely by reading proposals, they want to meet the people and feel part of a team.
4) Virtual Presentations – It seems like every time I turn around there is some fantastic webinar or podcast that sounds interesting. The interest in virtual presentations is on the rise because of the accessibility it gives everyone with such a large savings in travel time and costs. The ease of updating an out of town client is as easy as logging on to Skype or GoToMeeting. Virtual presentations are not preferred over in-person presentations, but they certainly are an alternative especially as video conference calls become more the norm especially when traveling two days for an hour long presentation is not efficient.
5) People Friendly Newbies – The next generation of young professionals are social and crave to be surrounded by others. Many young individuals are used to being in contact with the world at the touch of a button and are capable of using technology effectively and can easily set up new presentations quickly and edit them easily. The youngest professionals are accustomed to working in teams and agreeable to multiple presentations.
6) Technology is More Attractive – Presentation technology is becoming more attractive to professionals and easier to use. Programs such as Prezi don’t limit presenters to the traditionally boring slides. Not only is the software becoming more attractive and easier to use, but the style of designing the slides is also changing in appearance to be eye catching. Presentation slides are designed with appearance in mind and can easily be distributed. The technology now exists where every member of the audience can view the slides on their personal laptop or tablet in real time as the presenter advances them.
You can see now why I think presentations are sticking around. What do you think?
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