It’s surprising how little time I’ve spent analyzing PowerPoint with the same rigor as social and the web.
It’s amazing how that dissociation happens. There’s a set of methods that apply to these mediums over here, and a set of methods that apply to this set over here. And you can go along not even being aware of it.
On Thursday, Nadia, Heather and I were remarking how a specific POV looked after Paul gotten his hands on it. The content was all there. The content was actually the same. It just looked more persuasive. Naturally, writing persuasive content is a cornerstone of marketing – so suddenly – powerpoint becomes an object of curiosity.
We enumerated all the things that Paul does, and created a list of choices he makes. As with everything, just four of those choices compounded into something very differentiated. We judged the net effect as being more persuasive. A system of reinforcing choices may be considered a strategy. So we probed on.
We asked Paul why he does what he does, and, of course, there was an extreme metaphor that explained it.
I benefited from carefully picking part each slide and noting patterns. What sealed it was putting together a powerpoint presentation in that same style to express the benefits of that strategy. Very meta, I know, but it’s working for me. It’s been more help than those creative volumes on the topic.
It spurred me onto Slideshare last night, where I went about identifying patterns and percentages. It’s not entirely subjective. And who knows, maybe there’s a dataset to be had there.
In sum – most managers spend more than half of their professional lives producing powerpoints. Powerpoint is to business as HTML+CSS is to the Internet. It’s the main communication vehicle. It might be time to start seriously examining it.