Believe it or not, PowerPoint has been around for 31 years. When you think about it, that is pretty amazing considering how much technology has advanced. So many products have fallen to the wayside: Blackberry, Video and even DVD now to some extent. Yet PowerPoint presentations are still going strong.
Could it be that it is because it is bundled with Microsoft Office, it is ease of use and friendly navigation. Love it or hate it, it’s the most common presentation tool used globally.
It’s estimated that 30 million presentations that are created everyday and even Microsoft claims that PowerPoint has been installed a billion times, while other figures suggest it’s used an incredible 350 times every single second.
But the platform is often misunderstood and misused. All too often we hear the phrase ‘Death by PowerPoint’ when we see slides jam packed with words and complicated graphs. It doesn’t have to be this way, but you do need to know how to use the tools correctly to make the most of the software. You can’t give a four-year-old a box of crayons and expect them to create a masterpiece and it’s the same with PowerPoint – without the right knowledge, your presentations won’t be masterpieces either.
What other options are out there?
- Prezi is one of PowerPoint’s biggest competitors. Founded in 2009, it markets itself as a “very different kind of presentation software”. Its ‘‘limitless zoomable canvas” feature, allowed you to jump to and from specific slides and areas of your presentation. This feature was ground breaking and quickly saw Microsoft up its game and add this feature.
- Keynote, Apple’s creation, integrates with Apple’s ecosystem so you can create slides on a Mac and use it on an iPad or iPhone. As a system, it’s user friendly and the presentations themselves have a slick look and feel. If you’re looking for something quick, easy and eye-catching, Keynote works well and there are a number of default themes you can use.
The future of PowerPoint
Technology is changing so quickly that in the next 30 years the way we present will do to. Virtual Reality (VR) is becoming I teasingly popular as well as augmented reality. Instead of people standing up in an auditorium or meeting room presenting we may see offices and lecture theatres full of people wearing headsets immersed in VR presentations.
With the VR and AR market expected to reach $150 billion by 2020, headsets like these will become more commonplace in presentation situations, giving new ways to share your ideas and truly immerse your audience.
I look forward to seeing how presentation software will develop alongside this new technology.
Do I think PowerPoint will still be around in the next 30 years?
Definitely, although maybe not in the form we currently know it.