Technology Trends For presentations and in the board room

30 years ago, Microsoft’s PowerPoint made its debut forever changing the landscape of corporate boardrooms and meetings worldwide. Ultimately evolving into a powerful storytelling design tool, PowerPoint ushered in an element of technology to meetings and boardroom presentations never seen before. These days, PowerPoint still dominates the market - with an estimated 1.2 billion users worldwide and millions of presentations made each day. So, Thank You Microsoft! Thank you for ending the days of dry lectures with blackboards and pointers.

Avoid Death by PowerPoint

After 30 years of countless presentations with the same recycled images, jargon and flow charts, long-gone are the days when slide presentations offered a “wow factor.” In fact, a quick google search on “How to Avoid Death by PowerPoint” returns multiple pages and article results from leading business magazines and blogs like Forbes, Inc. Magazine and Carnegie Business Coach. So, how can today’s presenters spice up their presentations and leave their audiences feeling energized and motivated?

To really inspire and motivate today’s audiences, creating “The Experience” is the way to go!

Technology changes the way we present. It provides engagement opportunities for audience interaction with dynamic content. Today’s conference room audiences demand presentations that integrate the latest audio visual technology and present more than simple, one-dimensional information. Just choosing better photos is not enough.

At the forefront of advanced presentation technology with expectations of igniting the most profound impact on future presentation technologies is virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Market predictions for VR and AR project growth to $150 billion by 2020. Expected headset accessibility is becoming increasingly commonplace in presentation settings.

Visitors smile as they test the new Gear VR virtual device at the Samsung stand during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. (AFP photo - Josep Lago)

VR headsets draw the audience in, allowing the presenter to transport and share an experience rather than just projecting an image on a screen. Imagine visiting a new real-estate development, being immersed in 360-degree videos and exploring interactive data visualizations.

AR viewers overlay digital content onto real-world surroundings. The surrounding space becomes the canvas on which digital content is projected. Imagine walking into an empty room then seeing the same room with an AR Viewer with furnishings in place and people moving throughout the room.

Today’s presenters also understand the best presentations begin with creating a natural, relational connection with the audience. Leap Motion controllers track the movement of hands and fingers, converting them into 3D inputs that can advance slides or zoom in and out on them. Devices such as the Myo Armband, allow presenters control over transitions between slides, digital pointers and zooming on slides using muscle movements in their arm, meaning they’re not chained to a lectern.

MYO Armband

Current trends also show multiple devices utilized for displaying presentations. Small iPads or other tablets distributed around a room or table allow maintained eye contact and human interaction between device and presenter. This transforms the presentation into an interactive conversation where the audience participates and even controls some degree of the conversation. This allows for a more natural conversation and works particularly well in learning environments.

To create audience engagement and dynamic experiences, today’s presenters need more than great pictures and PowerPoint presentations. Just as black boards and pointer sticks mark an era in time, so do one-dimensional visual aids. Successful presentations for today’s audiences draw in the listener and include them in the discussion. They create an experiential environment that leaves an impression on more than visual memory. The good news: Current technology is more accessible than ever before and AV rental companies today offer much more than projectors, speakers and screens. Speak with your local AV rental company and discover the options available. You may be inspired to create an experiential presentation unlike one your board room has ever seen before!

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