The next big thing

Introducing the lean-back presentation

We’ve all sat through boring business presentations. The presenter stands up front, readies her PowerPoint slides, and delivers her talk as slides full of bullet points and clip art appear overhead. But just as tablets are changing how we consume news and access books, they might also affect how we deliver and view presentations. A new product by Nancy Duarte, a presentation guru who is known for helping Al Gore create his slides that became “An Inconvenient Truth”, could signal a new way to consume presentations, without leaning forward.

Duarte and her team at Duarte Design studied and identified the most common mistakes that lead to ineffective slides, concluding that many presenters rely too heavily on words when they would be better served using images. Last week, the team launched Diagrammer, an online library of visual diagrams that guide presenters to finding more powerful ways of displaying information. 

Of course, the text-heavy nature of PowerPoint has been criticized before, most notably in Angela Garber’s “Death by Powerpoint”. Perhaps the time is ripe for drastic changes to the standard PowerPoint format. With 20% of American adults now owning a tablet, it comes as no surprise that presentations would be shifting to a more tablet-friendly format that relies on compelling visuals over dense text. Organizations can now view, share, and edit these presentations on mobile devices, a medium better suited to images. And audiences can now lean back when viewing a presentation, unpacking the meaning of an image instead of pretending to pay attention to the bullet points.

As tablet ownership increases and innovative services like Diagrammer gain a foothold, expect to see more aesthetically interesting presentations at your next business meeting.

Diagrammer Example
Diagrammer, a new service from Duarte Designs, helps you take text-heavy presentation slides (on left) and convert them to visual representations (on right).