Vikas Joshi founded the Harbinger Group in 1990, where he serves as the Chairman and Managing Director. His leadership at Harbinger has resulted in innovations in interactivity software. Vikas has his own blog that focuses on Interactivity. One of Vikas’ patent-pending inventions led to Raptivity, a rapid interactivity builder, which makes e-learning interactive, engaging and fun. Harbinger’s other products includes YawnBuster, TeemingPod, Elicitus and Offline Content Player. Their newest offering is called Raptivity Presenter, which is the subject of this conversation.
Geetesh: How did Raptivity Presenter evolve and how it can help everyday PowerPoint users make their slides more interesting and captivating?
Vikas: Good presenters are good dialog creators. Millions of sales people, consultants, speakers, government officials, association members and managers aspire to create winning presentations everyday. They understand that a two-way dialogue with the audience is pivotal to keep the engagement going. However, they also understand it is not the easiest thing to do.
This problem of building interactivity quickly and easily is not unique to presenters. Professionals in e-learning have faced it for a while now, and have found a solution too. Their solution consists of using ready-made interaction models and customizing them quickly using a tool like Raptivity. As the use of Raptivity spread, we found some of our users building interactivity for their presentations using Raptivity! With this we realized it was time we broadened the scope of Raptivity beyond e-learning.
Presenters’ needs are unique in many ways. We talked to a lot of presenters and determined their pain points. They need to gain and retain attention, cut to the chase quickly, tell compelling stories and show diagrams that help visualize. They need tight integration with PowerPoint, so that they don’t have to leave the familiar PowerPoint work environment. They need the convenience of a single .PPT file containing all interactivity, so that there is no need to handle Flash files separately.
Piece by piece, we built to all these requirements, and the result is Raptivity Presenter, which introduces the phenomenon of interactivity to PowerPoint users. It makes it easy for PowerPoint users to include Flash interactivity in their presentations without the need of any Flash programming. With interactivity, now PowerPoint users can really think beyond graphics and animations. They can now jazz up their slides, get audience engagement, simplify complex ideas, display slide information selectively and even change the flow of the presentation as per the need. Raptivity Presenter can be useful for every person in the world who wants to transform his/her presentation into an interactive experience.
That is how we adapted the successful and proven paradigm of rapid interactivity to the world of presentations.
Geetesh: Tell us more about Raptivity Presenter and who can use it.
Vikas: Visualize this. You want your show to build up a fairly complex diagram part-by-part, and after it is built up you want to refer to any part and drill down to additional information – all on one slide. This is how you do it. While inside PowerPoint, select a ‘diagram buildup’ interaction from Raptivity Presenter, select the picture, indicate the parts you wish to build up in sequence, type in narration, record your voice if you like, and save the interactivity on your slide. Run the presentation, and you get a step by step diagram built up, with voiceover if you like, and with detailed drilldown information accessible by rolling your mouse over any part of the diagram.
Let’s do another example. You have a product line with four different models, and you are helping a customer make the right selection. It is time to use the ‘comparison chart’ interaction model. Again, the process is very simple. Select the interaction, enter product names and features or benefits, and what you get is a Flash-based comparison chart that is interactive.
Raptivity Presenter provides a library of ready pre-built interactions that can help in getting active audience participation. The interactions can be created using a very simple interface. The user doesn’t need to know VBA programming or any other programming language. With its easy to use and quick to learn interface, Raptivity Presenter becomes an ideal tool for a busy presenter.
Raptivity Presenter can be used for making presentations for various functions such as sales, marketing, consulting, change management, finance, human resources and training across verticals.