by Jim Endicott
The presentation process, if it’s to be meaningful and effective, will always be a highly unique and creative one. And to that end, the role of the serious design professional with some keen insight into the personal communication process will be irreplaceable.
Although the makers of many presentation graphics packages will tout “anyone can be a presentation designer” now, it’s simply not true. They can certainly help people avoid some design pitfalls and make more features accessible to the masses, but the “common sense” wizard will never be a reality in our lifetime. And your typical business professional will still have the option to fill a screen full of bullets and will. Despite the benefit of hundreds of books and thousands of great websites… some things have not changed at all in 20 years.
Yet, in the general presentations community, there’s a reoccurring push for “serious” presentation designers to move to Apple’s Keynote. Every one is looking for an edge and I get that. But I have a question. Why is it I can still see marginal presentations produced in Keynote and yet discover beautiful and effective visual communication tools come out of PowerPoint 2000 — a 14 year old software product?
The answer is… (and always will be) this important truth. Talented and creative presentation designers will make works of communication art no matter what canvas they’re using. And the vast majority of everyone else will continue to look for the next trendy tool to give them an edge but you will always be able to tell the difference.
There’s nothing wrong with Apple’s Keynote or other higher-end presentation tools. But I learned a long time ago a very painful (and expensive) reality… I can buy Nike golf balls and still not hit them like Tiger Woods. And the only ones who seem to benefit from my decision are those in the golf shop.
Jim Endicott is an internationally-recognized management consultant, executive coach and author. Jim’s company, Distinction Communication Inc., works with clients ranging from Fortune 500 executives to small business start-ups to help them enhance the personal communication effectiveness of those tasked with communicating high-stakes, high-profile messages.
Jim has also been a Jesse H. Neal award‐winning columnist for Presentations magazine and has also contributed presentation‐related content to magazines like Business Week, Consulting, Selling Power and the Portland Business Journal.