First Advantage Corporation has announced the launch of a package of pre-employment skills testing for Office 2007 programs including PowerPoint. The company claims that they are the first to do so according to their press release on WebWire. The service was formerly known as SkillCheck.
Think Progressrevealed the existence of a PowerPoint presentation developed by Karl Rove and delivered by Scott Jennings to GSA head Lurita Doan and other GSA Staff. Regardless of the legality of their partisan presentation on federal property, I'm curious as to what you think about the quality of the PowerPoint slides (PDF)?
I think the maps are pretty effective, but the charts with seats at risk are difficult to process. There are too many seats mentioned/slide and the content all blends together.
Yesterday I attended a seminar sponsored by Applied Tech (a Wisconsin-based IT solutions provider), Sprint and Microsoft that discussed Office 2007, Windows Vista, Microsoft SharePoint and Sprint's mobile solutions. The seminar provided some interesting insights on each of these. I was happy to be able to play around with Vista and with PPT 2007 in the adjoining breakout room. I haven't converted to either of these yet, given that clients are still typically using prior versions of the software and operating system.
I did find that PPT 2007 offered some interesting shortcuts and tools (like SmartArt) that should make it useful for the business presenter. In line with my own experience with PPT 2007, I was interested to see a recent article in PC Magazine "Introducting PowerPoint 2007" that I think you'll find interesting. Among the topics the article reviews are tools for framing images, SmartArt for charts, re-coloring slides.
If you've become a lover of PPT 2007 why don't you share what your favorite new features are.
Brian Phipps at Brands create Customers has an interesting posting "Google Projects a New Customer" looking at PowerPoint vs. Google's new presentation offering. He looks at it not from the typical feature comparison, but rather from a brand review perspective. His premise is that Microsoft didn't invest enough in defining and re-positioning their PowerPoint brand and that the PowerPoint era is drawing to an end. There were several quotes that resonated with me:
"The result is a huge PowerPoint application that often overshoots its market, leaving a brand vacuum where a smaller, user-friendly application might fit."
"A generation ago, PowerPoint helped Microsoft create a new kind of customer, the incipient manager who used PowerPoint to stand out from the crowd and pave his/her career up through the ranks of the large corporation. That was a major accomplishment for Microsoft, but that customer model is now getting old".
"[Google] It would shift the context of the presenter from the individual to the team. It would shift the context of the presentation from a one-man “show” to project-based workflow".
These are some interesting insights as we continue to see the evolution of business presentations.
Do you feel that these represent the direction of the market and how presentations have evolved?
Corporate Report Wisconsin (CRW) has published a new article that I wrote for their March issue titled "Social media on Web ready to make, shake or break your business". The article provides insights on the impact of Web 2.0 on business today.
Unfortunately CRW doesn't offer all of their articles online, so I can't provide a link to it for your review. You'll find similar but expanded insights, perspectives and links to examples in the ten columns I've written in a series called Buzz Networks for Wisconsin Technology Network.
Bitslab has a post (in Spanish) about using FlashSpring to convert your PowerPoint presentation into a flash .swf or .exe file. They claim that the software plugs into PowerPoint and creates a button that allows you to select the conversion with options for choosing how long you want each slide to appear, the size of the file, the slide conversion effects etc. The conversion will result in a significantly smaller presentation viewable on computers that do not have PPT loaded.
The FlashSpring web site description of their product claims that it will convert "audio, video, embedded Flash clips and pictures of all formats and what is important, the quality of PowerPoint shapes is kept completely". The web site also claims that Flash pring will support 180+ PowerPoint animation effects, all PowerPoint slide transition effects and can convert presentations with up to 500 slides. Here's a demo video clip. FlashSpring 2.0 retails for $199.