Professionals in presentation

Is it just me that finds every Wendy Smith article about the business presentations sector unsatisfactory and vapid? Is she a sales representative for Microsoft’s PowerPoint division, (if such an organ exists)?

Her article “Electric Storm” (MW, November 25) and the cliffhanger question, “will the electronic approach to business presentations make production companies redundant?” is nothing short of a waste of trees.

The dinosaurs of the production industry are dying and being replaced by better adapted multidiscipline production companies which cover the entire spectrum of integrated communications services. These outfits provide everything from conference production through to Website design and CD-Rom laptop sales presentations.

And, by the way, electronics have been used for years in the conference production industry!

It is the use of computers and this new generation of companies that are causing the damage to the established, lumbering production companies. They write software to enable their clients to manipulate multimedia business presentations that would have previously been impossible for them to do. They bring all of their communications skills, gleaned over years of business to business presentations, and marry it with the latest technology. Their clients see them as an integral part of the communications strategy rather than an expensive luxury. A million miles away from redundancy I would say!

It is true that there are a lot of client companies which bring the presentations in-house, but there are just as many which revert to external companies after a couple of years of stale ideas and unsatisfactory results.

The wide range of projects worked on by production companies keeps it all fresh – and remember we are professionals after all. And are marketing directors who produce their own presentations making the best use of their time anyway?

One last thought – the falling costs of equipment and the ability to produce presentations using programs like PowerPoint and Freelance is all very well, but try watching your neighbour’s holiday video – inexpensive video equipment and the ability to film something doesn’t actually mean everybody turns into the next Stanley Kubrick – they just think they do!

Steve Connolly

Sales and marketing director


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