Last time, we looked at presentation’s past and how the industry has evolved through social and technological changes. This time we look at its ever-changing future through the different digital platforms and channels we use to design, create, and collaborate.
The digitalisation of our communication platforms has really changed the way we connect with one another and express ourselves. During times of isolation and confusion, there is something comforting a hearing a familiar voice, seeing a familiar face, connecting within those you would see in person under normal circumstances. This inherent need to communicate and connect has been amplified through the interactivity of new platforms and channels, which are reshaping the way we present and communicate information. However, one thing has remained the same – the importance of creating narrative across these evolving platforms in order to attract and retain audiences.
It’s natural to be apprehensive about social media use, but its steadily becoming more innovative and more reliable than traditional channels of news and entertainment. Being able to connect directly with individuals and organisations in real time is blurring the lines between creators and audiences. Furthermore, social media is helping to personify faceless brands and organisations, helping audiences better understand these businesses and giving them a channel for direct communication and interaction.
Twitter’s value is in its instant and widespread communication, often being used to share news and information in real time. Instagram is for more visual and creative content, plus offers an incredibly popular livestreaming service similar to a webinar platform but limited to two speakers. LinkedIn is the platform for connecting with businesses and professionals. It isn’t just useful as a job posting board but offers a great network for sharing information with those in similar industries and positions.
Today, social media platforms have provided channels for innovative content producers to not only connect with massive audiences but generate income from home. Social media has also played a critical role in the streaming and sharing of content, either pre-recorded or live.
At Synapsis Creative, we’ve seen various clients forced to digitalise their live presentations for webinar platforms, but these businesses can’t simply use Zoom or Microsoft Teams – these channels lack the branding, analytics, and controls needed to make a truly engaging, valuable, and interactive experience.
Traditional webinar platforms provide live feedback and interactivity, plus add features such as onscreen graphics, live chat, and screensharing. But sometimes businesses and presenter want to create a branded experience, such as film festival client of ours that had to digitalise its live event ceremony.
A key part of the brief was to highlight the sponsors responsible for helping the festival transition to a digital platform. Our final PowerPoint deck design included sponsor headers and logos, plus spots for 30-second commercials for the major supporters.
We were also tasked to create and deliver – the event registration, event landing page, event webinar design, webinar hosting and associated web work, digital content for promotional social media, and EDM content creation for Mailchimp automation. Everything needed to be delivered within a week to ensure registrations we up and running, and everyone who’d already registered was aware of the upcoming changes.
The webinar event was a big success with viewers from around the globe tuning in live and watching the video post event. Approximately 2,500 viewers (200+ via website, 2,200+ through Facebook Live) tuned in to see over 30 event presenters on their chosen platform. An additional 2,000+ viewers streamed the event on Facebook Live within a week of the live webinar.
With the uptick in webinar use brought on by COVID-19, we’ve seen more intimate and personal glimpses of people’s lives, however organisations can’t always rely on the whimsy of working from home, particularly for significant business decision making, such as pitching, recruiting, or promotion.
there has been an increasing need to establish best practice for online presentation. Traditional presentation offers its own benefits and limitations; however, webinars present a significant number of features and capabilities to help design a more immersive, engaging, and interactive presentation experience.
Digital Collaboration Resources
Businesses that develop design and presentation skills and support staff with platforms for doing so, often create more collaborative and productive work environments. Employees who are more digitally literate and communicative help organisations develop more effective programs for marketing, recruitment, training, and more.
Technology is already facilitating more feature-rich digital channels for sharing and communicating. As COVID-19 forced students into homes during the US graduation season, a team of UC Berkeley students developed ‘Blockeley University’ a virtual UC Berkeley campus designed in the video game, Minecraft. In May 2020, hundreds of graduating UC Berkeley students attended a virtual commencement ceremony via streaming platform, Twitch.
Collaboration tools such as Zoom and MS Teams played a vital role in adapting to work-from-home conditions, helping people maintain contact and communication. Zoom saw daily active users jump from 10 million to 200 million in three months. The platform also offers simultaneous translation for available in nine languages currently on Zoom.
Platforms like Prezi, PowerPoint, Google Docs, and Zoom all offer collaboration and design resources for sharing and working collectively online. In our office, we had some documents that were worked on as a team using Office Cloud, and it was a trip watching content and design building a single file in real time. The resources are available to communicate and collaborate more efficiently than ever before.
As the technology advances, it’s on us presentation designers to raise the standards of content out there, help more people understand how to communicate and present more competently. If someone can’t piece together a simple PowerPoint presentation, it’s be difficult expecting them to piece together a virtual reality presentation for an online audience – fundamentals first, technology later. While all these technologies are making more things possible, great presentations begin with planning, an understanding of message and audience with the confidence to deliver something engaging. For more insights, check out our history of presentation.
For more tips and tricks for creating an impactful webinar experience, check out our Ultimate Guide to Webinars. Use this resource to properly plan, host, and deliver a compelling webinar that create audience engagement. Download your PDF guide here