“Adaptation is such a profound process. It means you figure out how to survive in the world. People aren’t too good at that sometimes.”
This quote is from the 2002 film, Adaptation, which was written by Charlie Kaufman but adapted from the book The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean. It explores the process of adapting a beautiful book into a profoundly different but altogether brilliant film.
As Adaptation is a critical element of survival for all species and is especially paramount during times of crisis or rapid change. In light of the current global pandemic, the business has been forced to adapt – restaurants and retailers offering more pick-up and delivery options; musicians performing via streaming services; people everywhere operating and socializing from home.
Thankfully we live in a time when technology can facilitate self-isolation with most of the modern conveniences we’ve gotten used to while industries everywhere are discovering digital solutions to face their challenges and adapt to the changing circumstances.
We’ve spoken about the power of adapting in light of COVID-19, especially as presentation design moves from live events to digital platforms and we’ve upskilled into webinar design. This adapting to circumstance helps us stay busy, offer something necessary to clients, and opens new avenues in terms of creativity and capability.
The beauty of PowerPoint is its flexibility, it’s capacity to easily export to other programs and formats. This means a single design (often created as a master slide) can be adapted and repurposed for different audiences, media channels, and purposes.
PowerPoint can facilitate this versatility due to its far-reaching capabilities across multimedia. What other software allows you to create graphic design, animation, interactivity, and more on a single program?
The versatility of PowerPoint means it’s a valuable design tool for any format or audience, furthermore, using slides in a webinar can help break up the monotony, give presenters a break from speaking, and help create more audience engagement.
Just remember – slides are a presentation ait and shouldn’t be used as a crutch for ill-prepared presentations or speeches. It’s best to reserve slide content for things that can be conveyed better visually than verbally, such as graphs or video content. Thankfully, PowerPoint can create and display all these things because it isn’t an animation platform or graphic design program – it’s presentation design software.
Adaptation for Audience
Presentation design, much like PowerPoint, borrows from different design disciplines such as graphic, video, animation, and interactive. Rather than focusing primarily on one school of design, presentation design understands the importance of different disciplines in creating an engaging presentation that isn’t limited to strictly script, or video, or imagery.
This versatility is what makes PowerPoint such a useful skill for people in design and marketing as it allows users to learn different elements from design, user experience, and communication to captivate, entice, and inform audiences.
PowerPoint’s flexibility also makes it a valuable resource for training and education. There has been a lot of debate as to whether the use of presentation slides during lessons helps or hinders the learning experience, which is why we wrote some comprehensive pieces demonstrating PowerPoint’s efficacy in classrooms, lecture halls, and boardrooms around the world.
There is a wealth of academic resources highlighting PowerPoint’s value in teaching students and employees. Whether for its importance in memory retention or notetaking, the use of other visual and audio cues can assist students in being more engaged with the content and more likely to remember the lesson.
Adaptation for Interactivity
There are few design programs that can also facilitate the creation of interactive content. It’s one thing to develop a beautifully designed image, video, or animation – but to then give audiences the chance to engage directly is reserved for elite designers and software.
Interactivity is particularly useful as a teaching method since many of us simply learn by doing. We’ve seen video games that teach players how to build their own, which is some serious interactive learning combined with gamification. Video games have played an underappreciated role in making education more accessible, more fun, and (often) more effective than traditional approaches.
Beyond educational games and apps like Duolingo, video games have advanced incapacity for training others. Virtual reality is being used to safely train miners and other workers exposed to hazardous environments, while flight simulators are used to train pilots before they sit in a cockpit. Interactivity doesn’t have to be physical to create an impact – so long as students can work through the program themselves and receive instant feedback.
The feedback from interactive content is a two-way street. Using polls and quizzes can help trainers understand their students and adapt content based on their preferences and abilities. By creating a more collaboratively learning experience, students are more likely to engage with the content and compelled to learn.
PowerPoint is an excellent resource for building eLearning content because it offers all the interactive elements necessary for creating. Whether for an interactive presentation, eLearning module, or even website building – PowerPoint offers a great launchpad for testing out your ideas and developing your content.
To learn more about the different features and techniques for building interactive content in PowerPoint, check out our guide to interactivity or download our free e-book on Making Interactive Content in PowerPoint.