More Companies Using Presentation Software to Deliver Messages

27-May-1998 12:00 AM EDT

Ball State University

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MORE COMPANIES USING PRESENTATION SOFTWARE TO DELIVER MESSAGES

MUNCIE, Ind. -- The days of a simple overhead projector to liven up a presentation are over. Business people want all the bells and whistles when it comes to meetings, says a Ball State University professor.

A survey of 282 businesses found that presentation software is increasingly popular throughout the business world, said Marilyn Chalupa, a professor of business education and office administration.

"The use varies from company to company, but we find that companies of all sizes are using computer software to liven their presentations," Chalupa said. "We've moved from the linear, slide-show presentations to very complicated, multi-media ones.

"Having a multi-media delivery system allows a company to show video clips and use animated graphics," she said. "When used properly, it can be very effective."

The survey found that PowerPoint, used in a Windows system, was used by about 50 percent of the respondents. The system was popular because it was easy to use and compatible with the operating system.

The study also found:

*Presentation software was used in businesses ranging from less than 50 employees to more than 1,000 with varying job titles.

*About two-thirds of respondents had access to a graphics department.

*Internal presentations were primarily used for training and staff meetings while external presentations were made for conferences or sales and marketing calls.

*Only about half of the respondents were in a company that had a standardized logo and 25 percent indicated their organization ensures presentation visuals are consistent with the company image.

Chalupa was amazed to discover that about 40 percent of respondents said their firms had no standardization of company logo or presentation format.

"Image is very important in today's business world," she said. "If you don't have a standardization of your logo, it can detract from the message. Over time, it gives a poor image."

Most novice users of presentation software tended to go overboard with the use of graphics and other multi-media devices, Chalupa said. "Some people are so excited that they put all the gizmos in there, overwhelming the viewer," she said. "They should remember that content is king and that the medium is secondary. This is just another way of getting your message across. Keeping it simple is the best way to do that."

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(NOTE TO EDITORS: For more information, contact Chalupa by E-mail at mchalupa@bsu.edu or by phone at (765) 285-5131.)

M. Ransford

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