COM/218 – Media types for presentations

The benefits of using media in presentation are they can add interest, credibility, make it easier for the audience to understand and remember the speech, as well as help advance your argument.  Old media tools such as newspapers, magazines and other printed press material has been replaced with more interactive and visual stimulating tools such as chat rooms, webcast or virtual environments, audiovisual tools such as PowerPoint, Prezi and Keynote.

It is hard for me to imagine a presentation without the use of PowerPoint since in my current job this is the norm for our work environment.  Before PowerPoint the use of flip charts, whiteboards, transparencies, and hard copy handouts was the more common media options.  Of course I am dating myself by sharing that these tools were the norm decades ago.  But as I mentioned PowerPoint seems to be the preferred choice in a corporate environment as it provides versatility in terms of what and how information is displayed.  As well as it can also be easily changed to fit the audience or different listener based scenarios.

I have also noticed a change in terms of conference rooms to support advancing media types such as “huddle rooms” with a table, high top chairs and large flat screen TV, webcast connection tool, and a video camera to link adjoining groups no matter where they may reside.  The cool thing about the huddle room setups is it enables for a greater form of collaboration with no limits to physical miles – breaking down the stuffy conference room or board room environments.

The use of Skype seems to be another trend in my work industry, but I am not a big fan as I have noticed that the connection can be a bit sketchy in some places.  It does work well for smaller groups such as project collaboration but for more professional media sources would recommend using WebEx or similar software based tools that enable to presenter to govern the activity better.

In short, whatever media tool you opt to use for presentation purposes, just know that the sky is the limit in terms of choices.  There are objects, models, charts, graphs, videos, animation and the list could go on.  My recommendation would be to always consider what fits best for your scenario, make sure it is well balanced in terms of visual and audio appeal, and leaves the audience with the feeling that their time was well spent in tuning in to what information you wanted to share.

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