In his post that was published on the blog of EVK collegium, Márk Börcsök was evaluating the two presentation software and he arrived to the conclusion that the winner of this close competition is Microsoft’s product. In this post I would like to argue against the closeness of that competition. The reason why PowerPoint wins this race by far is its support for the presenting team and its functional consistency.
What is the role of slides in the presentation?
The performance of a certain team can be evaluated along several dimensions (professional content, structure, slide design, Q&A, verbal communication, etc.) at a case competition. The diversity of these different aspects already shows that those really good teams can achieve great results by maximizing these aspects and by balancing good performance. That is, no matter how fancy and super-dynamic your presentation is if the whole thing is professionally unacceptable and you even present it in a boring way.
So what is the role of slides in the presentation? The support of the team and the team mate who is presenting at the time. This means a professional (it contains all the key data), structural (returning agenda, tracker, etc.) and a communicational (story line and other elements for effect) support, all at the same time. It is a frequent topic on the side of the audience and the jury that a given team needs to win over the audience as well. If the crowd concentrates on the dynamically flashing presentation in the back, they will easily lose their attention.
About the two software
It becomes clear relatively fast even for beginner users that the vision of the two software regarding presentations is completely different. Prezi starting from a map view, guides the audience as if it came to life. Animations and dynamics receive a more emphasized role next to/instead of the presenter. In contrast, PowerPoint, much like an old overhead projector, focuses on the support of the presentation, leaving the space for the lecturer.
It goes without saying that Prezi turned the world of presentations upside down, but our often-cited saying still prevails: the aim of the presentation determines the style and consequently the software as well. The aim of case study solutions and consulting materials is to channel deep, professional content in a structured way. The need to understand quickly the deeper, professional content, overvalues the role of the lecturer and the slides traditionally receive the role of the grey eminence. Thus, for me, when it comes to traditional case competitions, the race of the two presentation software is won by far by PowerPoint.