Past, present, and future of presentations

Past, present, and future of presentations

What does the word 'presentations' make you think of?

Do you immediately think of slides? It likely triggers the memory of sitting through a monotonous lecture where the presenter talked you through a pack of highly dense slides in a template that has been used way too many times.

Or more recently, it may remind you of the same drill - except this time you are on Zoom - not that it helps!

It makes you wonder - is this the best way of telling stories, sharing ideas and thoughts in 2021?

Cave painting. Photo by Don Pinnock

Humans have been telling stories since the dawn of time. Over the centuries, many tools and formats have been invented to help convey stories better with visual aid.

Cave paintings, Egyptian murals, and eventually stained glass windows in the Roman Catholic church were all visual mediums to tell stories that stick.

Kodak Carousel projector. Photo courtesy of Classic Film. 

With the advances in optics and lighting, glass projectors like the Magic Lantern gained popularity for entertainment in the 17th century. This was the birth of 'slides'.

By the 19th century, they were replaced by 35mm slide projectors and then overhead projectors. The Kodak Carousel allowed presenters to easily carry their 35mm slides anywhere. The medium gained popularity and its use spread to educational and institutional settings.

The 1950s brought computers into the workplace. Powerpoint, a digital version of slides was invented in the 1980s.

"PowerPoint, designed to produce those old projector formats, actually replaced them" - Robert Gaskins, creator of Powerpoint

Google slides presentation view

As the internet became mainstream, Google Slides made collaboration mainstream.

Today, we have thousands of slide tools and countless templates to choose from. These tools and templates probably produce slides faster and better. But only slides.

Unfortunately, most people don't enjoy making or receiving slides. They are time-consuming and put the burden of design on you.

The bottom line is that slides haven't aged well. While they were designed with projectors in mind, we haven't made any thoughtful updates to them conceptually even decades later.

Modern tools. Photo by Alexander Shatov

On the other hand, dramatic changes are happening in the way we consume information.

Attention spans are reducing and behaviors are increasingly shaped by social media. The pandemic has made remote working the new reality.

We believe these shifts will usher in a new format - just like it has with every technological change over centuries.

At Chronicle, our vision is to build the future of storytelling.

We are reimagining presentations by reducing your design burden and making the format interactive. Tell powerful stories without spending hours shifting boxes on slides. Deliver presentations that are worth watching.

Sign up to get early access:

Chronicle - Future of storytelling
A new way to tell stories