I’d like to take a moment of your time and look ahead to the future of presenting. As a random starting point, let’s imagine what presentations will look like in 2020. We’ll assume that AI hasn’t risen up against us, an asteroid isn’t hurtling toward the planet, and we’ve managed to avoid any man-made or natural disasters.
With all that in mind, here are three predictions for what the future of presenting will look like:
1. Augmented reality: Life through a new lens
It’s not hard to imagine that augmented reality (AR) will play a significant role in future presentations and the software we use to deliver them. AR puts digital images over what you’re seeing in real time (think Snapchat’s world lenses), so it will capture and hold people's attention better than traditional presentation methods.
Imagine an audience arriving at an auditorium to listen to a presentation titled, “The State of Accessible and Clean Water in 2020.” Complex charts, complicated data, and striking imagery won’t be confined to a slide. Vibrant, animated charts will take up large portions of the stage or presenting area. The presenter can display a water reservoir slowly draining or being restored over time or enlarge a close-up of bacteria so anyone in the audience can clearly see it.
Virtually any prop you can imagine will be available to the presenter. The average rainfall in remote areas of the Gobi desert could be displayed as a 3D map. Simply put: Data will become a lot easier to visualize.
Prezi is already moving in the direction of AR, recently working with Dr. Robert Sapolsky for his presentation “BEHAVE: The biology of humans at our best and our worst.” He recorded the presentation at the Prezi offices and broadcast it to the TED stage in Vancouver.
2. Virtual reality: A whole new world
Virtual reality (VR), unlike AR, completely changes what you see—it literally creates a virtual reality. With VR, you will no longer need to be in an auditorium or on stage for presentations, you can comfortably partake from your own office.
Currently, distance-based meetings and presentations aren’t the most conducive to productivity. A meeting with as few as five people can easily digress into awkward moments of people jinxing each other with, “Oh...sor...no you go ahead.” VR presentations, on the other hand, will be held in virtual meeting rooms (or the moon!) with participants represented by their virtual avatars sitting at one table.
VR presentations will remove the restrictions created by distance and space. And VR won’t just benefit small meetings. It will easily translate to large crowds with nifty features such as letting audience members ask questions in real time or other types of interactivity.
3. Interactive presentations will be exponentially more shareable
VR presentations lend themselves to being shared. As the consumer technology needed to view AR and VR content becomes more accessible, informative and interactive presentations will be more widely and easily downloaded and watched. This could be a boon for education across virtually every industry, as the interactive experience will be accessible from anywhere. From messages from the CEO to corporate safety training presentations, you should expect to have a lot of people’s attention with these new, engaging presentation platforms.
Shareable VR and AR presentations will also lead to a rapid evolution in presentation styles and techniques as the rate of distribution increases. The door with be open for people to experiment with new presentation elements, styles, and formats. When new concepts prove out, they can be copied and iterated on almost instantly. The possibilities are almost endless.
What are your predictions?
Do you think these predictions are an accurate picture of the future, or are you a sequential slide die-hard that believes the future is keeping it 2D?