Multimedia colleagues and clients who have known me for more than five years, know that I was a pioneer and expert in Macromedia—now Adobe—Director. Director, along with Hypercard and the developers who made a living using them, paved the way for the digital media and interactivity that we now take for granted on the internet, operating systems, software interfaces, and mobile devices.
We built elegant and compelling interfaces with Director, providing intuitive access to information, images, animation, video and software simulation. Director is still alive—Adobe recently released version 11 after four years since its last update—but Flash has long overtaken Director as the platform of choice for delivering custom applications. In a nutshell, Director is better than Flash for building games, and heavy lifting like controlling the OS and external devices that Flash just can’t do. Flash is better for compact web-based media.
The point I really want to make is that I am now doing PowerPoint for my biggest clients. Actually, I use Keynote on the Mac when I can, because of what I believe is a superior interface and more robust feature set, especially in regards to how it is integrated with other media applications on the Mac. But I digress.
The nature of most of my business relationships, in fact the model for my business in regards to the types and sizes of companies with whom I work, brings me back to the basics of presentation, and away from the high-end, complex and comprehensive marketing and learning tools I used to build with Director. I work directly with the executives and owners of small businesses (10 to 50 employees), helping them hone their messages to be most relevant and powerful, to allow them to more successfully close sales and win new clients.
One more word on presentations: I enthusiastically endorse and recommend Garr Reynolds’ book Presentation Zen. Check out his blog. I carry the book in my briefcase to use as a visual aid and resource in business meetings. Actually, my copy is now out on loan. (Steve?)