Original content by AlexAnndra Ontra and James Ontra
Enhanced by Geetesh Bajaj
In the last post in this series, we looked at how presentation management can increase productivity. And in this post, we explore something that goes along with productivity: compliance.
Compliance can mean different things to different organizations:
- In finance and pharma, it means that specific language and statements are disclosed in accordance with federal regulations. You must tell your customers “this” but you are not allowed to tell them “that.” What employees can and cannot say is regulated. And “who” can and cannot present certain material is also regulated. In finance, you must be a certified broker-dealer to sell investments. In pharma, you might need to be a medical doctor to educate other doctors about how to administer a particular drug.
- In marketing, compliance means that you are staying true to the brand, which refers to the colors used, the logo treatment, the fonts and typography, even certain messages and taglines.
Compliance can also mean the products and pricing are up to date. Every industry, every business, every division within that business has rules that they follow, with which they must comply. When we refer to presentation compliance, we are making sure that all of the content presented follows those rules, whatever they may be for your company.
In the discipline of presentation management, compliance is controlled through a number of elements working in concert.
Who gets access to which content is important for two reasons:
- First, it ensures that qualified people have access to their information. You wouldn’t want a research assistant presenting company financials. That’s a lousy way to prove the company is a sound investment opportunity.
- Second, you don’t want research assistants wasting time wading through financial content. They probably just need access to results of some focus group.
Permissions not only protect the company from risk, they direct the employees to the information they need to do their job well.
Forced content benefits both legal and marketing. In highly regulated industries like finance and pharmaceuticals, companies are required to include legal disclosure statements with the information they present. If they don’t, they will have a regulatory watchdog knocking on their doors and run the risk of expensive and even debilitating lawsuits and fines. From a marketing perspective, you want to be sure that your people are telling the “complete” story about the product and/or the company. So, you force certain slides, content, etc. into their presentations.
It’s so easy for users to pick up that last version of the deck they used for their last meeting because it’s saved on their desktop. They know exactly where it is. It’s faster and easier for them. But in doing so, they risk presenting outdated, wrong and non-compliant content. The risk of misinformation could result in a regulatory fine, an angry client and lost revenue. When slides and files are updated by a content administrator or expert, those updates are pushed out to all users, ensuring that everyone stays current — and therefore compliant.
Knowing who is presenting what to whom, when, and in what context provides documented evidence that the company is following regulatory guidelines, maintaining industry compliance, and presenting the complete story. Are your sales reps presenting the latest pricing? Did they include the right disclosure statements? You’ll know through reporting.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Compliance protocols and processes are fantastic from a high-level enterprise point of view. Yay, control! But the folks on the front lines, working directly with partners and customers need to be flexible, creative, responsive and above all, they cannot wait until “compliance” approves their deck. Boo, bureaucracy! Presentation management balances compliance with productivity. At the end of the day, your workers — sales reps in particular — are judged by the quality and quantity of their work, of what they do. Sales reps are measured by how much they sell, not whether they used the right shade of blue in their PowerPoint template or remembered to include the right legalese. Presentation management understands that dynamic so your enterprise can promote its brand while your team can get their job done.
In the next post in this series, we will look at the components of presentation management.
Presentation Management Series: All Posts
All posts from the Presentation Management series are listed on this page, Presentation Management: The Entire Series.
AlexAnndra Ontra, co-founder of Shufflrr, is a leading advocate for presentation management. She has been providing presentation technology and consulting services to global enterprises for over 15 years.
At Shufflrr, Alex advises Shufflrr clients through the process: from trial, to content architecture, through the launch, training and then on-going software upgrades. She’s hands-on. She is a leading expert in presentation management strategy, implementation, and adaptation.
James Ontra is co-founder and CEO of Shufflrr. His 30-year career has focused on the highest profile presentations for world class companies. His clients have included: American Express, Bloomberg, Epcot Center, Mercedes Benz, NBC Olympics, Warner Bros. and many more.
His vision and strategy have been driving Presentation Management to become a recognized communication discipline. James combined this passion with technical development to build Shufflrr. Presentation Management is smart communication strategy.
Geetesh Bajaj is an awarded Microsoft PowerPoint MVP (Most Valuable Professional), and has been designing and training with PowerPoint for more than two decades. He heads Indezine, a presentation design studio and content development organization based out of Hyderabad, India.
Geetesh believes that any PowerPoint presentation is a sum of its elements–these elements include abstract elements like story, consistency, and interactivity — and also slide elements like shapes, graphics, charts, text, sound, video, and animation. He explains how these elements work together in his training sessions. He has also authored six books on PowerPoint and Microsoft Office.