“Public-speaking is nerve-wracking, which is why having a coach is so important.” – Microsoft365
Missing Link is a Presentation Specialist firm on a journey to save the world one bored audience at a time, by helping our customers create memorable, remarkable presentations that will activate their audiences. We make presentations. It’s quite simple. And particularly niche.
So whenever Microsoft or some other startup launches a new addition or competitive product that makes it easier for people to create their own presentations, we generally get bombarded by emails and messages from people we know, asking how it’ll affect our business, and are we concerned that we’re being made redundant.
Every time I answer a clear “No.”
Not because I’m blind to progress or foolishly cocky, but because of this simple reason: Awareness. Let me explain.
PowerPoint was release in 1987 to, essentially, replace the archaic overhead projector and become a replacement in a digital format. In that time, PowerPoint has been a tool used by 99.9% of the world in a very, very bad way. Bad because of design, bad because of narrative, and bad because being bound to a perceived way of creating a presentation (their templates) has hamstrung speakers who don’t know better. It’s okay, we understand. The beast that is Microsoft built a platform that says “Insert header here”, so you insert your header there. You trusted them. It’s an easy mistake to make.
10 years after its launch – when my partner, Rich, started Missing Link – he went out to break every SOP that Microsoft and PowerPoint were driving, to ensure that the tool itself could be better. He saw potential in what it could become. For the past 22 years we’ve been waxing lyrical about the power and potential of good narrative and powerful use of the PowerPoint tool, but our reach has landed on an audience just far enough to make an impact around us, but it’s a very big world out there.
So when Microsoft365 announced the soon-to-be-released Presenter Coach, we got quite excited. (Click the pic to watch the video)
Overview: Presenter Coach uses on-screen recommendations and audio reminders, giving you:
Intelligent tips to improve your presentation skills
Real-time feedback on pacing
Use of inclusive language
Warnings if you’re using ‘fillers’ like ‘umms’ or ‘ahhs’
Feedback if you’re reading your slides
Microsoft is now coming to the party to help us share this important message, by allowing people to use the tool in a better way, and to realise that having a coach to help you present better is a far cry better than just standing up on stage, or in front of a potential customer, hoping for the best. They’re showcasing the value of speakers preparing, correctly, before going out to present. For speakers to go out and want to be better.
So why is this great for Missing Link? Well, because the more people understand how important it is to be a great speaker in order to activate your audience, the more I believe we’ll get inbound leads asking how we could help them. Online coaches and real-life coaches bring different things, of course, but I’m just extremely excited about more people realising how important this is. Will certain people stop at Presenter Coach and build powerful presentations on their own? Absolutely. Will that be the majority of people? Not even close.
So why am I telling you this?
Stop seeing newcomers or new products into your market as threats, and see them as opportunities. Change your mindset, change your narrative, and embrace the new entity. Shaping yourself up for a new adventure will only make you stronger going forward.
Thanks again for realising the power of presenting beyond PowerPoint decks, Microsoft. Glad you’re here.