Most PowerPoint decks are not designed for standup presentations to large audiences, rather they are documents that are used to get a smaller group of people to agree business decisions (the implementation plan, next quarter’s budget, etc.). The language used in these documents has changed over the years.
First, there was the memorandum that was dictated and written on a type writer, later replaced by a word processor. It was full of fluffy and formal language and people quickly learned how to skip most of it by jumping straight to the “Executive Summary” on the first page. All of these documents looked sort of the same.
In the 1930s, the management consulting profession was invented. Engineering mixed with business resulted in scientific charts full of frameworks with fancy names and buzzwords. Like the executive summary, managers had to acquire a method to skim through the content quickly, ignoring padding and business school speak to cut through what the document really wanted to say. All of these documents looked sort of the same.
I think it is time to create a new business language that injects good design into the management consulting-style charts and I am trying to write my upcoming presentation app around it. Yes, all of the documents it produces will look sort of the same, but it will make business decision making easier and more beautiful on the eye.