Most business presentations can be neatly divided into two component parts: content and performance.\u00a0 Content development can be time consuming, especially when it comes to creating media \u2013 most often slideware --to use in your presentation. We can labor too long over choosing the just the right slide template, palette, graphic and video that comprise our presentation deck.\nLarge sales organizations, that create and deliver hundreds of presentations, may discover there\u2019s a lot of reinventing the wheel and duplication of effort in the creation of slide decks by their sales forces.\u00a0 And according to AlexAnndra and James Ontra at Shufflrr, that inefficiency can be avoided with the introduction of a comprehensive content management system:\u00a0 what they call Presentation Management.\nThey\u2019ve published a little book on the subject that\u2019s available on their website. They do a good job of laying out the issues, strategies and solutions they offer to improve enterprise-wide slide management.\u00a0 Much like document and version control protocols for legal departments, good slide management can save a company time, effort (resources) and ensure better consistency in messaging by archiving the components of their decks and slides in a generally accessible cloud.\nThe book bravely looks ahead to the integration of AI and the ways that AI might affect performance for presentations and meetings in general \u2013 in the sense that real-time presentation [slide] content could anticipate or be more responsive to audience questions as they arise.\nGetting everyone on the same page\nI always stress that your deck is not your presentation \u2013 and may even be considered the least important part of your presentation \u2013 but good media can go a long way to making a good presentation a great presentation. A centralized and shared repository for decks, individual slides and slide components can be an invaluable resource and tool for any large organization. Especially, an organization that benefits from timeliness, frequency and consistency of message. I think this may be increasingly true for all companies as the deck format has largely replaced memos, whitepapers, and even Wiki\u2019s and information sharing apps as repositories for institution-wide knowledge. A searchable company data base of presentation decks makes sense: it\u2019s the new corporate library.\nThe author\u2019s leverage the principles of AI to make presentation decks \u201csmarter.\u201d By tracking when, where and how etc. slides are used, they\u2019re working to add\/improve predictive capability: e.g. at this point in the presentation, you\u2019re likely to get a question that can be answered\/addressed with this slide. All good stuff. I can definitely see how this could be helpful in managing Q&A, but it begs the question: who controls the narrative of the presentation: the presenter or the audience? It\u2019s easy to see the appeal of a heightened responsiveness to the priorities of the audience as paramount in sales. But in general, presenters need to control their message and we shouldn\u2019t be too quick to surrender our agenda or narrative flow to fickle audiences.\nThe fantasy of those who are challenged when it comes to preparing and delivering presentations is always a presentation that runs itself. But as executives, we need to demonstrate managerial competence by running the presentation. PERSONALLY. Not like a DJ, spinning slides, but a manager leveraging space, audiences, and narratives in real time with clear and cogent messaging.\nChallenges\nOn the technology side, security for sensitive information stored centrally will always be a big issue. Certainly, relative to agents outside of the organization, but also internal agents.\u00a0 Some information needs to be restricted and can make those on the other side of any locked door wonder what they are missing.\nOn the application side, taxonomy is the biggest challenge that I see: developing an effective taxonomy at the slide, component and idea levels that is broadly adopted and easily applied. If I need a graphic that shows X and Y, what search terms do I use? Is the person doing the tagging for archiving purposes fully understand the meaning and purpose of the material well enough to do a good job of tagging.\u00a0 Otherwise, you can quickly default back to the usual file management constructs we all currently use:\u00a0 author, title, date, etc.\u00a0 Or rely on thumbnail images:\u00a0 does that slide look like what you are searching for?\u00a0 I think this actually has the most exciting potential: to develop a common language to describe the standard components we use in the common presentations.\nAnd, as in any creative endeavor, there is some pride of ownership in the development of content.\u00a0 Especially for senior managers. They like to have some things be original and unique to them. The general availability of components is good, but the creation and delivery of the final message may always require the human and personal touch.\nFinally, I believe that the unexpected is the life blood of good presentations. I\u2019d likely feel about a fully automated and responsive presentation the way I feel about phone trees. Yeah, I get the business benefit. But boy they\u2019re boring, impersonal and predictable.\nThe authors have thought a lot about most of the challenges and have had extensive experience in developing technology solutions to address the challenges they face. Their book is worth a read.