It is probably a function of age and curmudgeonhood, but I have noticed that a current trend in the world of corporate presentations is moving on from being simply bemusing to become downright annoying. This is the desire of companies to stop employing the boring, tedious notion of using presentations to dispense information - telling people something of real and immediate value - and instead move to become soap-opera producers.
It is perhaps fitting that the company which has managed to move me from boredom to anger is Microsoft - those purveyors of the world's greatest cause of incipient brain death, the Powerpoint slide show. At the company's Tech Ed event in Amsterdam, Andrew Lees drew the short straw of delivering the keynote address. This is the big set-piece presentation hat normally sets the tone for the rest of any event - the one that sets out the stall of the information to follow.
Well, it sort of did that, but it was largely in the form of a running soap opera of the political infighting that we all know exists between developers, IT professionals and information workers (those were, at least, the way Big M described them - but you know what they mean, I'm sure). We all know these battles exist, so having the keynote interrupted by an amateur dramatics group overacting wildly and struggling to read the autocues, offered little in the way of either artistic or informational enlightenment. It also meant that what could have been delivered in 20 minutes took best part of two hours.
More and more companies are starting to do this, especially at their big, set-piece events like Tech Ed, so I suppose it does hold out the prospect of providing new employment opportunities for out of work actors. And regardless of what I, as a humble hack, think about it such events are not put on for the likes of me. There are over 6,000 delegates in Amsterdam, and if they like a show that the East Enders reserve team could put on, who am I to argue. We will ignore my statistically insignificant sample of delegates that I asked about it, who also found it boring and content-free.
But then again, maybe I am being overly harsh; maybe they were not actors of the previously unemployed persuasion but real live Microsofties trying their best. It raises an interesting thought.
Coule there soon be a need for a new curriculum in education, possibly starting in pre-school years but certainly fully formed as a university degree course? This will need to include computer science, a marketing diploma and a module formulated by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Basically, I see a future where, if you can't act you can't get a job in hi tech marketing. If you can, some understanding of the technology will be an advantage, but probably secondary to the ability to `thesp' sincerity about a product's probably dubious capabilities.
Sadly, the fluff is becoming more important than the reality, so having skills in fluffiness without fluffing is going to be the de rigueur qualification to have in future.
And it will even be easier than normal acting, for there will only ever be one motivation to worry about, luvvies...........sell shed-loads, come what may.