How We Survived B.P. (Before PowerPoint)

CarouselI had to chuckle as I was going through some business articles talking about ways to revamp stale PowerPoint slides and whether using PowerPoint is so yesterday. Some may even want to know the answer to how we made presentations B.P. (Before PowerPoint).

Well, I’ve got some experience on the subject. Years ago, when I was a junior financial analyst working in the automotive industry, I had to assist in putting together things like the quarterly financial board presentation. So what did we do B.P?

I started with raw numbers from this new-fangled thing called a spreadsheet. Then on separate pieces of paper, I sketched out how I wanted them to appear when the Controller (Comptroller in those days!) made the presentation. I then took those individual pieces of paper to THE GRAPHICS DEPARTMENT, where they spent a few days making proofs.

I always wanted to work in the Graphics Department – they all seemed so happy. They would take little stickum colored lines, paste on fonts, and all kinds of neat things to make bar graphs and pie charts showing the P&L trend, etc. After we proofed the images, I would take them to a cool little photography shop on the second floor of an old building in downtown Detroit.

A day later, I had 35 mm slides that I loaded into a Carousel projector and we were ready for the quarterly meeting. No late changes allowed!

One final note about some of the potential problems we faced. One analyst (not me, thank God) picked up the slides and left them in his car overnight on a very cold night in the Motor City. When he put the carousel in the projector just before the presentation, the temperature change made all the slides foggy for the first half hour of the meeting. He was reassigned (probably to the graphics department).


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAbout the Author: Ron Miaso, one of the QuickBooks Yoopers, is a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor in Desktop and Online and before forming Delta Business Solutions was a Senior Finance Manager in the auto industry where he managed a $500 million annual operating budget and helped develop long range business plans.

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