A few years ago, the main purpose of my presentation design work was to arm people with a powerful set of slides for a live stand up presentation. Usually, the meeting would be set up after an initial telephone or in-person conversation, and the audience would see the slides for the first time.

More and more, I see my visuals being used to get to that meeting in the first place. The “cold” email attachment. Presentation slides become a short 3 minute commercial for an idea. The distribution is not in print, not on TV, but through an emailed document or URL. The actual presentation is more about figuring out the people behind the idea, not the idea itself.

There is general presentation format, or universal PowerPoint document. PowerPoint can even be used to write text documents. The 3 minute commercial is yet another one to add to the long list.