Presentations have become incredibly important in business:

  • It is harder to stand out to sell stuff. Fifty years ago, people would buy products from local, familiar suppliers. Now companies buy from suppliers across the globe.
  • The amount of new ideas is proliferating. Fifty years ago, you learned how your industry works and then spent 40 years working in it. Now, technology and creatively linking multiple disciplines give an endless flow of new business concepts that need explaining.
  • Good presenters get promoted in big corporates, good presenters manage to get funding fro their startups. Presenting is a key career skill.

Presentation design needs to be incorporated in the curriculum and include elements from traditional courses:

  1. Art, drawing, photography, typography
  2. Data visualisation (mathematics, economics, science)
  3. Psychology
  4. Literature, (story) writing
  5. Computer skills
  6. Acting

I can see that it is hard to implement drastic changes in the curriculum of schools. One solutions is to give students one big presentation project throughout the year, and have them work on it during lessons of existing classes (mathematics, economics, art, etc.).

I have worked with 15-16 year olds (as part of the MEET program here in Israel) and discovered that these kids - free of historical baggage of bullet points - are actually pretty good at designing bold visual slides. What needs work is the basics of pitching a business idea, and presentation delivery skills.