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Olly Olly Oxen Free: When Your Slides Want to Play Hide and Seek (Part 2)

In part one, we talked about how being able to find the right slide, right when you need it can be pretty important.

If it’s a really great slide, the perfect slide, one worth keeping and recycling into multiple presentations, you and your team most likely invested a significant amount of time, energy, and other resources into creating it. And if you can’t figure out which presentation file, in which folder, on which laptop, the slide is hiding in, it’s worth absolutely nothing.

Given all this (and keeping in mind that a majority of us start new presentations from slides that already exist), HideAndSeek76Percent-02-440pxyou might be surprised to find out that not being able to find the required presentation is more common than you would think.

76% of the responders in a recent study conducted by Research Presentation Strategies (RPS) report having had trouble locating a presentation file they need. 15% say they have trouble locating presentations they need often or very often. This increases to 18% for frequent PPT users (those who edit or create 3 or more presentations a month).

Why is this number so high, why can it often be so hard for us to know exactly where the slides we need to do our work are located? You might assume that some of this is the fault of a particular individual’s organizational skills, and you wouldn’t be wrong. However, it is also very possible that the tools and systems we use to create, share and store our presentation are at least partly to blame.

In part three of this series, we will look at how the work routines of PPT users can play a role in the stress-filled game of slide hide and seek.

Olly Olly Oxen Free: When Your Slides Want to Play Hide and Seek (Part 1)

You and your team worked long and hard on creating the elusive perfect slide. It makes the key point of your argument elegantly and convincingly. Audiences respond to it. Your boss loves it. Every single stakeholder has approved.

Where is it?

There are a handful of less perfect versions of the slide that lead up to the ultimate, perfect version. These lesser versions are scattered, along with the version you need, among several presentation files that reside on at least four different laptops, one of which is now in in a bag under a seat on a plane flying in the vicinity of Kalamazoo.

That’s a lot of hiding places.

You checked your email but there were so many versions of the presentation emailed to so many people, it’s not entirely clear which contains the final, perfect, blessed-by-upper-management version of the slide. At this point, you are basically beating the bushes.

Hours of discussion, thought and PowerPoint expertise have been invested in this slide and, until you can track it down, it is worth exactly nothing.

Admittedly, this is an extreme scenario, but, if you have spent any part of your career creating or delivering presentations, you have most likely had to deal with not being able to locate or access a slide you need.

In a recent study conducted by Research Presentation Strategies (RPS), it was found that 60% of the responders that use PowerPoint in their work start from existing slides when creating not-from-scratcha new presentation. This response jumps to 72% for the subgroup of frequent PowerPoint users (those who edit or create 3 or more presentations a month).

Being able to find the right slide, right when you need it, can be pretty important.

In part two of “Olly Olly Oxen Free,” we will take a closer look at some of the results of the RPS study to get a clearer picture of how many of us have found ourselves playing a not-so-fun game of hide and seek with our missing slides.