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How to Extend the Shelf Life of Your Presentations

ByAlexAnndra Ontra, Last Modified
Dec 07, 2018
> Marketing

Instinctively after a presentation, you know what slides worked, which ones need revisions and what you should trash. Too often, though, all is forgotten as you race to return emails, put out fires and, you know, do your actual job. By the time the next meeting comes, you'll be searching through emails and network folders for that one perfect slide, while hastily updating past messaging and branding. You waste hours, even days, piecing together another mediocre presentation that is likely rife with inaccurate information. Lost knowledge, lost assets, wasted time and lost opportunity.

Presentations don't have to die. They can evolve naturally, like your business does. Given their importance in driving sales and building your brand, it makes good business sense to reuse them, even exploit them to get as much value as possible from them.

A presentation management strategy lets you capitalize on your presentation assets – PowerPoints, Word docs, Excel spreadsheets, PDFs, infographics, videos, logos, or any file with the purpose of building your brand or selling your products and services. These marketing tools are strong assets that you should leverage to the fullest. This will better equip each of your employees to succeed in their role, whether that's selling more products, training new hires, driving investment, or completing a project on time and under budget. 

A comprehensive presentation management strategy starts with storing all slides and files in one central locationIt may sound elementary, but even with the best CMS platforms, slides and files end up scattered all over the network. Commit to putting all of the latest approved content in one location and archiving old, outdated files. It's about discipline as much as technology.

Now you're probably thinking, "Big deal, we already have SharePoint (or some other CMS)." There are a million of them out there. A presentation management strategy goes beyond housing all assets in one location, however. Whether you integrate this strategy into your current CMS or purchase a subscription to a dedicated presentation management platform, an effective presentation management solution should incorporate each of the following elements.  

Slide library

A slide library breaks up presentations into slides, so users can select a few slides from the new product rollout presentation, another one from a sales presentation, an existing marketing video and a graph to efficiently create a new deck from existing assets. The slide library is a visual source that empowers team members to recreate new presentations from a vast catalog of approved, branded content.

Properly formatted files

This allows you to zoom in to page 26 of a 50-page whitepaper, or find that perfect slide out of a 500-slide presentation. Once you've found the file, page, slide or video that you were looking for in that proverbial haystack, you can use it right then and there. You can either present it to a client or colleague or repurpose it into a new presentation, because they're ready to present.

All files ready to present

None of your files should be lying idle, hidden in a folder where some low-level sales coordinator can stumble across them and use them, only to get lambasted by the VP of sales for presenting 4-year-old data. Rather, active files are managed, updated and permissioned to the right people, in slide format. They can be presented at a moment's notice. They are active, working assets. 

Content reuse

Have you ever bought a new shirt, only to wear it once and then feel like you've wasted your money? If you wore that shirt all the time, you'd feel great because you'd know you got your money's worth. Content is the same. When content is active and organized in a library where it's easy to find and ready to present, it can be used all the time, making it one of the most impactful benefits of a presentation management solution. A great presentation shouldn't only be used once, maybe twice, by one person in your organization. It should be used in infinite meetings by all members of your team.


Reporting tracks the usage of files so you know what your people are doing, and what files and messages are resonating with customers – what's hot and what's not. Files that are never used because they aren't necessary or the product is no good can be discarded, while files that are often used can be expanded upon. These reports can help you decide where to direct your marketing resources. As a result, your content and presentation creation efforts become more efficient and productive.

By implementing a presentation management strategy that includes these elements, you'll make your content and marketing resources more productive and efficient. You'll stop creating content that does not get used, and the content you do create will be used over and over again.

AlexAnndra Ontra
AlexAnndra Ontra
See AlexAnndra Ontra's Profile
AlexAnndra Ontra is the Co-Founder and President of Shufflrr, where she advises with clients to help establish an efficient presentation management strategy within their organization. AlexAnndra has empowered hundreds of Fortune-level companies, to transform basic PowerPoint slides into vital business assets. After spending the last 20 years helping clients get the most out of their presentations, Alex was inspired to write Presentation Management: The New Strategy for Enterprise Content, a book she wrote with her brother, James Ontra, Shufflrr’s Co-Founder and CEO. Before founding Shufflrr, AlexAnndra developed high profile presentations for diverse clients such as Epcot Center, The NBA, and Mercedes-Benz where she developed her creative, hands-on approach to helping clients drive their business. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, in her free time, AlexAnndra enjoys ballet, skiing and sailing.
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