Fireside Chat with James Ontra, Co-Founder at Shufflrr

Fireside Chat with James Ontra, Co-Founder, Shulffrr
FIRESIDE
Fireside Chat with James Ontra, Co-Founder, Shulffrr

James Ontra tells how Shufflrr makes the entire Presentation process more efficient for large organization.

What is Presentation Management and how does Shufflrr solve for it?

Presentation Management is the practice of putting a strategy around the creation, distribution, updating, and publishing of presentations across the entire enterprise. Businesses use presentations everyday as strategic communications that drive action – weather that is to make a sale, offer input, or force a decision – but few organizations treat them as crucial communications assets, despite the time that goes into creating and presenting them. Shufflrr makes the entire presentation process more efficient for large organizations, and ensures that the entire global enterprise is consistent, using the same message – like singing off the same sheet of paper!

Shufflrr addresses each specific function of the presentation process and solves for each pain-point so the business develops and implements an entire communication strategy around presentations.

What industries or businesses could benefit most from Presentation Management?

First and foremost, Presentation Management is extremely beneficial to Pharmaceutical and Financial organizations because of compliance concerns. Highly regulated industries are susceptible to fines from regulatory agencies like the SEC and FDA when sensitive information gets out, or disclosures are not used.

Presentation Management puts controls on your content to ensure that only approved content is used, with the required disclosure statements. While Presentation Managementis a must-have for regulated industries, it can benefit any organization that relies on presentations. While many of Shufflrr’s clients are in Finance and Pharma, we also have plenty in other industries like Media, Travel, Packaged goods, etc.  We also see plenty of use cases in job training and human resources. Presentation Management is a discipline that is valuable to any organization that uses presentations to sell, train or just communicate!

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What are some of the components that make up Presentation Management?

Presentation Management is made up of four main components:

Presentation Management starts with the collection of all company content stored in one central location that is easily accessible to everyone on your team. Typically, one person or a team of people – depending on business size – is in charge of collecting all of the Content and Managing it, to ensure it’s compliant, accurate and actually getting used.

Controlled Permissions

Ensuring that the proper employees get access to the right information is critical at all organizations, and especially those in regulated industries (like pharma and finance mentioned above). But permissions should go beyond simple access and dictate what recipients can actually do with the presentation. For example, an entry-level marketer should be able to suggest edits while the CMO gets full Editorial Access. Beyond suggested edits and complete access, permissions should include download, present, share, and customize.

Forced messaging

Again, forced messaging is particularly important in regulated industries because forgetting disclosure statements is one of the quickest ways to have a regulatory watchdog breathing down your neck, but the feature is applicable to all businesses. For example, a certain graph meant to follow specific figures or a complete case study is five slides, not the two that the presenter happens to like best. Forced messaging ensures that the right message is always communicated.

Organization wide-updates

The very best content is constantly being refined and updated until it’s proven to convert. Presentation management applies data insights and business intelligence to presentations so that the director of presentations management is able to see what’s working and fix what’s not before pushing it to the entire company.

Presentation Management may not be a term familiar to many professionals. What goes into creating a new category that straddles Sales and Marketing and how is Shufflrr bridging that knowledge gap?

Presentation Management is the culmination of my and my sister and Business Partner AlexAnndra Ontra’s 20+ years of experience consulting with businesses and providing them with a better, more efficient presentation strategy. First, a client asked for a slide library, then another asked for a video and another for metrics.

Eventually, all of those asks turned into a complete solution for all businesses.

One of the ways we’re spreading the presentation management word and bridging the knowledge gap is through our book, Presentation Management: The New Strategy for Enterprise Content. The book is a quick read to walk marketers and sales executives through the benefits of presentation management, how it can be applied to their organization and how to execute a strategy. It will explain how to apply specific features to their business and how to make presentations easier for everyone. Until now, presentations have been critically overlooked across businesses, but presentation management enables organizations to treat presentations like advertising, social media and all other forms of corporate communications.

What was the reasoning behind writing Presentation Management: The New Strategy for Enterprise Content? What can readers expect to learn from it?

Presentation management is a holistic strategy that benefits the entire business, and the book provides readers with a way of implementing that strategy at their organization. After reading Presentation Management: The New Strategy for Enterprise Content, executives will look at presentations differently and gain a level of understanding so that you can implement a program on a global level. Presentation Management: The New Strategy for Enterprise Content is a guide for any organization that wants to bring their decades-old Presentation Management technology into the 21st century.

What are some of the unique challenges you’ve faced as a brother and sister in business together?

The most unique challenge we face as a brother and sister working together is deciding who’s going to answer the phone when our mother calls. The caller ID is wonderful. Seriously though, going into business as siblings we already knew each other’s inherent strengths and weaknesses. We don’t step on each other’s toes because we understand what we each do and don’t do well. It’s easy to divvy up the tasks that way. On a more personal level, going into business with a sibling means that it’s more than a job, it affects our personal lives, and our family’s lives as well. It’s a much bigger commitment than just our own individual wants and desires.

Where do you see the future of Presentation Management?

We’re on the cusp of two big developments when it comes to presentations. First, the presentation will follow the conversation — interactive presentations. Up until now, everyone following PowerPoint’s rigid, linear format. But with the ubiquity of mobile and the Internet, people are more comfortable pulling up a photo or video on their phone in the middle of a conversation to prove their point.

Think of all of the times you sat with a friend and started telling them about your vacation, only to just pull out your phone and show them pictures. That is a perfect example of the presentation is following the conversation. Now, formal business presentations will follow that same pattern, except with charts instead of scenic beaches. Second, and not too far behind, are Predictive Slides™ where using AI, the slide will be created and presented on the spot based on the context of the conversation.

Thank You, James,  for answering all our questions. We hope to see you again at MTS, soon.

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