Can AI Make Your Presentations Better?
Since the launch of ChatGPT in November 2022, the artificial intelligence (AI) landscape has been evolving rapidly, with new tools being introduced at an astonishing rate of 10–15 per week. It's an exciting time, but also challenging to keep up with the constant influx of innovations.
The AI Buzz
Recently, the AI community has been abuzz with claims that these new tools have the power to effortlessly generate high-quality presentations from mere prompts or data, within minutes. The narrative suggests that AI will revolutionize the way in which we approach preparing presentations and that this is probably the end of PowerPoint and other time-tested tools. But should we be so quick to write off our tried-and-tested methods?
Evaluating AI's Contribution
As someone interested in using AI tools and as a Master trainer in communication and presentation skills, I decided to put these AI-powered tools to the test. I must admit that it was impossible to test every tool out there, so I decided to check out the top 5 tools everyone mentioned and which were found on the first page of every Google search. These were as follows (in no particular order):
- https://gamma.app/ (my personal favorite because of its ease of use, excellent referral program and the ability to export your presentation in PowerPoint format)
What I discovered might not align with the prevailing hype. I am a physician and medical educator who regularly creates a variety of slide decks on various topics for diverse audiences. I tried using some of these AI tools to create content and slides for my presentations. The AI-generated presentations were created in less than a minute, with few prompts, and provided good outlines, images, and backgrounds.
However, the content was generic and did not contain the specific scientific details that were needed for my audience. In addition, they lacked the personal touch and animations that can truly elevate a presentation. In some cases, the images generated were not even related to the topic of the presentation. Another major drawback was that many of these AI tools required monthly or yearly subscriptions for anything beyond basic use, and some even charged for exporting presentations as PowerPoint slides. The subscription costs may not be affordable to most practitioners based in low- and middle-income countries.
I recommend these AI-generated presentations as tools for generating ideas and as templates to build upon, while infusing them with your own creativity, knowledge, and flair.
The Reality of AI
There are some limitations to AI for presentations which must be acknowledged instead of getting swept away by the current hype. One limitation is that AI tools are still not as good as humans at understanding the nuances of language and communication. This means that AI-generated presentations can sometimes sound unnatural or robotic. They may even create slides based on incorrect or outdated information. Additionally, the free versions have limited functionality and most AI tools require a subscription that can be expensive and may not be affordable in the developing world.
The Human Connection
Let's not forget a fundamental aspect of presentations — it's not just about the tool employed or the slides displayed. Ultimately, the best presentations are those that are both technically sound and engaging. Presentations provide a platform for human connection. People attend to hear a person talking to them, to connect on a human level. Despite the buzz around AI-based content creation, the value of human presentations and good communication cannot be overstated. AI can help with the technical aspects of creating a presentation, but it cannot replace the human element. A good presenter needs to be able to connect with their audience, build rapport, and deliver their message in a clear and concise way.
A Balance to Strive For
In this era of AI revolution, we should strive for a balance between relying on AI tools to enhance our presentations and honing our communication skills to deliver engaging talks. AI should be seen as an assistant and not as a replacement. By blending technology with a human connection, we can create presentations that inspire, inform, and captivate our audiences. The future might be AI-augmented, but it's the human element that will always breathe life into presentations and leave a lasting impact.
Here are some tips for using AI to improve your presentations:
- Use AI tools to generate outlines and slide layouts.
- Use AI tools to find relevant images and videos.
- Use AI tools to check for grammar and spelling errors.
- Use AI tools to practice your presentation delivery.
But don't forget the human element!
- Make eye contact with the audience.
- Speak clearly and in a loud voice so as to be audible to everyone in the room.
- Use humor and storytelling to engage your audience.
- Prepare well and practice.
- Be yourself and let your personality shine through.
AI is a powerful tool that can be used to enhance presentations. However, it is important to remember that AI is not a replacement for human creativity or ingenuity. When used correctly, AI can be a valuable asset for presenters, helping them to create more engaging and persuasive presentations.
(This blog post is based on a LinkedIn post by the author: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/farooqrathore_ai-powerpoint-animations-activity-7084773379571949570-aslv?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_desktop.)
Dr. Farooq Rathore is an AuthorAID Steward (https://www.authoraid.info/en/about/authoraid-team/ ). He is currently an Associate Professor and consultant physician specializing in Rehabilitation Medicine and Pain Medicine at the Armed Forces Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine (AFIRM), Pakistan.