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I wrote a post earlier this year questioning the validity of the seemingly multitudinous numbers of applications offering a PowerPoint alternative – it just seems to be an exercise destined for futility. At the time, and after a brief glimpse of the Sliderocket offering I lumped them in with this class of service.

When I was in the bay area a month or so ago I spent some time with CEO Chuck Dietrich and really got to take a deep look at where they are heading – the discussion we had culminated in Chuck writing a guest post for us recently. It also culminated in me changing my view as to the viability of Sliderocket as a business and in fact my impression of what they’re all about.

Yesterday saw the release of the next chapter in that story, Sliderocket released Slide Audio, a new feature enabling users to easily record audio to slides quickly. In one fell swoop Sliderocket goes from a traditional presentation tool to a complete, integrated and automatable presentation offering. Of course users could always drop an audio file into an existing presentation, but this allows on the fly audio recording with a presentation. As I said (admittedly somewhat effusively) to Chuck this morning:

in one fell swoop you’ve taken on Camtasia and Webex (kind of). It’s a really compelling change… you’re not a visual presentation product anymore so much an end to end virtual presenter platform… if that makes sense

I asked Chuck for a soundbite that encapsulated where they’re going with this – his response:

People want to consume information when they want it – our TV is on-demand, our movies are on-demand. Now, companies can easily create sales pitches and other content to be viewed on-demand by prospects, customers, employees, when they want it. With SlideRocket‘s new Audio feature, we’re giving sales & marketing teams, educators, trainers and more the ability to easily add an informative and personalized audio track to their beautiful and engaging presentations and we’re making it possible for viewers to absorb this information on their own time.   Best of all it’s as easy to make as click of button. 

It really is the start of a time where users can consume their information at will and on-demand. It’s doing to presentations what Wikipedia did to limited library hours and inaccessible Encyclopaedia sets. It changes expectations and changes the paradigm.

Of course it’s not as easy as that and the biggest issue facing Sliderocket is that they’re seen as simply a PowerPoint replacement. Sliderocket waxes poetic about the opportunities for this on their post saying:

Using presentations as a vehicle for sales pitches? Win deals. Sell More.

Using slide audio, you can create presentations with personalized sales pitches that your prospects can view and then forward around to their colleagues. With audio on each slide you can have different spokespeople for different slides to help your message come alive. Your sales team will be selling and closing deals in their sleep, thanks to SlideRocket’s on-demand presentations.

Using presentations to train your employees? Keep them engaged.

Build reusable training presentations in minutes that have all the details needed to successfully train your employees or customers. Forget about boring bullet points – thanks to your audio, you can use less text on your slides with engaging images to help keep the audience attentive.

Using presentations as a communication tool for your customers? Keep them in the loop.

By simply sending your customers a link to your presentation, your audio will walk them through the details of your message, slide by slide. Now, your entire organization can be on point, with consistent messaging.

Check out a sample presentation here – it’s a little cheesy but gives you an idea of what audio + presentations can mean.

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Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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