Bandersnatch and PowerPoint

Black Mirror’s latest instalment is a creep-fest called Bandersnatch... and it has a lot more in common with PowerPoint than you might think.

The latest episode of famed Netflix original series Black Mirror was especially unique. The new feature-length instalment is titled Bandersnatch. It gives viewers the option to decide the outcome of certain events by choosing for the characters. Just like in those classic choose-your-own-adventure books and games.

Bandersnatch has been widely applauded for doing something new with online streaming media. Critics have also praised Netflix for taking a chance with this kind of interactive content. It’s something that has only been previously used on children’s shows such as Minecraft: Story Mode. With Bandersnatch, Netflix invites adults to take charge of the narrative. This results in a different viewing experience each time.

Black Mirror using interactive presentation techniques How Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch is similar to PowerPoint’s Zoom

Two things struck us when we watched the film here at F5. Firstly, it’s great. Screenwriter and creator Charlie Brooker has yet again produced something that was equal parts fun and disturbing (that’s a talent, that). Secondly, we were very excited to see how quickly the media, critics, and general public seemed to take to the idea of interactive narratives.

Because that is what we make. That is how Bandersnatch and PowerPoint are similar.

Zoom

The 2016 update to PowerPoint included something truly amazing called Zoom. This handy little feature allowed presentation designers to do what we’ve been aching to do for years. We could now create non-linear presentations.

This means that the notion of a traditional presentation, where a series of slides were shown in order, wasn’t the only way. We could make huge and complex decks of slides that the presenter could navigate at will. They can leap and hop from one PowerPoint section to the other, just like viewers can do in Bandersnatch.

For business presenters that was extremely liberating. If a potential client wanted to hear about a very specific part of a sales pitch, the presenter could ‘Zoom’ immediately to that relevant part. There was no need to awkwardly flip over all the slides in between. Even better, presenters would never again have to say the dreaded “I’ll get to that part later…”.

Which is essentially telling your audience to shut up and wait.

Using Zoom in PowerPoint to create an interactive presentation Finding the Zoom feature in PowerPoint

Zoom allowed us to create truly bespoke, modular, flexible, and interactive presentations. Just like Black Mirror used Netflix’s online credentials to do the same with a television episode. So Bandersnatch and PowerPoint have a lot in common.

Possibilities

We urge you to watch Bandersnatch, as well as other interactive online content. Doing so might change your idea of what a presentation could be for you in 2019. If your organisation is looking to update their sales or marketing slide decks this year, think about how user interaction could benefit your story-telling.

Bandersnatch hit home with us. Apart from being a great technical feat, the most important thing about it was the story. Telling stories seems so important to Brooker and the Black Mirror team that with Bandersnatch they have striven to alter our perception of what a story can be.

With the increasing popularity of virtual reality, 360-degree, and immersive content on platforms like YouTube, it seems that our ideas of what a story should be, and how it is presented, are changing. Bandersnatch highlights that and drops it into the mainstream.

So how will that influence you?

Using Zoom in PowerPoint to liberated presentations Freedom at last from linear presentations

Interactive presentations

You might imagine your presentation as a traditional narrative. A beginning, middle and end. That makes total sense. Our brains are far better at taking on both information, and human emotion, when it is presented as a story. We’re naturally coded to love stories; we want to hear them, see them, and tell them.

Most speeches follow this pattern and do so for good reason. Great orators are attempting to get people on their side. They want to change minds and hearts to their way of seeing the world. Establishing an emotional connection is key to this, and telling a personal story, one that most people can relate to, is the way to go.

However, not all presenters are politicians, or tech moguls, or war leaders, or motivational speakers. A rigid, fixed-path narrative isn’t always the best choice, especially in a fast-paced, high-pressure business environment.

That is where interactive presentation design can step in. With the ability to tailor the flow of the presentation to his or her audience, the user can guarantee maximum impact and effectiveness. Therefore one presentation - a single PowerPoint file - can be used for different situations and different purposes. Presenting to the CEO of a multinational one day, but friends and colleagues the next? Same presentation, but different sections are visited.

Interact with us

We can’t promise you mind-bending and creepy 1980s video game adventures like Bandersnatch, but we do guarantee incredible PowerPoint. Future Present use a design and consultation service that is already ahead of the game in terms of interactive presentations. We can build you a deck for all occasions and even teach you how to use it like a presenting master.

Get in touch today to talk to one of the team. It’ll be the best choice you’ll make all year.

January 8, 2019

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