Getting More out of Presentations with Congree and SCHEMA ST4

Blog post from Dec 10, 2019

When creating a set of slides in PowerPoint, there’s a temptation to become creative when cobbling content together. Presentation programs such as PowerPoint provide many options for doing this and hardly any limits are placed on things getting quickly out of hand. Although there’s a template in corporate design for each kind of slide, creative energy sometimes gets the upper hand in surprising ways. Due to a lack of organization in file directories, slide artists fail to check whether the texts and images copied from other presentations are still up-to-date.

This creates a colorful collection of slides. And soon a wild mix of presentations proliferates throughout the training or sales department.

Presentations: part of public perception

If only a single presentation is used, very few people are likely to notice any deviations from corporate design and corporate language. But once multiple sets of slides are out there, these differences leave an unprofessional impression behind. “Unruly” slides featuring a creative mess and different names for the same things certainly present a problem. In the worst case, both may result in indigestible content with zero effect. And outdated content is virtually equivalent to misinformation.

With luck, someone with loads of time can clean things up before it comes to that. Unfortunately, luck of this sort is all too rare.

PowerPoint from within the content management system

This is where the approach from doctima GmbH (available in German only) comes in: the production of PowerPoint presentations from within a content management system, specifically SCHEMA ST4. In general, any content stored in the content management system – whether multimedia, a data sheet or text fragment – can be managed as a separate building block. Our solution now makes it possible to assemble these building blocks and output them as presentation slides.

Modern information management is thus finding its way into your PowerPoint presentations. You get all of the associated benefits:

  • Texts that have already been translated can also be output as slides.
  • It’s ensured that only currently approved content and layouts are produced.
  • Reuse eliminates the need to maintain content that has been created more than once.

In addition to your own PowerPoint designs, you can also integrate the designs of your affiliated company or subsidiary and generate the right set of slides at the touch of a button. And you can avoid duplication of effort by using the variant control feature of the Content Management System for different products in the same product line.

You can still change things up when giving a presentation: The user controls which layout is created for a particular slide. However, boundaries are set on creativity. You decide on the kind of slides offered to users by default. This puts an end to arbitrary formatting excesses.

Controlled language for presentations

Integrating doctima's PowerPoint solution into the standard SCHEMA ST4 system is as straightforward as using Congree for presentations: Authors open slide content in the editor, update it, check it with Congree, and correct and save it. Using Congree in SCHEMA ST4 for this purpose is not only simple, it is also accompanied by considerable advantages. With its Terminology Component, Language Check and Authoring Memory, Congree ensures that your Tone of Voice is now also adhered to in sales and training presentations.

In addition to style, the spelling, grammar and terminology of your presentations are also checked. Congree avoids the use of different words for the same thing by controlling the consistent use of words and terms. This lowers the costs for translating PowerPoint slides that must be provided in more than one language. The consistency of the texts and their comprehensibility increases at the same time.

Language standardized in this way represents a great asset for companies, also and particularly for training methodology.

Conclusion

You can get more out of your presentations with the trio of Congree, content management system and PowerPoint. And authors in SCHEMA ST4 can do this from within their familiar working environment. This is different from creating (seemingly) creative slides. But it is actually a lot of fun. A new generation of slide artists may soon be emerging, but for sure a tidy collection of presentations.

The author

Romy Stauch is a technical writer and has been at doctima GmbH since 2016. She supports customers in information management and processes and is involved in XML development.

tl;dr

When many presentations are created within a company, over time this may result in creative chaos and different terms being used for the same things. In the worst case, both of these outcomes may lead to unintelligible content with zero impact. By creating presentations from a content management system and integrating authoring support software, you can avoid these problems and ensure a well-organized collection of presentations.