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Conclusion

Today, presentations of widely diverse types, genres and formats are a defining feature both of the workplace and of companies’ external relations. They owe this prominent role in large measure to the development of electronic devices for the visualisation of information and to the popularisation of presentation software. Certainly, slide presentations are by no means always the best way of meeting communication needs. But, as Beaudouin (2008: 12) also emphasises, they provide a reasonable solution in a number of situations, such as customer contact and project-oriented work - especially in view of the intensified work patterns and evergrowing distractions that increasingly divide employees’ attention. As a result, the boom will probably continue, while also following general tendencies in the field of media and their usage. It is thus not surprising that all well-known software producers are working on ways to facilitate the collaborative preparation of presentations, in line with the trend towards participation in social media.

Digital nomadism, together with increasing bandwidths for video transmissions and the availability of special software, finds its expression in webinars where participants are linked only virtually. Here, too, recipes for success are propagated (cf. Hermann-Ruess and Ott 2014). As regards hardware-software integration, the current trend is towards seamless transitions between different devices (ranging from smartphones to tablets, notebooks and PCs, possibly running on different operating systems). This applies to both production and reception of presentations that were recorded or are being held at a particular moment in another location. This translates into yet more distinct forms, for instance iPad presentations (cf. Flume: 2013). One possible technical development that could further transform presentations is the popularisation of 3-D printers, which enable the use of objects to enhance understanding. This would, in a sense, establish a link to those original forms of presentations which relied mainly on showing objects. To do justice to all these forms under ever-changing conditions, the “praxis” described at the beginning of this contribution will undoubtedly have to evolve further.

 
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