Taking the pain out of building that slideshow deck

Can technology help improve your corporate presentations? Q&A with Shufflrr CEO James Ontra.
Written by Colin Barker, Contributor

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Founded in 2014, Shufflrr is a company that wants to help anyone who has to do corporate presentations to look good.

As CEO and founder, James Ontra points out, the slideshow management company isn't out to replace PowerPoint but augment it. Customers include ADP, Time Warner Cable and Bloomberg.

ZDNet recently spoke to Ontra to learn more about the company.


Shufflrr's James Ontra: "The CEO needs to look good and you have to get 55 slides together in two minutes. No problem."

Image: Shufflrr

ZDNet: You bill yourself as the company that streamlines corporate presentations. How do you do that?

James Ontra: Shufflrr is about managing workflow for presentations. Fundamentally, it allows users to pull slides together and use and reuse their content very quickly, easily and re-purposed for their audience.

At a technical level, it is a content management system that treats presentations with special care. In effect, every file uploaded -- the majority, but not all, are PowerPoint -- is visualised, which means you see them as slides.

And when you sort through this content, this marketing content, you see it and you just drag and drop it into your in-tray and create new presentations.

For example the CEO needs to look good and you have to get 55 slides together in two minutes. No problem, you put the slides together, you get it out and the CEO does a great pitch.

That's fine but, let's say that three days later corporate start looking for that presentation and find that it's still at the Marriott and and they have to start from scratch again.

Now if you have Shufflrr, it's like having a slide library available with all your marketing content, your PDFs, your videos your PowerPoints and so on. And when a company manages their slide library -- their Shufflrr library -- they can visualise the content, drag and drop it and re-use or re-purpose that content into new presentations.

Now traditional presentations are about "telling".

If I have slides for someone I am going to meet, I can assemble the slides together and then show you slide one, then two, then three.

You are showing your presentation and on slide three, you someone says, "I didn't know your company had a London office". And you can say, "Yes, we do".

Now, because you haven't planned for that, you have no way to deal with that.

But when you have a slide library, a Shufflrr library, behind you, very quickly you can tell them about the London office. You type the word "London" and you can see the slide right there. You click on it, the slide comes up and you can talk about the London office.

And then, because you know where and how the slides are made you could go to a bigger menu of information about the London office. When you have completed that conversation, that's when "selling" happens versus "telling".

Now when you have exhausted that part of the conversation, we have a little thing we call "The Boomerang" and you click on that icon and it brings you back to your presentation where you left off.

Fundamentally, Shufflrr is a content management system that visualises content when it uploads and when you see the file. As opposed to just seeing the name, you just drag and drop the slides into your presentation. As such, it creates efficiencies in creation, use, re-use, updating, distributing, sharing and broadcasting. And then there is the tracking and analytics that come back from it -- who's using what slides and in what order, throughout your global enterprise.

Presentations are still something you have to do yourself. You have to go hunting around for the things you need. Shufflrr allows for strategy behind your presentations in your global enterprise.

Shufflrr takes your presentations and gives you a faster, better way of putting them together?

That's what Shufflrr does. Instead to looking at your presentation as a, "I want it done by Thursday morning for this group of important people at this event", think of your company as, we've got 250 important slides that tell our whole message. And the slides tell that message is, who we are, what we do and how we do it. There are slides for detail, slides for corporate overview, slides for your history of your company and your marketing is cultivating these things.

These slides can ensure that your corporate message is exactly right. And when people are in the field, they don't want to have to remake the founding of the company slide when it's relevant. They just want to slide it and use it.

To be quite frank it's marketing who need to manage this. So if marketing have these 250 slides then people in the field can quickly say, "I'm going to talk about these 20 points", and populate their slides as fast as you can put items in your inbox.


With Shufflrr, you can easily see which content you've used before -- and when and why you've used it.

Image: Shufflrr

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