It’s a known fact that innovation is the basic requirement in every marketing assignment; where the whole idea is to let open the flood gates of creativity and let the waters flow. And the professor made sure we took creativity in ‘presentation’ to a whole new level by making us return to the way we made presentations in school. And I can quite easily say that a lot of us found the whole experience quite amusing.
Anyone who has worked for at least a couple of years in industry would completely agree that we are solely dependent on good old Microsoft PowerPoint for any sort of presentation. The moment the boss asks us to make a presentation, conventionally, out comes PowerPoint and people furiously adding animations and slide transitions. And for many of us, to think about presenting a subject any other way is blasphemy. There remains a certain comfort in reading from slides and seeing the usual standard graphics and templates offered to us by the software. And all of us have frowned at someone who has dared to be different. When the professor announced that the various study groups had to present their topics on ‘Creative Destruction’, for the majority, our heads must have started working out what animations to include and the usual jazz that comes along with MS-PowerPoint.
However, much to our surprise, our horror and our disbelief ( and other synonyms that indicate we were completely uncomfortable with status quo). The professor asked us to present the topic using chart paper. Chart paper? Yes…chart paper. He said he’s had enough of seeing mundane presentations and it’s high time we got innovative. And by innovation, he took us back to school. He was serious, and this wasn’t one of the double takes I have come to expect. He actually meant it. We were expected to make use of good old chart paper and colour markers to make the presentation. At least for me, this was tantamount to stepping back into the Stone Age. What was he going to ask us to do next? Cave drawings on the new spiffy campus walls?
The college almost resembles a collage-making competition like the ones we had back in school. Mature adults – behaving like school children, drawing on chart paper, sticking pictures, using coloured sketch pens and the works. One can’t but help laugh that life has gone full circle. People are running around taking print outs, and for once cutting and pasting does not involve ctrl+c and ctrl+v. For a lot of us who have grown up having poor old mum or an aunt do these assignments while we indulged in a game of cricket, this was absolutely unfamiliar territory. Come to think of it, I guess that is the whole purpose of this course, to prepare you to expect the unexpected. Looks like we can expect more such innovative methods to be back in vogue quite soon. Who knows, the next time we might have to resort to the use of shadow puppets or mimes to promote a product.
– Nikhilesh Murthy