In the old days a screen saver was meant to avoid burn-in on a CRT or plasma screen but nowadays screen savers are primarily used for entertainment, security or to display information. At home you are using the screen saver to display a series of pictures of your wife or children, favorite pets or your latest holiday pictures. In an office environment you can use this mechanism to display company news, targets, schedules, new employees, sales and production figures and so on. Displaying images like at home is very simple. Select folder, set the display duration, random sequence or not. An office communication channel is a bit more difficult because the user needs to display slides with text and figures, sometimes combined with charts and tables. Then, the user needs to update it quickly whenever the user has something new to tell. Images here are no option at all. The user need is a presentation, like a PowerPoint presentation. The screen saver is a list of slides, a slide per topic, where the user designs what people are seeing like they would attend an internal meeting. Emphasize what the user wants to tell. Set the targets.
PowerPoint is Made for Presenting
The presentation is running as a slide show and the sequence of the slides is very important to accentuate the message. Unlike an image that the user designs, start with a slide and add shapes to it. Normal text boxes, tables, charts, call-outs, arrows, pointers; all shapes that the user can draw on the slide and type in directly the text or numbers. The advantage here is that the user do not need a designer to write a presentation.
Cut Papers Costs
Probably the company is distributing announcements and reporting on paper with manual distribution or a letter box per employee. Save on paper by using an existing computer monitor.
The user can open and edit an existing presentation, change some data, add or remove slides and save it. That’s all need to do to update the screen saver content.
More Accurate than Intranet
Intranet implementations were announced to be the communication method with employees but they forgot one important thing. The user has to go to the intranet to view the information. That is a manual action and people have to think about it. Then, can set it as the start page of the internet browser, but still it will not be that attractive as a presentation.
With PowerPoint, the user can create a master theme and have the colors, graphics, font, font size, etc. repeated throughout the presentation. If the user wants to change any of these, the entire presentation is updated. The theme can be used for multiple presentations.
PowerPoint makes it east to insert or drag pictures or even videos on the slide. The user can add pictures of the products, people or stock photo metaphors along with illustrations and charts. But more important here is to message, the user can animate the number, the user can emphasize the messages.
Call to Action
The user slide can act as an invitation for a given event. It can be linked to a larger in-depth document residing on a file server.
Target your Audience
The user can run a custom presentation per department. Tell sales expectations to the sales department. Show safety messages to the production staff.
A given message will be shown repeatedly when people are on the phone, coming back from a meeting, coming in after lunch, while talking to colleagues. Repeating the message will remind people about targets, important milestones, tasks and more.
Automatically Updated Data
Using PowerPoint plugins like DataPoint, the can link the presentation to data sources like Excel, RSS feeds, and databases. Now the data will automatically update with the latest figures daily or even hourly. The latest messages, sales information, production figures and any other data is already updated in the presentation while running.
How to use PowerPoint as a Screen Saver?
This will be discussed in a next article. There are 3 options to use a PowerPoint presentation as a screen saver.