Microsoft MVP and presentation consultant and designer Sandra Johnson gets a lot of “interesting” requests from her clients, but this one might the most frequent. (Another common one: “Can you train me to present like Steve Jobs?”)
These types of professional challenges keep the affable Midwesterner on her toes, even after several decades of working in her field. Johnson, who got her start in Advertising in Minnesota’s Twin Cities, has enjoyed a front-row seat as digital technology has transformed the world of business communications.
“When I started out, companies would ask me to do weird things, like convert an eight-track video to a .wmv to use in a PowerPoint presentation,” she remembered. “We also couldn’t embed videos in early version of PowerPoint, so there were a lot of workarounds and sending media in zip files, even sending files on disk through overnight mail to clients. It was crazy.”
Sandra is also a founding director and former president of the Presentation Guild—a nonprofit organization dedicated to elevating the presentation industry and legitimizing it as a career path. Over the last three decades, she’s seen PowerPoint evolve to become the powerful software tool it is today — a program used by millions worldwide for work, school, or just for fun.