Ask the Board – July 9, 2018 | MARGOT MYERS


“Most screens are now in the 16:9 format. Even PowerPoint recommends 16:9 as the default standard for presentations. How do you convince the die-hard executive who clings to his or her 4:3 materials, saying that it prints better?”

If the die-hard executive calling the shots is a non-media-savvy intransigent who cannot be confused with the facts because he (or she) has already decided that 4:3 is the way to go, I’d say you are up a creek without a paddle.

On the other hand, if the decision-maker is willing to listen to reason, some good points to make might include:

  • Today, the widescreen 16:9 format has become the standard and 4:3, which used to be called “standard,” is now far less commonly used.
  • PowerPoint defaults to 16:9, and it also is the most common format today for digital displays of most sizes (except perhaps for cellphones).
  • PowerPoint presentations are designed to be seen and not printed. If the exec feels like a printed handout is needed, it should be developed as a separate handout for the presentation. (This is especially true if the content on the PowerPoint slides is what it should be – large graphics and minimal type. No one likes to be read six or eight bullet points from a slide.)
  • Accept that there are occasions when 4:3 is a better option, such as in a hotel ballroom where the screen size is better suited to that option because of its size and configuration.

About Author

Director, Global Marketing & Communications
The Platt Retail Institute

Industry Consultants Council

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