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You ask a 5th grade student for presentation tool and she will name Microsoft PowerPoint. This is the impact this tool has put into our lives since its launch in 1987. Since inception it is most widely used tool for presentations in corporate world too.

However I feel that most of the people don’t understand basic principles of storytelling (which is an art more than science). They end up building their presentations by just grouping non-interactive slides containing text, bullet points, tables, images and graphs. With such presentations it become a tough task for decision makers to reach a conclusion as these slides cannot support real time questions with facts. I strongly believe that Microsoft PowerPoint is very strong tool but there is a strong need to either teach people to enhance storytelling skills or provide a framework to overcome this situation.

I recently came across SAP Digital Boardroom available with SAP Analytics cloud. I found it very interesting and refreshing.

I intend to write a detailed blog for each of the following storytelling steps facilitated by SAP Digital Boardroom. Here is the summary:

  • First Craft Your Story Structure: You should think like a storyboard. Before even you start building slides/dashboard on each topic you must outline the structure of big picture you want to present, the information that you want audience to learn and the outcome that you are expecting. In SAP Digital Boardroom you start with building Agenda for the presentation. You choose theme and presenter for each of the agenda topic. You can even assign photos for each of the topic.

  • Build Stories for each topic: Once you have completed the agenda for your presentation, you can start working on specific topics. In SAP Analytics cloud you can build stories based on live data sources as well as acquired data from variety of other data sources including offline excels or CSVs. I would recommend to build responsive pages so that you don’t encounter issues while presenting on different screens.

  • Attach stories to agenda topics: Once your stories are ready the next step is to attach these stories to agenda topics. There is very simple drag and drop step.

  • Run the meeting: SAP Digital boardroom provides a very simple navigation while you are telling story. With the story topics you have built you can :

    • Drive the discussions based on live data and putting live picture of the organization

    • Answer Ad-hoc questions on the spot

    • Generate forecasts on the fly based on different criteria (smart predict)

    • Run through what-if scenarios

    • Use smart insights

    • Drill down through hierarchies

  • Take Notes: For each of the topic you can note down meeting minutes, open points and next steps on the fly.


SAP Digital Boardroom is a great presentation tool and when it is clubbed with SAP Analytics cloud stories, it can transform meetings by replacing static and stale presentations with interactive stories which is otherwise not that easy to achieve in Microsoft PowerPoint. This tool provides a framework for storytelling and facilitates one to present information effectively. It could potentially save audience a lot of unproductive time too.
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