You can now create presentations in Workflowy, with a single click. Just write your content, click a button, and get a simple, elegant presentation. No fiddling or fussing with formatting, just thinking and presenting. While we’re at it, we’ve enabled a new type of top-down presentation that helps you think and communicate more clearly.
You can see examples of all this in the Oscar-worthy demo video above.
How to activate Instant Presentations
- Open your Workflowy settings.
- Ensure that ‘Workflowy Labs’ is enabled.
- Scroll down the menu and toggle on ‘Instant Presentations.’
After closing the settings screen, you’ll see a ‘Play’ button in the header bar.
Focus on your ideas, not on formatting
Presentations are powerful, but annoying to create. You may know exactly what you want to say, and write it down in five minutes, but you’ll likely still spend an hour fiddling, nudging things back and forth, trying to get it to look nice.
Workflowy presentations eliminate this problem. We bring all your attention to the content and structure of your ideas, and then automatically generate a presentation that looks good enough.
Step 1: Make an outline
Step 2: Hit the little “play” button
The little play button next to the search box launches presentation mode.
You’ll see a charming little presentation with forward and backward buttons. As you navigate through slides it displays one line at a time, so you can create suspense as you reveal the depths of your genius.
Present ideas in a pyramid
We’ve added a Workflowy-ish wrinkle (dare I say … innovation?) to our presentation feature. It’s something that I think is unique to us, though honestly, I have done extremely little research (technically, none) to back that statement up.
Workflowy presentations let you structure your ideas in a pyramid, and present them from the top down. It makes it easy to start with the big picture and gradually fill in the details.
This way of presenting ideas is called the “Pyramid Principle”. The term was coined in the 1980s at McKinsey, by Barbara Minto (her story). McKinsey teaches its consultants to use the Pyramid Principle to make their points clear and persuasive. Given that McKinsey gets paid billions to present ideas to Presidents and CEOs, they probably know what they’re talking about.
In Workflowy, you can generate this type of pyramid presentation by creating slides within slides. The app then presents these nested slides in top down order. You can see an example of this in the demo video above.
How to create a pyramid presentation
If you want to create a slide within a slide in Workflowy, it’s almost too simple: you just indent something.
- Each slide can only have one level of bullet points.
- If any bullet has bullets indented under it, it becomes a nested slide.
- The nested slide will be presented after its parent slide.
It’s honestly so simple, that it is hard to explain. I’ll try anyway.
An example: Hamsters at Pepsi
Imagine you’re proposing the brilliant idea that Pepsi co increase employee morale through forced hamster adoption. You’ve got the following slide, which you’ll be presenting to the CEO of Pepsi:
But upon reviewing the slide, you feel compelled to say more about the third point, “Sociable and interactive”. To add a new slide expanding on this point, you simply add the new content directly inside “Social and interactive”. Like this.
Now, the first slide will be:
And the second slide will be:
And you will definitely get a standing ovation from the Pepsi management team. Strong work.
This way of presenting takes a little getting used to. It does, however, have benefits that make it worth investing a little time in learning.
Low friction presentations are the future of humanity!
It wouldn’t be a product announcement without a bombastic, grandiose claim. So, here you go. Workflowy’s low friction presentations are 100% guaranteed to change the way everyone in the world communicates. Our fractal pyramid presentations will help people think and communicate with profound clarity, giving great power to all who use them. If you don’t start using them all the time, the other side will, and they’ll win, and you’ll lose. So don’t make that mistake.
Let us know what you think
But seriously, please play with instant presentations in Workflowy and let us know what you think in the comments. Two questions I’m curious about:
- Would you use this? Why? Why not?
- If you try using this in a real setting, what was it? How did it go?
Aaaaand, that’s all folks.