AI to help speaker presentations

As an event organiser, it’s not every day that you receive an email talking about Artificial Intelligence. I am sure that this will change over the coming years, but for the moment, AI and events? Tell me more!

“Have you ever wished someone would just make your presentation for you? New Haiku Deck Zuru uses artificial intelligence to convert an outline, a Wikipedia topic, or even an existing presentation  into a beautiful presentation automatically.”

Wow! I thought, I have to look into this. I watched the video introduction to Zuru. Wow! I thought. And then I tried it.

Speakers need all the support they can get right?

So I tried it. I pasted some of my notes into a template and then uploaded the slides. Here’s the presentation (the before Zuru did its thing):

Clearly, it needs some help!

Clearly, it needs some help!

And here is the presentation AFTER Zuru worked on it:

Artificial Intelligence? Or no intelligence

Artificial Intelligence? Or no intelligence?

Perhaps I was expecting too much from AI, however, after reading the introduction email and watching the video I was certainly promised a lot more than this!

Now I am the first to thank companies involved in our space for being innovative, and I know this is only at the Beta stage, however, I ask, am I wrong to expect a bit more than this from AI?

Proof that event planners still have a very important role to play when supporting their speakers

Maybe one day, a speaker will be able to talk for a few minutes to an interface and a wonderful presentation will pop out the other end, but that day isn’t any day soon. Until then, event planners must use their knowledge and experience to support our speakers.

Very often we receive presentations that look terrible. If we don’t add any value, these presentations will be a bad representation of our events and of course will show the speakers in a very bad light! Event Planners must have the confidence (backed up by the ability) to support speakers to deliver better presentations. This support for our speakers has to remain an important part of our role.

William is presenting a session at IBTM in Barcelona on “How to support speakers to make their sessions brilliant” on the 1st December. He won’t be using Zuru.

However, if you want to give it a try, do the following: click here or sign in at and look for the blue “Try Zuru” button.

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  • Thanks for giving the app a try and for the thoughtful review. Yes, Zuru works better in some circumstances than others and we have tons of wood to chop when it comes to making it handle all content in all forms flawlessly. This is the very reason we took the ‘try-before-you-buy’ approach with Zuru. When it works, it’s magic, and when it doesn’t it can be a let-down. Such can be case with ambitious new technologies.

    For what it’s worth, we have heard from quite a few users who are thrilled with the results from Zuru. This could be because their starting outline was simpler than your example, because the topic matter just worked better with the images we have at our disposal, the elation from having an alternative to traditional presentation tools, or a combination of the lot. It may also have something to do with the choices that the user makes in guiding Zuru. For example, in the next step of the process (after the watermarked thumbnails you show), paying users may change the layouts and slide-types to put a finished polish to the presentation.

    I hope your readers will give Zuru a try and send us feedback to advance our mission of making it 10x faster and easier for everyone to create presentations that are 10x better. One thing we’ll do in the short term is try to set expectations better so that the user looks for more like an assist on their presentation instead of one-click and you’re done kind of experience.

    Again, thank you for trying the app and for sharing your feedback.

    • williamthomson December 12, 2016   Reply →

      Adam. Thanks for taking the time to reply to my review. Best of luck with the development of Zuru.

  • Ashwath May 15, 2017   Reply →

    Using Artificial Intelligence in event is a great concept and would love see more of AI in future events.The blog post was very knowledgeable and looking for more such post..

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