A leading American managerial practices expert has said that interactive whiteboards are becoming a dominant means of engaging people in presentations and business meetings.

Wayne Turmel, the self-styled ‘Cranky Middle Manager’, said that whiteboards remain on the of the least-used tools in a presentation room, but can easily contribute to making meetings more engaging, increase participation and actually help keep people accountable for their action items.

“[People are] attracted by colour, light and motion. When there is something interesting to look at, we engage,” he said. “When there isn't, we go off and answer email or try to beat our best time at Free Cell Solitaire. Whiteboards are powerful tools for keeping people visually connected to the conversation at hand.”

He said that whiteboards allow presenters to visually demonstrate how certain results or situations are achieved, rather than simply displaying the result in a PowerPoint presentation and bearing the burden of aurally engaging the audience.

“Once you get used to the many ways you can use a white board […] you realise that there are plenty of alternatives,” he said. “You can simply open a Word document and share the application. Use the text tool to actually write on a PowerPoint slide or other visual.”