A commercial presentation these days is pretty much unthinkable without Microsoft Powerpoint, which is testimony to the program's comprehensive construction and accessible style. Once the preserve of flip charts and slide projectors presentations now run smoothly and unobtrusively with ever improving visually stimulating graphics providing the perfect illustrative backup to the issues under discussion.

Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 has now hit the market and, as with many software upgrades in this time of economic austerity, a large section of the public are wondering whether the enhancements really justify splashing the cash on the latest version.

This article aims to prove that even though PowerPoint has always been a classic program with few obvious flaws the 2010 update is well worth investing in.

For one thing this latest version allows the user much greater freedom in formatting a presentation and distributing it via various different media. PowerPoint's backstage menu (a souped-up version of the original file menu) now allows users to export a presentation as a High Definition video as well as creating CD and DVD-ROMs. These developments really take the commercial presentation out of the boardroom and into a much more public sphere where the user's ideas and abilities can be viewed by a significantly broader customer base.

Sharing as a whole is a key focus area of Microsoft PowerPoint 2010; every development seems geared to this particular end. The restrictions on file size for embedded media that blighted previous versions of the program have been lifted which, although clearly great news in terms of creativity, does also create problems when the presentation is being shared over the Internet. Or it would do had Microsoft not added the ability to compress files. This advance means that the user can effectively have their cake and eat it: near unlimited file size compatibility coupled with high enough levels of compression for sharing the files not to take forever and a day.

Another major step forward in presentation storage is Skydrive, the new free, online storage site for Microsoft PowerPoint presentations. This invaluable tool allows the user 25gb of storage which can be made totally public, kept completely private or shared with certain selected individuals depending on what the user desires.

Collaboration is stretched even further if you store your presentations on a local network as there is now the facility for two or more people to edit a presentation simultaneously which, given the intrinsically episodic nature of creating slides, is extremely useful from a time management point of view.

This article has merely scratched the surface of what the new and improved 2010 version of Microsoft PowerPoint can do. The advancements made in exporting, sharing and collaborating on presentations alone are significant enough to command investment in the software update yet there are a host of other improvements to the program in addition. In order to fully understand and benefit from these enhancements it is advisable to enrol on a training course, then you can truly astound your clients and colleagues with your presentational prowess!