If there is one social media platform that has changed the way we connect with the world around us, in only 140 characters or less, only one network comes to mind.
Twitter was founded all the way back in 2006, when social media started to take the tech world by storm. Like many young startups, Twitter’s popularity didn’t start growing until a few years later. It’s now one of the ten most visited sites on the Internet.
With over 500 million users and with over 400 million tweets sent daily, the platform has been noted as the “SMS” of the Internet. The application is simply designed to engage and connect users with hashtags and trending topics that spike during notable world events such as The Olympics.
Social media strategists now use Twitter to reinforce their client’s (or own brands) marketing efforts. They take advantage of the platform to boost their presence on the Internet. To successfully use Twitterthere are a few rules and regulations one must follow. Some of these guidelines are also applicable in creating an effective PowerPoint presentation.
If you pay attention, there are a few similarities between creating a well-rounded “tweet” and a successful presentation.
Step 1: Simplify Your Thoughts
A tweet can only be 140 characters or less. This means your information has to be condensed and minimized to fit this requirement. A great presentation is one that is simplified. It only has minimal bullets, text, images, and animation.
Overloading your audience with too much of these will distract them from understanding your content. Before you go ahead and add extreme fonts or a fancy template, think about how less is more and how this can positively affect your presentation.
Step 2: Get With What’s Trending
Twitteris known for staying on top of prominent world topics with phrases or words that are “trending” or being tweeted by many users. Try to apply this concept to your presentation ideas.Utilize culturally in tune graphics, stories or videos within your presentation to better speak to your audience. Stay on top of the news and understand what’s going on in your audience’s culture. What do they know? What do they believe in? Knowing this ahead of time will allow you to connect with your audience at a higher level.
Step 3: Get Your Audience to Follow
Within the Twitterworld, your “followers” are the equivalent to your friends on Facebook or connections on LinkedIn. You have to constantly engage and entertain your audience or followers if you want them to keep following. The same can be said for presentations.
You want to be constantly interacting with your audience the entire time. Ask them questions. Pause at the end of presentations to get feedback from them. You have to appeal to your audience over everything, if not you are basically speaking to an empty room.
“Keeping Your Audience in Mind : The 4 Essential Questions.” SlideGenius, Inc. December 11, 2013. Accessed January 23, 2014.
“Study Shows Simplicity Is Key When Creating a PowerPoint Presentation.” SlideGenius, Inc. July 24, 2013. Accessed January 23, 2014. Twitter. Accessed January 23, 2014.
Cue the famed actresses in overly expensive ball gowns. Cue the undeniably sarcastic and quirky host. Cue the applauses. It’s awards season in Hollywood.
The most prestigious, of the film awards, is of course the much anticipated Oscars. Every year The Academy nominates a few fortunate actors and actresses who are praised for their works in major motion pictures. It is a special award that every actor dreams of receiving. Only a few, however, are lucky enough to actually walk on stage and accept the gold statue themselves. After the nerve-wracking tearing of the envelope the winners are then presented on stage to deliver a speech. This speech defines their Oscar moments even as it is only done in less than two minutes.
So what can we compare an Oscar speech to?
An Elevator Pitch
Short. Simple. Sweet. And most of all, straight to the point. An elevator pitch presents a product or service in as less time as possible – usually under two minutes.
An Oscar speech follows the similar concept. It delivered quickly, with the winner wrapping up his speech of gratitude and thanks in a very small amount of time. There are a few similar adjectives that we can use to compare a successful elevator pitch (which is usually paired with a PowerPoint presentation and a well rounded Oscar speech:
An elevator pitch, just like an Oscar speech, should be between 30 seconds to two minutes. You should impose a strict time limit to your pitches. Drawing out your pitch will make your audience become disinterested in your points and, worse, stop paying attention.
As much as possible, get your points across swiftly and avoid using fillers. Condense your content into the simplest form possible within your pitch. Your goal is to allow audience to understand and learn.
Like many elevator pitches that investors and or potential clients hear daily, there are dozens of Oscar speeches going on throughout the night of the Academy Awards. A good pitch is one that is unique and becomes memorable over the other various pitches, one that stands out.
If your idea gets lost in a blur with the rest, it wasn’t a very successful one. You always remember the most unique speech of the night when you watch The Academy Awards. The same can be said for the most unique and successful pitch.
An effective acceptance speech is one that is delivered with passion and pride. It simply draws you in. You can apply the same principles to an elevator pitch.
While a well-rounded Oscar speech ends with a riveting and memorable closing line, your pitch should end with a passionate power statement. When delivering a pitch, you want to present yourself to your audience as being as credible as possible. You can earn your credibility by pitching with plenty of passion.
Olympians are no ordinary athletes. They embody the qualities of an essential role model; an individual who represents their country and values in a positive and inspirational light. Not only are these characters unbelievably talented, but they are also a true description of a genuine champion.
With Sochi 2014 quickly approaching, Olympians from all corners of the globe will join together in Russia competing in various winter sports such as skiing, figure skating, snowboarding, and hockey. These athletes have devoted their months, and even years, to rigorous training and practice. Their hard work and dedication will soon pay off as the XXII Olympic Winter Games becomes their time to present.
Embracing the qualities that are associated with hardworking, well-respected Olympians will allow you to become a more effective presenter in the long run. Whether you’re speaking in front of a board of investors or pitching a sale to potential clients, perseverance and dedication will set you apart from the rest and allow your presentation to become effective and memorable.
There are a few questions to ask yourself before you step out on the ice or snow and present. These are the vital traits and questions Olympians from all backgrounds share in order to become gold medalists. Prior to your next PowerPoint presentation give yourself a few minutes to ask yourself these winning questions.
Have you trained adequately?
Olympians dedicate their entire lives in preparation for the big games. Long hours of training, dieting and exercise become their daily routine. A question to always ask yourself prior to your presentation is: How well prepared are you? Here are a few other guiding questions:
Will my audience be able to understand my main points?
Is this presentation marketable?
Does my pitch flow accordingly with my slides?
Do you have a strong will to win?
Olympians must have a passionate desire to go for the gold and win; take this mentality and apply it to your presentations. Though you may not necessarily, “win”, a gold medal you should have an aspiration to be the best, and be
Though you may not necessarily, “win”, a gold medal you should have an aspiration to be the best, and be your best. Your competition may not be visible at the time, but the audience will surely be comparing your presentation to other’s they’ve witnessed in the past.
Are you willing to accept the challenge?
Just as Olympic medalists overcome challenges during training and during the actual games, be prepared to accept any faults that may arise during your presentation. You might have a difficult question from an audience member or just a hard subject to tackle, in general, but going into the presentation with the mindset that things could, and may, go wrong will allow you to be better prepared.
You might have a difficult question from an audience member or just a hard subject to tackle, in general. But going into the presentation with the mindset that things could, and may, go wrong will allow you to be better prepared.
Are you Inspirational?
We’ve all be inspired by Olympic medalists such as, Gabby Douglas or Apolo Ohno, who’ve fearlessly decorated themselves with gold medals over the past years.
Learn from athletes like these, how can you inspire your audience? What makes your message different? What can you teach your audience? These concepts can push you in the right direction to be memorable, a concept that is crucial in presentation giving.
If you have been paying attention to recent pop culture news feeds lately, you may have heard of the phenomenon known as, “The Michael Bay Meltdown.”
During a Samsung CES press event that introduced their new 150-inch model television, the famed director was supposedto describe the product in detail. He started out great. When the teleprompter failed, however, he decided to just give up and casually walk off stage. If you haven’t had a chance to see the viral video, you can check it out here.
The fear of speaking in front of many people is a fear that most of us share. Whether it’s in front of an audience of one or a few hundred, public speaking can be intensely nerve-wracking. It causes any normal human being to experience moments of sheer panic. The best ways to learn from your presentation mistakes are to actually make them and adhere to these changes later down the road.
Though Michael Bay blamed the teleprompter failing for his public speaking woes, being the presentation specialists that we are, there are various lessons to take away from his blunder that could have, and will happen, to any presenter at any time.
1. Don’t Memorize a Script
Memorizing a script isn’t always good when it comes to public speaking. Talking points are far different than following an actual script or prompt, and focusing on memorizing your verbiage will allow for more opportunities to slip up and freeze. Though you should always be prepared with a script, don’t focus on remembering your content word for word.
Try to focus on describing and elaborating your information with your slides. If you slip up or get lost, your slides are there to highlight your talking points and act as an outline — which is crafted in your storyboard. Improvisation is always a great alternative if you slip up!
The mistake that Michael Bay made was that he was so focused on doing a word for word delivery. Unfortunately, it only caused him to freeze up. If he had just improvised his speech, this would’ve helped him get past the situation.
2. Being Honest Will Help You in The Long Run
Everyone is bound to slip up and make mistakes, especially with public speaking. Apologizing to your audience and throwing in some laughter will show how honest and sincere you are – and this is key to being a credible presenter.
If you can’t remember what to say, or mess up your words, just laugh it off to ease the situation then apologize and move forward. Chances are your audience wouldn’t have even noticed! If you get frustrated, just take a deep breath and continue to speak. Just giving up and walking off stage like Michael Bay did shows a lack of maturity and preparation.
3. Own Up to Your Mistakes
Michael Bay made a monumental mistake by announcing to his audience that the teleprompter failed. Never let your audience become aware of your faults. This not only takes away your credibility but shows them that you are not responsible enough to fix the errors yourself.
If technical difficulties occur with the PowerPoint presentation, a public speaking professional will step up and engage with the audience until the problem is solved.
All in all, there is no way you can prevent a presentation or a public speaking disaster from happening. Things will go wrong, you’ll get nervous and forget your words sometimes. But giving up entirely is never the proper, or professional, solution.
With Super Bowl XLVIII in the near future, this brings the excitement millions of Americans will come to share on February 2, 2014, as two national football teams will go head to head in one of the most highly televised programs of the year.
Apart from the notoriety of the game itself, between the AFC and NFC champions battling it out for the esteemed title, the Super Bowlis also known for creative, humorous advertisements that air during game breaks. We can expect to see some of the most well-known brands putting their best foot forward in their most ingenious and creative commercial installments of the year.
These infamous advertisements share various similarities to what can be described as successful and effective PowerPoint presentations. Compiling a presentation that speaks to your audiences and engages them is a similar concept that should be applied to distinguishing an innovative commercial that markets and intrigues viewers. Below are a few shared examples that both successful Super Bowl commercials and presentations have in common.
Emotion Plays a Part
A good presentation is one that is memorable, and a memorable presentation is one that evokes emotion. Audience members are always captivated by content that is presented with emotion, which can be done by sharing a story or moving visuals. The same concept is applicable to an effective commercial as the brand’s focus is to connect with the audience on an emotional level. After all, the purpose of an advertisement is to sell. Appealing to the consumer’s emotion can make them feel connected to your product or message and in turn, generate sales.
Convey a Message
Every presentation should have a definitive message and this should be clearly repeated throughout your PowerPoint presentation. Having too many themes or conflicting ideas will leave your audience confused: you should attempt to actually teach them something. It’s important to stay on the same page with your audience throughout the entire presentation. The same can be said for a successful commercial, a good Super Bowl advertisement conveys a great message that not only covers what product or service it’s selling but the story behind it.
Everyone’s favorite Super Bowl commercials are the ones they remember.Your PowerPoint presentation is a compilation of several different components, including graphics, statistics, bullets and talking points. As the presenter, it’s your job to carefully select these in order to project the purposes and themes you want your audience to remember overall. The most memorable Super Bowl commercial of all time was the Apple 1984 Introduction of the Mac Computer. You can watch the commercial here.
What’s your favorite Super Bowl commercial? Comment below and tell us why!
Catching someone’s attention is one thing. Keeping them interested is another.
So here’s your challenge: What can you do to maintain audience attention? It’s almost an unmanageable task due to different factors. For one, every audience member analyzes and processes information differently. This makes appealing to all types of thinkers quite a daunting task.
Another issue is that people have this aversion to sales talks, even if you are simply selling them a particular idea, not a product. So above everything, it’s imperative that your audience learns something interesting about your message instead. There is one rule of thumb that can help you make sure your presentation is above all, understandable….
Put Yourself in Their Shoes
When drafting up a presentation ask yourself this very simple question throughout the preparation of your PowerPoint. Will my points and train of thought be able to hold audience attention and keep them interested? Is this information useful to them? Is there too much content on this slide? Will they comprehend my message?
But placing yourself in the role of your audience will help guide you to think outside the box. Putting everything in their perspective, when you are outlining and creating your presentation, will not only help you cut down excess (and useless) information but also allow you to design a better PowerPoint.
Selfishness Hinders Audience Connections
While most of us subconsciously create our work in the mindset of thinking about us – think about them instead. Take this theory and apply this to your next presentation, you can practice it by going over your finished presentation and jot down notes at places you may think could use some editing and re-designing.
See if you are wholly interested throughout your PowerPoint presentation, and if your mind seems to wander at moments where information isn’t digestible or understandable. Take that into account because it is likely that your audience’s mind would wander at those exact same moments.
To maintain audience attention for a designated period of time does seem almost impossible. With breakthrough statistics categorizing the average adult attention span at a mere 5-12 minutes long, it makes sense for any professional presenter to panic. Sure, there are a few steps that you can take to enhance your professional PowerPoint presentations. However, they don’t offer a real guarantee that you will be able to capture audience attention or make them comprehend your ideas completely.
Being able to communicate effectively is the single most important factor in presentation science, regardless of your topic or message, your audience needs to be on the same page as you.
Regardless the topic of your presentation, regardless the audience in front of you, regardless time allotted to you, and regardless the goal you have in mind; every single one of your presentations should be about these three words: Understandable, Memorable & Emotional.
Shape your presentation to concurrently fit these three categories, and you will be able to make millions! Not really, but you will definitely have a very effective presentation, which will lead to more sales.
Here is a Forbes’ breakdown of these three categories and the significance of each one:
Without clear and understandable slides, your professional PowerPoint presentation is practically useless. Simplicity is key when it comes to design. In aims to make your content and CTA’s clear to your audience, aim to keep your deck to ten slides and at a very maximum of 4 points per slide.
Bullet points are probably the most widely used form of delivery, but they aren’t necessarily the best. “In 2001 the iPod was “1,000 songs in your pocket.” In 2008, the MacBook Air was “The world’s thinnest notebook.” Steve Jobs always described his products in one sentence.” Bullet points can be effective because they are simple and quick, which makes them easy to understand, but nothing beats delivering your point in a conversational, one-sentence structure. Saying your point as if you were telling it to your mom, friend, or a random stranger is a great way to think of your delivery during your presentation.
Another useful way of thinking of understandability is the “Twitter Test.” If you can express your point in 140 characters or less, you’ll make your point in its simplest form, which is always the best form.
Memory’s magic number is 3! “Neuroscientists generally agree that the human mind can only consume anywhere from three to seven points in short-term, or “working memory” (This is why the phone number is only seven digits. Long ago scientists discovered if you ask people to remember eight digits, they forget just about the entire sequence of numbers). Incorporate this concept of 3 in your presentations. This can be done in a handful of creative ways: describe concepts in three words, divide your whole presentation into three parts (and say that you’re doing that), give the “three next steps,” or use the idea however you see fit. Rule-3 packaging makes things easier to understand, which in turn is more memorable.
Not all people are logical, but I can assure you that everyone is emotional. An emotional story will be more likely to reel in sales than a scientific finding. Ethical, unethical, right or wrong, it seems hearts and guts prove to be better salesmen than brains! Emotion can be presented in a multitude of useful venues. These include, but are not limited to photographs, videos, songs, colors schemes, the way you dress, the way you talk, and even the lighting in the room you present in. Everything around us can sway the way we feel in some way; large and small. Knowing your audience well enough to the point that you can identify what will make them cry, laugh, scream, or sing can be the single most useful tool at your disposal. Be emotional in the way you talk; if you want your audience to be excited, talk as if you were excited!
To sum up, when you’re designing your next corporate presentation, or investor pitch, or just any PowerPoint presentation, make sure you can describe the deck as understandable, memorable, and emotional, and you will find yourself accomplishing whatever the deck was created to accomplish.
“With all the apps out there, it’s easy to get stuck with the same icons on your home screen — and never so much as click on the newer ones that would benefit your business most.” – Mashable
Each of these apps have the capability to make your presentations more effective, organize your time to complete those PowerPoint presentations more efficiently, or just make your life easier in general.
Lift helps you achieve your goals, big or small. With your busy schedule, traveling, and running from conference to conference, it is important to stay organized, and keep the important goals you have in check. Lift will force you to keep consistently working on your important goals or tasks at whatever frequency you want.
CloudMagic is a universal and indispensable search engine for all your data. CloudMagic lets you search across Gmail, Yahoo, Dropbox, Evernote, etc., through one simple search box. Very useful when putting together data for any investor pitch, corporate presentation, or sales pitch!
Tripit is most useful for our “always traveling” presenters. TripIt gives you the ability to organize your travels just by forwarding your booking confirmations to an email address. This app will reduce your stress five times over and will allow you to relax and focus on your presentation instead of the flight.
Refresh digs through social networks to provide users with a bio on anyone before meeting them; a great way to get some research on your audience prior to delivering your PowerPoint! Knowing the dirty “deets” on specific audiences will allow you to relate to them, which will in turn keep them interested.
As a speaker, you should always be learning and reading books. It’s a great way to keep a steady stream of personal stories, quotes, or news that will come in handy to keep your data unique, interesting, and relevant. I’ve found Audible extremely helpful to listen to books while on the go.
With LIA you can access sales content in the field on a tablet and it works. When you only have 5 minutes with your prospect – trust LIA
Corkulous is an easy-to-use idea board only for iPads in which you can collect, organize, and share your ideas in a completely natural and organic way.
8. Sadun’s Whiteboard
This app lets you transform your IPad into a presentation screen and connect to any projection system using an Apple VGA connection or composite/component video-out cable and draw directly to an external screen using standard whiteboard markers and erasers. Really creative way to do live examples of anything you’re presenting on.
If you know any other useful apps for presenters or work related to presentations, feel free to comment them below to be added to this post!
Effectively gaining your audience’s trust is imperative in any presentation setting. Building that sense of reliability can be fairly tricky but there are a few lessons we can takeaway from one of the greatest holiday movies and a certain little boy named Ralphie.
If you aren’t familiar with Jean Shepard’s, A Christmas Story, it’s the classic story of a boy who will do anything to get what he wants for Christmas. In Ralphie’s case, he fantasizes about the, “official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model BB rifle with a compass in the stock “, the one and only thing he wants for Christmas. Throughout the entire film, Ralphie is set on a determined quest to convince his “Old Man”, mother, teacher and Santa himself that he absolutely needs this gift, even though he could potentially “shoot his eye out with that thing”.
So what can we learn about a hopeful little boy who desperately wants a gun for Christmas? It’s simple, Ralphie was able to build credibility with his parents because in the end he got what he wanted when they surprised him with his beloved BB gun. Though his parents were well aware of the possible danger of shooting his eye out, Ralphie constantly assured them that he “would be careful”- enabling their trust.
Here are a few suggestions to help you establish that credibility and trust from your audience when giving a PowerPoint presentation:
Ensure Strong Verbal Delivery and Body Language
Speak loud and clear: the more understandable you are to your audience, the more they can trust what you’re saying. Use effective body language as well: stand tall and don’t fidget nervously to assure them that you’re cool, calm and confident.
Teach More, Sell Less
The purpose of your presentation is to teach your audience your content- selling them goes simultaneously with this. The more your audience learns, the more they remember.
Ask questions and listen to their ideas. Effective communication goes along way with trust building: your audience can believe your ideas when you believe in their concerns.
Share Beneficial Content
Skip the fluff, even if your content is simplified—another important PowerPoint tip. Only provide your audience with information that is useful and relatable. Don’t project a ton of text and statistics that they will soon forget, less is more!
Design, Write and Look Professional
This is a three step process. You want your PowerPoint to look neat, clean and presentable so skip the over abundance of animation and bordered backgrounds. Grammar and spell check multiple times before presenting, even ask for a second pair of eyes for extra edits. And most importantly, look presentable! It’s better to be overdressed than under dressed.
These four tips will help you build trustworthiness with any audience base. Whether you are presenting to a conference room full of people, or even just one person, you are building a reputation for yourself within that time period. From start to finish your audience is meticulously judging your words, content and overall appearance of your professional presentation. Capture their attention in a good way and establish that trust from beginning to end.
Though Ralphie may not be a great example in this case, because in the end his parents ended up being right when he almost shot his eye out, he successfully built his own credibility by convincing his parents that they could trust him. In your next professional presentation consider these tips in order to effectively gain your audience’s trust, I double dog dare you.
What do all of them have in common? These are all original products and concepts that uniquely redefined their industries. They revolutionized the way we watch movies, listened to music and recorded the world around us.
It was pure originality that allowed these ideas to become the most popular name brand names of the era. Simplistic and innovative ideas combining together to create a one of the kind solution to certain problems. 10,000 songs in your pocket, a portable video camera, and a virtual Blockbuster.
So what can we learn from these very different products? Their ingenuity enabled them to become the most successful products and concepts in their markets and it is originality that allows you to create the most impactful PowerPoint presentation. There are a few concepts to utilize in your next presentation to create an innovative and unique PowerPoint.
Branded Templates: Market your way through every slide. Include customized branding and logos throughout your presentation, which gives each slide it’s own unique flair.
Simplicity: This concept goes hand in hand with originality. Minimalize your key points and make sure your content is easily understandable and memorable.
Creative Graphics, Visuals, and Animation: The most creatively designed PowerPoints are the most memorable presentations. Utilize impactful images, sensible animation, and visuals that will excite your audience.
In essence, creating an original PowerPoint doesn’t mean to go out of the standard boundaries of presentation etiquette. You should always have an organized outline with a beginning, middle and end that keeps your story flowing. Being unique is utilizing creativity as a supplementary component of something that is already structured.
An original presentation is not only an impressive one, but one that also shows your creative marketing strategy. Think of ways to use innovation and apply this to your content throughout your presentation. Tell a story, throw in some humor and ask questions throughout your presentations to engage your audience. Do what it takes to be different.
Whether it be taking picture of plane wings, an appetizing dinner or an artsy photo of your latte, Instagram has become one of the most prominent forms of social media to date. The application became so popular that it was acquired by Facebook this past year in a hefty billion dollar deal. It may be the pure simplicity of photo sharing that draws so many users to the app, but there are certain steps one must partake in to get the perfect “Insta”. We’ve created a comparison between the steps of taking the perfect picture and creating the perfect powerpoint presentation.
Step 1 : Picking the Perfect Angle
The first step of taking any Instagram is getting a unique angle, just like picking a perfect (and direct) angle for your audience when creating a presentation idea.Your ideas and thoughts presented (simply) within your powerpoint should be original and one of a kind, the better the ideas the more these will resonate with your audience.
Step 2: Picking the Perfect Filter
No Instagram is complete without a perfect filter to give it a spruce of color and the same is said for sparking up your presentation. You can add character to any powerpoint slideswith eye-opening graphics, videos and images, the more colorful and put together- the better!
Step 3: Picking the Appropriate Hashtag
After you’ve snapped your picture and added the perfect filer, tagging hashtags is necessary to make the Instagram complete. The same step should be used in your final completion of your PowerPointsyou should always review your finished slides to make sure all your ideas connect with each other and most importantly- make sense!
You can really use PowerPoint for just about anything…..
This past week’s story in the world of sports came from a man who submitted a PowerPoint presentation as his resume for an open coaching position for the University of North Dakota’s football team. Turns out he doesn’t quite have the standard credentials we were expecting to see. Christopher McComas, who currently works as an technician at Marshall University, made headlines this week as his application for the position went viral on the Internet. He listed out many his esteemed qualifications which included his many years of experience playing Madden and NCAA Football on his beloved Playstation.
The story of Christopher’s application became an Internet sensation. Between the lack of actual qualifications that are appropriate for a collegiate athletic position and his horribly put together powerpoint design, there are a few take aways we can learn from his errors.
Here are a few mistakes we noticed in Christopher’s presentation:
Formatting : Avoid using Comic Sans and boring templates, this shows a lack of effort and preparation.
Grammar/Spelling: With bullet points people tend to think run on sentences are acceptable, but try to avoid this and utilize appropriate and professional language
Lack of Content: There is no significant or persuasive content within his presentations that supports his claim.
Organization: There is no real structure – a presentation should have all three components: a title, a body and a takeaway.
Though we wish Christopher the best of luck in his attempts to coach football at the University of North Dakota, one thing we can guarantee is that this PowerPoint is less than impressive and maybe next time he should just stick to the normal resume format for his next job application.
Full Story: http://www.sbnation.com/lookit/2013/12/11/5202166/sb-nation-endorses-chris-mccomas-for-north-dakota-head-coach
Save yourself from a PowerPoint disaster with SlideGenius’s top five list of major PowerPoint presentation no’s of the year. Avoiding these common mistakes will have you going from PowerPoint amateur to professional in a matter of minutes – creating your most impressive presentation yet.
5. Paragraphs on Slides
Having giant paragraphs on your slide will guarantee you two things: a disinterested audience that won’t remember your content. We tell stories with words and images, having a ton of paragraphs up on your slides will distract your audience from listening to your points. Too much text also provides you with more of an opportunity to read directly off of your slides, which of course is another major presentation no. You can avoid this by using bullet points as your primary text formatting- this allows you to broadcast important information without causing your audience to fall asleep.
4. Sound Effects per Animation
Sound effects cause too much chaos during any presentation and will divert your audience’s attention, prevent this mistake by eliminating sound with your transitions. You can easily do this by making sure you’ve clicked “none” in the sound options in the animation box.
3 Using Elementary Fonts
While we all we’ll admit to using our longtime favorites Comic Sans or Garamond Script (yes they are pretty and cute) avoid using these types of fonts within a professional presentation. Stick with the most basic and easily legible fonts available so your audience can actually read your text without wondering if that letter is a g…or maybe a y?
2. Unusual Color Choices and Palettes
Skip choosing awkward color schemes that don’t match well and could possibly distract your audience by let’s say, blinding them. Avoid unusual color combinations such as red and green that are bright and disruptive. Keep your color scheme consistent throughout your entire presentation utilizing the same two or three colors. Also, avoid using those tempting patterned or textured powerpoint themes that will cause your font to be lost in the midst of an chaotic background.
1. Avoiding T.M.I.
T.M.I or Too Much Information is the ultimate general mistake when drafting up any PowerPoint presentation. Too much text, too many slides, and too much content will backfire on transcribing your ideas to your audience. Remember that the average adult thinking span is only five to seven minutes long, so keep all information simple and short -less is more! Tips to avoid this are having time limits and slide maximums (this should be around 15 slides) so you aren’t going overboard with your presentation.
Works Cited: http://presentationsoft.about.com/od/presentationmistakes/tp/080722_presentation_mistakes.htm
“A good teacher, like a good entertainer who first must hold his audience’s attention, then he can teach his lesson” – John Henrik Clarke
If you ask any author what questions they ask themselves before drafting up their next bestseller, chances are they’ll tell you the first and most foremost step is targeting a specific audience. Presentations are all universally based around an audience because they are the reason why presenters, present. Before you start gathering content or building an outline for your next PowerPoint presentation, you should ask yourself these essential questions first.
Who Are They?
Your first step is knowing the basic knowledge and understanding of who your audience is. These include aspects such as their size, prior knowledge, and expectations. Are you presenting to a small or large group? What kind of production are they expecting? What kind of company culture do they share? Reaching out and personally connecting with them will make all the difference.
What Do They Know?
You don’t want to be going over concepts that the audience is already aware of. Understand what they have prior knowledge of and exclude sounding redundant in your presentation by not utilizing this information. This may require a substantial amount of research, but knowing this background information will put you a step ahead in the game.
What Interests Them?
Losing your audience’s interest is the ultimate presentation backfire, keep them entertained with personalized facts and ideas that are tailored to them exclusively. Do a substantial amount of research on their current projects and incorporate this knowledge within your powerpoint slides.
What Do You Want Them To Learn?
Your takeaway is the most essential feature of your entire presentation. The most vital question (before starting any presentation) is what do you want your audience to remember most? You are the teacher giving your audience a lesson- they should learn from you and your ideas. When crafting your presentation make sure to emphasize these themes or points regularly so your audience can remember the key points first.
The developing art of PowerPoint changes year by year; bringing forth new ideas that create all around better presentations. We’ve compiled our list of the most effective and beneficial tips from 2013.
Consistency is key when it comes to your companies branding – the basic marketing should be universal throughout your entire presentation. This uniformity should include your companies logos, color, background, theme and graphic styling. The consistency will help reflect your company’s mission and philosophy by remaining constant on all platforms and this will create a recognizable brand to customers and audience members alike- which builds trust and loyalty.
Back to Basics.
You tell a story with your presentation slides, so think of your PowerPoint as a high school essay that starts with an outline; organizing your introduction, your main points, counterpoints and conclusion. Your presentation should include all of these concepts and flow through accordingly.
Every substantial project starts somewhere and your powerpoint presentation should always start with a storyboard. This tool keeps your slides on point and helps you follow your persuasive argument throughout the entire presentation. A storyboard efficiently allows you to write all your points and ideas down prior to starting your powerpoint, which organizes your ideas effectively.
Images Speak Louder than Words.
A picture is worth a thousand words. The images that you place within your slides should be carefully chosen to fit your presentation. Another tip to consider is to chose high quality images, look for HD or downloadable high-res images when searched on the Internet for your content, these will look much more polished on a large projector.
Applying the Right Tools.
Utilizing effective outside tools can be used to enhance many components of your presentation slides. Touching back on a few we’ve covered in the past include beneficial support sites including, The PowerPoint FAQ that answers all your common day PowerPoint questions.
When drafting up any big presentation it’s easy to get caught up and forget about the vital questions that you should be asking yourself. With everything that is contributed to a PowerPoint presentation remember the key points you really want your audience to focus on.
A common misconception when giving any PowerPoint presentation is making your slides the focus, rather than your message- or actual verbiage. This is done by reading directly off your slides and reciting the text word for word. What most people don’t understand is that your PowerPoint is there as a supplementary piece that is used to solely enhance and elaborate your message.
While most of us have the urge to initially focus on getting all of our main points physically written onto a presentation- keep in mind that the PowerPoint slides are suppose to highlight takeaways and provide the content which is used accompany your story. The worst mistake you can make as a presenter is reading your slides word by word, which results in your audience completely losing interest and attention. Remember that, “communication is a transfer of emotion” and this becomes vital in getting your audience to understand your points and ideas.
Before you become caught up in dedicating your time to sprucing up your PowerPoint with tons of facts and fancy themed templates, understand that your speech is equally as important. Your story and words are just as significant as any statistic or graphics you have on your slides, so don’t forget to adequately prepare for your verbal content.
Your presentation is your message. It is the sole reason you even stand up in front of an audience and give PowerPoint in the first place. Be careful not to lose sight of the most significant details in any presentation preparation and make sure your message is portrayed in the most clear and effective way possible.
Works Cited: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2007/01/really_bad_powe.html
How does one define themselves? Why is it that we tend to think our judgements and ideas surpass those around us; and why do our emotions play a part in this? Psychology journalist Erika Casriel discusses new developments within the neuroscience field in a describing a new concept titled, “conciocenterism”, an idea she presented with TED, an organization that broadcasts “ideas worth sharing”.
Some of Erika’s presentation ideasabout this revolutionary notion of “conciocenterism” included concepts such as, instead of thinking of ourselves as the center of the universe we must challenge ourselves and see the more rational sides of our emotions and actions. Her theory challenges us to step outside ourselves and silence the illusion of the “little man inside our mind”. She provides a great analogy stating that instead of seeing ourselves as the lead actor in our life we should place ourselves within the audience position as well; therefore not letting irrational emotions and single minded judgments get the best of ourselves but to look at the bigger picture.
This idea of drifting away from egocentrism can also be tied back into giving a presentation, as you as the presenter must see both sides of the picture in order to connect with your audience by allowing them to see your inner thoughts as well.
Breaking Bad, AMC’s hit crime drama we’ve all come to know, love, and mournfully wave goodbye too, ended two weeks ago in a (without giving too much away) justified, epic climax after five seasons of watching Walter White (A.K.A. Heisenberg) turn from sheepish high school chemistry teacher to roaring meth kingpin.
For those of you who haven’t seen BrBa to its bitter-sweet end, I won’t go into details. What I will say of it is that I was thoroughly pleased with its conclusion, but not altogether satisfied, which is exactly what a great ending should be.
Ending our presentations requires the same careful planning. The show’s infamously meticulous Executive Producer Vince Gilligan put a great amount of thought and effort into the show’s final chapter, and that’s because he knows what his audience is going to remember.
There’s a famous saying in the sports world: “You’re only as good as your last game.” From this, we can take away that we’ll be remembered for our most recent victory and defeat. Our significance is who we are today. For a TV show–and for a presentation–the finale, or the closing, will be what is most remembered.
Even if the first 90 percent of your presentation is brilliant, but the last 10 percent is a total wash, guess what they’ll remember from the presentation? The horrific ending. Fair? maybe not, but definitely the reality.
So how to make sure your audience is left with the perfect ending? Here’s a few things Breaking Bad executed flawlessly that we can work into our presentations.
I previously stated that Breaking Bad’s ending was fantastic, yet not entirely satisfying. This is because, to me, the show ended at its peak, which I believe is precisely what Gillian planned. The series had a great story arc that resolved all issues, but we all still wanted the show to go on.
You don’t want your audience counting the minutes until you stop talking by the time you’re on the later half of your presentation. In fact, you should end the presentation saying everything you need to say, but your audience wants to keep listening. This will not only have them leaving with a favorable impression of you, but it will keep you and your presentation on their minds, ultimately leading to your information being better retained.
There’s a big difference between a show ending at its peak and one that ends open-ended and often confusingly (I’m looking at you, Lost).
Make sure everything in your presentation is adequately addressed and all questions answered. Many presentations leave their audience almost more confused that when the presentation started. A great way of ensuring your audience understood what you had to say is to leave time at the end for a Q&A session. At SlideGenius, we recommend to allot an equal amount of time for your Q&A session as for your presentation.
Breaking Bad brought it all back out of the wood works for the finale. Characters we hadn’t seen in a couple seasons come back to life to be part of this modern-day western, and the episode even opens with Walter White back in his early meth-cooking days, where he still lies to his wife about having to work late at the car wash for its egotistical owner Bogdan. Don’t just end, recap. Remind them of your key points and overall message. Ending on your last point will likely reinforce the idea that the last point is the oly thing to take away, when it’s usually just one of many that you made.
There’s a saying in the sports world that 90 percent of performance is mental.
This isn’t to say that all the intense physical preparation, practice, and training for the big game won’t have a huge effect on an athlete’s performance, but none of that hard work will matter without being mentally prepared for the pressures of high-level competition.
Similarly, while it’s obviously vital to practice, obtain the best professional PowerPoint possible and plan all aspects of your presentation carefully, to avoid stress and pressure affecting you at the moment of your presentation. If you’re not mentally prepared then that presentation you worked so hard to perfect might never come to fruition. Look at some of today’s top athletes, like Peyton Manningand Lebron James, prepare themselves physically and mentally before any big game and have this down to an exact science.
There was a study conducted by Dr. Judd Blaslotto at the University of Chicago in which the subjects were divided into three groups. At the beginning of the study, he tested each group on how many free throws they could make.
After this, he had the first group practice free throws every day for an hour, the second group just visualized making free throws successfully for an hour, and the third group didn’t do diddly squat.
After 30 days, the groups were retested. The third group didn’t improve. The first group improved by 24 percent and the second—the ones who did nothing but sit around all day thinking about shooting free throws—they improved by 23 percent.
Visualizing success is imperative to that success manifesting itself. If you are continually thinking about all the terrible things that could go wrong during a speech, this negative reinforcement may result in a poor performance. However, if you make it a point in your preparation to picture yourself giving a winning presentation, studies show that this will have a discernible positive impact.
Golfing and Grace Under Pressure
When pro female golfer Inbee Park won the U.S. Female Open earlier this summer, she credited her success to two things: her experience and her mental health coach.
This reiterates the two-part recipe for success in both sports and presenting to an audience. Preparation, practice, and experience are the foundation for success, but mental toughness is the final ingredient to a winning presentation.
Many golfers now use a mental coach to learn how to embrace anxiety before a tournament in order to use it to their advantage. The right amount of anxiety can heighten our awareness and sharpen our senses. The trick is to stay on top of your anxieties, controlling them rather than letting them control you.
While obviously this post can’t do what a mental coach can, some important lessons a mental coach often provides are:
–Don’t carry mistakes from the previous hole through the rest of the round. When giving a presentation, don’t let past flubs haunt you. View each presentation as a unique opportunity to prove yourself.
–Deep breaths can go a long way. It will lower your heart rate and allow you to think clearly and rationally about the situation.
–Enjoy yourself. When you’re having fun, you won’t be weighed down by the pressure of the situation. Realize that people just want to enjoy your speech and have fun with it.
Maintain a Positive Outlook
Psychology today analyzed endurance sports such as marathon running and found that a key part of enduring these grueling races is mental outlook. While there isn’t as much crossover between presentation and endurance sports, there is a good lesson to learn about maintaining a positive attitude in the face of unexpected challenges, which is important when things don’t go as planned during our presentations.
“The key is how people respond to the stressful conditions,” writes psychologist Jim Taylor, Ph.D. “If you have two athletes of equal ability and one sees, for example, rain and wind as a threat that scares and intimidates them and the other as a challenge that they know they can overcome, the latter athlete will be more successful.”
So if there’s a technology malfunction, an unruly crowd , or any of the unforeseeable flubs that tend to arise, remember to view them not as a death sentence to your presentation, but as another challenge to overcome and prove yourself with.
SlideGenius Founder and CEO Rick Enrico spoke last Thursday on the importance of simplicity in presentation design as a part of ON24’s very first installment of its Webinar Academy.
To view the webinar, titled, “Avoiding Information Overload: The Importance of Simplicity in Presentation Design,” do the quick, 1-minute registration here and view the entire webinar series created by ON24, a leading virtual communications company. Along with Rick’s, you’ll find several other Webinars that have a lot to teach about presenting in the digital age.
While most presentations designed by SildeGenius are given in person, the attention ON24 is giving to Webinars is indicative of a growing trend toward Internet-based presenting and how this is expanding our scope of how we can reach an audience. By viewing our webinar, you’ll see that all the key elements of an effective PowerPoint presentation are still there, but coupled with it is the ability to reach millions of people at the click of a button by creating your presentation online.
Imagine you own a clothing store. Now you decide to begin a sale for that store. Let’s say a particular type of shorts usually costs $20 per short, but for the purposes of the sale you’re going to mark them down to $15 a piece.
There are two ways you could present that discount. The first would be as a percentage. Going from $20 to $15 would be 25% off. The second would be as an absolute number with $5 off. Which way is better?
Both discounts amount to the same final price. 25% off $20 and $5 off $20 both result in the customer paying $15 for the shorts. So both representations of the discount should have the same effect, right?
Wrong. Jonah Berger, author of Contagion,explains to us that the consumers find the 25% discount more attractive than the 5$ off. While the two discounts are the same economically, they don’t trigger the same psychological effect. One feels like a larger discount than the other.
Accordingly, the next time you’re reporting numerical information, pay attention to how you are presenting it. The way changes are represented can have a big impact on how they’re perceived.
Focus on the final number.
Like the story above, most people seemed to be more enticed by the offer when the discount number was larger. Rule of thumb would be whenever you are offering a discount under $100 display it as a percentage, and when the offer is greater than $100 display it as an absolute number. This will make sure you are always maximizing your psychological impact. Simpler is better. No one cares about a page of numbers and figures that look like the green screen display from the matrix. You need to simplify your results, and then simplify them again. Think of your raw data as a pile of freshly picked vegetables. People don’t want to eat them when they still have dirt and leave stems on them. People want a quick and painless way to stay healthy, so what do you do? You take those vegetables, clean them, cut them, put them in a blender and make a smoothie. Then you take that smoothie and turn it into a wheatgrass shot. Quick and to the point. So yes, your data should be reduced to the size of a wheatgrass shot! After all, the simpler your can represent your findings, the easier it will be for your audience to understand you, which will in turn make your call-to-action more successful.
Tell a story.
Everyone knows the best stories are the ones told with pictures, so use them. Portraying data graphically reveals patterns in the data that are hard to notice otherwise Visual depictions of data are almost universally understood without requiring knowledge of a language. It is also useful to alter your tone and speed as you approach the finding of any given graph. Much like when telling a story, the storyteller tends to get really excited toward the climax or “best part” of the story; it is not only useful but critical to draw attention to the most important features of the data.
I’ll leave you with Hans Rosling’s fascinating TED talk revolved around displaying data effectively, which you can watch here.
It can be quite a challenge to comprehend more than 10 concepts during a meeting.
The 10/20/30 rule suggests using 10 slides to discuss your core message. It details the following flow of topics for investor proposals and venture capitalist presentations:
Marketing and sales
Projections and milestones
Status and timeline
Summary and call-to-action
Remember these if you want to get your point across in a concise and straightforward way. Depending on the type of presentation you’re giving, you can tweak these to fit your purpose, but try to keep your slides to a 10 slide minimum, with a visible flow like the one above.
Ideally, a 10-slide presentation would only take 20 minutes to finish. Beyond that and you’ll start losing your audience’s attention.
Keep your presentations short so you can address questions and other concerns at the end.
30pt Font Size
People usually use smaller font sizes to cram chunks of information into their slides. Doing so might distract your audience from listening to you. Being unfocused, your audience will not retain much information from your presentation. They may also question whether you are familiar with your own material.
Use a larger font and remove the unnecessary details. Remember, your presentation shouldn’t do the talking for you, but instead, be there to guide your audience.
A straightforward presentation will assure the audience that you know the topic well enough to explain it in a way that they will understand, especially if they’re new to the concept.
Use the 10/20/30 rule as a consistent baseline for your next presentation. Working within its boundaries will push you to craft a more refined presentation that focuses purely on the essentials, leaving out any distractions for your audience. It’s important to remember that people naturally have a limit to their attention span. This simple and effective rule is meant to guide you to creating a presentation that fits fully within the time people’s attention is at their peak. It’s at that point when your message is most effective.
Custom fonts evoke emotions, making them as essential tool for PowerPoint presentation . Some fonts may portray traditional aesthetics, others modern taste, and others give communicate grace and elegance. Brands strategically utilize fonts to help visually define their overall identity. Considering fonts can express a distinct “personality” it’s important to choose one that fits well with the brand and message you want to convey.
After all, who doesn’t want to stand out? When using a unique, distinctive font, the brand gains a more nuanced personality. It becomes part of the brand as a collective.
Employing custom fonts can help revitalize your design. Standard fonts are fine, but experimenting with different font styles can unlock new aesthetics for your PowerPoint presentation.
Some custom fonts may cost money. Some may even be offer limited usage, so be careful and read the fine print before using your font of choice.
After carefully selecting your font, you’ll have to install them on your computer. Go to Control Panel > Fonts, then drag-and-drop or copy-and-paste the fonts into the Fonts Manager. Make sure the files are unzipped before you do.
Using Custom Fonts in PowerPoint
When you use custom fonts, there’s a possibility that PowerPoint will replace them if you share the deck with others.
There are two ways you can avoid this:
Try embedding the font in the presentation. PowerPoint allows this as long as the font file type is TTF or OTF. All you have to do is to click File > Option > Save, and then check the box that says, “Embed fonts in this file.”
Keep in mind that this will likely increase your file size, so choose “Embed only the character used in the presentation” if you need to be wary of your file size.
Sharing the font file itself when you’re sending the deck to others provides you a means to make sure the deck can be viewed as you intend. PowerPoint will replace custom fonts with standards ones. Be careful and keep the file in an easy to find location for when you need to send it out.
Embedding Custom Fonts
This is especially helpful when you want to share your PowerPoint via online hosting. Your audience may or may not have installed in their version of PowerPoint. But by taking this route, it can be ensured whatever font is used will appear on the audience’s end without worrying if the custom font has been installed.
Companies with digital asset management platforms (DAMs) or learning management systems (LMS) often allow readers to view their content online. Broadcast Slide Show is a feature that lets you livestream your presentation to an online audience.
Much like picking colors for your brand, fonts also play a huge role in representing who you are as an organization. The most important rule in picking a custom font is making sure that it’s legible, clear, and unique enough to remember.
Don’t let distance get in between you and your audience. Standing directly in front of your audience, presenting your PowerPoint may be what you. But circumstances change. With in-person interactions at a premium, are you forced to simply let your deck be viewed without you there to give the presentation?
Livesteaming your PowerPoint allows you to still be the face of your presentation. While many people may have figured out someway around this, the truth is their are many options. Most of are reasonably straightforward.
Several online platforms can bring your pitch out of the boardroom and into digital spaces. These enable you to reach a wider audience without having to sacrifice your personal presentation style. Now, without catching a plane or sitting in traffic on your way to a meeting, you can personally present to any audience no matter where they are.
Here are three ways you can livestream your next PowerPoint presentation.
Broadcast Online from PowerPoint
Microsoft offers a safe, reliable means crossing the barrier between you and your audience. Their website describes how you can broadcast your PowerPoint presentation online to remote audiences. Don’t worry if your software is outdated. This tutorial is applicable to PowerPoint 2013 and newer versions.
First, find your presentation and open it up. In the File tab, you can start livestreaming your presentation through the Share button.
Now click the Present Online button. A dialog box will generate a custom URL for your presentation. You can then copy the link to send directly to your audience.
Once they’ve received the link, click Start Presentation. Viewers will then be able to see your presentation as you guide them through each slide in real time.
This highlights how Presenter View will appear only on your screen. Your audience will see your slide show as you present it.
Once you’re done, simply hit the End Online Presentation in the Present Online tab.
This option is convenient when meeting in person is not possible. However, the slight downside is that some of your original deck’s features may be compromised. All transitions will automatically be set to “fade” from the audience’s view and the file size may be imposed on your upload.
In this situation, a concise deck is more advisable for livestreaming to minimize the lag in your loading times.
Use Office Mix
Office Mix is a free downloadable add-on for Office 365 subscribers. It makes livestreaming presentations much easier.
Office Mix retains more content such as audio, video, polls, and quizzes than PowerPoint alone. These features are helpful for presenters seeking to maximize audience engagement. using their deck. Consider reviewing each feature to see which will work best to your advantage.
In the Mix tab, you can see Quizzes Video Apps.
The platform also features “live digital inking.” This is a more hands-on approach that enables you to guide the audience using video, audio, and illustrations.
You can visit the official site of Office Mix for tutorials on how to navigate through its very useful features.
Office Mix requires an internet connection to share your presentation. However, your audience will be able to review your slides well after you’ve concluded the presentation.
Of course, different people will find different benefits. For example, a teacher can track their students’ progress outside the classroom.
Mix seamlessly crosses the boundaries between the Microsoft Office programs. You can effectively gather audience data and feedback for a more in-depth analysis.
Upload to Online Platforms
This third option offers the least audience interactivity. But it may be the easiest to execute.
Publishing your slides online will allow you to reach out to a wider audience. While you can configure the presentation to be viewed by selected viewers only, default settings keep your deck open for public viewing. Adding tags to your presentation makes it easier to search online, further enabling mass sharing.
This technique combines the two previous methods. It’s limited in file size, but audiences will be able to view them at their own pace. These online platforms require compressing your presentations to a size that websites can handle.
How Can You Prepare for the Unexpected?
Your deck plays a key role in the impact of your presentation. It’s important to have the means to share it when distance becomes a concern. There are many ways to make your presentation accessible. Try different options for a to ready for anything in any live streaming setting.
When you livestream your deck, several design elements may benefit from it. Because the presentation is being streamed from your source, you won’t need to worry about losing any of your custom fonts. That’s a common pain when people send their decks via email. Here are a few other assets that add value and enhance viewer experience:
Interstitial Graphics: Controls broadcast flow and breaks it into segments
Overlay Graphics: Media that plays over the main content
Alert Overlays: Pulls live data from online sources and displays over the stream
You may notice these things on streaming platforms like Twitch. Moving forward, you may want to learn these in and out. This is only more true since most decks are now shown online. These skills can give you a leg-up over other presenters and help you stand out as the better speaker.
Planning for the Future
Being able to present your deck in any setting will help you succeed more often. It will amplify your message and raise it above other decks your audience may see. Even worse is to be the person behind. As others are forced to live stream their decks more often, the advantage will be theirs. Do not wait to learn these skills.
Working from home continues to be the norm. It’s essential to utilize all the tools you have at your disposal. Livestreaming solutions have made it so much easier to deliver a smooth online presentation experience. Take these tips as unique chances to improve your skills for you next big presentation.
Have any other ideas? Is there one we missed? Let us know in the comments below! Maybe we can add it a future blog post. We always appreciate learning new things!
The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on all of us. We’ve seen businesses struggle, from family-owned restaurants to international corporations.
Limitations created by the pandemic forced businesses to become more “agile” to survive during this tumultuous period.
What does it mean for a business to be agile during this pandemic? In a normal context, agility is a business’ ability to adapt to market and environmental changes. Because of COVID-19, however, companies had to make massive operational shifts to protect their business and their employees.
With lockdowns and quarantines being enforced across the world, it was difficult for many to operate at their regular capacity. But after some time, planning, and practice, companies recovered through agile strategies to keep their businesses running as effectively as possible while still upholding the new social norms.
In this article, we will analyze several aspects of business that had to undergo a shift to be more agile.
Operating with Limitations
Imagine having very little room to operate. What can you do? When a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic hits, the only option is to start getting creative. Companies had to rethink and innovate their operations to keep employees safe, while still effectively providing their service.
Consider the fitness industry. When you think of spin classes or boxing, the image of gyms and studios come to mind. Social distancing, however, put all kinds of traditional classes on hold.
Gyms and trainers made the necessary and effective transition into providing online classes. From pre-recorded sessions to live Zoom classes, people were successfully working out through online means. What started out as a major limitation eventually created a major boom in the online fitness industry. The trend has grown so much this year that even businesses that offered virtual classes well before the pandemic experienced a significant uptick in engagement.
In recent years, companies have been undergoing a “digital transformation.”
From internal operations to customer experience strategies, the pandemic accelerated the need for companies to start operating heavily within digital spaces.
Like in any kind of crisis, it became an “adapt or die” scenario. The boom in e-commerce is the biggest example of this fact. Social distancing protocols forced many physical stores to close their doors, and because people are trying to avoid more public places in general, consumer buying habits took a major shift into online shopping.
Communicating with a Purpose
Whether it’s between two businesses, internal discussions, or a company addressing their consumers, digital communication has played a vital role during the pandemic. On the business side of things, meetings had to move from the board room to platforms like Zoom and Slack.
While virtual meetings may not be able to fully replicate the experience of face-to-face meetings, many people have adapted to make such settings as effective as possible. In an in-person setting, presenters can rely on their body language, on vocal delivery to keep people engaged. In an online setting, however, plenty of that energy gets lost. To make up for such disadvantages, presenters focus on delivering more simplified slides to deliver their message as fast and clearly as possible, capitalizing on when people’s attentions are at their peak. These tweaks to one’s presentation style made big impacts as online meetings have become more normalized than ever
SlideGenius Is Your Presentation Expert
At SlideGenius, we specialize in creating presentations that can bring the very best out of your next virtual meeting. We’ve experienced our fair share of struggle with remote work.
These barriers have become normal for us, but we’ve always learned to adapt and overcome them. What pulls us together is our shared passion for helping our clients succeed. From our artists, writers, web developers, animators, and project managers, we use our expertise in presentation design to spark invaluable growth.
Delivering an immaculate business presentation no matter the circumstance is an essential skill. But COVID has drastically changed the world. Whether you’re trying pitch new creative ideas to your partners or hoping to land more investors, your abilities as a presenter are more vital than ever to your business.
Executing your pitch has become a completely different ball game. The pandemic has forced many businesses to start working remotely, essentially erasing any chance of having face-to-face meetings. The “normal” pitch setting these days has moved from boardrooms into living rooms. It’s a circumstance we have little control over but must adapt to in order to keep things running smoothly.
While the situation may be challenging, there are ways to keeping your pitch as effective as ever… even as you deliver it virtually. In this article, we’ll tackle some of the best methods of delivering presentations from your home.
Appear Worthy of Your Business Presentation
Appearances go a long way in pitches. But just because you’re working form home, it does not mean you can take your looks lightly. When it comes time for the big pitch, pick an outfit that you’d wear as if you were delivering the presentation in person. This speaks volumes about your sense of professionalism.
The next step, however, is something plenty of people still overlook. In video call settings, remember to always tidy up your background. It does not necessarily need to be a blank space behind you, it just needs to look clean and professional. Find a good spot in your home that looks simple and uncluttered. The last thing you want is your audience being distracted by whatever is going on behind you, whether it be a fancy looking painting or children’s toys sprawled all over the floor.
Looking for a game changer in making your video pop? Good lighting makes your video crisp, naturally attracting more attention. Even if you are not onscreen very long, making good first and last impressions are essential to delivering a successful pitch.
Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse
Preparations are more important than ever in virtual settings. While many apps and services have adapted to make your online business presentation easier, there are still a lot variables that can go wrong at any moment. Whether its your mic going on the fritz or your internet connection getting spotty, be prepared for everything that could possibly go wrong. Test your set up several times beforehand to make sure everything is works as it should be.
On top of all that tech prep work, there’s still the act of delivering the presentation that you need to prepare for. Keep in mind, your voice comes off differently through a mic. Use your tests to see if your delivery comes off clearly given the equipment you have to work with. Much like delivering pitches in person, making these run throughs will help you iron out all the kinks beforehand.
Engage Your Audience DURING the Business Presentation
Audience attention span is your biggest enemy in online presentations. You may be able to control everything within your environment, but you can do very little about what your audience has around them. Success rests on engaging your audience throughout the presentation. Actively raise questions for your audience throughout the presentation. This will strike a more conversational tone to your pitch and keep your audience focused on the discussion.
Picking up on your audience’s body language is much harder online. Be on the lookout for different cues. Take note if their attention is drifting off screen. That is a cue to pull them into conversation. This will help you keep things on track while also assisting your audience in properly internalizing everything that’s been talked about so far.
SlideGenius is Your Presentation Expert
As a start-up presentation design company since 2012, we’ve created almost every kind of presentation you can imagine. We’re a worldwide team, with four difference offices spread across the US and Philippines. Meaning, we’re also experts on working “remotely” for close to a decade now. These barriers have become normal for us, but we’ve always learned to adapt and overcome. What pulls us together is our shared passion for helping our clients succeed. From our artists, writers, web developers, animators, and project managers, we utilize our expertise in presentation design to spark invaluable growth.
At SlideGenius, we are eager to be a valuable partner to all who needs our services during this challenging time. Contact us today for all your presentation needs!
For better or for worse, 2020 has been a year of great change. The COVID-19 pandemic flipped the entire world on its head, drastically changing how we live our daily lives. One of the most significant changes has been the global shift to more remote work setups. While the adjustment was drastic for most offices, many employees welcomed the opportunity. After all, working from home is more comfortable than being confined in an office all day.
After several months of remote work, however, the reality of the situation has set in. People are feeling burnt out. What was once an exciting working experience has now become routine, and like most routines, if not managed correctly, has begun to take its toll on people. The honeymoon phase is over but work still needs to get done.
Considering the pandemic still greatly limits one’s movements, what can be done about remote work burnout?
Structure Your Workdays
The most immediate adjustment to working from home is that it tears down traditional work environments. The distance between your office and home is now non-existent. The problem with losing such boundaries is that it makes it easy to overwork yourself. Back then, the act of leaving the office and going home was a clear way to switch off your brain from “work mode.” Now that you both live and work in the same place, it can feel like the “work mode” switch is always on.
That feeling of being “always on” is what quickly leads to burnout. This can cause you to slip into bad work habits. Considering the distractions around you at home, it has become easier to be neglectful about work duties. The irony of that situation is that putting off work will only force you to work more hours than you should. Procrastinating only means you’ll need to spend more time catching up later.
In cases like this, you simply need to be stricter on yourself about your work hours. Allot a specific amount of time per day to be in “work mode” just as if you were still going to the office. Use that mental clock to push yourself to finish your work duties for the day.
Make Time for Hobbies
Having work-life balance is as important as ever in these unique times. That requires good time management. By switching yourself off from “work mode”, you can start spending time on hobbies you’re passionate about. Whether its painting, exercising or reading, these hobbies play a crucial role in keeping your mind balanced. Especially after longs days working, it feels like a great payoff to spend time on something that relaxes you physically, mentally, and emotionally.
From a practical standpoint, keeping your mind balanced greatly benefits your work productivity. Hobbies are great for de-stressing yourself while keeping your mind sharp. If you’re starting to feel like your old routine has started to get monotonous, try out something new for a change. We all have some extra time on our hands these days. A new hobby will also give you something to look forward to once you log off work.
Give Yourself a Break
While travelling may be off the table these days, it doesn’t mean taking some time off work won’t do you some good. You may still have to stay home, but at least you’ll be giving yourself some time to recharge. It can be anything from a day to a week, but use the time to balance yourself out, especially if you’ve been feeling like work is absorbing too much of your energy. Treat it as a break from the regular routine that’s been wearing you down.
Even pre-pandemic, “staycations” were great for spending more time with things that bring you joy. More time with your family, a good book, a few movies, these are all great ways to make the most of a break at home. Time away from you’re your routine stressors will give you an immediate boost and get you ready for when the time comes to start work once again.
Outsource Design Work
It’s important to remember that you’re not the only one working remotely these days. Even before things went into flux, the gig economy was rising fast across nearly all industries. The current situation just pushed both freelancers and companies alike to make rapid adjustments in their workflows to offer more services remotely.
If you ever feel out of your depth with work, reach out to outsource services. Whether you need graphic design, copy work or even animation, there is a vast number of professionals today willing to help. These collaborations will ultimately help lighten your load while also giving you a tremendous resource for future projects.
SlideGenius, Your Invaluable Partner
As a presentation design company since 2012, we’ve experienced our fair share of work and productivity struggles. What pulls us together is our shared passion for helping our clients succeed. From our artists, writers, web developers, animators, and project managers, we utilize our expertise in presentation design to spark invaluable growth.
At SlideGenius, we are eager to be your partner during this challenging time. Contact us today for all your presentation needs!
Every successful startup begins with an idea. The only way to get that idea off the ground is to have a killer pitch behind it. Depending on who you’re pitching to, there are two types of decks that need to be considered: “Pitch Decks” and “Investor Decks.”
While they share many similarities, there’s more going on below the surface. Thinking that pitch decks and investor decks are the same is a common misconception, leading to failed presentations. There are fine lines between pitch decks and investor decks that need to be realized to fully maximize their impact.
Knowing Your Audience
The key difference between the two is that they are each created for specific audiences.
Investor decks are for the business and financial decision-makers of companies. With that in mind, one can assume that the audience of an investor deck bears a significant amount of knowledge about starting and running a business.
Pitch decks, on the other hand, are for general audiences. Because their backgrounds and knowledge are more varied, pitch decks need to be broader and more accessible with their messaging.
Understanding your audience is the first step to delivering more effective messages.
Ask yourself: What does your audience want to hear? How does your business/product add value to their lives? In what ways do you meet their demands?
The answers to these questions will greatly vary depending on who you are talking to.
Express Value Differently
The clearer the idea you have about your audience, the more you can tailor your content and messaging to better fit their expectations. The perceived value of your presentation fully depends on what your audience is looking for.
Investors will want to a clear scope of your financial projections as well as business plans for the months after your launch.
Presenting that same kind of technical information may not be as effective within the context of a pitch deck. Whereas investors are concerned about a business’ profitability in a measurable sense, general audiences are more concerned about how a product or service can greatly benefit their daily life and the lives of others.
These skews in proposing value vary greatly across the various aspects of your presentation. Even in how you differentiate yourself against competitors, it all should fall within the same criteria that most concerns your target audience.
Tell Your Story
Every great pitch needs a narrative. Structuring your presentation with a narrative greatly increases the impact it makes on your audience.
Consider the 3-act narrative structure. Act 1 is your setup. Your opening slides should create context for what you’re about to pitch. “What problems need to be solved?” “What things can be done better to improve lives?” Proposing questions like these create a natural segue into the next act of your story.
Act 2 is “confrontation.” This refers to your business’ action in solving the problems proposed in Act 1. This is where you go into the finer details of what you have to offer.
Act 3 is the resolution. This ties the information together summarizing the points that make your products or services so special.
This simple structure guides the attention and interests of your audience regardless of their background or knowledge. It taps into every human’s innate interest in listening to stories reach their conclusions.
We Are SlideGenius, Your Valuable Partner
As a start-up design company since 2012, we know the value of a well-made PowerPoint presentation. Through our hard work in presentation design, we’ve helped our clients in growing their business in big ways.
From our artists, writers, web developers, animators, and project managers, we all come together with a shared passion for being an invaluable spark towards business growth. The thousands of slides and presentations we’ve created have all been part of our pursuit of being better designers and storytellers.
At SlideGenius, we are eager to be a valuable partner to all who needs our services during this challenging time. Contact us today for all your presentation needs!
Graphic design is an often-misunderstood aspect when running a business. The uninitiated assume that designs, be it logos or marketing content, can be created easily and quickly. These are deadly assumptions to make considering the significant role graphic design plays in branding. Companies with rock solid offerings can risk floundering in competitive markets if their designs look cheap or unappealing. Graphic designers are highly skilled professionals capable of strengthening a brand’s image.
In this article, we will focus on an overlooked aspect of branding: PowerPoint presentation design. Discover how the work of a professional PowerPoint designer can help reshape the way your business is perceived in the boardroom.
Designers Deliver Messages Visually
PowerPoint design is more than simply creating aesthetically pleasing slides. Professional designers are experts of visual communication. They can take heaps of bland looking data, like monthly sales reports, financial projections, or survey results, and transform them into more visually engaging pieces of content. Their discerning eye for information helps them filter out anything that serves no value to the design and message of the presentation.
Ever felt like your presentation has too much text? Often, it probably does. Text heavy slides are still one of the most common problem most people make when creating their own pitch presentation. Professional designers are keener on showing over telling. They effectively utilize visual design elements to convey messages with only a fraction of text. This decreases clutter on the slides, making it easier for audience to interpret what being presented.
Controlling the Flow of Information
When in the hands of someone with little to no design skills, it’s very common to see the slides looking haphazardly put together with no sense of flow. Overwhelming information muddies your intended message. What good would all that information be if your audience can’t even make sense of it?
Presentation designers deliberately take control of the flow of information. From the colors, text composition, and pictures/graphics, every element serves the purpose of being more visually intuitive. It’s a matter of using these visual cues to draw the attention of someone’s eyes. They effectively put all these elements together to ensure that your audience keys into every piece of relevant information without feeling overwhelmed by it all.
Save Yourself the Headaches
There’s plenty at play when creating an effective PowerPoint. Which template should you use? Should the presentation have animations? Which visuals, tables, and graphs best illustrate your points? Professional designers can answer all these questions for you with ease. Their experience allows them to know what styles and visual flair work for every kind of presentation. Their knowledge of the ins and outs of PowerPoint enable them to fully maximize the capabilities of the program.
In times when you simply have too much work on your plate to handle creating another presentation, professional PowerPoint designers can bear that load. More so, their highly developed skills in the matter ensures a greater final product than what you could have accomplished on your own. Having designers handle creating your presentation gives you the extra time and energy to focus on areas that better fit your own expertise.
We Are SlideGenius, Your Valuable Partner
As a start-up presentation design company since 2012, we’ve experienced our fair share of work and productivity struggles. In fact, our full team is split between four different offices around the world. Meaning, we all work “remotely” from one another daily. These barriers have become normal for us, but we continuously adapt and overcome. What pulls us together is our shared passion for helping our clients succeed. From our artists, writers, web developers, animators, and project managers, we utilize our expertise in presentation design to spark invaluable growth.
At SlideGenius, we are eager to be a valuable partner to all who needs our services during this challenging time. Contact us today for all your presentation needs!
Even in the face of a global pandemic, lockdowns, and work pivots, businesses and entrepreneurs continue to find ways on how to succeed.
We are facing a future that most of us did not expect when we entered 2020. COVID-19 has caused massive paradigm shifts in how we work and live our daily lives. With customer preferences and habits now changed, companies have had to adapt drastically. Numerous supermarkets and restaurants now offer delivery services, without any prior experience beforehand. Schools of all kinds have started offering more online classes just to make up for campus closures.
If you’re working on starting a new business venture, developing a new idea, or simply trying to find ways to improve your marketing, don’t give up hope. While 2020 has kept us all on our toes, it also created new opportunities for growth.
One of the biggest hurdles that companies have had to overcome is adopting a full work-from-home system. Many have embraced the flexibility of working from home, while others still prefer the routine and structure of office settings. Regardless, your ability to commit to your business goals remain.
Adjusting to such massive change is never easy, but as we have seen from others around the world, success is still achievable. In this article, we will tackle some of the best tips to remember about making the most out of working from home while pursuing your goals.
Be Mindful of Your Productivity
Let’s not kid ourselves here, working from home comes with many distractions. The temptation to just boot up Netflix and watch a few (or many) episodes of your favorite show is easy to succumb to. Therein lies the stigma towards those who work from home: relaxing while on company time.
The truth about working from home is that it’s a true test of one’s work ethic. Remember to always be mindful of your team’s goals and deadlines. At the end of the day, you are beholden to yourself to make sure your they are being met. Where you do your work should not change that.
Use being at home to the advantage of your productivity. To avoid distractions, create for yourself a “sacred” space in your home that is fully devoted for work. Whether it’s on your desk, couch, or kitchen table, it should be wherever you feel is your most ideal working environment. It’s where the switch in your head flips when you know it’s time to get down to work.
Reach Beyond Your Duty
COVID-19 has created a litany of problems, both known and unknown. No one is leaving their homes. Traveling is highly prohibited. Cleanliness protocols are at an all-time high. Take all these problems as a personal challenge to provide your company or value proposition with new and inventive solutions. It’s fully within your power to add more value to your vision and organization.
While companies are looking to continue operations “like normal”, you can take the extra step by performing with greater effort than before. Try getting a head start on the goals you’ve slotted for tomorrow or next week. The flexibility of working from home allows you to fully maximize the time and effort you can put into your business each day. Brainstorm a few more ideas, write a few more emails, communicate a bit longer with teammates. This is your opportunity to come up with something big.
Take Advantage of Time
Perhaps the danger of working at home is blurring the boundaries with work. You may feel the need to waste invest the hours you spent on the road to the virtual office.
Some people take pride in putting every available hour into their work. But the truth this behavior can lead to burnout, which hurts productivity and morale. This will create impediments to success, whether in the long- or short-term.
If you didn’t use to make time to get away from your desk in the office, it’s all the more reason to do so now. Take a bit of time each day to start a new workout program, or even spend more time connecting with loved ones. Spending time on things that bring you joy will help reduce stress levels, especially when pursuing your dream gets too overwhelming. This balance will be crucial in maintaining your ability to keep performing work at your very best.
SlideGenius Helps You Reach Your Business Goals
As a start-up design company since 2012, we’ve experienced our fair share of work and productivity struggles. We know the struggle so we know what it takes to succeed. Aside from gumption, that means having a professional designed pitch deck if you’re raising money, immaculate sales assets for bringing in new clients, or even a spot-on video that will help your potential customers or investor understand your value offer.
We are dedicated to helping our clients succeed by helping them tell their story better. From our artists, writers, web developers, animators, and project managers, we utilize our expertise in presentation design to spark invaluable growth for you. At SlideGenius, we are eager to be a valuable partner to all who need our services during this challenging time. Contact us today to get a free quote!
Economic hardships aren’t always a bad thing. Some businesses rise from the ashes and pivot their strategies to come out stronger. Some people become their own bosses, taking the leap to start their own companies.
Recessions are not without opportunity. Risks may be higher and advantages fewer, but for the thought leaders and entrepreneurs who put in the hard work, success can still be found.
Miracle Whip Emerges from Great Depression
In the early 1900s, Richard Hellman introduced mayonnaise to the world. But not everyone found their product of the sandwich condiment to be economical.
During the Great Depression, however, people could no longer afford it because of the ingredients used to make them were expensive. Kraft’s sales were slipping.
Determined to succeed, Kraft took a new production approach. They developed an alternative to mayo using new emulsifying technology, creating Miracle Whip. By adapting an trying a new method, they were able to help keep the company alive during historic struggles.
Domino’s Pivots Towards Success Following 2008’s Economic Downturn
Netflix used to be a DVD-by-mail service provider in the mid-2000s, but have you ever wondered how they’ve become the streaming powerhouse of the world? During the Great Recession, Netflix defied expectations and found the way to its subscribers’ hearts, attracting 3 million more by the end of 2009. Its stock price rose to 57%, and the rest, as they say, is history.
The first-generation iPod hit the shelves in October 2001. Even though it cost $399, 600,000 people bought one by the end of 2002, and 2 million a year later. While it wasn’t manufactured because of the recession, it provided a cheaper alternative to stereos and going to concert.
With the Recession Comes Reinvention
Lockdowns, canceled events, panic-buying—these are just several setbacks caused by the coronavirus. Apart from the health risks posed by the pandemic, however, a global recession is in the midst.
It’s a domino effect—a pandemic causes lockdowns, which affects businesses in terms of laying off employees and losing customers.
This decade is comparable to the Roaring Twenties, where big businesses will be disrupted and some will eventually collapse, which will create opportunities for small businesses.