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9 Presentation Resources You Don’t Want to Miss

 


The most memorable presentation of my life

Once, while in the third grade, a classmate of mine, Julie, was supposed to give a presentation on a subject that I obviously no longer remember, but let’s just say was Apache Indians. She had built a huge, or what I thought at the time thought was a huge, Paper Maché project for her presentation.The project had dozens of little Indians, tiny teepees, plastic horses, even handfuls of real grass. When our teacher called her up to speak, she walked up front-and-center, with her project in hand, looked up to the class for about 10 seconds, and blew chunks all over her incredibly detailed project. Ironically, that was one of the most memorable presentations I’ve seen. Julie was afraid to present to us. Coincidentally, fear of public speaking actually incredibly common.

While maybe blowing chunks isn’t always the consequence, it is definitely a nerve-racking experience.  In fact, some experts estimate that as much as 75% of the population has some level of anxiety regarding public speaking. The best way to get over the fear is to be prepared. Preparing obviously consists of practicing a whole lot, but it also incorporates resourcefulness. Before one begins to practice, one must design an effective presentation to practice with. With that comes the need to know how to make effective presentations.

For that reason, we at Slidegenius, have come up with a short list of 9 useful resources for anyone who may find themselves giving or creating a presentation. 

1. Beyond Bullets

This site will help you use presentation software more effectively. Filled with  stimulating content and useful information. The site highlights certain philosophies and strategies with regard to  the way you use your software and apply it to presentations.

2. DesignSense

This site  advertises itself as “graphic design training for businesspeople.” The content focuses on a series of design lessons the common-folk with no formal training in graphic design. The company claims that the training you receive on the site is equivalent to a 40-hour graphic design course. It is condensed into 12 hours of computer-based training and costs around $60.

3. Presentation Zen

This site is essentially Garr Reynold’s blog on issues related to presentation design, technique, and delivery. Reynolds provides examples of good and bad presentations.

4. Crystal Graphics

This is a great source for PowerPoint add-ins that enhance the basic program. Professional-like transitions, 3D Titles and custom templates are some of the more popular add-ins.  The only caution Id give is that some of the effects require some intense hardware horsepower and may be costly.

5. KeynotePro

This source presents amazing Keynote themes for professionals.

6. PowerPoint ImageObjects

The site offers collections of great-quality symbols and shapes, metaphor objects, numbers, bullets, and other objects.

7. PowerPoint Templates Pro

Another collection of professionally produced PowerPoint templates.

8. iStockPhoto

Cheap and good-quality images.

9. Microsoft Clip Gallery Live

Microsoft’s free clipart site.

If you can think of any other resources that I have missed, please comment to share your favorites.

 

References:

Fritscher, Lisa. “Glossophobia.” About.com.

4 Things to Avoid in Order to Gain Respect During a Presentation

Making a positive, memorable impression is an enormous aspect of professional presentations. However, when we’re up on stage–under the magnifying glass–we might not be cognizant of how we’re being perceived by the audience. Here’s a few very common tendencies people tend to fall into without realizing, and ironically these are often done as an attempt to be more likable and relatable.

 

1. Don’t Make Jokes at the Expense of Others

This is a very commonly used ploy to win over the majority of the crowd at the expense of its minority. However, anyone who’s respect you want will see through this. It’s a cheap trick you should not stoop down to. Humor is a great tool during a speech, but either make it constructive, or even better, make yourself the butt of the joke. As long as you’re not too harsh on yourself, this is a great way to be relatable to the audience.

 

2. Don’t Dumb Yourself Down

If you’re attempting to come off as more colloquial or conversational, be careful not to take it too far. Sure, you don’t want to be rigid or robotic, but talking to an audience the way you talk to your friends on a Saturday night won’t score you any points. dumb_a

This is a fine line to balance. You may have an intensely technical background, and you might have to present on a complex topic that goes along the same lines. In this case, where you might have to actually simplify your ideas a great deal in order to relate them to your audience, it’s important to be very cautious aobut the tone you’re using. As we all know, nothing is quite so infuriating as being spoken to like a five year old. Keep in mind that you’re presenting to a room full of professional, of fully grown adults who deserve to be spoken to as such. Don’t dumb down. Simplify.

 

3. Don’t show off with your vocabulary

On the contrary, don’t try to dazzle your audience with your faux-intellect by using as big of words as possible when showing your PowerPoint slides. Presenting is about communication and relating to your audience. Using unnecessary language might distract or confuse, and you’ll likely come off as obnoxious.

 

4. Don’t Fidget Nervouslywoody-allen

No one wants to watch Woody Allen squirm nervously on stage while when they’re looking to gain meaningful information in a business setting. Most likely if you don’t think about your posture, body movements and posture, then they’re probably not working toward your advantage. Make sure your movements are slow, meaningful and deliberate. The confidence you’ll exude in doing so will go a long way.

 

If you can’t tell what the overarching theme with all of this is, it’s that you should present yourself as well as possible, but don’t falsify your image because your audience will see right through it. Be yourself, but make sure you’re being the best version of yourself possible.

An Angel Investor’s Guide to Cracking the Mind of an Angel Investor

“I would like to introduce myself to you. I am an angel investor. You may not have met the likes of me. I play several different roles. I am a listener to your presentations, a challenger of your strategy, an investigator conducting due diligence, a negotiator over investment terms, and finally a check writer to fund your growth.”


forumWho better to give advice for an angel investment pitch, than  an angel investor himself? Edward Harley, Angel Investor and member of the Keiretsu Forum, lays out exactly what you need to do to become part of the “top 5% of all presenters.” Though his context lies in the world of investor pitches, his advice is true and useful for anybody presenting about any subject.

Usually, you’ll have about 10 minutes to “pitch” your idea to an investor. Within those few minutes you need to successfully tell Harley’s seven stories:

1. The ‘fundamental business logic’ story

This is the part of your presentation that illustrates how you don’t just have an idea, but a logical approach to making a business out of it. Great ideas are valuable, but relatively useless without proper execution. Its great execution that changes the world. That is what investors, and really just audiences want understand from you; the steps you took or are taking to realize your idea. In other words, share your story.

2. The ‘total available market’ story

This section of your presentation is essentially the evidence you are using to support your “fundamental business logic story.” You are highlighting the path your business will walk on, and explaining how wide the passageway is.

3.’This is a $50m to $100m business’ story

Continuing on the”evidence” of your business logic story, this portion of the presentation is meant to display a sense of value. Your need to make your audience understand that your business venture is not only credible, but an enticing and convenient investment for them.

4. ‘The product can be differentiated’ story

Here, you’ll show why and how you are different and/or better than your competition. This is a key point. Your audience wants to know and identify your specialty. After all, it is that very specialty that people will remember you by. Harley says it that his  “expectation is that [he] will hear about a solution that is significantly better for the customer than all their existing choices, by ‘significantly better’, [he] mean[s] 10X better.”

5. ‘The product/service can be sold’ story

This area of your presentation should circle back to the past four sections. Here you should reaffirm that your product or service is reliable and has the potential to lead to satisfying results.

6. ‘This management team can do it’ story

You’ve made your case for the product or service, now you have to establish your credibility, and the credibility of your team, as a valuable, effective, and reliable workers.

7. ‘This is a good investment for the investor’ story

This portion of the presentation should sum everything up and reiterate the essential selling points. Here you are making the idea of an investment, sale, or whatever call-to-action concrete.

At the end of all this, it is time to ask yourself through the mentality of an investor, “Could I, your listener, replay to another person the very basics of your venture and how your target customers will benefit from using your product?”

If the answer to that is yes, then you have successfully boosted your chances to realize your presentation’s call-to-action.

Harley sums it up best by saying, “If you can passionately tell me those 7 stories while building a rapport with me where I eventually become an investor, we can jump over obstacles together. In addition to being a source of funds, I am a member of a terrific network of successful colleagues who are willing to assist you in your entrepreneurial effort. Our knowledge is both deep and wide, crossing industries, technologies, markets, and distribution channels. Thus, I encourage you to make the upfront effort to tell me your story. We can be successful together!”

 

Reference:

The Infographic that You Need to See

PowerPoint has about a 95% share of the presentation software market. There are over 500 million PowerPoint users worldwide and more than 30 million presentations are created daily. Over 6 million academic teachers use PowerPoint for classroom instruction.


Inforgraphic 1

Ad-libbing vs. Scripting your Presentations: The Larry David Law

Presenting in a professional environment demands a lot of tedious work. Understandably, no one wants to look unprepared when they get up in front of a crowd of their contemporaries, underlings, or worse yet, their superiors.

Because of this natural fear, we prepare cautiously–and perhaps brood nervously–on how to make the best impression possible.

We responsibly rehearse and perfect our talking points, but memorizing a speech is not the end goal. We aren’t robots, and we don’t want to be seen that way. Having a personality is a prerequisite for being well liked, therefore as much effort as we put in, sometimes we need to devote time to seeming at ease and letting our true self show.

The wildly successful sitcom, Seinfeld, was the result of Larry David's superb screenwriting.
The wildly successful sitcom, Seinfeld, was the result of Larry David’s superb screenwriting.

Seinfeld co-creator and longtime head writer sparked two very different, very successful television shows. Seinfeld, which is regarded by many as the greatest sitcom there ever was (or ever will be), has received countless accolades for its outstanding writing, over which Larry David toiled as the show’s head writer for the vast majority of the series. Because of this, the dialogue of the show is memorable, hilarious, and perfectly delivered, especially that of George Costanza, a character modeled after David’s real-life neurotic ridiculousness.

When David finally waved goodbye to Seinfeld, he began a new show, HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, which has become a cult classic, and in many ways is superior to his previous project. However, unlike the carefully crafted script of Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm is almost totally improvised.

Both shows have different appeals, and are therefore successful for different reasons, but which one is superior, and how can we learn from the two when crafting our presentations.

When up in front of a crowd of respected peers, we want to come off as brilliant and ingenious as Seinfeld, but we also want to seem as effortlessly charming as Curb Your Enthusiasm. How do we find a balance?

Well, knowing how comfortable you should be with ad-libbing a portion of your presentation may require some self-analysis. Are you a comfortable, experienced speaker? If so, chances are you may already be working some off-the-cuff remarks into your public speaking engagements, because you’ve got enough experience to effectively think in the moment.

If, however, you’re new to speaking in public, or if you’ve been doing it for a long time and it still makes you uncomfortable, it’s likely that carefully planning and scripting your presentation is more beneficial to you.

I had a management job for a couple of years in college that required me to run meetings and address my staff on a near-weekly basis. This at first made me a bit nervous, and to cope with this, I’d spend a bit of time before I’d have to address them thinking about what I was going to say, writing down talking points, etc.

As the job progressed, I, of course, got more comfortable leading meetings and speaking to the staff. Eventually, I wouldn’t even blink–much less need to prepare–before getting up in front of my 20+ staff.

David’s career is comparable, and a valuable lesson into reaching this balance. The heavy reliance on improvisation seen in Curb Your Enthusiasm comes after nearly a decade of writing for a sitcom. It’s not as if David was just born with a sense of how to improvise, it came after a long time of growing comfortable with it.

So if you’re uncomfortable winging a portion of your presentation, don’t force it. Even if you may seem a little less natural or a too rehearsed, it is most likely a natural part of getting used to being up in front of an audience. First, become comfortable in your own skin during presentations before you go to this next level; your presentations will undoubtedly benefit from it.

Captus is Ready to Crush Their Competition

Captus provides proven military-grade analytics to big data in the commercial sector.


 

The company is an essential component in the field of analytics. Anyone could see that both their product and service were both top-of-the-line. Even then, Captus knew what most seem to overlook, which is that it doesn’t matter how good your product or service is, if you cant convince anyone to buy it, its practically useless. 

 

For that very reason they knew they not only deserved, but required top-of-the-line branding. Investing in the way you look as a company is one of the most crucial elements for sales.

captus pic
Their professional PowerPoint presentation, designed by SlideGenius, effectively showed Captus’s product, process and key capabilities, which in turn made it very easy for their audiences to understand their holistic concept and solution.By developing a very high-quality professional PowerPoint presentation, Captus was able to display the issue their worked was based off of in a useful way.

 

The issue they worked on was that acquiring detailed information from multiple databases takes a huge amount of effort and time.

The presentation thoroughly emphasized the benefits of choosing Captus over their competition by focusing on the core differences Captus offers.

 Though Captus already had a self-made PowerPoint presentation, they knew that in order to set themselves apart from their competition they need to be be better, not just in their product or service, but in the way they are seen by others. Being different and being better are what led them to invest in, and now officially have, a chic, insightful, and effective tool for branding and pitching themselves. captus pic 2

“Employing proven defense and space technology, Captus brings real intelligence capabilities to serious businesses by providing complete data management and analysis solutions, not just pretty visualizations.” Now, both their product and their brand are not only unique in their own industry, but effectively maximized.  

To find out how you can start developing your brand and presentation more effectively sign up for a 15-minute discovery call with Slidegenius!

Honesty is the Best Policy

liarNothing stops a public figure’s momentum dead in its tracks quicker than being called out for misleading or flat-out lying to the public. In a professional setting, credibility will go right down the drain when our honesty and integrity are put into question.

Like our scolding parents always told us, lying is wrong, right?

So as far as why you shouldn’t lie to or mislead your audience, it’s pretty simple. Not only is it morally incorrect, it’s not worth the risk.

The how to be honest is a bit more subjective. You hear phrases like, “put the right ‘spin’ on that information,” that hint at manipulation, but learning how to be honest and remain likable is all about providing context.

Let’s look at Robin Hood as a good example of providing context.

robiinView #1:

Robin Hood is an outlaw and a thief who robs unsuspecting victims in the woods.

When you state just this aspect of the situation this Robin Hood character doesn’t sound like such a great guy, but when you give the situation a bit of context and perspective, it doesn’t seem so bad.

View #2:

Robin Hood is an outlaw and a thief who robs unsuspecting victims in the woods, but they are always members of the exploitative monarchy and Robin Hood gives all of his bounty back to the starved, impoverished poor. He’s also a pretty snappy dresser.

Neither statement was a lie, but the second statement framed a compromising fact with the necessary, and it is the true context that allows the audience to understand Robin Hood’s motives and actions.

This lesson can be applied to any presentation in which you’re obligated to present information that your audience may interpret negatively. For instance, say you’re presenting a disappointing quarterly report. There’s nothing you can do short of flipping the line graph upside down and outright fudging the numbers to make it look positive. Instead of going into the presentation and stating, “revenue is down 40% and 10% of our clients left.”

Instead, admit the negatives, but put them in some perspective. Sure, the depleted revenue is a disappointing outcome, but this is a very key transition period for the company. We went through a great deal of change this quarter, and a few bumps in the road should be expected.

While admitting the bleak negatives in a presentation can be difficult, it’s important to show your confidence levels to your audience. Remain positive and self-assured. If you act defeated by the awful quarterly report, the audience will take the news all the harder.

To circle back to the most important aspect of honesty, straightforwardness and owning up to the hard-to-face facts will always earn you the respect of your audience and colleagues. Approach and embrace this aspect of presenting to them head on and you’ll be all the better for it.

7 Quotes Every Presenter Needs to Know

We’ve compiled our seven favorite quotes for presenters. These quotes can serve as inspiration for your presentation or can be used in it. In fact, most of these famous quotes are applicable to most businesses and relatable to anyone giving a professional PowerPoint presentation.


1.

abe lincoln quote

 2.

charles kettering quote

 3.

voltaire quote

 4.

churchill quote

 5.

peter drucker quote

6.

churchill quote2

 7.

greenspan quote

 If you can think of any other useful quotes for presentation professionals, let us know! Comment them on this post!

 

Acme Construction Uses SlideGenius for Huge Client Bid

Acme Construction is a California-based construction company with a knack for big projects. With an impressive history dating back to 1947–and more recently a couple high-end school and hospital extensions under their belt they were ready to go after what could potentially be the company’s biggest client to date (Details on the project off limits). acme2

Acme Construction was qualified for the project, but they needed a way to effectively visualize and present their expertise, experience, and capabilities, so they used SlideGenius to build them a deck based around the required criteria and interview questions for their project. SlideGenius was able to provide a complete, detailed picture of the company in a visually dynamic, high-impact presentation deck.

acme1When you need your company’s prowess to be known, don’t risk losing business because your potential client can’t tell how capable you are of the job. SlideGenius knows how to create presentations that make the sale by highlighting the most impressive aspects of your business in a dynamic way.
 

 

 

 

Heinz’s Crucial Model for Transparency

What’s one thing you’ll almost always see at the center of any given restaurant table?


First thing that comes up in my mind is a glass bottle of Heinz Tomato Ketchup. The fact of the matter is, Heinz ketchup has become a staple of American cuisine. Though, behind that world-famous condiment lies an unexpected story.

“Filthy, decomposed and putrid” are all words that famed cuisine author Pierre Blot used in 1866 to describe the quality of commercial ketchups being sold at the time. When you opened a bottle at that time, the contents could literally kill you. The main reason that ketchup was so filthy was due to the shortness of the tomato season. The season lasted from mid-August until mid-October, so ketchup could only be made fresh for two months out of the year’s twelve. By the late 1800’s Americans were so used to ketchup on their tables, that they expected its availability all year.  Manufacturers then began to use preservatives on massive quantities of ketchup to meet the year-long expectations. Those preservatives included boric acid, formalin, salicylic acid, and benzoic acid. And yes, those are chemical compounds used in today’s acne treatments and other commercial cleaning products. Even worse, the manufacturers added coal tar color the ketchup its signature red. And finally, to top it all off, the ketchup was cooked in copper tubs, leading to a chemical reaction between the copper and ketchup that could actually make the concoction poisonous to consume. How delicious does that sound?!?

The important part is what happened next.

Heinz took a complete turn and became the world’s leader in clean ketchup. And it all started with the very bottle itself being crystal clear in place of the brown bottles used by the rest. Heinz workers were also expected to be superfluously hygienic.  Heinz provided new uniforms, free laundry service for those uniforms, and even an in-house manicurist. In doing this Heinz nearly guaranteed clean employees, a clean environment, and a clean product. In fact, Heinz’s factories were such models of cleanliness that 30,000 visitors were allowed to tour the factory every year. Heinz knew he had nothing to hide.

As interesting as Heinz’s story is, the key part of it is what we learn it, and how we change as a result of the lessons we took away.

hEINZ TEXT BOX

If there were any principles that Henry Heinz valued more than any others, they were purity & transparency. Every bottle of Heinz Ketchup sold is see-through is for that very reason. It’s a design statement: purity through transparency. It is with that very principle that we must present ourselves to the world. Be pure and transparent in your goals, vision, and core company principles.

Define the vision

Heinz has branded its company mission statement to be “As the trusted leader in nutrition and wellness, Heinz – the original Pure Food Company – is dedicated to the sustainable health of people, the planet and our Company.” Like them, it is important to be clear in what your company is working towards. When people understand what you want from yourself, they can better understand how they can help, which is what you ultimately want them to do in some way.

With vision, comes the values you choose to build on to achieve your goals.

Define the values

Heinz names team building & collaboration, innovation, vision, results, and integrity as its core values. When it comes to choosing your values, you must really only answer two questions. “What do you want to work towards?” and “What do you need to do, or are willing to do, to get there?”

Define the quality

For billions of consumers around the globe, “if it isn’t Heinz, it isn’t ketchup.” It’s rational for people not to settle for anything less than greatness when it comes to quality, for that reason Heinz puts so much effort in marketing its own quality. Heinz says is beautifully and simply, “Good food is who we are, pure and simple.”

Define your vision, values, and quality in each and every one of your PowerPoint presentations and you will begin to allow your brand to be universally recognized for exactly what you want it to be recognized for. Taking these steps will show your audiences who and what you are in a simple yet relatable way, which is amazingly useful when it comes to maximizing your sales.

 

 

Work Cited:
http://www.fastcodesign.com/1673352/how-500-years-of-weird-condiment-history-designed-the-heinz-ketchup-bottle
http://www.heinz.com/default.aspx