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Does Your New Business Idea Have Potential?

So, you finally have the next billion dollar business idea.

You might think that this sets you off for greater things, but the real challenge is only about to start. There are plans to make and perfect as well as investors to impress.

You have a long road ahead of you.

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Before anything else, you need to make sure that your business idea has potential. After that, it will be much easier to convince others to consider your plans and take you up on your offer. As the old saying goes, “ideas are a dime a dozen.” It doesn’t really matter that you have this unique new idea that no one else has come up with before. The test is in how well you execute the tasks ahead of you.

For that, you need to develop the idea you have. What makes some ideas succeed, and others fail?

Diffusion of Innovations

In 1962, a sociologist named Everett Rodgers sought to answer these questions. He conducted a research project to learn more about how and why certain ideas spread. He gathered data from hundreds of case studies and published his findings in “Diffusion of Innovations“.

In his book, Rodgers was able to explore the different factors that influence how we decide which ideas are worthy of acceptance or rejection. These factors were examined by professor and author David Burkus in the context of business.

Now we’ll give our own take on the topic and see how you can gauge the potential of your own pitch deck.

Relative advantage

Relative advantage deals with how well your business idea and pitch deck compares to what is currently available on the market. The product or service you’re planning to launch should be seen by others as an improvement on the current standards of your industry.

This often happens when you’re presenting your product or service’s advantage in your pitch. Highlight how you stand out from the competition by stepping away from your slides and presenting a live demo. The concrete and visual evidence will convince your prospects of your skills.

Give them the statistics on how well you’ve performed in the past, or how in depth you’ve done your research, but before you reveal your own features, always start with the unique benefits only you can offer.

By tapping into this characteristic, you’ll be able to win people over with tangible proof, as well as a good track record over the competition.

Familiarity

Of course, your business idea will need more than an innovative edge to succeed. People also gravitate towards ideas that are familiar and relatable. If they can use past ideas and experiences to understand what you’re proposing, they will be more likely to accept and adopt to it.

Most of us prefer to try out things that have some semblance to what we’re already familiar with. Always keep in mind that even as you push boundaries, you also have to create an emotional connection with the target audience.

Check out the current trends that resonate with people’s preferences and incorporate these into your pitch. Share a personal story or experience that’s directly related to what you’re going to talk about.

The sense of familiarity before introducing the big reveal to your audience eases them in before surprising them out of nowhere.

Simple and easy to understand

Another factor to consider is the complexity of your business idea. It shouldn’t be too difficult to understand for others to adapt to it quickly. In other words, it shouldn’t be complex at all. It should be simple and straight to the point and this is where a pitch deck specialist can help.

The people you’re hoping to convince should be able to understand the logic behind it.The technical details might be complex, but it should still remain fundamentally easy to understand. An idea that’s too difficult to grasp can end up intimidating your potential audience.

You might have too much raw data at hand, but not all of it should go into your slides. Take only the most important data, and present it in a visually appealing manner. For this purpose, graphs, charts, and other visual representations can come in handy.

The details that you leave out can be further expounded on in your speech itself.

Able to test and verify

Related to the previous point, the next thing to consider is how effortlessly others can interact with and test out your new business idea. The more accessible your concept is for verification, the more individuals can familiarize themselves with it.

Once that happens, the likelihood of their accepting it grows. A quick example of this is how musicians allow audiences to stream their music for free on sites like Spotify or SoundCloud. Through these sites, their audience can see if they like their new material and then commit to buying the full-length album.

Get plenty of positive testimonials for your brand to put on your slides. It’s especially helpful if you can get the help of famous influencers, or better yet, brand advocates who are genuinely interested in your business, and who would be willing to advertise you to their followers.

Put your name out in the market with the help of other people, and build your network before, during, and after your presentation.

Can be observed and shared 

Finally, it will also help that your business idea can yield noticeable results that others can share and talk about. Rodgers calls this quality “observability.”

If your idea is open to observation, the easier it is to find and reach out to a wider audience. In other words, the more visible your new product becomes introduced to a mass audience.

In the article by David Burkus, he gives Banksy as an example. He wrote, “One of the reasons for Banksy’s success is the observability of his work. Many artists challenge social conventions in unique, seemingly playful ways, but Banksy’s work is highly public and easily shareable. It isn’t just stuck behind the glass in a single gallery or museum.

Don’t fail your prospects with empty promises. Part of your presentation is the assurance of quality. Show them that your ideas will have large returns from their investments. During your pitch, give instances when your product or service delivered well.

Does your new business idea have the potential to succeed? It definitely will if you improve on the finer points by using these criteria. Polish your message using these pointers and get started on creating a pitch deck that will wow investors.

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References:

Burkus, David. “The 5 Common Characteristics of Ideas That Spread.” 99u. 2013. Accessed January 30, 2015.
The Art of Graphs and Charts.” SlideGenius, Inc. April 21, 2014. Accessed January 30, 2015.
Why Storytelling Is an Effective Presentation Technique.” SlideGenius, Inc. September 8, 2014. Accessed January 30, 2015.

 

Featured Image: Joey Gannon via Flickr

5 PowerPoint Pitch Deck Tips For SEO-Friendly Slides

There are plenty of great benefits in creating a solid content marketing strategy.

As we’ve discussed before, we found that it’s an easy way to connect and engage with consumers. By sharing content that is relevant to them, you help them create an emotional connection with your brand.

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Of course, gaining leads through this method isn’t always easy. Sure, sharing your PowerPoint slides on the Internet does introduce your brand to a wider audience. The problem is that it might take them a while to find your content, even if you’ve created slides that are relevant and useful for them.

To nudge these potential consumers in your direction, let your slides stand out. The way to do that is by making your PowerPoint and pitch deck presentations SEO-friendly.

BrightEdge CEO Jim Yu stresses that unlike its earlier stages, SEO content no longer means stuffing your work with random keywords, but incorporating them into meaningful and well-researched content.

So how can you optimize your PowerPoint’s searchability? Follow our five tips:

Optimize your title slide

The title slide is an important part of your presentation, especially if you’re sharing it online. It’s the first thing that people will see when they’re browsing and come across your PowerPoint deck on SlideShare or any other site.

It’s also the title slide that will help them decide if your content is relevant to their interests. As such, optimize your title slide.

Take the time to craft the perfect title for your presentation, which needs to contain the keyword you’re optimizing for. The keyword should flow naturally with the single phrase you come up with.

Also have visuals that match your creative and SEO-friendly title. While the keyword helps search engines decide that your content is a match, it’s the visuals that will capture your target audience’s attention.

Use long tail keywords in the content

Using keywords shouldn’t stop at the title slide. The long tail keywords you choose should also be incorporated to the content of your slides.

For SEO beginners, that means you should incorporate keywords that are quite specific to the topic you’re discussing and optimizing for. This way, your content doesn’t get buried under millions of results for a general search term.

HubSpot contributor, Corey Wainwright, explains the use of long tail keywords. Such keywords flow naturally with the rest of your writing. Doing otherwise might end up alienating your audience.

Provide an accurate description

Aside from content, you also have to provide an accurate and thought-provoking meta description of your presentation.

Focus on the core message of your presentation and make sure that stands out in what you write.

A good description isn’t too long. A few, quick sentences will do. This will serve as the space where you can include information about your company, like links to your website and social media profiles.

Carefully tag your pitch deck presentation

Another crucial step to SEO-friendly slides are the tags. Sites like SlideShare allows up to 20 for your presentation.

Tags are keywords that will make it easier to categorize and find your content. Make sure you use those that are relevant to your content and your brand.

Tagging random keywords might damage you in the long run by marking you as spam. Always relate your tags to what your presentation is actually about.

Share presentation on social media

Finally, it’s time to share your presentation on social media platforms. When you upload your PowerPoint deck, you don’t have to sit around and wait for the audience to appear.

Do the heavy lifting and take your presentation to them. Share links to your newly-uploaded PowerPoint pitch deck presentation on your social media profiles. This will give your followers a heads up.

In turn, they can share it on their own profiles or websites. Search engines prioritize results that have plenty of back links. The more you share your pitch deck presentation, the larger your reach will become.

Sharing your presentations online can help you reach out to a wider audience. Do it right by making sure your PowerPoint slides have SEO advantage. Take note of these tips and do your best to connect and engage with consumers through the large world of the Internet.

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References:

Content Marketing Lesson: Presentations Create More Impact.” SlideGenius, Inc. July 13, 2014. Accessed January 29, 2015.
Wainwright, Corey. “The Ultimate Guide for Mastering Long Tail SearchHubSpot. Accessed January 29, 2015.
Perfecting Your Presentation Title Slide.” SlideGenius, Inc.. October 16, 2014. Accessed January 29, 2015.
Yu, Jim. “5 Steps To An Integrated Approach To SEO-Friendly Content Marketing.” Marketing Land. March 11, 2014. Accessed January 29, 2015.

 

Featured Image: Picjumbo.com

Your Voice Is The Most Valuable Presentation Tool

Technological advances have given us access to a variety of tools, from PowerPoint slides to interactive apps that bridge the gap between audience and presenter.

However, when all your equipment starts to fail, your voice is the one presentation tool you can use without having to worry about technical requirements in the venue.

But using your voice isn’t just about saving yourself from unexpected technical difficulties. It’s also a useful way to connect with your audience.

Hearing a voice that’s clear, confident, and enthusiastic will encourage them to engage with the message. It’s not enough to stammer through your pitch while reading note cards or slides. Use your voice to deliver a winning speech.

Here are a few things to help you do just that:

Volume and Clarity

Always be mindful of the fact that you’re speaking in front of an audience. A presentation isn’t a one on one conversation.

Renowned speech evaluator, Andrew Dlugan writes on his Six Minutes blog about the role the volume of your voice plays in delivering a clear and understandable pitch.

There are plenty of people that need to hear you, but this doesn’t mean that you have to shout. Just make sure you’re articulating every word and speaking louder than you normally would in everyday scenarios. If there’s a microphone available in the venue, still be mindful of your modulation and articulation.

Intonation and Emphasis

More than a loud and clear voice, it’s also important to add some variety to your speech. A monotonous voice isn’t exactly engaging. Practice your intonation by changing your pitch and adding color and interest in your presentation. It also creates an emotional impact your audience can relate to.

For example, the statement “will you help me out” can be read in different ways depending on your intonation. With a falling intonation or by ending at a lower pitch, the statement can sound aggressive and impatient. On the other hand, a rising intonation (also called a high final pitch) indicates a sincere question.

Experiment with your approach on your speech by emphasizing different keywords and phrases.

Pausing and Pacing

What use are all the previous techniques if you end up racing through your presentation? You can have a loud voice or use appropriate intonation. Long-time actor and Speakers & Artists International, Inc. CEO, Eric Stone, emphasizes the importance of speech pauses in creating a bigger impact on your listeners.

The audience will feel lost if you speed through your presentation. Pause help pace your speech at the right moments.

To use your voice properly, know when not to use it at all. In our previous point, we made a case for emphasizing certain words and phrases that are important to your presentation. Pairing that with correct rhythm and pausing will definitely add to the impact. This gives your audience a chance to absorb the information you’re presenting and even heighten its sense of urgency and importance.

When preparing for a presentation, we often focus all our energy and resources to making sure we have the most eye-catching visuals and content. It’s also important to learn the proper way to wield your most valuable presentation tool. To be a great communicator, you need to know how to utilize your voice.

 

References

5 Presentation Tools to Encourage Audience Interaction.” SlideGenius, Inc.. January 12, 2015. Accessed January 28, 2015.
Presentation Set Up: 5 Things to Do Before You Start Speaking.” SlideGenius, Inc.. September 2, 2014. Accessed January 28, 2015.
Troubleshooting Your PowerPoint Display Issues.” SlideGenius, Inc.. October 21, 2014. Accessed January 28, 2015.
The Art of Speaking Is the Art of Pausing by Eric Stone.” Succeed When You Speak. October 31, 2010. Accessed January 28, 2015.
Volume and the Public Speaker: Be Heard and Be Effective.” Six Minutes. August 19, 2013. Accessed January 28, 2015.

 

Featured Image: Ben Grey via Flickr

Preparing a ‘TED Talk’ Inspired Presentation: A 3-Step Plan

TED Talks only last for about 20 minutes. In that time, speakers are able to share interesting stories and make compelling arguments. TED Talks prove that insight doesn’t come from the amount of time spent in front of an audience. The success of a presentation rests on the quality of the message you’re delivering.

In a blog published on PresentationXpert, communications coach Nick Morgan makes an argument for the importance of concise speeches. As he puts it, the “impatience of the times” and our “shrinking attention spans” compel us to make sure presentations are short and sweet.

If your pitch looks like it will stretch on for an hour, it’s time to take on a new presentation plan. You don’t have to limit yourself to 20 short minutes, but it’s still important that you trim everything down to the most basic points.

Take inspiration from the success of TED Talks by following this new presentation plan. According to Morgan, all you need are three particular things: a single idea, a story, and one good question.

1.) Idea 

No matter how complex the topic, a presentation can be simplified if it’s unified by a single idea. That idea is the message at the core of your presentation. Speeches can try to make several points, but there should always be one common idea acting as the linchpin.

To trim down your presentation, look at your draft and look for the thread that connects one point to another. Focus on this thread and cut out anything that doesn’t help move your main idea forward. Then, sum everything up in an elevator pitch.

As an example, Morgan cites “My stroke of insight“, the TED talk by neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor on the mysteries of the human brain. Taylor’s talk can be summed up in the following statement:

As a neuranatomist, I study the difference between normal brains and the brains of the mentally ill. One morning, I suffered a stroke, and experienced a mental disorder of my own. I was fascinated to learn from the experience. Here’s what I learned while I was dying, especially about the differences between the right and left hemisphere’s experiences of reality.

2.) Story

As you already know, stories are at the heart of every TED Talk. To keep your presentation substantial, make sure you also have a story to share. This helps keep your idea afloat and make your presentation more relatable.

In Morgan’s earlier example, we see that Taylor’s presented narrative revolves around “drama surrounding the moment of the stroke, and what follows from that”. From it, she helps the audience derive a valuable lesson about life.

While your own speech doesn’t have to be particularly dramatic, it’s important to deliver a powerful story. Sharing an honest, emotional story will help you create a much-need human connection between you and your listeners.

3.) Question 

A memorable TED Talk always poses a thought-provoking question. It doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult to answer. However, it does need to engage the audience and get them thinking. This helps eradicate the doubts they may have. It also lets them see that the stakes that you’re about tackle are relevant to their own lives.

If you want to stick to a traditional pitch, start with a question and build up its answer. To add a playful twist, you can also end with a question as a final note to encourage discussion even after your presentation is over. Whatever the case, make sure you have something that encourages audience interaction.

The best TED Talks offer refreshing viewpoints and interesting ideas. Your presentation can do the same for your audience by following this 3-step plan.

 

References

Morgan, Nick. “How to Prepare a 20-Minute TED-Like Talk.” Presentation Xpert. Accessed January 27, 2015.
My Stroke of InsightJill Bolte Taylor. TED, 2008.
Presentation Tips: 3 Lessons from the TED Stage.” SlideGenius, Inc. July 6, 2014. Accessed January 27, 2015.

 

Featured Image: Gisela Giardino via flickr.com

Sales Presentation Tips: How to Leave Your Clients Inspired

A sales presentation is the proverbial last mile. The opportunity to come face-to-face with a prospect is your last bet to make sure the sales process goes in your favor. Because of this, the stakes are high and there’s a lot of pressure to perform. It’s not enough that you’ve made sure to present your product or service in the best light. You also need a good story to share.

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Salespeople tend to focus on the particulars of what they’re offering. While it’s important to introduce the details of your product or service, it’s also important to answer a crucial question. As TED speaker Simon Sinek puts it, “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

Following this line of thinking, here are a few ways to make sure your story stands out and leaves prospects inspired:

Follow a compelling structure

Do without the blatant matter-of-fact way tone sales presentations typically have. This traditional technique doesn’t particularly inspire prospects to engage with you.

If you want to add an edge to your own sales pitch, follow the dramatic arc of ancient Greek plays. Scientific research has proven that narratives following this specific structure can trigger powerful emotional responses. This is exactly what you need if you’re looking to create a stronger connection between you and your audience.

Identify the challenges your prospect is facing

The conflict is perhaps the most important part of a story. In a movie, this is the point where all the tension and suspense start to build up. While you’re not looking to scare people off their seats, it’s important to create a similar feeling in your presentation.

Build a rapport by identifying the challenges that your prospects want to solve. Let them see that you’re aware of their current situation and you understand where they’re coming from. Describe to them a scenario that addresses the challenges they face to make your pitch more relatable.

Detail a solution particular to their issues

Obviously, it isn’t enough that you identify the problems your prospects want to solve. Challenges need to be solved. If you really want to leave them inspired, balance your story out by offering your own solution.

This is the part where you can bring out the details of your product or service. Delve into the features that are particularly helpful for the challenges you just presented. Make sure these solutions are specific to give your sales presentation a more personalized feeling.

Urge audience to action with a definitive statement

When you finish covering all the important points, don’t forget to end your sales presentation with a bang. Urge the audience one last time by providing them a Call to Action statement that’s simple and straight to the point.

Summarize the purpose of your pitch in one bold statement that will get prospects to commit. This final, definitive statement is your last chance to make sure the audience doesn’t forget your story and message, so make it memorable and convincing.

Make sure the visuals highlight your brand

All these tips could fall flat if you don’t have visuals that help highlight and elevate your story. Part of that story is making sure your brand is well-represented.

By creating a PowerPoint deck that mirrors your brand, you can make sure that your sales presentation is more distinguishable and unique. Best of all, it also helps remind your audience that you’re the best choice from a range of competitors.

The best way to go about this is by incorporating your logo in the colors you use. Take a look at these sample slides for more inspiration.

A sales presentation doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. Following the right techniques, it can be an easy sprint to the finish line. Follow these tips to make sure you leave prospect clients inspired and ready to get on board.

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Reference

End Your Presentation with a Call to Action Slide.” SlideGenius, Inc. July 14, 2014. Accessed January 26, 2015.
How great leaders inspire action. Simon Sinek. TED, 2009.
The Science of Effective Storytelling in Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. September 28, 2014. Accessed January 26, 2015.

Featured Image: PicJumbo.com

How to Face Unexpected Presentation Scenarios

While communication, nonverbal cues, and PowerPoint design are all very crucial, there’s one thing that will help you survive any scenario when in front of an audience. That’s to expect the unexpected, especially when you think you’ve got everything planned out.

Even as you prepare for your presentation, there are certain scenarios you won’t be able to foresee. There are things that could happen beyond your control. When that happens, most people get stuck and feel like they failed.

This doesn’t have to be the case if you can adapt to your predicament. When the worst happens, it’s better to face it head on. If you can’t be flexible in front of an audience, you run the risk of stumbling and falling.

Improv actors have mastered this skill with their spontaneous skits and quick thinking. To keep your own performance sharp, here are important improvisation tips to keep in mind:

Focus on the meaning behind your script 

Obsessing too much on what you plan to say point per point can hurt you in the long run. In cases of unexpected blunders and interruptions, sticking to your script can make you feel even more lost than before.

While it’s okay to plan what you want to say, you shouldn’t focus too much on exact delivery. Instead, you should shift your focus on what each point you prepared is trying to say.

Your presentation will be a lot more flexible if you know your core message well. At the end of the day, this is what truly matters.

It doesn’t matter if you miss a few steps along the way. Your main objective is to make sure that the audience understands the main point of your presentation.

In the same light, it’s also important that you don’t focus on your slide deck as much. PowerPoint is only there to enhance the message you want to deliver, but you can’t rely on it to do all of the work.

What if the equipment fails? What if the power goes out? You need to be able to stand on your own feet without using your slides as a crutch.

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Observe your audience 

Take your cue from the people you’re communicating with. Presentations are a two-way street.

You can try to create captivating design and content, but you won’t be able to tell how the audience will receive it until you’re in front of them. As such, it’s important to watch the room for their reactions to learn how you can adjust.

Does the audience look bored? Try to mix it up by engaging them with a quick anecdote. Or maybe your discussion is dragging out too long. If that’s the case, skip some of the parts you planned and deliver all the basics. Do they seem disengaged and uninterested? Maybe you can try to reel them back in by encouraging interaction.

Shoot a question their way or ask a few of them to share their thoughts on the discussion so far.

Let your obstacles empower you 

The best way to be flexible is to make the most of the situation that’s in front of you. Instead of trying to cover up the unexpected derailment, use it as a springboard to jump back on the discussion.

All you have to do is make sure you don’t get stuck on your blunders.

Turn around a sudden interruption from the audience by saying, “thank you for that observation. I’ll get back on that once I finish the whole presentation.” If you can make light of it and add humor, you can do that too. The important thing is that you don’t let the scenario take hold of the rest of your presentation.

You can never tell how well-prepared you are until you get in front of the audience. Even then, you can end up facing something you weren’t exactly planned for.

In that case, it’s better to not let your anxiety get to you and improvise instead. You’ll be surprised that this could even lead you to a better outcome. Improve your presentation skill with these three tips.

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Reference

5 Presentation Tools to Encourage Audience Interaction.” SlideGenius, Inc. January 12, 2015. Accessed January 22, 2015.
Fine-tuning Your Presentation’s Core Message.” SlideGenius, Inc. November 11, 2014. Accessed January 22, 2015.
What Is Improv?Austin Improv Comedy Shows Classes The Hideout Theatre . Accessed January 22, 2015.

 

Featured Image: Death to the Stock Photo

Buzz Worthy: Technology Presentation Tips from CES 2015

Leaders of the tech and electronics industry recently came together for this year’s International CES, or Consumer Electronics Show. As with previous years, top companies in the field made use of the event to announce and preview their upcoming products. CES 2015 became a huge stage for memorable technology presentations at the start of the year.

Presentations delivered during the event’s 4-day run made noticeable impact. From all of these, it’s obvious that there are plenty of technology presentation lessons that we can stand to learn. Based on the observations made by presentation expert Carmine Gallo, we run down the tips that could help you in your next big pitch.

Start with a short but meaningful story

Storytelling is always a crucial part of any presentation, but it bears special importance for a technology presentation. The best way to connect with the audience is through something they can easily relate to. Talking about technological concepts can become confusing for people who aren’t familiar with it. Skip the jargon and the long-winded explanations about your new product or service.

What you should try to do instead is to tell a story that will make the audience see why your pitch is important to them. Take an example from Mark Fields, president and CEO of Ford, who wove a story with his presentation.

Outline your presentation by listing 3-5 key takeaways

Another way you can help the audience digest the information is by outlining key takeaways before tackling them one by one. Give the audience a chance to learn the scope of your presentation by listing the major points you’re going to make. After you list down your key takeaways, you can tackle them one by one with a more in-depth discussion.

To keep your presentation in the right track, Gallo also suggests to make sure you limit yourself to only 3-5 points. Tackling too much in a single pitch can derail your discussion. Remember to keep your presentation concise. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich does this successfully by listing down his major points at the start of his presentation. Watch his keynote here and make your own observations.

Incorporate demos and other memorable moments

There’s more you can do to make sure your pitch becomes memorable. Just like Intel’s Krzanich did in his keynote, you can take your discussion to life by incorporating a demo to your presentation. As Gallo puts it,

“Many presentations—especially product launches—lend themselves to a ‘wow moment.’ A creative and well-rehearsed demo generates a lot of talk and, if people don’t talk about your product, why bother?”

Another way you can create memorable moments in your presentation is by making use of props. If you remember our discussion on Nancy Duarte’s STAR (Something They’ll Always Remember) Moments, acting out your core message with the help of props is an effective way to give the audience something to talk about.

Allow your data to stand out and shine

Lastly, PowerPoint and visuals also play an important role in a technology presentation. Don’t forget to prepare a well-designed deck that incorporates your branding through colors and images. Aside from the aesthetics, it should also do a perfect job of illustrating the nuts and bolts of the product or service you’re pitching.

How? By making sure your data is well-presented. Make it stand out by focusing on the most crucial numbers and getting creative with your visualizations.

Take a page out of Samsung president and CEO, Boo-Keun Yoon’s book. Yoon made use of slides where all the relevant numbers stood out. Check out his keynote here to see how careful handling of data can improve your technology presentation.

Delivering a technology presentation has its challenges, but achieving success isn’t impossible. Take note of these lessons straight from the CES 2015 stage and incorporate it in your next pitch.

 

Reference

Boo-Keun Yoon, Samsung – Keynote 2015.” International CES. Accessed January 22, 2015.
Brian Krzanich, Intel – Keynote 2015.” International CES. Accessed January 22, 2015.
Gallo, Carmine. “5 Presentation Tips From CEO Keynotes At CES.” Forbes. January 9, 2015. Accessed January 22, 2015
How to Create a STAR Moment for Your Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. September 25, 2014. Accessed January 22, 2015
Mark Fields, Ford – Keynote 2015.” International CES. Accessed January 22, 2015.
PowerPoint Design Tips for Presenting Data.” SlideGenius, Inc. December 1, 2014. Accessed January 22, 2015.
Why Storytelling Is an Effective Presentation Technique.” SlideGenius, Inc. September 8, 2014. Accessed January 22, 2015.

 

Featured Image: International CES Photo Gallery

Quick PowerPoint Tips: Designing for SlideShare

Presentations are an effective way to get your brand and story out to the public. Thanks to SlideShare, there’s an easier way to reach an audience that might never get the chance to hear about your organization.

Since it was created in 2007, SlideShare has evolved into one of the biggest information sharing platforms in an easily accessible format. All you have to do is upload your PowerPoint presentations and you’ll be opening yourself up to a viewership that reaches up to 50 million visitors.

slideshare screencap
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Of course, this doesn’t automatically mean that your message will spread like wildfire. Not every presentation uploaded to SlideShare can become viral. As a different platform, SlideShare requires a different design.

Since you can’t include audio to explain your presentation, the slides you design will have to speak for themselves. Here are three important tips to help you do that:

SlideShare Tip 1: Aim for the right amount of text

We all know that lengthy paragraphs are a big PowerPoint mistake, but this advice is especially important for SlideShare. Although you won’t want to overwhelm your viewers with a barrage of text, you can’t have minimal, one-line phrases either.

Before you start designing your slides, make sure that your content is well-edited. Review your draft and cut out unnecessary words and sentences.

Aim for the most accurate explanation using as little words as possible. Your goal is to end up with copy that’s both concise and captivating.

An easy way to do this is by discussing one concept per slide.

To condense the information in your PowerPoint presentation, structure your ideas in a way that you can focus on one point at a time. Even if you end up with more slides than you expected, it won’t seem too long and bloated for viewers.

SlideShare Tip 2: Visuals make all the difference

Visuals play a particularly crucial role when you’re sharing presentations on SlideShare, perhaps more than in live presentations.

In front of an audience, you have the ability to command attention through dynamic movement and inflection.When your presentation stays behind the screen, it needs to find another way to pop out and become even more memorable.

This is where visuals make all the difference. If you want to command attention on SlideShare, make the most of images, colors, fonts, and other design elements and techniques.

Your first slide is especially important because this will serve as the thumbnail of your presentation.

SlideShare Tip 3: Maintain quality by uploading PowerPoint as PDF

You can upload your PowerPoint presentation in several formats. The only problem is that you might run into several issues regarding the quality of your presentation.

As presentation blogger, Jon Thomas wrote in his article on Social Fresh, different file formats yielded various results.

Uploading your presentation as a PowerPoint file, for example, will get you pixelated and compressed images. It might also affect the unique and custom fonts that you use.

Avoid issues by saving your file as a PDF. This allows you to main a polished and high-quality look.

Want more tips? Visit our SlideShare profile for more inspiration. There are also plenty of great ideas to be found in the featured section.

 

Reference

3 Lessons on Choosing Fonts for Your PowerPoint Design.” SlideGenius, Inc. January 14, 2015. Accessed January 21, 2015.
Abramovich, Giselle. “15 Mind-Blowing Stats About SlideShare.” CMO.com. March 12, 2014. Accessed January 21, 2015.
Make Your Point: 5 Tips for Editing Presentation Content.” SlideGenius, Inc. November 9, 2014. Accessed January 21, 2015.
PowerPoint Design Inspiration: What To Do With Marsala.” SlideGenius, Inc. January 19, 2015. Accessed January 21, 2015.
Slideshare Presentation How To, 5 Tips.” Social Fresh. Accessed January 21, 2015.

 

Featured Image: Death to the Stock Photo

PowerPoint Design Inspiration: What To Do With Marsala

Pantone Color Institute, the world’s leading color expert, recently announced their pick for 2015 Color of the Year. While their choice was initially met with some reservations, the warm and earthy Marsala remains an intriguing choice. Thanks to the rich narrative that goes behind the shade, Marsala is sure to inspire designers and creatives of every kind.

Seeing where the trends are heading, presenters should also consider incorporating the rich Marsala into their PowerPoint designs.

The narrative behind the color 

According to Pantone, Marsala represents the hearty and enriching qualities of “a fulfilling meal”. Thanks to its red-brown tones, the color also emanates a “sophisticated, natural earthiness.” The editorial pictures released by Pantone picture an elegant group of friends dining comfortably together.

As stated in the press release by executive director Lee Eiseman,

“Marsala enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability… Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal, while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.”

marsala 02 marsala 03

Following this narrative, Marsala is the perfect color for slides that want to depict a sense of luxury and a down-to-earth feel at the same time.

It’s the perfect choice for presentations and pitches around real estate, apparel, and retail. It will also help if you consider your organization’s own narrative. Think of the qualities that make your brand unique. If it matches with the qualities that are symbolized by Marsala, then Pantone’s choice is an obvious win.

Working Marsala into a color palette

There are plenty of ways to pair Marsala with other colors. Pantone came up with a total of 7 palettes that you can use for inspiration.

As listed on their website, Marsala’s warmth allows it to pop beside neutral colors like taupe and gray. Thanks to its rich undertones, it also works well with the colors amber, umber, as well as shades in golden yellow, green, and blue.

Color Palette: Pantone Color Palette: Pantone 2

To use similar looking palettes for your PowerPoint deck, make sure you temper these shades using a more neutral background. A PowerPoint color theme requires that you choose 2 light colors, 2 dark colors, and 6 accent colors.

Some factors to consider

Because Marsala is a rich and highly-nuanced shade, it’s important that you keep your slides balanced with a more minimalist design. You also need to make sure that the projector you’re using is working well. Busted bulbs might not pick up its wine-inspired tones. You’ll end up with a brownish shade instead. The same is true for printers.

If you plan to turn your presentation into a flipbook, make sure you use a high-quality printer to make sure the color’s integrity is maintained.

Marsala is a rich and vibrant color that tells a complex story.

While it’s primarily expected to appear in fashion, beauty, and interior design, there’s no reason you can’t incorporate it in PowerPoint design. Allow its rich and sensual shades inspire your presentation.

 

Reference

Basu, Tanya. “The Problem With Pantone’s Color of the Year.” The Atlantic. December 4, 2014. Accessed January 20, 2015.
INTRODUCING MARSALAPANTONE 18-1438.” PANTONE. Accessed January 20, 2015.
Turn Presentations into a Powerful Marketing Tool.” SlideGenius, Inc. July 23, 2014. Accessed January 20, 2015.

 

All images from Pantone.com

Presentation Tips and Considerations for Specific Contexts

The particulars of your presentation will depend on different things. Among those factors is the context of your presentation.

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Are you presenting at a big industry event? Or are you discussing tasks with colleagues in a meeting? Whatever the case, different presentation tips and considerations apply for different occasions.

Seminars and conventions

These are often held in large venues like auditoriums. Usually, you’ll be presenting from a stage with a huge projector screen looming behind you.

For these occasions, the most important thing you have to think about is how well the audience can see your slides. This won’t be a problem for people sitting in the front row, but you’ll need to make sure that the experience remains the same for those seated in the back.

To avoid any issues with visibility, here are a few presentation tips to consider:

  • Learn what you can about the venue beforehand – Ask the organizers about the particulars of the venue where you’ll be presenting. Estimate the stage size, and prepare for any restrictions.
  • Optimize your presentation for the equipment You should also check the equipment you’ll be using, especially the projector and the screen. Familiarizing yourself with the type of projector can also help you diagnose some PowerPoint display issues.
  • Practice blocking and how you’ll move around the stage – Obviously, your presentation is more than your PowerPoint slides. As the presenter, the audience will also have to see you properly. Make sure you practice how you’ll move around the stage. Own as much of the space as you can.

Workshops

Workshops allow for more interaction between the audience and speaker. Because you’re expected to instruct the audience about a certain subject matter, the venue is optimized to make sure that there’s plenty of opportunity for face to face conversations.

Unlike seminars and conventions, the obstacle you have to overcome is making sure the audience can easily follow the structure of your presentation.

Here are some important presentation tips to remember when preparing for workshops:

  • Make sure you can easily navigate through your presentation – A workshop involves two-way communication. Someone in your audience might start asking questions that you expect to cover in a later slide. When this happens, it helps if your deck utilizes hyperlinks for easy navigation.
  • Distribute presentation handouts – A quick way to make sure the audience follows what you’re saying is by creating handouts. Distribute it at the beginning of your presentation and encourage them to add their own notes along the margins.
  • Prepare to improvise – Lastly, keep in mind that because of its interactive quality, you can’t always stick to the script you planned. Always be flexible and don’t be afraid to follow the curve balls that the audience throws at you.

Executive or board presentations

When you’re presenting to executives or board members, keep in mind that the stakes are unbelievably high. In more formal business settings, the outcome of your presentation affects what comes next for your career. For instances like this, you need to value brevity and clarity above anything else.

Keep your delivery well-polished by following these presentation tips:

  • Focus on your core message: Executives and board members aren’t interested in long and winding discussions. Get straight to the point and keep your focus on the core message.
  • Back up your points with concise data: For formal business presentations, fancy rhetoric isn’t enough to win your audience over. You also need to make sure that your points are backed up by evidence. Present your data in a concise manner using eye-catching visuals.
  • Take the time to rehearse: It’s totally normal to feel nervous about high-stakes presentations. To make sure things over perfectly, take the time to rehearse every aspect of your presentation. Learn your points and practice how you’ll incorporate your slides to your speech.

Small group meetings

There are also presentations that involve a smaller crowd. If you’re leading a meeting, you’ll likely face just a small group of participants. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be as prepared as you would be on other presentation scenarios. You also need to make sure that your points are well-prepared. Make the audience feel included in your discussion.

Stanford professor JD Schramm presents five questions to ask yourself when faced in small group meetings. Apart from his initial five questions, Schramm provides a few extra notes:

  • Opt for a printed or tablet presentation deck: It will be easier to facilitate a small group meeting if everyone can navigate through your presentation deck at their own pace. Create a printed presentation deck instead. You can also distribute your PowerPoint file ahead of time so that participants can sync them to their own devices.
  • Don’t take your nonverbal cues for granted: Even is small-scale presentations feel a lot more casual, you shouldn’t take nonverbal cues for granted. Make sure you present an aura of authority the same way you would while you’re on stage.
  • Leave room for open discussion: Meetings are supposed to be collaborative in nature. Make sure you allot specific moments for the participants to join in your discussion.

There’s plenty to consider depending the context of your presentation. To achieve the best outcome, prepare according to context and occasion. These presentation tips will help you figure out what to consider.

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References:

Designing PowerPoint Decks for the Smartphone.” SlideGenius, Inc. September 23, 2014. Accessed January 19, 2015.
PowerPoint Design Tips for Presenting Data.” SlideGenius, Inc. December 1, 2014. Accessed January 19, 2015
PowerPoint Tutorial – Hyperlinks.” UPenn Workshops. Accessed January 12, 2016.
Schramm, JD. “How to Present to a Small Audience.” Harvard Business Review. August 20, 2014. Accessed January 19, 2015.
Tips for Small-Scale Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. October 13, 2014. Accessed January 12, 2016.

 

Featured Image: University of the Fraser Valley via Flickr