Slidegenius, Inc.

4 Factors for Creating Info-Heavy PowerPoint Slide Designs

Making arguments without providing evidence to back up your stand is a bad move in presentations. It is useless, however, to bombard your slides with unnecessary information. Designing your deck haphazardly only muddles the information-sharing process and confuses your audience.

To improve your deck for your next pitch, here are four important things to keep in mind when creating info-heavy PowerPoint slide designs:

Accuracy

Facts, data, and other information presented in your slides should be correct, current, and relevant. When citing from the internet, make sure to properly fact-check and source your information. Avoid directly citing Wikipedia. Follow the citations if you want to refer to something you find interesting in wikis. Maintaining accuracy is important not only for the sake of your slides, but for your credibility as well.

You want to present data to inform and convince—not to misinform and deceive.

Clarity

It’s not enough to have accurate information. Your content should be displayed in a clear and organized manner that makes all the facts and numbers easier to understand. Cut down all the content to the bare minimum that you need to get your point across. Reducing them to the most pertinent and logical manner allows for easier transfer of information.

According to presentation trainer, Nancy Duarte, there are a number of ways to arrange your slides so they pass the glance test, or the audience’s first scan through your deck. Among these are keeping your layout simple, maximizing white space, using proper fonts, and emphasizing the important points structure your deck into something that’s easily digestible.

Meaningful

Correct and well-ordered figures aren’t enough. An important key is to inject some significance that relates to your audience. To best connect with your audience, it’s vital to do some advanced research and determine their interests, needs, and concerns. Knowing these will assist you in adjusting to optimize your presentation to their needs.

Presenting your slides as a story or in a narrative structure best engages your listeners. This is due to how we’ve come to recall memories and enjoy our entertainment: as a series of episodes with a chronological structure and thematic background.

Memorable

The best presentations are those that remain with the audience. Executing a memorable presentation requires getting on your listeners’ good will. It’s important to improve your credibility by looking enthusiastic, genuine, and creative.

Effectively communicating your own excitement regarding your topic also adds to your power to persuade. This assures your listeners that your topic is worth their time. Inserting a slice of yourself through a personal anecdote also increases your audience’s perception of you as a genuine person.

Lastly, a creative approach using a funny or poignant beginning and/or ending, or through a unique execution of your presentation, also makes your slides more memorable.

Conclusion

Being new at presenting or not having enough time is never an excuse to show up with lazily-made slides.

Always design your PowerPoint slides like a professional to get the best out of your message, and maximize the impact on your audience.

 

References

3 Secrets to Make Numbers Interesting in Sales Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. May 13, 2015. Accessed August 20, 2015.
Duarte, Nancy. “Do Your Slides Pass the Glance Test?Harvard Business Review. October 22, 2012. Accessed August 20, 2015.
Five Ways to Transform Your Overloaded Text Slides.Think Outside The Slide. September 14, 2012. Accessed August 20, 2015.

3 Ways Altruism Impacts Your Sales Presentation Skills

Chances are, you’ve been brought up to value altruistic behavior. This might have even turned you into the successful person you are now (or hopefully, will become). It may also have highly positive ramifications for your sales presentation skills.

First, let’s define our word of the day.

Altruism is a desire to help other people. Characterized by a lack of selfishness, anthropologists claim that civilized societies came about because altruism incentivizes cooperation. It is unfortunately not a universal trait, with several difficulties preventing people from practicing self-sacrifice for the greater good. The frequent barriers to showing selflessness include laziness, compounded by a feeling that the benefits are minimal.

Showing concern for others inspires other people to care for your welfare in kind. Here are specific ways that altruism can improve your speaking skills for your next sales presentation:

Altruism Makes You Relatable

Audiences are more likely to listen to speakers they relate with. Showing them that you care for their well-being promotes social connection. According to psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky, this “fosters a heightened sense of interdependence and cooperation in your social community.”

You can increase their involvement by using words that convey a collaborative theme in your presentation. You want to say sentences such as: “We want to start a partnership where we both profit greatly through cooperation.” or “This proposal hopes to begin a mutually beneficial partnership that yields income for all parties.”

Tell your audience that what benefits you, which, in turn, benefits everyone.

Altruism Makes You Happier

Neuroscientist Emiliana Simon-Thomas cites a report that shows how altruism has positive effects on an individual’s health and happiness. This doesn’t mean that people only feel good because they think they’re supposed to. In fact, the effects of unselfish acts are reflected in neural studies on the brain.

These studies have also shown that charitable actions activate the same areas of the brain that are related to receiving gifts. It’s clear that doing good does good for you, too.

As opposed to egoists, who think more selfishly, altruists put the wellbeing of others before their own. Projecting this positive aura has the added benefit of putting people in a good mood. Related to our earlier point, this also makes it more likely for them to pay attention.

Altruism is Contagious

In addition to how selflessness can make you happier, it also triggers an area of your brain linked with the processing of moral behavior. This rewards your brain, making it more likely that practicing altruism will feel good in the future.

This creates a positive feedback loop (or as Sonja Lyubomirsky puts it, “a cascade of positive social consequences”) which hopefully leaves an impression on your listeners to inspire them as speakers. Being good to others makes them try to be better towards everyone else.

Conclusion

Altruism is a key trait that has helped our ancestors survive the harshest conditions – enduring the hardest challenges through greater cooperation. It takes a little step to show the smallest amount of care for the welfare of others. The benefits could snowball into something greater – to the benefit of you and your pitch.

Unsurprisingly, being kind to your fellow human beings is unambiguously good for humanity. Being kind to others makes you appear more relatable, which makes your audience reach out to you more. Doing good deeds doesn’t only make other people happier – it also makes you, yourself, feel better.

Even better, doing good for one person will cause a chain reaction, wherein people will pass the good deed on to other people. This is especially advantageous for you if you started it, as people will be able to trace the initial seed of goodwill back to you.

What’s good for humanity is also good for your sales presentation skills.

 

References

Lyubomirsky, Sonja. “Happiness for a Lifetime.” Greater Good. July 15, 2010. Accessed August 20, 2015.
Simon-Thomson, Emiliana R. “Is Kindness Really Its Own Reward?Greater Good. June 1, 2008. Accessed August 20, 2015.
Using Common Values in PowerPoint Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. April 21, 2015. Accessed August 20, 2015.

3 Reasons to Single-Task: Learning the Art of Mindfulness

While multitasking helps your productivity in some aspects, it does more harm than good for presenters. Though always being prepared for the unexpected lets you stay on top of any situation, being mindful of your audience makes you an effective presenter, increasing your chances of successfully engaging them and delivering your message.

Public speaking trainer, Gary Genard, presents mindfulness as a key skill in crafting an effective pitch. Mindfulness means paying attention to what happens in the present. For Genard, this skill lets you achieve total audience engagement in your professional presentations, letting you focus on connecting with them and meeting their needs.

Here’s our own take on the benefits of single-tasking:

1. Single-Tasking Lets You Focus

Some people believe that single-tasking isn’t as productive. However, focusing on one thing at a time allows the speaker to concentrate on a particular task at hand, improving your stage presence and connecting you with your audience. Aside from your interactive PowerPoint slides or speech, single-tasking enables you to speak to the crowd without being distracted.

While distractions are unavoidable, remaining focused strengthens your message’s impact. It also boosts your confidence and reduces your anxiety, knowing that you’re in full control of the situation. Consider these ways to help you attain mindfulness and become a more effective presenter:

2. Single-Tasking Keeps You Mentally Present

Multitasking won’t be helpful especially when you begin worrying about what your audience thinks of you on the stage. Allowing yourself to be distracted might lose your audience’s attention and prevent them from getting interested.

Since your audience is your main priority, your mind should be set on achieving their needs and wants to show that you care about them. Being mentally present also allows you to convey your topic’s most significant points as you involve your audience in your presentation.

3. Single-Tasking Helps You Develop a Single Objective

Knowing your main purpose lets you limit your ideas to an amount you can control, and lets you organize your thoughts for crafting your pitch. Once you have your topic, list down all the information you’ll include and come up with a simple objective for your pitch.

Do you want them to take action? Do you want them to form small groups to discuss your topic with each other? This lets you fulfill your main goal, preventing clients from being overwhelmed with complex details.

Conclusion

Learning this discipline helps you to set your mind on what you’re presently doing. Instead of overthinking things that might negatively affect your performance, focus on the most important element of your presentation – your audience.

Focus on one thing at a time without trying to juggle multiple tasks at once. Being focused means you’re more directly engaged with your audience, not distracted by a million little things you feel like you have to address all at the same time. Single-tasking also means you can condense your presentation with a single objective in mind. With less to worry about, you can direct all your resources to achieving that one goal in the most effective way.

Stay focused and see how your audience does the same thing for you.

To help you with your presentation needs, let SlideGenius experts assist you!

 

References

Genard, Gary. “Mindfulness: A Key Skill in Effective Public Speaking.The Genard Method. October 13, 2013. Accessed August 19, 2015.
Presentation Tips: 5 Quick Steps to Audience Engagement.” SlideGenius, Inc. December 16, 2014. Accessed August 19, 2015.

 

Featured Image: “Intel Engineers Meditating” by Intel Free Press on flickr.com

Presentation Skills We Can Learn from Gymnastics

Gymnastics is not solely about learning split leaps, jumps, and handstands. It’s about harnessing an individual’s physical strength, agility, and determination to execute astounding physical feats. In an article on FloGymnastics, Keri Monstrola shows us that the sport transcends its craft and manages to relate itself to other parts of our life as well.

The skills gymnasts learn in training are perfect building blocks for presentations. Here are some more gymnastics skills you need to learn to become a well-rounded speaker:

Overcoming Fear

Gymnasts work through their fears to undertake difficult routines on uneven bars, springboards, and balance beams. It’s impossible for them to pull off perfect tens on each activity without mastering the first step: overcoming fear. Likewise, presenters must set aside and face their personal public speaking fears.

If you’re afraid of being the center of attention, making mistakes, or feeling dissatisfied with your presentation skills, consider the hardships of gymnasts. The tumbling passes at different heights are more terrifying – and have greater physical consequences – than speaking in front of a crowd.

Your life isn’t put at risk, but your business reputation or sales deals are.

Social Interaction

All professionals pass through the beginning stages. Aspiring gymnasts are also given the chance to develop their social skills like listening, taking turns, and following directions. In turn, the senior students learn to become role models to foster a good learning environment for the newbies.

The same goes for keynote or PowerPoint presentations. Your discussion is a two-way street, breaking the wall between you and your audience. Establish a successful and productive dialogue by asking questions, responding to feedback, and allowing participants to speak up to develop an engaging, audience-centered discussion.

Balance and Control

Balance and control are two of the most important skills to succeed in the sport of gymnastics. The perfect combination and understanding of the two must be incorporated for a seamless execution of every routine.

In public speaking, a harmonious combination of verbal and non-verbal cues demonstrates an interactive speech delivery. Your emotion is what connects you to your audience. Keep them under control so that you appear genuine, but not threatening or insincere.

Conclusion

Gymnastics doesn’t only teach sports enthusiasts positive lessons learned through daily training, but it can also inspire people who make presentations for a living.

Before you can start presenting, you have to overcome your fears to begin your public speaking journey. Presenting isn’t a solo effort. After all, you’re presenting to an audience, so you must make it a conversation by involving the crowd.

Lastly, master a balance of verbal and non-verbal cues to engage different types of audiences in the ways they best learn.

Looking for high-quality PowerPoints for your business? Give us a call at 1-858-217-5144 or request for a free quote from SlideGenius today.

 

Reference

Monstrola, Keri. “10 Life Skills Learned From Gymnastics.FloGymnastics. November 2, 2014. Accessed August 19, 2015.

 

Featured Image: “TWU Gymnastics [Floor] Mollie & Amy” by Erin Costa on flickr.com

5 Presentation Speaking Tips from Winston Churchill

One of the most effective speakers we can learn from is Winston Churchill. In fact, both advertising agency gurus and presentation experts have cited his skills, be it crafting and rehearsing a presentation speech, as brand communications expert, Carmine Gallo lauded, or for writing persuasive advertising copy, according to creativity mentor, Luke Sullivan.

Churchill’s speeches have always been powerful and persuasive. These can be used as inspiration for more convincing business or sales presentations, especially if you’re selling something. Use these five presentation speaking tips to get the most out of your pitch:

1. Begin Strongly

Start with a question, cite a relevant quotation or challenge your audience. Whichever way you pick, be sure to give your audience a strong and credible impression. You also need to empathize and show that you’re willing to help solve their problems.

Remember that you need clients or partners to invest in you. Giving a confident impression and backing it up with an effective pitch make for a strong introduction.

2. Have One Theme

A compelling idea is the cornerstone of an effective business presentation. Being able to centralize your speech around one idea describes and clarifies what you want to say. Sullivan suggests that in order to find that one idea, look at your product and find the best way you can describe it.

If you can summarize that within one description, putting in the supporting points to back up your claims will be easier to make. Your audience will also have an easier time following your pitch too.

3. Use Simple language

Using a conversational tone, together with simple and easy-to-understand language gives potential partners an easier time following your presentation. This saves you time in reiterating your key points and explaining them to the audience.

Rather than giving a technical explanation, stick to highlighting what your product or service can offer your clients. Gallo suggests you let them know what they get out of it and why they should care about your pitch.

4. Leave a Picture in the Audiences’ Minds

Words are more than just a means to convince your clients. They can also be used to paint pictures in the audience’s minds. This is important because people buy what they can see, more than hearing the description, more than reading about it, clients and prospects need to visualize the product and the situations where it can help them.

To help you get the most out of this, try to find out what a professional presentation design specialist can do to enhance your PowerPoint Deck.

5. End Dramatically

As with your beginning, you need to make a dramatic ending. It can be a call to action, a challenge for your clients to invest in your proposal, or an important fact they can associate with your brand.

When you make your conclusion, always refer to your main idea and how it is organized. If your presentation is structured with the strategy of highlighting your best selling point, you already have an edge against the competition.

One Last Thing

Leaving a lasting impression can potentially be as powerful as an initial impression. Learning to apply these tips will give you the same edge that Winston Churchill enjoyed.

To help you make your speech work with a matching PowerPoint presentation, take a few minutes to get in touch with us, all for free!

 

References

Audio Archive.” Winston Churchill. Accessed August 18, 2015.
Gallo, Carmine. The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010.
Sullivan, Luke. Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: A Guide to Creating Great Ads. 3rd ed. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, 2008.

 

Featured Image: “NY – Hyde Park: Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library – Winston Churchill Portrait” by Wally Gobetz on flickr.com

3 Reasons Not to Settle for Just Any PowerPoint Presentation

If you’re looking for the best results, then make sure to bring your best efforts to the fore. You may be making a pitch with an amazing product or solution, but that doesn’t mean you can slack off. You should never come into a conference room with a subpar slide deck.

Curiously, PowerPoint gets a bad reputation for making presentations more boring than they usually are, causing presenters to dismiss its importance. People often mistake it for a dull collection of words that mirror what the speaker’s saying– or worse, that it’s just a giant set of speech notes. This is a huge mistake that could have negative drawbacks for you and your company. You should value good design and planning for your PowerPoint presentation.

1. Half-Baked Won’t Make It

“Just give me any presentation. It doesn’t matter.”

This is still a common way of thinking, no matter how big your company already is. Sometimes, someone may even request for a presentation with the bare minimum requirements and be happy with it.

After all, it’s a salesman’s job to sell, and the deck is just there for support, right?

Wrong.

Even an amazing presenter can benefit greatly from a professionally designed set of slides. With a visually appealing deck, you can show clients that you care about your credibility enough to invest in resources to be at your best. In addition to showing that you‘re serious about your business, this complements your core message and give you more convincing power.

2. A Higher Standard Nets Better Results

Why wouldn’t you want a PowerPoint presentation that best represents your brand? Usually, the answer we hear is that there’s not enough time, money, or people to do it for you. You can only go so far by settling for what you think you can afford.

Even the tiniest amount of extra effort will have wide-ranging positive consequences. This applies to something as simple as checking for spelling and grammar errors, to something more complicated like providing your deck with a unified and streamlined design.

3. What We Can Do

As professionals, we know the importance of having a strong core message supported by the clear and concise presentation of data. All our work is executed with the client’s needs, values, and brand story in mind.

Our company can condense your slides to refine and communicate your message. We can structure your deck to best communicate your purpose and your story. We can even design each slide to ensure your audience won’t feel a wink of boredom.

Conclusion

People are inclined to judge and scrutinize others based on their first impressions. When you have an important opportunity that can change the direction of your career or the fortunes of your company, meet the opportunity with only your finest.

Do you think your business deserves the best? Don’t take anything for granted: hire an expert PowerPoint design company now.

 

References

Evele, Nathalie. “Is It Human Nature to Judge?Centre for Journalism. Accessed August 18, 2015.
Presentation Ideas from Ancient Greece: Explaining Ethos.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2015. Accessed August 18, 2015.

5 Ways Television Helps Deliver Strong Sales Presentations

Why do television commercials capture viewers’ attention in thirty seconds or less?

They turn complex ideas into simple concepts, conveying information quickly and concisely using powerful visuals.

TV advertisers know how to maximize restricted time limits, compressing jam-packed details to interpret the message through simplified texts and appropriate visuals.

When it comes to presenters, they focus on how to get their audience’s attention during introductions.

This is where the first three minutes of your performance become crucial.

It’s where your audience judges you as an individual and as a speaker.

To make a good impression, ensure that you capture their interest before you go any further into your sales presentation.

To adapt TV techniques, apply these five stages to become a more powerful and effective presenter:

1. Determine Your Objective

TV commercials become engaging and powerful especially when it comes to convincing viewers.

By using shortened ideas to convey its message, they become effective in generating interest in their audiences.

Before you craft your sales pitch or speech, don’t forget to know its purpose.

Your audience asks themselves how they can benefit from your idea. Thus, base your script on what you can offer them.

2. Develop a Catchy Opening

It’s been said that “the beginning is always the hardest.”

TV commercials are always aiming to generate interest.

As a presenter, it’s important to connect with your audience, keep them engaged, and convince them to take actions.

3. Specify Both the Problem and Its Solution

If you’ll be presenting a problem, don’t forget to provide the solution.

Like TV commercials, use visuals to illustrate something that could appeal to your audience’s emotions.

4. Use Words to Draw a Picture

Your PowerPoint slides serve only as your visual aid, not your actual script.

However, you can use words to paint a picture of a scene to your audience, allowing them to imagine what you’re describing.

Visualizing your story helps your listeners better remember the details of your presentation.

5. Incorporate a Story

This technique never gets old.

Telling a story shows human connection, allowing you to relate your story or other person’s experiences to your audience and making them feel involved as you appeal to their emotions.

Conclusion

Applying these techniques help you to develop a more effective presentation.

It allows you to capture your audience’s attention and leave lasting impact on them.

This increases your chances of becoming a better and more powerful presenter the next time you deliver your sales pitch.

To help you craft a more effective PowerPoint presentation, let SlideGenius experts assist you!

References

Genard, Gary. “Speak with Impact: How to Make Your Case in 30 Seconds or Less.” The Genard Method, January 2, 2013. Accessed June 5, 2015. http://www.genardmethod.com/blog-detail/view/83/speak-with-impact-how-to-make-your-case-in-30-seconds-or-less#.VXIUfM9Viko

Featured Image: “Watch TV Camera Interview TV Human Media Man” by Broadmark on Pixabay

4 Tips on Speaking like a Professional PowerPoint Presenter

A well-crafted and rehearsed speech is crucial for an effective professional PowerPoint presenter. Once you’ve made your deck, sync up your words with your slides.

Use these four tips to get effective presentation ideas for your speech:

1. Begin with Your Basic Argument

Start with your idea, then build it up. One effective way to give a sales or business presentation is to craft it into a story. From introducing new product clients to reporting your company’s latest market shares to your superiors, narratives are a great way to close a sale or get your recommendations approved.

Once you’ve achieved this, add supporting points to solidify your argument. According to creativity mentor, Luke Sullivan, it’s more effective to put it in a sequence from your first to last points. This will make your pitch easier to follow.

2. Get to the Point

The first three minutes of your presentation are often the most crucial. It may depend on the crowd you’re facing, but for business presentations, once you start talking, get your introductions over and done with, and start your pitch. As speech coach Joey Asher suggests, today’s busy work schedules pull people’s attentions away from your pitch and back towards their own lives and work desks.

Throw in your main point and the reasons why your clients should be invested. If you can be interesting or persuasive from your first lines, do so. Even with ten to fifteen minutes at your disposal, you need to get your audiences hooked from the start. It saves time if a host or emcee will do the introductions for you.

3. Write the Way You Talk

If a conversational tone works best for presentations, then writing the way you talk gives you a more persuasive speech. A smooth and easy rhythm makes you sound more natural and easier to understand.

Stick with the rules of grammar to sound professional and use your adjectives wisely. Be clear about the features and points you’ll be talking about. Remember: you’re selling something.

4. Add Your Brand’s Personality

As a presenter, you are the representative of your company and your brand. One trick to bring in your brand’s voice is to find out its own distinct personality. Try to describe it in one adjective or in one word if you can.

This allows you to put your proposal on a different level away from the competition, making it stick long enough in your client’s minds for a possible second look. If you want people to invest in you, give off a presentable image and follow through with convincing reasons. The first step is to make your sales presentation different and effective.

To get your presentation speech and presentation to the level of the pros, take a few minutes to get in touch with us for free!

 

References

Asher, Joey. “For Presentations, Half As Long Is Twice As Good.” Fast Company. December 20, 2012. Accessed August 17, 2015.
Craft Your Corporate Presentations into a Great Story.” SlideGenius, Inc. May 15, 2015. Accessed August 17, 2015.
Sullivan, Luke. Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: A Guide to Creating Great Ads. 3rd ed. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, 2008.

3 Ad Agency Tips for Better PowerPoint Visual Designs

There are three elements to consider in PowerPoint visual designs: a slide title, an image, and a caption (or body text). Using any of the elements is the key to making an effective sales presentation. To make a proper combination of these, here are three tips to follow:

1. Something Needs to Be the Star

Effective presentation slides, like print ads, use what creativity mentor Luke Sullivan calls one dominant element. It can be a large piece of text, a big visual, or even white space. Regardless of the combination you choose, make one of these the first thing that your audiences see once the slide comes up on screen. Will your slide need a dominant picture? Will you highlight one big word?

Pick one tactic, and make the rest of the elements work in tandem with it to get your point across faster to your audience.

2. Establish Your Own Look

Sullivan suggests that every brand has its own look, a distinct personality. Macs are simplistic. BMW’s are cool. Nike products are sporty, and Volkswagens are practical. To establish your own image, look to your own company’s brand.

Can you tag an encompassing description for it? How would you like your clients and customers to see it?

Being different in terms of PowerPoint design means making a unique slide and presentation style. This makes your pitch more memorable, letting clients associate your product with your own company. Once this happens, your competitors will have a hard time trying to outsell you without looking like you.

3. Try to Be Cute or Funny (Only If the Idea Calls for It)

There are times when your presentation idea gives you room to be adorable (if you’re pitching for pet or baby products, for example). This was an approach used by the print ads of Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and Hansaplast Anti-Sweat Foot Spray.

Always try to take a backward spin on such opportunities. This makes your proposed product more noticeable and, possibly, more appealing to clients. As a word of caution, doing this relies on very specific “ifs”:

If your presentation idea calls for it, as with the case of the SPCA and Hansaplast foot spray ads, or if you have time for it, similar to how Steve Jobs showed a gag iPhone image before showing the actual iPhone in 2007.

Summing It Up

Mastering all three tips is something that happens over the course of several presentations. Emphasize one thing in your slide so that your audience has something to focus on. Create a unique look for your brand so that you won’t be mistaken for anybody else.

Lastly, you can try to add a humorous or cute spin, but only if you can justify this tactic. Once you’ve gotten the hang of these, people will start remembering your pitch, enough for you to start seeing an increase in sales.

To help you get a grasp of them faster, get in touch with a presentation design specialist for free!

 

References

Coloribus.com. Accessed August 14, 2015.
Sullivan, Luke. Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: A Guide to Creating Great Ads. 3rd ed. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, 2008.
The Secret to Defining Your Presentation Ideas and Style.” SlideGenius, Inc. May 05, 2015. Accessed August 14, 2015.

3 Title Slide Tips for Great PowerPoint Presentations

Though we’re told not to, our basic instinct is still to judge a book by its cover. First impressions last, and bad ones are harder to shake off. Even if you want to assume the best in your audience, it pays to make your slides leave lasting impact from the get-go.

Here are three ways to spice up your introductory slides:

1. Come Up With a Memorable Title

Like with books and movies, your success rests heavily on your deck’s title. A good title is short but memorable, while embodying your presentation’s main theme and core message.

Creative use of analogy or metaphor can further complement your message. It’s also important to have a variety of choices. Instead of tinkering with one title and changing the words around, write down many different ideas to give yourself more to choose from. Your title tells your audience what your presentation is about, allowing them to better prepare themselves to receive your message, and to respond well to your presentation.

2. Use a Visually Arresting Image

When you’re expected to keep the amount of text down to a minimum, you can’t afford to go all out with descriptions in your very first slide, can you? A single photograph, illustration, or graphic will do.

You don’t have to fill the whole space with one image. Applying the rule of thirds and leaving white space to relax the audience’s gaze will make your title slide look more refined and tasteful. With the help of your title, the image can easily connect with your audience.

3. Put Your Logo in There

It’s important to have your logo as one of the first things your audience will see. After all, the logo is the ideal visual representation of your company story. This is especially true if you have some solid brand equity in your sleeves.

If you wish, you can use it in place of your name and company, further lessening the amount of text in your opening slide. There’ll be multiple chances for you to be properly introduced throughout your speech. You can even animate your logo to increase the impact.

Summing It Up

The best works of literature can transcend lazy design and still deliver despite an appalling cover. When too much rests on the line, however, make sure you’ve got it perfectly from the very beginning. Make your title appropriate for your pitch, but unique enough that people will remember what it was called even months after it’s over.

When you don’t have the luxury of a high word count, use strong visuals to make your point instead. Lastly, your pitch is all about what you company can offer, so don’t forget to put your company logo in your title slide so that your audiences will instantly see it as soon as you begin presenting.

With a great start, you’ll definitely get excellent results. The more your audience remembers your great PowerPoint presentations, the more likely they’ll call you up and seal a business deal with you.

 

References

Consider the Eyes: White Space in Great Presentation Design.” SlideGenius, Inc. May 14, 2015. Accessed August 14, 2015.
Evele, Nathalie. “Is It Human Nature to Judge?Centre for Journalism. May 7, 2013. Accessed August 14, 2015.
PowerPoint Lesson: The Rule of Thirds in Slide Design.” SlideGenius, Inc.. November 10, 2014. Accessed August 14, 2015.