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5 Effective PowerPoint Delivery Methods for Presentations

Most presenters barely notice what particular presentation technique they’re using whenever they take the stage. This is because they’re not fully aware of how it could influence both their performance and their audience. When you prepare your pitch, decide whether you want to use a fast-paced approach or spend more time discussing your main points.

This provides a guide for organizing your ideas and translating them to your slides. While there are many presentation styles which work best for different speakers, there are also PowerPoint delivery methods that they can use to optimize their slides. Here, we’ll define some techniques introduced and practiced by popular presenters:

The Takahashi Method

Named after Masoyoshi Takahashi, this approach relies heavily on keywords with one main point placed per slide. Instead of using images, bullet points, or other visual elements, words are used as visuals.

This method requires many slides (depending on your content) since each one only has a few words displayed. Applying this method encourages your audience to pay more attention to you as the speaker, since you are the one explaining what’s projected on-screen.

The Kawasaki Method

Named after Guy Kawasaki, and also known as the “10-20-30” method (10 slides, 20 minutes, 30 font size). This approach is commonly used for investor presentations where a short yet impactful approach is needed to stand out among the competition.

This allows you to give brief but understandable messages within a limited time.

The Lessig Method

Used by Lawrence Lessig, this style has a limited use of images, relying more on words, similar to Takahashi’s style. Concise words or statements are used and slides are changed around, depending on the words the presenter delivers.

This focuses more on telling a story and injects a more synchronized approach, generating interest and allowing audiences to be more attentive.

The Godin Method

Seth Godin’s technique is a combination of texts and images, where the speaker uses striking photos to let the pictures speak for themselves. This lets him explain what he’s trying to point out and reiterate his main ideas through images.

This approach differs from Takahashi and Lessig’s, since they’re more focused on conveying their message primarily with text. The advantage? Using this appeals to the audience’s passions and establishes an emotional connection with them.

The Steve Jobs Method

Steve Jobs’ style concentrates on large images and texts, focusing on one statement per slide and combining it with visual elements. This gives the presenter the chance to offer demonstrations and allow a more interactive way of communicating his ideas.

This method enables your performance to be more interesting and powerful, allowing the audience to get the message easily for maximum impact.

In Conclusion

Let your objectives dictate your manner of presenting. Situations requiring brevity and conciseness might require the Kawasaki Method. The Takahashi and Lessig methods favor a confident presenting style to better focus attention on the speaker. The Godin and Jobs methods use strong images that create strong emotional connections.

The key is to understand and identify your objective as a presenter. Once you know this, you can then decide on what presentation style to use. Choose which one of the delivery methods suits you the most. Let SlideGenius experts help you out!

Enhance Your Sales Presentation by Appealing to Emotions

Fulfilling your passion goes beyond projecting confidence during a sales presentation. Using emotional appeal is one of the trade secrets of professional presenters and businessmen. By creating a set of common values, emotions, and beliefs about your product, your clients will have an easier time identifying with your brand.

It also helps you connect to your audience faster and sell more effectively. This marketing trick, which business gurus Michael and George Belch have cited as transformational advertising, also improves your persuasiveness as a presenter.

How to Properly Associate Emotions

More than just describing and summarizing your product’s benefits, effective sales presenters add an associated set of emotions to your pitch. In his book, Cutting Edge Advertising, Jim Aitchison notes these as anchors that remain consistent with your audience’s existing standards or beliefs.

This technique relies on giving clients the impression that you believe in the same things they do. Your creative PowerPoint presentation ideas thereby establish your creativity, while making your pitch more memorable.

Combine a Rational and Emotional Appeal

You need to clarify how clients can benefit from your proposal. According to product management expert Roman Pichler, good products are often focused on the user rather than the product itself.

Make this more effective by sharing emotional benefits from using your product. This is similar to what mobile AT&T did with its “reach out and touch someone” campaign, which encouraged its subscribers to keep in touch with family and friends.

According to Aitchison, be familiar with your product and the situations in which your customers will use it. Knowing these lets you decide what kind of emotions you want to associate with your product and your brand. This forms the basis of what emotional benefits to pitch to your clients.

Make Your Brand Own the Emotion

Once you identify what emotion to bring out, it’s time to bring the passion out. Do you want your PowerPoint presentation to sell a warm experience where families can bond together, similar to how McDonald’s does its advertisements? Or, like brand communications specialist Carmine Gallo’s example, do you want to sell a comfortable third place between home and work like Starbucks?

These brands have defined their emotional benefits from ideas that stem directly from their products. More than selling fast food or custom-hand-crafted coffee, these brands emulate a specific personality that like-minded people can relate to. Find out what you want to be known for by getting to know the people who think like you do.

In a Nutshell: Bank on the Power of Belief

Combining rational and emotional benefits are more effective because they can both inform and rouse audiences. By driving home that you believe in the same things your audience does, you make them remember you better.

Once you find that emotion your brand or product can stand for, you can start playing to your passions for better PowerPoint presentation ideas that help you sell faster. Already have your big idea? All you need to do is to get the help of a professional PowerPoint specialist to bring them out.

References

Aitchison, Jim. Cutting Edge Advertising: How to Create the World’s Best Print for Brands in the 21st Century. 2nd ed. Singapore: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004.
Belch, George E., and Michael A. Belch. Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective. 6th ed. Singapore: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2003.
Gallo, Carmine. The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010.
Product Owners, Focus on the User Benefits, Not the Product!Roman Pichler. 2012. Accessed September 15, 2015.
Using Common Values in PowerPoint Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. April 21, 2015. Accessed September 15, 2015.

3 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Images for Your Slide Design

A picture can tell a complete story without a single glyph of text. When making your slide design, push your deck to the next level with smart and appropriate use of stock photos. Use images for PowerPoint the right way to enhance your deck.

It might seem overwhelming at first to fit images into a visually appealing deck, but don’t worry. Nobody is expected to rely on pictures alone to get their message across. What we’ll be talking about is how to find the most suitable ones that best communicate your ideas to achieve your goals.

1. Search for the Good Ones

The first step is to find visually striking images, ones which are clearly for commercial use. Google is likely your first choice when looking for appropriate photos. More often than not, however, you’ll end up with common and visually unappealing results.

A good place to start when looking for images is Flickr, which has a practical search function. Flickr allows you to limit the results to ones you can edit or use for commercial purposes. One thing, though: make sure to give credit to the artists in your own work.

If you’re willing to pay a premium for amazing photos, use Shutterstock, or DepositPhotos for royalty-free images. This gives your PowerPoint an extra dose of uniqueness. With your search term, use specific keywords instead of broad ones. This will discount search results that are too common.

To circumvent problems with some monitors or projectors, avoid photos with intricate details and fine dots or lines.

2. Decide Which Images Fit

Design your slides in a way that best fits your brand. Your image choice is most effective when it conveys or complements your message without straying from your brand persona – all while still maintaining unity with each other.

Try to choose images with a color temperature or palette that fits your own company colors. They should also meld with your brand identity. For example, you don’t want to use images of young people on skateboards when you’re presenting about elderly care. Putting thought into your selection and layout saves you from presenting to a confused audience.

Your images should only be there to help your presentation. If they hinder, take them out for a simpler layout.

3. Edit Them to Your Needs

The supremacy of Adobe programs is undeniable, as evidenced by Photoshop being an industry standard in photo-manipulation and graphic design. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that it’s only for experts in graphic design.

You can easily use Photoshop to crop your images to the proper size, or even change the brightness levels and color temperature. If you find striking images that have unnecessary elements or don’t have the right color, use Photoshop to correct and adjust them to your needs.

In Conclusion

The right choice of stock images can make your PowerPoint layout an aesthetic advantage. Getting the right ones with the proper copyright permissions will be your first priority. Ensure that you won’t be infringing on anyone’s rights for your own purposes.

Your next priority is making sure your choices are appropriate for your branding and your message individually, while ensuring that your branding and message complement each other. Every design decision should enhance your presentation, not distract from it.

If you must, use Photoshop to make edits such as cropping, brightening, or other forms of tweaking. Need more help with designing your slides? Our Presentation Experts are ready to take your call and provide a free quote!

References

Apply the Color Balance Adjustment.” Photoshop Help. Accessed September 14, 2015.
Images for PowerPoint: 5 Practical Tips to Improve Your Design.” SlideGenius, Inc. August 26, 2014. Accessed September 14, 2015.
Levels Adjustment.” Photoshop Help. Accessed September 14, 2015.

3 Ways to Combat Noise in Your Business Presentation

Have you wondered why it seems difficult to deliver your message clearly and effectively? Things such as noise can negatively affect your business presentation, making it impossible to get your message across since they can’t easily understand what you’re trying to say. According to eHow contributor, Damon Verial, noise also acts as a communication barrier that stumps your overall performance.

Learn how noise disrupts your success as a presenter, preventing you from conveying your point clearly.

Two Types of Noise

Your job doesn’t end after preparing your PowerPoint slides and crafting your pitch. In fact, your actual performance begins when you might experience unexpected slip-ups. One of those is noise. There are two kinds of noise which presenters often face:

1. External Noise

This includes distracting sounds such as:

  • audiences laughing
  • background noise
  • any accidents that affect your overall performance

This type of noise is sometimes unavoidable, since these are outside factors beyond your control.

2. Internal Noise

This kind of noise involves your own thinking and that of your audience’s. It includes being uncomfortable about your topic, worrying about how your audiences perceive you, or failing to recognize their needs. While these can be controlled with careful practice before you present, mistakes are still possible even with the strictest rehearsal.

There are three ways to combat this kind of noise and effectively communicate with your audience:

a. Determine the Cause of Noise

Internal and even external noise can be controlled to a certain extent. Identify its source to find an immediate solution. If the problem is in the venue, you can adjust by politely telling the organizer to resolve the particular distraction.

For example, if it’s technical problems or any physical noise, ask them to fix it so you can proceed with your message. You might not be able to remove it entirely, but you can prevent further distractions that may affect your performance.

b. Enhance Your Listening Skills

As a speaker, you need to understand that speaking isn’t your only job. Since your objective is to make your audience understand your message, listening is part of the process. Keep them engaged by asking them to participate and giving them a chance to speak up.

It also prevents any misunderstandings, which are also considered as noise.

c. Use Repetition for Emphasis

This reminds your audience of significant ideas from your pitch, especially if they were unable to understand your point. Reiterating your thoughts enables you to highlight what you want them to learn and to focus on providing them with memorable information.

This shows that you respect the time they spent listening to your pitch, and you want to give them something in return.

Conclusion

Noise prevents you from giving your message clearly. While it’s true that it can be controlled to a certain extent, learning how to fight this distraction will help you communicate effectively with your audience. By identifying the source of noise, you’ll be able to solve that particular problem and lessen any negative effects.

Listening also helps you to easily understand your audience and avoid being misunderstood. Repeating your points allows you to emphasize what you want them to learn. It also shows that you care about your audience.

Applying these will give you a more effective and successful presentation. To help you with your PowerPoint presentation needs, let SlideGenius experts assist you!

 

References

Check Out The Room Before You Speak.” Total Communicator. Accessed September 11, 2015.
Overcome Anxiety Like Presentation Expert Warren Buffett.” SlideGenius, Inc. May 04, 2015. Accessed September 11, 2015.
Verial, Damon. “How to Overcome Noise Barriers in Communication.” eHow. Accessed September 11, 2015.

 

5 Warm-Up Exercises for Professional Presentations

Utilizing your whole body is a must when presenting in front of a crowd.

Non-verbal communication makes a difference in getting your message across effectively and concisely. What you do physically should match what you’re saying, as any inconsistency between visual and verbal delivery could make your audience doubt the authenticity of your claims.

After all, audiences don’t only have ears – they have eyes, too.

To make the most out of your body language skills and look more professional, do some warm-up exercises before you step up and deliver your presentation.

1. Take Deep Breaths

As with any warm-up, you have to do some breathing exercises first. This calms you down and prepares your body for the stretching you’ll be doing.

To get yourself at peak alertness, we recommend the Bellows Method. This entails breathing rapidly through your nose, keeping your mouth closed but relaxed. Doing this also invigorates and primes you for that important pitch ahead.

2. Relax Your Neck

While standing up straight, rest your head forward, and slowly rotate your neck around your shoulders. Do this both clockwise and counter-clockwise. Make sure not to overdo it. Rotate as gently and as naturally as possible.

This frees your neck from tension and relaxes you.

3. Wiggle Your Hands

Hand gestures are the easiest tools for conveying your message in a simple and effective manner. Wiggling your hands not only improves blood flow, but also loosens your muscles.

Properly using hand gestures can have a dramatic effect on how your audience listens. Make sure to prepare your hands well to get the best out of them.

4. Stretch Your Legs

Moving around is as important as waving your hands around, especially with a large crowd. Therefore, ensure that your legs are in top shape before you step up. You can achieve this by doing your basic lunges, alternating each leg.

To avoid missteps or trips, stretch your legs before your pitch.

5. Exercise Your Face Muscles

Don’t worry. Your parents were wrong when they said your face would stay that way forever. Your facial expressions are important for emphasizing emotions that you wish to invoke in your audience. Contort your face in every possible way to stretch your facial muscles.

Doing this in front of a mirror also lets you be more comfortable with your appearance, and allows you to pick out the expressions and angles that show you at your best.

Summing It Up

Public speaking isn’t all about using only your mouth. Your body language matters, too. Enhance and complement your pitch by preparing yourself physically and mentally. To avoid cramping up and embarrassing yourself, don’t forget to do preparatory exercises. Make sure to stretch and loosen up your whole body.

Start with some deep breathing to calm yourself down. Breathing exercises prepare you not only for more stretching, but for the coming presentation. Then, work on releasing the tension in every part of your body, starting with your neck. Shake your hands to loosen them up, then do some quick lunges to stretches your legs.

Finally, don’t forget that you face has muscles, too, so make all sorts of expressions to warm them up. Warming up your body helps you warm up your mind, making you more alert and efficient during your presentation.

Need a well-designed PowerPoint deck for more professional presentations? Contact SlideGenius for a free consultation.

References

Breathing: Three Exercises.Weil. Accessed September 10, 2015.
How to Use Body Language Like a Presentation Expert.” SlideGenius, Inc. June 02, 2015. Accessed September 10, 2015.
Presentation Warm-up Exercises.” Syntaxis. Accessed September 10, 2015.

7 Deadly Presentation Sins: Envy (Losing Yourself)

Welcome back to our series on the Seven Deadly Sins of Presentations. Last time, we discussed sloth or failing to prepare for your speech.

Today, we’ll be exploring the sin of envy.

For speakers, this means lacking authenticity and losing confidence.

Let’s see what makes envy a speech killer.

What Is Envy?

Envy inevitably leads to personal harm and debilitation, affecting one’s physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being (Job 5:2; Prov 14:30).

Usually denoted by a green-eyed monster, it is characterized by jealousy over others’ traits, statuses, abilities, or situations.

Some studies claim that envy can be productive for encouraging personal growth. Indeed, data suggests envy boosts mental persistence and memory.

In public speaking, however, envy can be destructive.

Why Is It Bad for Presentations?

Admiring great speakers’ exceptional presentation skills isn’t bad when they push you to reach your highest potential.

It only becomes unprofessional when jealousy overpowers inspiration.

If you’re envious of a colleague or somebody’s speaking prowess, drop that negative feeling now.

It’s a bad habit that stops you from recognizing your own strengths and abilities because you overly focus on somebody else’s, losing sight of your own unique strengths.

It could also cause you to copy their speaking style, making you less authentic and confident.

How Do We Cure the Deadly Sin of Envy?

Curing the sin of envy takes one approach: self-affirmation.

Listing down your weaknesses helps you figure out which one is the easiest to remedy—be it  writing your content, designing your slide or your actual speech delivery.

Knowing what your biggest weakness is also allows you to think of appropriate techniques that best work for you.

Summing It Up

Being envious of someone’s presentation aptitude is a sin that kills confident and authentic public speaking.

Instead of sabotaging yourself through envy, bring in compassion and motivate yourself to become a better presenter.

Don’t focus on somebody else’s strengths. Instead, look for your own strengths which no other person has.

Identify your weaknesses, too, so that you can address them and improve your own skills.

Once you’ve started focusing on your own capabilities instead of comparing yourself with other people, you’ll be able to hone your own work to the point that you’ll have people’s attention – the positive kind.

Are you in need of PowerPoint slides that match your presentation goals? Contact SlideGenius and we’ll help you design a deck with a selling edge!

References

Dlugan, Andrew. “The 7 Deadly Sins of Public Speaking.” Six Minutes, October 25, 2009. Accessed June 11, 2015. http://sixminutes.dlugan.com/7-deadly-sins-public-speaking/
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-new-brain/201109/eat-your-guts-out-why-envy-hurts-and-why-its-good-your-brain.

An Inside Look at How Clients Invest in Your Sales Pitch

Effective presenters take time to know their client’s expectations. This lets them select the best tactic for delivering their sales pitch so they can solve both their client’s problems and their own. Presenters have this advantage because they know how clients connect with their sales pitch proposals, giving them better PowerPoint presentation ideas.

It’s the same process that advertising agencies consider when making customers connect with the brands they advertise. This connection between brands and customers happens on three levels, the most powerful of which according to a study conducted by advertising giant McCann-Erickson, is Emotional Bonding.

1. Product Benefits

Business gurus George and Michael Belch suggest that on this level, clients connect with your brand based on the benefits it can offer.

At this stage, clients have the least amount of loyalty. They are most likely to switch to the competition if they offer something you don’t have.

2. Brand Personality

The next stage is when your clients assign a personality to your brand. This personality is based on the principles and beliefs your brand will stand for.

Brand communications expert, Carmine Gallo, presents a few examples: it can be the cozy hangout Starbucks is known as, the tough off-roaders of Jeep, or even the classic refreshing drink that Coke is touted as. This is when clients start to associate traits or values they share with your brand.

3. Emotional Benefits

At this stage, consumers and clients alike develop emotional attachments to your brand. This is the highest level, where clients constantly seek you out after you’ve done business with them repeatedly.

At this stage, your previous clients will have no problem looking forward to your future pitches, much like how Apple users always looked forward to the late Steve Jobs showing off his new gadget. This level of trust leads to a positive psychological movement towards your company.

It’s arguably the hardest to achieve, but you get the benefit of clients paying their undivided attention to you whenever you present.

The Main Connection: Develop Trust

Connecting with your audience with a business PowerPoint presentation doesn’t happen overnight. After all, repeat customers are what keep companies alive.

Offer a product with the benefits your clients need, define a relatable personality for your brand, and deliver consistently to help you gain your client’s trust in your company. That’s when the long-term emotional connections happen.

To help you get the most out of this advantage, get in touch with SlideGenius.com today!

 

References

Belch, George E., and Michael A. Belch. Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective. 6th ed. Singapore: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2003.
Gallo, Carmine. The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010.
Proprietary Research Technique Called Emotional Bonding.” ZABANGA Marketing. Accessed September 8, 2015.
Using Common Values in PowerPoint Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. April 21, 2015. Accessed September 8, 2015.

Presentation Ideas from Ancient Greece: Pitching With Pathos

Have you been seeing more and more people dozing off during a speech? Without proper communication, audiences can’t be engaged no matter how interesting your topic is. If you’re looking for a tried and tested Classical approach, here’s another of those presentation ideas from Ancient Greece.

In a previous post, we discussed the building blocks set by the Greeks for interpersonal communication: logos, pathos, and ethos. We’ve spoken about Ethos and the importance of building your credibility as a speaker.

Now, it’s time to talk about how to ease the transformation through one of the other pillars: Pathos.

What is Pathos?

Pathos is a mode of persuasion that appeals to an audience’s emotions. It enhances an argument by making listeners identify with the speaker’s perspective. If Ethos eases the transfer of the message, Pathos increases its effectivity.

Think of Pathos as how easily your audience sympathizes with you. A sympathetic audience will more likely react to your pitch and respond positively to your Call-to-Action. Remember that you can’t win minds without also winning hearts.

Why Emotional Appeal Works

When it comes to winning arguments, the Ancient Greeks knew that passion could be stronger than reason. In the young democracy of the Athenian Greeks, appealing to citizens’ emotions allowed them to galvanize and unite their populace in the face of repeated adversities.

This worked whenever they had arguments with the other city-states. It even allowed them to bring other city-states into the Delian League – a sort of ancient United Nations. You can’t persuade everyone with just emotions, however. Look to Pathos as the way to prime your listener’s mental states to be more receptive to your ideas.

How to Maximize Pathos

You can appeal to emotions by relating your clients’ social and psychological needs with the purchase of a product or service. According to business gurus George and Michael Belch, consumers are more motivated by their feelings toward a brand than knowledge of its features or attributes. This shows us the significance of appealing to an audience’s emotions.

In speaking, we can use stories and narratives to frame our arguments and supporting information. Vivid and imaginative language also add color and excitement to your presentation. As the speaker, portray yourself as similarly affected by the problem you’re trying to solve, increasing the impact once you’ve presented your proposed solution.

When partnered with an effective and sympathetic Call-to-Action, you’ll be winning new clients over in no time.

To Sum It Up

The Ancient Greeks were ahead of their time, mastering oratory methods that helped unify and guide their civilization and culture. Appropriate narratives, vibrant language, and extracting empathy allows speakers to get the best emotional appeal.

Through the use of Pathos and other rhetorical techniques, Greek speakers struck emotional strings to sway their listeners and win hearts and minds. Use their timeless persuasion techniques to give your pitch an extra advantage.

Running out of ideas for your presentation pitch? Contact our SlideGeniuses now for some much needed assistance–and a free quote!

 

References

Belch, G., & Belch, M. Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective (5th ed.). Boston, Mass.: Irwin/McGraw-Hill, 2001.
Delian League.” Ancient History Encyclopedia. Accessed September 4, 2015.
Presentation Ideas from Ancient Greece: Explaining Ethos.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2015. Accessed September 4, 2015.

Burger King’s McWhopper Pitch: Why McDonald’s Said No

Burger King may have struck a publicity coup against McDonald’s. By suggesting a product tie-up with one of their own rivals, they’ve managed to bring in a lot of online attention and increase interest in their brand.

In the midst of a sales slump and a menu revamp, McDonald’s may have been caught unaware of this plan. Burger King struck first by proposing a union between the companies’ flagship burgers: the Big Mac and the Whopper. But their charming overtures to end the beef with beef has left a bitter taste in people’s mouths when McDonald’s rejected their proposal.

And so, the dream of a McWhopper ended not with a bang, but a McWhimper.

Was it a total failure, though?

So, What Happened?

McWhopper The Unthinkable Burger

Burger King fired the first shots with two full-page ads in the New York Times and Chicago Tribune – two publications with high circulation. They also created a well-designed website with slick animations to showcase “The Unthinkable Burger.” The self-described “Home of the Whopper” came up with a compelling and convincing proposal.

Online reaction was positive, watering the mouths of online users worldwide. There was even a promise to donate the proceeds to Peace One Day, a non-profit organization for world peace. It looked like things would fall neatly into place, but McDonald’s was unimpressed.

People were clamoring to make it happen, but Mickey D’s crushed everybody’s high expectations by publicly rejecting the offer.

Why the Rejection?

McWhopper Pitch

As disappointing and anticlimactic as it may have been, it was actually unsurprising. Based on statistics, McDonald’s pulled in nearly 3 times as much money in 2014 at USD 35.4 billion dollars versus Burger King’s USD 8.6 billion. Being the more profitable company, McDonald’s could just end up losing market share to Burger King if they agreed.

The McWhopper’s positioning as a solution to world peace may have also been its downfall. It provided McDonald’s an easy and face-saving way to reject it – which they used: “…let’s acknowledge that between us there is simply a friendly business competition and certainly not the unequaled circumstances of the real pain and suffering of war.”

To top it off, they ended it with this postscript: “A simple phone call will do next time.” McDonald’s made Burger King look petty and inappropriate for equating the reality of global conflict to the business competition between rival fast food chains. Simply, McDonald’s may not have wanted it at all, having less to gain than Burger King.

But would it have gone any other way?

What Else Could Have Been Done?

McWhopper McDonald's Burger King Team-Up

It’s hard to say if any other course of action would have blessed the world with the presence of a McWhopper. A more light-hearted yet still serious holiday might have made the proposal harder to reject. Maybe a Halloween collaboration or special salad for St. Patrick’s day would have worked?

Still, it was a sly move for Burger King to start a public confrontation. They attempted to force McDonald’s hand by making them look like the bad guy if they said no. Realistically speaking though, Burger King had little leverage to pull, and McDonald’s rejection letter was a master class in minimizing PR damage.

Given the public’s perception of fast food chains associated with unhealthy diets, maybe they could have used a different collaboration featuring a healthier meal.

The Takeaway

McWhopper Proposal

On the surface, the conciliatory theme of two rival corporations coming together for a greater good appeared to fit with the theme of promoting world peace. As convincing as the pitch may have been, the odds were stacked against Burger King from the beginning. Though the result was a buzzkill for some online commenters, it still met Burger King’s objective – to create buzz.

Maximizing audience appeal with a wonderfully designed presentation makes an offer that’s hard to refuse. But as promising as it may have been, and as pumped up as burger lovers have become, reality caught up with everyone’s expectations.

Undoubtedly, Burger King was still successful in drawing attention to themselves, and their cheeky move in throwing the gauntlet has brought them new fans. But if they really wanted to make a profitable partnership happen, they made a crucial error by pitching to a brand that was trying to reinvent its image.

Maybe they should have gone for a competitor who was much closer, and who would have more to gain… perhaps a company like Wendy’s. While Burger King’s clever and compelling business proposal was hard to reject, equating what they termed the “Burger Wars” with global conflict was just… tasteless.

 

References

Associated Press. “McDonald’s Tries to Change Its Image from ‘Fast Food’ to ‘Good Food Served Fast’ with Fruit, Egg-White McMuffins and Its First Menu Item Ever to Contain Cucumber.Mail Online. August 18, 2014. Accessed September 1, 2015.
O’Reilly, Lara. “Sorry, Burger King: McDonald’s Just Said No to Your Joint ‘McWhopper’ Burger Idea.Business Insider. August 26, 2015. Accessed September 1, 2015.
The QSR 50 – The Top 50 Brands in Quick Service and Fast Casual.” QSR Magazine. August 2015. Accessed September 1, 2015.
Welcome to Our McWhopper Proposal.” Burger King. (n.d.). Accessed September 1, 2015.

Finding Common Ground: Key to Professional Presentations

Inevitably, you’ll encounter a crowd of listeners with highly mixed and diverse backgrounds.

Their differences can be in levels of knowledge, perspectives, responsibilities, and expectations. They’ll likely have concerns that mirror their diversity.

You want to address all their issues without taking too much time presenting.

At the same time, you want to make sure your approach caters to all their learning needs.

Professional speakers can bridge the gaps inbetween by finding common ground to optimize their presentation.

Understand Their Perspective

Always begin by finding out as much as you can about who you’ll be presenting to.

If possible, request help from intermediaries to get you in contact with people who’ll be attending your presentation.

Find out as much as you can about their experiences and competencies, their important concerns and questions, and their preferences in enjoying presentations.

In case you can’t talk to them personally, ask people of similar backgrounds to give you an idea of what you need to do to better prepare.

If you’re unable to get in contact with your potential audience in advance or ask people of similar qualifications, come to the venue early. You can use this extra time to mingle with your audience before the appointed time.

Not only will this lessen your chances of running late, it’ll also make you look more professional because the audience will see that you don’t waste anybody’s time.

Identify and Avoid Misunderstandings

Sometimes, an investment pitch will be unsuccessful because the audience misunderstood or misinterpreted information.

Usually, you can answer questions through a Q&A session after your main presentation.

However, you can avoid this problem altogether by researching your information and checking your facts correctly.

Don’t get tangled in an awkward situation where an audience member catches you on factual mistakes. This embarrassment can cost you potential clients.

Also, base all of your arguments on clear data. Avoid jumping to conclusions based on incomplete raw numbers or facts.

Don’t prematurely claim a long-term upward trend in profits based on just one week of data with a sample size of one sole company.

The one thing an audience will hate more than being confused is being willfully deceived.

Connect the Dots

Now that you know what your listeners have in common, you can easily craft a message that speaks to each of them, while sounding like you understand them as a whole.

Based on what you’ve found out about them, you can easily determine which stories or metaphors the whole crowd can relate to.

This will also help you determine if you can speak in a more conversational tone or if it would be safer to use a more formal tone.

Knowing the composition of your audience also lets you decide the amount of jargon you can let through with your speech. You wouldn’t want to seem highfaluting while explaining to a crowd of marketers, would you?

Common Ground

A diverse group of listeners requires an approach that caters to each one of them, while also connecting with all of them simultaneously.

Getting into their head allows you to best cater your message for your mixed audience.

Proper and responsible research and fact-checking avoids embarrassing situations and misinformation.

All of this guides your message and allows you to deliver it to best inform, engage, and convince.

Find the common ground to radiate a credible professional vibe for any presentation opportunity.

References

http://smartblogs.com/leadership/2014/06/17/finding-common-ground-with-your-audience/