Slidegenius, Inc.

Increase Your Chances of Making Sales in 5 Easy Steps

Motivating your prospects isn’t enough to convince them to make purchase decisions. It would be difficult to motivate people without knowing their preferences. Learning what motivates them in buying a product or availing a service should be your main priority. This is to give you higher chances of influencing them to take action.

Convincing them to purchase your product allows you to highlight the benefits of what you’re offering. Knowing their needs, on the other hand, gives you an idea on what kind of things they’re interested in and how to satisfy them.

Before you even get to know your prospects, they already have their own set of preferences and expectations that drive them to act. Be careful not to sound too aggressive or desperate in presenting your offerings without first knowing what affects their decisions. This is where asking questions takes place.

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Give your prospects enough time to share important things about themselves. This will help you discover something valuable that you can use in addressing their concerns. Otherwise, you’ll unintentionally lose their attention and interest.

In his book, The Secret of Selling Anything, author and speaker Harry Browne tackles how selling is easy. He mentions that the secret to salesmanship revolves around this guideline: Find this prospect’s motivation and appeal to it.

Browne emphasizes the importance of recognizing each prospect’s motivation to increase your chances of making sales. Follow these five easy steps inspired by Browne’s ideas as your guide:

Step 1. Identify their motivation.

Making Sales: Motivation

According to Browne, asking questions that stimulate your prospect’s interest are effective in convincing them to open up and disclose whatever it is that matters to them a lot. Though selling is your main goal, understand that you need to prioritize client concerns and distinguish their inner motives before your own satisfaction. This is where you ensure that the prospect you are talking to is qualified for your offer.

Knowing their motivations also allows you to recognize their present needs. Harold Maslow’s motivational theory explains how each stage of human need (physiological, safety, love and belonging, esteem, and self-actualization) helps presenters determine their existing concerns before selling. This is why asking them persuasive questions prompts them to talk about their personal experiences. This, in turn, gives you an idea on how to relate those motivations to your presentation.

This also involves identifying possible factors that influence their buying decisions. How you appear credible, beneficial, and unique plays an important role in your business success. Once they find you trustworthy, they’ll warm up to you and express their interest in your offer.

Don’t pursue your personal agenda without letting them do the talking first. Take time to listen to prospects so you can easily craft questions that offer solutions to their problems.

Step 2. Reiterate the main points.

Making Sales: Presentation main points

Once you’re done discovering what triggers their motivations, gather the information and organize them accordingly. Whether you’re conversing with a prospect who unexpectedly asks for your advice, or you’re pitching to a business person, condensing their thoughts in one sentence or two will help you determine their main interest.

In this phase, Browne has mentioned the importance of deeply understanding what your prospects are up to. Reiterating their ideas lets you see if they’ll agree or not. This also lets them know you were listening while they were talking. If you notice some disagreement on their end, clarify things by going back to step one – identify what motivations through substantive questions.

This will serve as your guide in meeting their expectations for a particular product or service. Don’t hesitate to provide follow-up questions that will enable you to comprehend the intended message. It would be better to complete the first two steps before going over the third one.

Step 3. Introduce your offer.

Making Sales: Making an offer

Before you even start communicating with your prospects, they already have a question in mind: “What’s in it for me?” Addressing this will make your pitch more appealing and give you their undivided attention. More importantly, you’ll be able to successfully answer this question once you identify what their current needs are and understand their problems.

At this point in time, you’re ready to discuss what you want to sell to the customer. Do this by explaining your brand’s features and benefits in a way that appeals to their present motives. In this way, you can filter your points into something that’s beneficial to your prospects, satisfying their needs.

Since maintaining audience attention is one of your goals, include only what’s relevant to your listeners. Imagine pitching to your prospects without being aware of what they’re currently looking for. You’ll end up wasting both your time and energy, even losing people’s interest. This is why it’s vital that you know their exact expectations to effectively get your message across.

Step 4. Answer their questions.

Making Sales: Answering question

After you’re done explaining how your brand will benefit the prospects, anticipate responses on their part. Although some presenters look at inquiries negatively, they can become your ladder to success. Think about it: if they’re not interested or they don’t care about your offer, your audience can just easily ignore your pitch in the first place.

Objections are different from rejections. The former is common in any transaction between a prospect and a sales professional. This is where the probing strategy is most effective. When they raise a question or an objection, it could be because they didn’t fully understand your point. In this case, consider explaining your ideas in detail and focus on your main points. Doing so enables you to reiterate your message and clarify each point being discussed.

Browne states that using the listen-agree-suggest method can help you turn these objections into a “yes”. By lending your ears and listening to what they have to say, it’ll appear that you value and respect their sentiments. After hearing their side, provide your agreement and propose a better recommendation that will help them obtain what they want.

Step 5. Seal the deal.

Making Sales: Seal the deal

The fifth and final step of the selling process is closing the deal. Once you discover their motivation, clarify each idea, present your offerings, and respond to their concerns, you can proceed to a more persuasive approach in the sales process. For some, this might be one of the most difficult parts, but it can be also the most exciting. This is where you’ll summarize the entire conversation and convince the prospects to make purchasing decisions.

Aside from ending your pitch with a well-designed presentation deck and a powerful call-to-action, you can create a sense of urgency that’ll entice them to take immediate action. Discounts or promos may help in persuading people.

As much as possible, convince them to decide now rather than tomorrow. Activate their impulse factors and keep the momentum. Make the most out of your time and see how it’ll all be worth it.

One Step at a Time

Making Sales: One step at a time

It’s no secret that not everyone will be pleased with your offerings. However, it shouldn’t be an excuse to quit trying.

Before making a sale, identify your prospect’s needs to avoid wasting both your time and effort. Remember, your job is to help your prospect meet their objectives and reach their goals through your offer.

Although sales focuses on getting higher numbers, rushing won’t help. You need to follow each step carefully to attain your goal. Try this technique and see how it can improve your pitch from this day onwards.

To craft a more direct presentation, contact our team of professional designers today and ask for a free quote!

 

Reference

Browne, Harry. The Secret of Selling Anything. 2008. Accessed June 21, 2016.

Get More Organized with PowerPoint Presenter View

PowerPoint contains powerful features that often get buried under the comfortable confines of default settings. Unlock the potential of the Presenter view for your presentation and get more out of the program.

Our previous article talked about the different views in PowerPoint 2013 and how these views can help you customize your workflow. There, we explored the eight types of views and the additional two views.

In this post, we’ll be going in-depth on one of the additional views – the Presenter View.

This view essentially acts as the remote control to your presentation. It lets you set the precise length of your presentation and helps you look at your notes when the inevitable mind slip occurs.

You’ll amaze your audience with your ability to move from slide to slide with precise timing. The secret to ending your presentation on the dot is all in the Presenter View.

Maximize all Useful Features of Presenter View

This tutorial uses the version of PowerPoint 2013 with a computer that has two monitors to fulfill the requirement of having two screens present to activate Presenter View.

Starting your slide show automatically brings up Presenter View if you’re using PowerPoint 2013. The program also detects if you have two screens so that it can display the Presenter View and the Slide Show separately. Make sure to check if you already have a projector plugged in.

Press F5 on your keyboard to bring up the Presenter View, which simultaneously brings up the Slide Show.

PowerPoint Presenter View: The Key Areas

PowerPoint Presenter View: Key Areas

The image above labels the four main areas you’ll notice in the Presenter View. The first, Toolbar (1), has three components: Show Taskbar, Display Settings, and End Slide Show as you see below.

PowerPoint Presenter View: Toolbar

a. Show Taskbar simply shows your computer’s taskbar below the Presenter View. Collapse and expand the taskbar by clicking on this button. The taskbar is hidden by default during your presentation, and this menu item is useful if you need to bring it up.

b. Display Settings is the only item on the menu that has an inverted triangle beside it, indicating that there are other options available in the dropdown menu. Swap Presenter View switches the position of the Presenter view and Slideshow view. The Duplicate Slide Show fills both of your screens with the Slide Show View.

c. End Slide Show closes both screens displaying the Slide Show and the Presenter view.

PowerPoint Presenter View: Full Screen vs window

The Minimize, Restore Down, and Close buttons on the upper right corner of the Presenter view Toolbar as highlighted above are another simple but useful set of features.

The Minimize button minimizes the Presenter view. The Restore Down button allows you to resize Presenter view. It looks much more compact than the full-screen view as the image above shows. Be careful since the Close button exits both the Slide Show and Presenter view to end your presentation.

Slide Timing, Preview, and Navigation Area

PowerPoint Presenter View: Slide timing

The most crucial feature in the second area is the Timer. Here, you can see how long each slide plays down to the second. The pause and play icons beside the time display allow you to control how long you want a slide to last on screen. Stay within your presentation time limit and cover all your talking points with the help of the timer.

Format your slides to only last a specific duration of time to keep you on track during your pitch. It’s even more important now to rehearse your speech so that you don’t rush your delivery.

See what your current slide looks like in the Slide Preview window between the Timer and Navigation. This understandably takes up the largest space in the Presenter view so that you can see an overview of the slide. In his tutorial on IndieZine, Geetesh Bajaj expounds on the extra controls below the Slide Preview area.

The Slide Navigation (2) at the bottom tells you which slide number you’re on and the total number of slides in your deck.

Next Slide and Notes Area

PowerPoint Presenter View: Notes area

The last two areas beside the Slide Preview are Next Slide (3) and Notes (4). The former displays your upcoming slide to give you time to prepare your next thoughts.  The latter area displays your notes. The text size is adjustable on the Notes area so that you can adjust your notes to be readable from afar.

Conclusion

This thorough look at the Presenter view proves how the program is packed with features that need to be explored. It’s one of many views you can use in PowerPoint 2013 to improve your workspace and help you be in control of precise timing during your pitch.

Presenter view is useful in checking how long your slides are playing and keep you aware and alert of the time you’re spending on stage. In addition to these useful functions, you can preview your next slide and notes.

Prepare yourself with the use of these settings and make Presenter view a valuable helper for your next, big presentation.

 

Reference

Bajaj, Geetesh. “PowerPoint 2013 Tutorials – Enhanced Presenter View in PowerPoint 2013.” Indezine.
November 9, 2012. Accessed January 7, 2016. www.indezine.com/products/powerpoint/learn/powerpoint-2013/enhanced-presenter-view-ppt2013.html

Presentation Lessons You Can Learn from Your Thanksgiving Dinner

With fall ending (fine, let’s cave: Winter is coming), it’s high time again for turkey season. Thanksgiving. In one Thursday night, families dine together for a feast. For a holiday that had its roots on the popular belief that the first-year survivors who came to the New World aboard the Mayflower dined with the Wampanoag tribe after a great harvest, it has since become more than just that and more about the appreciation and giving thanks for basically every good aspect in our lives.

While not forgetting the memorable parades, awesome sales, great sportscasts, and the coming holiday season, people look forward to Thanksgiving dinners the most.

The soggy yet scrumptious croutons floating on the soup. Two bowls of glorious mashed potatoes—one smooth and one with chunks—side by side a gravy boat filled to the brim. Fruits of a myriad colors on one corner and freshly baked loaves of bread on the other. The smell that wafts across the room from that first slice of turkey.

Looking at a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner table, you can draw the similarities between the feast in front of you and a great PowerPoint presentation in front of your audience.

You don’t? Well, awesome presentation design agencies certainly do. Here’s an infographic showing you the anatomy of an excellent visual aid with food that only comes on the last Thursday of November.

Presentation Inspired by Thanksgiving Dinners_Gifographic

Now’s the time to be appreciative of the many stuff you can be grateful for: a great family, an awesome career, a solid support group, and even the material things. There’s no greater sense of being alive than being thankful to be alive. (But, come on, it doesn’t mean it just has to be during this time of the year. Show it all year round!)

With the Yuletide season looming, it won’t be long after new year comes—new beginnings, resolutions, targets, goals, etc. Another year of successes and failures. Another year of expectations and efforts.

Before those come, take a breath. You wouldn’t want to be exhausted when the year ends a month from now, don’t you?

Resources:

Faught, Steven. “Anatomy of a Good Presentation.” wePresent. September 23, 2014. blog.wepresentwifi.com/anatomy-good-presentation

“HISTORY OF THANKSGIVING.” History.com. n.d. www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving/history-of-thanksgiving

3 Business PowerPoint Building Lessons from IKEA Furniture

IKEA furniture can be one of the most stressful things to assemble, especially when collaborating with others. In fact, California State University professor and therapist Dr. Ramani Durvasula observed that couples end up arguing during two phases.

The first is while picking which items to buy, the second, while they assemble the items. Strangely enough, even presenters can learn a few things from building them. After all, Dr. Durvasula even said that the assembly process is about communication, collaboration, and respect.

It just so happens that these three are important components for building a convincing business PowerPoint presentation.

Let’s take a look at how these three presentation techniques can help you with your next pitch:

1. Communication Clarifies Confusing Instructions

Manuals are there for a reason.

After all, furniture needs to be assembled in a certain way to be useable. There will be times when IKEA’s instructions aren’t understandable.

This is no different from building a business PowerPoint presentation. Every presentation needs a solid idea, supporting points, and a call to action. To complicate things, clients will always want your pitch presented in a certain way. Some may want you to focus on the benefits of your proposal, others may prefer you emphasize costs.

Communicating with them in a clear and proper manner will clarify what they expect from your pitch. That way, you learn to filter the most relevant content to include in your business presentation and give clients exactly what they want.

2. Collaboration Gives Better Ideas

There are some pieces of IKEA furniture that need two people to assemble, similar to how business presentations often require a team effort.

Your market share info could come from your researchers, the slide templates from your creative team, and product information from your sales managers. This is where most of the arguments take place.

If someone simply gives orders to the team without understanding what the client expects, this can come off as unprofessional and disrespectful. Try to be more open to ideas that other members of your sales team could pitch in. It could be just the right fit for your presentation and give you what you need to outsell the competition.

3. Respect Helps Reduce Stress

It’s no secret that couples end up fighting whenever they build an IKEA piece. Some would just give instructions and leave the assembly to the other person, others would end up insulting each other.

These are all indicative of a lack of respect, which severely affects teamwork and builds stress. In building a PowerPoint, a certain amount of respect is needed, especially when a team is making it.

By understanding what each person can do, you enjoy a better team dynamic in building your pitch.

With respect, ideas flow faster from one person to another, making the collaboration more fun, especially if you are familiar with what your team can do. The most confident person could be assigned as the main speaker. A tech-savvy person could take care of getting the information your pitch needs. Meanwhile, a design-oriented person can take charge of assembling the slide deck.

Collaborating with each other and understanding what your client needs will keep your PowerPoint simple and effective without unneeded distractions.

Bonus Tip: Know When to Ask For Help

Stress will always be a part of assembling anything, from a piece of IKEA furniture to a business PowerPoint presentation.

Communicating with your clients and team members can clarify exactly what your pitch needs. The extra legwork even has the potential to make your ideas more relevant and convincing.

Collaborating with your team defines what each one will need to do, from getting information, to making the deck and presenting it. Respecting each other’s capabilities will make the whole process faster and less stressful. Of course, there will also be times when you need to ask for help.

When it comes to taking your PowerPoint to a professional level, consulting with a professional presentation designer will always be a wise investment.

 

References

Potkewitz, Hilary. “Can Your Relationship Handle a Trip to IKEA?” WSJ. April 22, 2015. Accessed August 13, 2015. www.wsj.com/articles/can-your-relationship-handle-a-trip-to-ikea-1429724227

Willett, Megan. “Assembling IKEA Furniture Is Apparently a Unique Form of Couples Therapy.” Business Insider. May 4, 2015. Accessed August 13, 2015. www.businessinsider.com/ikea-furniture-relationship-problems-2015-5

 

Featured Image: “tool chest DSC_0558” by el cajon yacht club on flickr.com

Why Design Matters In Making a PowerPoint Deck

Design can be intimidating to incorporate in a deck. What if you have to prioritize content over it? Does aesthetics even matter in a presentation?

Actually, yes, design matters. And content. But it’s not a choice of one over the other. It’s best to have both. It’s great to meld the two concepts into one seamless idea. Having a design that compliments a presentation’s intended purpose complements your content and, ultimately, your message.

Purpose

What do you want your deck to be about? What is it for? These are the questions of purpose and meaning you need to have an answer for. Proper planning and thorough research are the backbone of any presentation. Once you’ve laid your foundations, it’s time to organize the information.

In comes design. Combine creativity and strategy to make data visualization engaging. As Scott Dadich, editor-in-chief of Wired, said: “Design and technology just aren’t that far apart.”

Make the data on your deck more appealing through visual representations. These includes charts, infographics, and powerful and appropriate images. It’s not limited to those either. Interpret information so that it makes sense and relates to your main objective. If you want to sell your idea, it needs to be clear and easy to understand.

Appeal

We can make sense of the technology around us using design. PowerPoint itself was designed so that anyone can make their own presentations. In effect, you now have the freedom to design your slides and the ability to control every aspect of it. Make it stand out by presenting your data beautifully and meaningfully.

Design matters because it makes your slides appealing. Make your ideas accessible and enticing on top of being immediately understandable. The effort to make sure your deck looks fantastic won’t go unnoticed. Not to mention that design can also help emphasize points.

Identity

Consistency and theme unify your deck. You can be consistent if you know your content by heart. It’s your task to tell the audience what your idea is. A sense of uniformity is key to making your slides memorable. Additionally, a theme gives your audience a general idea of your content.

Establish an unforgettable look in your audience’s minds. It’s easier to remember slides that have personality and character. When you make it stand out, your viewers can identify with your vision.

Make your ideas recognizable early on. You’re closer to perfecting your pitch once you’ve made a good impression on your audience. Having a design in mind lets you visualize your final product from the beginning of your preparation.

Excellence in Design

There’s a sense of aesthetics everywhere. Letting your visuals work together with your content benefits your presentation. Research and develop your deck’s content carefully.

Preparation is important to achieve absolute clarity in your deck. A clear purpose helps visualize your intention. Integrate your ideas in a design to make it more communicable and solve the problem of making your subject engaging. With fine-tuned content and unified design, your deck will be more unique and have the attention it deserves.

References:

Dadich, Scott. “Letter From the Editor: Why Design Matters More Now Than Ever Before.” Wired.com. September 30, 2014. www.wired.com/2014/09/editors-note-design-issue

Joseph, Therese. “VISUAL BEST PRACTICES FOR PRESENTATIONS.” Shift Collaborative. June 8, 2014. www.shiftcollaborative.com/visual-best-practices-for-presentations

Marie, Irev. “5 Reasons Why Good Design Matters To Your Business.” Simplio Web Studio. August 19, 2015. www.simpliowebstudio.com/5-reasons-why-good-design-matters-to-your-business

Noar, Adam. “5 Tips and Tools for Designing a Stand-Out Presentation.” Design Shack. February 20, 2013. www.designshack.net/articles/graphics/5-tips-and-tools-for-designing-a-stand-out-presentation

Stribley, Mary. “30 Advertisement Design Tips That Turn Heads: Brilliant Case Studies.” Canva. July 1, 2015. designschool.canva.com/blog/advertisement-design-tips

 

Featured Image: “wings” by Asparukh Akanayev on flickr.com

Persuasion: The Ultimate Essential Skill in Marketing

You’ve had good sales, and you’ve definitely had bad ones. It’s a facet of a marketer’s life: successes and failures, closes and rejections, profits and losses. Who hasn’t experienced both? But the lesson there lies on the fact that you will do everything to minimize that ratio. Perhaps five yays to one nay? How do you do that?

Sales is a game of numbers—and persuasion, the latter more so since you dictate how that whole process goes. When the whole transaction arrives at that part, it’s just you and your potential customer—and ultimately them alone. It’s their choice; you’re there to make them see that choosing you is the correct one.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Being persuasive focuses on the advantages your customers will get from listening to you.” user=”SlideGenius” hashtags=”mktg” url=”https://www.slidegenius.com/blog/persuasion-the-ultimate-essential-marketing-skill-in-marketing/” template=”light”]

Good marketers will keep talking about what they’re offering non-stop, hoping that the service or product—its features, specifications, and the like—will entice the customer to buy it and letting it do the talk. Great marketers will relate with the following infographic. Let’s study up on persuasion, the ultimate essential skill.

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There are many psychological effects at play when persuading. Take the scarcity principle and the backfire effect as examples. While one is advantageous, the other will break every bit of work you’ve done—maybe because they weren’t interested enough to begin with or they have a different opinion (even then, you really can’t pinpoint why).

This is a simple representation of how and why the human mind is tricky. Psychology, eh? There are a handful of shortcuts here and there, but while those can be a great help, none of them is a guarantee.

One reminder you always have to keep in mind is to be honest and genuine. When you say that you want to help, it should be the ultimate goal. It’s not just about closing a sale, not turning a profit, and not making money.

An honest marketer is often the best kind. No need for embellishments. No need for sugarcoating. Just genuineness. What maybe the ultimate trait you can have coupled with the ultimate skill you can hone may just be the best combination.

Resources:

Kessler, Doug. “6 examples of insane honesty in content marketing.” Velocity. May 12, 2015. www.velocitypartners.com/blog/6-examples-of-insane-honesty-in-content-marketing

Kessler, Doug. “7 Ways to Be Insanely Honest in Your Marketing.” Hubspot. May 15, 2015. blog.hubspot.com/marketing/insane-honesty-marketing#sm.0001frknxr3k3dlkqq22lsqtd9h7a

Lee, Kevan. “How to Win Friends and Influence Your Audience: 10 Theories to Know For Greater Persuasion.” Buffer. April 29, 2014. https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-influence

Wright Wiley, Kim. “The Persuasion Principle.” Selling Power. n.d. www.sellingpower.com/content/article/index.php?a=7825/the-persuasion-principle&page=1

5 Factors that Affect Your Customers’ Buying Decisions

For a business to be sustainable and successful, every salesperson has two responsibilities: to sell effectively, and look for new prospects.

Some focus on emphasizing their brand’s benefits, yet fail to consider how customers make decisions. While doing the former can contribute in convincing your prospects to purchase your offer, knowing what factors that trigger their decision-making is way too different.

There’s nothing wrong with focusing on your brand. In fact, this makes it easier to introduce your brand to clients by highlighting its own competitive advantage.

But the latter should be your main priority. Understanding the five influencers of consumer behavior allows you to meet their expectations and better improve your marketing strategy. It also increases your chances of building relationships and boosting your sales.

Consider the following aspects every customer has in mind:

1. “Is this person trustworthy?”

Selling yourself matters most in sales or business pitches. If people don’t show interest in you, it’ll be difficult to convince them to listen.

Expanding your personal brand is crucial to building your professional image, and boosting your credibility in the field. This can be done by providing information about your business, while acknowledging their presence and showing your willingness to listen.

Develop a personal connection with your customer base as if you’re wooing them or asking for a date.

This also makes yourself likeable and trustworthy by stating your current business standing to impress your clients. Quarterly sales results or latest market shares are good examples to start with.

2. “Is the business credible?”

Once you succeed in making a good impression, time to reassure them of your business’ position in the market and consider other people’s feedback about the brand.

Tricks like sharing your company history, experiences, and different awards received are only few of the many ways to establish your brand’s reputation. You can also show your past records, such as sales figures, successful product launch, and increased demands, to strengthen the brand’s image.

Include some testimonials from satisfied customers and share how the product or service had helped them to prove your business’ strong points.

3. “Is the product or service beneficial?”

Knowing your customers’ concerns involves aligning their needs with what your brand can offer.

It involves asking relevant and open-ended questions like “What particular benefits are you expecting from this brand?” which could motivate them to share their personal concerns. Probing questions also help you think of solutions that meet their expectations and satisfy their needs.

Taking time to listen to their questions shows your interest and makes them feel valued. Make sure to know their preferences to help you recognize what would be best for them.

4. “Is it worth buying?”

It’s also common for customers to ask about a product or service’s price and worth.

There’s no better solution to this than emphasizing your brand’s benefits and proving it better from any competition.

Focus on their needs and present yourself as the only answer to their question, instead of reiterating your competence.

Give them reasons to buy from you without being too forceful or aggressive.  For instance, you can tell them your offer will help them save twice as much time and effort, compared to the other brand.

5. “Is it the right time to purchase?”

You may be able to instill positive impressions and address their needs in one sitting, but the right timing also matters to make them buy your product or service.

Sometimes, you won’t get an immediate decision, that’s why you need the patience to give the impression that you respect them. An article from Boundless recommends telling your prospects that you’ll be conducting follow-ups after the initial transaction. You can say, “After a week or two, let’s meet up and discuss any of your concerns.” This tells the prospect that you respect his decision, and are interested in meeting his needs more than yours.

Let them decide and wait until you get that much-awaited feedback.

Conclusion

Selling is serious business. You don’t just meet with clients to showcase your brand. You need to carefully understand what influences them to make purchase decisions. Also answering all the questions they have in mind will help you make sales and foster good relationships with them.

Making yourself likeable is important to make a good impression and convince them that you’re professional, credible, and trustworthy.

Share your exceptional work by highlighting different awards and recognition that your business received to help them know about your brand.

Mention how your product and services will meet their needs and bring satisfaction to them. This will help convince clients that their needs are your priority, and you want to give the best.

Emphasizing your brand’s benefits and respecting their decisions will enable them to feel that you care about them.

To get your clients to agree with you, impress, incentivize, and do follow-ups to stay in contact with them.

Let our team help and assist you with your presentation needs by giving you a free quote!

 

References

“Are You Helping Your Customers Decide To Buy?” Lifestyle Tradie. April 20, 2015. Accessed December 14, 2015. www.lifestyletradie.com.au/helping-customers-decide-buy
“Following Up.” Boundless. n.d. Accessed March 11, 2016. www.boundless.com/marketing/textbooks/boundless-marketing-textbook/personal-selling-and-sales-promotion-14/the-personal-selling-process-91/following-up-456-6620
“How Do Customers Decide to Buy?” TinderBox. August 24, 2012. Accessed December 14, 2015. www.gettinderbox.com/how-do-customers-decide-buy
James, Geoffrey. “How Customers Decide to Buy.” Inc.com. June 22, 2012. Accessed December 14, 2015. www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/how-customers-decide-to-buy.html

 

Featured Image: “Customer” by 10ch on flickr.com

5 Audience PowerPoint Pet Peeves You Need to Avoid

Do you feel like your audience is zoning out on you in the middle of your PowerPoint slides?

Your deck might not be sitting well with your listeners. Most people identify as visual learners, and are therefore more inclined to watch out for engaging visuals, rather than walls of text and droning explanations. Unfortunately, this is what most presenters are guilty of when they bore people to death.

If you fall into this habit often, it’s time to re-evaluate your presentation choices. Find out what audience’s top five PowerPoint pet peeves are and how to avoid them:

1. Talking to Your Slides

Today’s audiences crave authenticity and personal connections with their speakers. The first thing that tunes them out of a presentation is a presenter who mumbles or reads from the slides.

Eye contact is essential in establishing rapport with others. It makes you appear more trustworthy and credible, and less nervous and uncertain of your points. While you may want to get all the points right by reading them straight from the screen, the audience might write off your presence as irrelevant if you’re just going to reiterate your entire deck.

Step away from your slides and project confidence with your voice. Deliver clearly and loudly as you directly address the audience.

Make use of vocal warm-ups to ease your tension and improve your breathing. This will help alleviate your anxiety and sound more sincere in your pitch.

2. Too Much Information

People’s brains aren’t wired to take in information in bulk, as suggested by InfoEngineering’s article. Give them a landslide of data, images, and text, and they’ll be less likely to retain anything you mentioned. Since people’s short term memories constantly make way for new information coming in, all the backlog gets deleted once their minds are full.

Applying this on a presentational level, leaving too many slides can also overwhelm your audience. Only include keywords on your deck, not full blocks of text. This improves people’s recall and compresses your points into neat, palatable takeaways.

Leave enough room for you to explain things verbally, to further support your connection with your listeners.

Raw data can be difficult to process, and often too heavy to understand on its own. Instead of giving the numbers as is, try putting a creative spin to them. Craft a narrative around your material to lighten up the weight of stark statistics.

3. It’s Unreadable

This third point has plenty to do with your deck’s design and layout.

Tom Osborne of Viget suggests that poor contrast is one of the culprits of difficult readability, particularly in text. Contrast is essential in highlighting a specific object you want to stand out on your slide. Elements that aren’t well-contrasted tend to be too light, and might not be seen clearly for some viewers.

Maximize the element of contrast in your PowerPoint. For example, dark hues tend to stand out more in lighter backgrounds. Use light colored text against a dark background, and vice versa.

At the same time, good contrast might still lead to unreadable decks, due to eccentric font size and style choices. Ensure that the words on your slides are visible all the way to the back by selecting an apt combination – this often means a standard sans serif (like Arial or Helvetica) for the heading, and a standard serif (like Times New Roman or Garamond) for the body.

In terms of font size, business guru Guy Kawasaki suggests fonts no smaller than 30-points. This definitely ensures their visibility for all types of audience members.

4. Blocking the View

It’s important for your audience to see what’s on the slides. After all, your PowerPoint is a supplement to your presentation. It’s an aid, which means it should reflect all the salient points you want to deliver. That said, blocking the view would be counterintuitive to having this presentation prop to leverage your speech.

However, some presenters do tend to walk in front of their projectors or screens, obstructing people’s view. The audience members shouldn’t be straining their necks to get a view of your presentation.

To prevent yourself from obstructing your audience’s view, stand beside the projected screen, and be mindful of your blocking on stage. You’ve got a visually engaging deck that’s worth looking at, so let people rest their gaze on your slides.

5. Random Design Choices

Aesthetics matter in catching the audience’s eye, but there should be a balance between your form and your content. In fact, WritingCommons recommends using your design choices to enhance your core message, even in the subtlest of ways.

Don’t put in images that you can’t directly link to your current pitch. Leave out distracting animations and transitions if they won’t contribute to your main points. A balance between digestible simplicity and strategically placed design can make a powerful impression on your viewers from start to finish.

To know what’s worth putting in and leaving out in your deck, keep an outlined list of your key points.

Since your PowerPoint is supposed to supplement these points, only choose designs that correspond directly to them.

Conclusion

Appealing to your presentation audience means more than just giving them your message directly. Make sure that they’re paying attention to every word by crafting a deck that complements your pitch.

Leave your slides on the screen, and talk sincerely to your listeners. Establishing a strong emotional and physical connection with them will make you appear like a more credible speaker worth listening to.

Practice using your voice to project confidence and sincerity that will convince your audience. Check your deck’s readability by choosing colors that contrast and highlight each other. Aside from this, select the right font sizes and types that ensure maximum readability for all audiences, and in all venues.

Mind where you stand so you don’t block people’s view of your visual aid. Avoid unnecessary deck designs by putting in only the most important keywords you need to expound on, and choose the appropriate slide element to support it.

If you need help with your presentation design choices, contact our SlideGenius experts today for a free quote!

 

References

“Color Contrast for Better Readability.” Viget Blogs. Accessed December 16, 2015. https://viget.com/inspire/color-contrast
“The 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint.” Guy Kawasaki. 2005. Accessed December 16, 2015. http://guykawasaki.com/the_102030_rule
“Your PowerPoint Presentation: Developing an Effective Design.” Your PowerPoint Presentation: Developing an Effective Design. Accessed December 16, 2015. http://writingcommons.org/index.php/open-text/genres/public-speaking/delivering-the-speech/1031-your-powerpoint-presentation-developing-an-effective-design

 

Featured Image: “40+216 Face” by bark on flickr.com

3 Cost-Effective PowerPoint Tips to Enhance Your Deck

PowerPoint is designed to be a user-friendly tool. Because of this, anyone can easily access and operate the program to create a basic deck.

However, we’ve barely scratched the surface of this diverse presentation program.

There’s more to the visual aid than meets the eye.

Here are three tips on how to save time with PowerPoint to ease your design process:

1. Edit Your Images in PowerPoint

If you’re struggling with a third party program and you want to see your pictures alongside the actual slide layout, edit your images directly in PowerPoint.

Although this won’t give you the same flexibility compared to editing programs like Photoshop, it does give you options to enhance images in your slides. You can use this option for basic formatting, especially if you’re still beginning with design essentials.

A Format tab will appear once you’ve selected your desired object. Explore the options on this tab to transform your pictures into attractive slide elements.

Format images in powerpointOne of the most common editing tools in PowerPoint is the Crop tool. It cuts your image down to size without adjusting its dimensions.

format image in powerpoint: cropYou can also select a number of designs for your image with Picture Styles. This frames your picture, and even changes its shape and angle.

format image in powerpoint: picture stylesDraw attention to key objects without needing to make the rest of your slide too plain. Tick Artistic Effects to make your images stand out from your background.

format image in powerpoint: artistic effectEditing straight in PowerPoint saves you time and money that would have taken to design your images in a separate platform.

2. Adjust Your Slide Size

Most presenters stick with the default slide dimensions on PowerPoint. Earlier versions were in the standard 4:3 square size. There worked best for presentations that will be printed later on.

This changed with PowerPoint 2013 onwards, where the default slide size used the 16:9 widescreen format. This configuration was used with visual content reserved only for on-screen presentations.

Other than that, these later versions now also let you adjust your slides to whatever size you choose.

PowerPoint 2013 users will find this option under the Design tab. Click Slide Size > Custom Slide Size to modify your slide according to the size you want it to be.

According to the guide, 4:3 is best used for decks to be printed or presented on different media. On the other hand, 16:9 is best for presentations that are going to stay on screen, particularly for formal conferences or business presentations.

Knowing which sizes are compatible with your presentation leaves out the trouble of printing slides that are too small, or presenting a deck that’s too big onscreen.

3. Check Out Their New Features

PowerPoint is a constantly evolving program.

Its developers are aware of the criticisms hurled against it, so the presentation aid’s been optimized to respond with even better features.

For example, just last year, Microsoft released two new add-ins for Microsoft 2016 – Designer and Morph.

Designer eliminates the hassle of customizing layouts and color schemes to fit your chosen background. Just insert an image in PowerPoint and the program will analyze what design goes best with it.

Morph also gives you an easier job at crafting transitions and basic animation.

Simply drag the object you want to animate along a path after clicking the Morph option, and the slide element will follow that path once you play the Slide Show.

Make sure to check the new add-ins for a cost-effective PowerPoint that improves both your experience and deck design.

Conclusion

PowerPoint is a deceivingly simple tool to use, but there are plenty of things yet to be discovered about its functions. Most of these will help you cut back on time and effort, while still producing a winning deck for your presentation.

Edit your images directly in PowerPoint using the options in the Format tab.

Adjust your slide size to match your presentation type.

Always update yourself with the latest PowerPoint add-ins to find out what can make your designing a breeze.

Need help with your presentation design needs? Contact our SlideGenius experts today for a free quote!

 

Reference

“What Slide Size Should You Use?” Presentitude. November 19, 2014. Accessed December 29, 2015. http://presentitude.com/slide-size-use