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Dead Air: A Public Speaker’s Worst Nightmare

Picture this: you’re halfway through your customized PowerPoint presentation and you’re increasingly confident because your audience is responding positively. Suddenly, however, your mind goes blank and everything you’re supposed to say suddenly disappears.

And then you turn to your audience and think to yourself, “What was I going to say again?”

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Everyone has been in this situation at some point in their lives—while retelling a story to a friend or while discussing something in front of the class—and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Yes, it can be hard to shake off, but it is preventable.

How do you prevent going blank in the first place?

SG_Dead-Air-A-Public-Speakers-Worst-Nightmare

There are speakers that wish to finish their presentations in half the time they allotted, but that doesn’t mean that you should skim through your topic to achieve that.

While it’s important that you keep the language of your discussion at a level where everyone in the audience will understand it, it is possible to go too far—the more you try to simplify words and phrases, you may find yourself in a web of thoughts that is difficult to tie back together.

SG_Dead-Air-A-Public-Speakers-Worst-Nightmare

When you memorize your pitch, the way you relay your message to the audience sounds more mechanical, detached, as compared to knowing it like the back of your hand, taking every key point to heart.

The moment anxiety kicks in, everything that you’ve memorized will disappear. It’s easy to lose your focus during a presentation—saying the wrong word or turning to the wrong slide can immediately distract you.

When you internalize your presentation, there’s still a possibility of losing your footing, but you’ll get back on track just as quick.

Just remember to rehearse as much as you can so it results in delivering your pitch conversationally. This makes it easier for your audience to pick up on the emotions that you’re coaxing from them.

SG_Dead-Air-A-Public-Speakers-Worst-Nightmare

Mispronouncing a word or stuttering can throw you off your game, but these should be the least of your worries. Correct yourself and move along. There’s no use dwelling on it and stopping halfway because you’re embarrassed—it’s normal.

SG_Dead-Air-A-Public-Speakers-Worst-Nightmare

Have you ever stopped in the middle of a presentation because you felt like it was all for naught? If so, you might be experiencing typical feelings of the impostor syndrome, especially if it’s your first time pitching in front of a large audience, as this is more likely to happen to those embarking on a new endeavor.

First recognized in the 1970s by psychologists Pauline Rose Clance, PhD, and Suzanne Imes, PhD, the impostor phenomenon is a specific form of intellectual self-doubt, common among overachievers who are unable to internalize their success.

Talk to your mentors, recognize your expertise, and remember what you do well—you’ll be fine.

Many factors contribute to going blank during presentations—lack of confidence, over-preparation—and these may affect your effectiveness as a speaker.

Before the big day, take this moment to go over your pitch and leave the deck creation to business PowerPoint agencies to maximize your time. Breathe, internalize, and keep a level head always.

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Presentation Nuisances: Handling Them Like a Professional

It doesn’t matter whether it’s your first or nth presentation, or how confident you’ve become with your skills to engage the audience, one way or another you’ll have to deal with unexpected interruptions in the midst of your remarks.

Expect that how you handle these situations will be remembered more than what you said during the actual presentation. This is because people are programmed to commit emotionally jarring events to memory.

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Humans possess the remarkable ability to conjure even the smallest details surrounding a bad experience.

Even with a well-made PowerPoint presentation, your reputation is always at stake when faced with interruptions.

Types of Interruptions

Nuisances during presentations fall under various categories, including:

  • Hecklers
  • Technical Problems
  • Major Disasters

Hecklers are those who protest to disagree or humiliate the speaker during a presentation. They get their point across by using the most unreasonable means possible. While they are rude most of the time, you cannot respond in the same way.

Your reactions may depend on who you are, especially when it comes to hecklers. All you have to do is find what works best for you. You can make it part of your act; handle it with philosophy; or even handle it with humor. While comedians can take down a heckler in a blaze of glory, some entertainers still think not letting them get the best of you is the mature thing to do.

What if the power goes out in the middle of your presentation or the tech malfunctions at the closing slide? While you know the PowerPoint like the back of your hand, such an event can still throw you off your game.

Peter Khoury of MagneticSpeaking shares that you shouldn’t try to fix the technology while you’re supposed to be giving a presentation. Instead, ask for technical assistance and start with your pitch.

In the event of a natural disaster, don’t panic. Remain calm and exit the building. This sends a message that despite the unfortunate event, you are still in control.

Staying Calm and in Control

While each type of interruption requires a different approach, staying calm and in control is constant. Never lose your cool in front of your audience, as this will make you look unprofessional and you’re sure to lose their trust and respect.

It’s easy to let these disturbances under your skin. Always be courteous and polite—maintain a level head and get your presentation back on track as quickly as possible.

Interruptions during presentations come in various forms, but if you can handle them gracefully, you’ll have no problem earning your audience’s respect. Doing otherwise may diminish the effectiveness of your presentation and you as a speaker.

Always keep in mind that even if you want to show your custom PowerPoint presentation design to your audience, it will only be secondary to your stage presence so be mindful of how you handle yourself in front of an audience.

Preparing for a presentation can be difficult, such interruptions can really grate on your nerves. Take it easy, handle it with patience and grace, and you’ll be sure to leave a lasting impression.

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Presentation Nuisances: Hecklers, Tech Difficulties & Natural Disasters

It doesn’t matter whether it’s your first or nth presentation, or how confident you’ve become with your skills to engage the audience, one way or another you’ll have to deal with unexpected interruptions in the midst of your remarks.

Expect that how you handle these situations will be remembered more than what you said during the actual presentation. This is because people are programmed to commit emotionally jarring events to memory.

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Humans possess the remarkable ability to conjure even the smallest details surrounding a bad experience.

Even with a well-made PowerPoint presentation, your reputation is always at stake when faced with interruptions.

Types of Interruptions

Nuisances during presentations fall under various categories, including:

  • Hecklers
  • Technical Problems
  • Major Disasters

Hecklers are those who protest to disagree or humiliate the speaker during a presentation. They get their point across by using the most unreasonable means possible. While they are rude most of the time, you cannot respond in the same way.

Your reactions may depend on who you are, especially when it comes to hecklers. All you have to do is find what works best for you. You can make it part of your act; handle it with philosophy; or even handle it with humor. While comedians can take down a heckler in a blaze of glory, some entertainers still think not letting them get the best of you is the mature thing to do.

What if the power goes out in the middle of your presentation or the tech malfunctions at the closing slide? While you know the PowerPoint like the back of your hand, such an event can still throw you off your game.

Peter Khoury of MagneticSpeaking shares that you shouldn’t try to fix the technology while you’re supposed to be giving a presentation. Instead, ask for technical assistance and start with your pitch.

In the event of a natural disaster, don’t panic. Remain calm and exit the building. This sends a message that despite the unfortunate event, you are still in control.

Staying Calm and in Control

While each type of interruption requires a different approach, staying calm and in control is constant. Never lose your cool in front of your audience, as this will make you look unprofessional and you’re sure to lose their trust and respect.

It’s easy to let these disturbances under your skin. Always be courteous and polite—maintain a level head and get your presentation back on track as quickly as possible.

Interruptions during presentations come in various forms, but if you can handle them gracefully, you’ll have no problem earning your audience’s respect. Doing otherwise may diminish the effectiveness of your presentation and you as a speaker.

Always keep in mind that even if you want to show your custom PowerPoint presentation design to your audience, it will only be secondary to your stage presence so be mindful of how you handle yourself in front of an audience.

Preparing for a presentation can be difficult, such interruptions can really grate on your nerves. Take it easy, handle it with patience and grace, and you’ll be sure to leave a lasting impression.

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Reference:

Cancio, Colleen. “Do we remember bad times better than good?” HowStuffWorks. October 4, 2011. science.howstuffworks.com/life/remember-bad-times-better-than-good.htm

Fernandez, Jesse. “More Tips on Handling Hecklers from Stand-Up Comics.” Paste Magazine. September 8, 2016. www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2016/09/more-tips-on-handling-hecklers-from-top-stand-up-c.html

Khoury, Peter. “4 Thing than can Go Wrong with Your Presentation and How to Handle Them.” MagneticSpeaking. magneticspeaking.com/4-things-that-can-go-wrong-with-your-presentation-and-how-to-handle-them/

You’re Doing It Wrong: PowerPoint Rules You Should Be Following

For years now, people have been relying on PowerPoint to communicate ideas, sell products, facilitate meetings, and conferences. Many presenters, however, still fall short and end up with lousy, poorly designed slides that do nothing but torture their audience. Thankfully, there are experts in the field who have set the rules or standards for others to follow.

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After a quick search, we found two sets of the most popular PowerPoint rules that many people subscribe to. Both may not be all-encompassing but they are excellent guidelines, nonetheless.

Guy Kawasaki’s 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint

Guy Kawasaki is a venture capitalist, among other things. If we’re going to talk about quality and importance of simplicity in presentation design, he’s the go-to, well, Guy. He practically listens to hundreds of pitches all the time, making him knowledgeable of what works and doesn’t. For him, a PowerPoint presentation should:

  • Feature 10 slides or less
  • Last no more than 20 minutes
  • Contain font not smaller than 30pt

This rule is applicable to pitches and office meetings. And because most people cannot absorb more than 10 concepts in a single meeting, it is best that you limit your presentation to 10 slides. The 20-minute duration should give you enough time to host a Q and A discussion afterwards. A 30-point typeface will make information on a slide large enough to be readable without making it look too crowded.

Seth Godin’s Five Rules for Creating Amazing Presentations

Seth Godin is a man of many interests and as a public speaker, he’s no stranger to PowerPoint presentations. He even wrote an e-book about it.

If you want to create an amazing presentation, here are the points we have taken from the book:

  1. Use no more than six words on every slide (If you include too much text, the audience will simply read the slides ahead of you).
  2. Do not use cheesy images and look for professional stock photos instead.
  3. Avoid fancy transitions such as dissolves, spins, etc, as these can be distracting, making you seem less professional.
  4. Use sound effects, but not the built-in types. You may want to rip from CDs or use the “Proust effect.”
  5. Do not provide print collateral at the start of the meeting. You want your audience to focus on the presentation, not read ahead of you.

Great presentations can trigger the right emotions, inspire change, and move people. These two sets of rules can raise the level of your next presentation from boring to life-changing. You don’t need to choose between the two, though. Applying both of them is sure to produce excellent results. But whatever you do, here’s another rule for you to remember. This one’s from presentation expert Nancy Duarte:

Never deliver a presentation you would not want to sit through.

Now, if there’s One PowerPoint Rule to rule them all, that would be it.

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PowerPoint Storyboard: A Powerful Way to Share Your Ideas

 
Producing a corporate video – be it for sales, training, or any other business purposes – involves careful planning. To plan out your video effectively, one of the first things you need to do is to create a storyboard.

What’s a storyboard?

A storyboard is a shot-by-shot representation of how a video will unfold. It is typically composed of a series of frames with illustrations or images that represent each shot. Each frame also comes with short notes to explain what’s happening in the scene as well as script details (such as dialogues and directions).

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Advantages of creating a storyboard

Sharing your vision for your video is much easier using a storyboard. There are times when, no matter brilliant our idea is and how hard we try to explain it, people just couldn’t understand it.  With a storyboard, you can show your team how the video is going to unravel.  It will also make it easier for everyone to get behind your idea.

Storyboarding can also make production is relatively hassle-free. As you create a video storyboard, what you’re basically doing is setting up a production plan. You are laying out the shots needed as well as their sequence. And since you already have a guide, it also makes editing easier. In other words, the entire creation process can go smoothly.

Using PowerPoint to create your storyboard

PowerPoint has many features that can bring an ordinary storyboard to life. You can turn any idea into something graphic using shapes, text, animation, and all the other tools that PowerPoint provides.

You can use the Storyboard template in PowerPoint after installing Microsoft Visual Studio 2011. With Visual Studio, making storyboards is as easy as creating and working on new slides. To create a PowerPoint Storyboard, the first things that you should is write down everything that you want to show for every frame. You can use the program’s tools to illustrate your descriptions. Once you are done with a basic storyboard, you may want to add sound and transition effects to make it more interesting.

You can also use storyboards not just in creating videos but also in preparing presentation slides.

Storyboarding your presentation

To create a storyboard for your presentation, determine first the number of slides you will need. This would be dictated by the length of your entire presentation. Ideally, though, don’t use over five or six slides every 10 minutes. After that, simply follow the outline of your presentation script. Think about how to fit it into the sequential frames. Moreover, make sure that the slides show the key ideas clearly and logically.

By storyboarding your presentation, you will be able to express your ideas beyond the usual bullet points. Instead, the series of frames will help you translate information into something visual.
 
 

Overcome Anxiety Like Presentation Expert Warren Buffett

No one is born with eloquent communication skills, but everyone has the potential to hone these abilities. Even the most famous people in history had the jitters when speaking in public.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett is one such business leader who struggled to deliver speeches in front of crowds. At the age of 21, Buffett decided that it was time to overcome his anxiety.

He actually enrolled in a public speaking class but dropped out before it started. “I lost my nerve,” he said.

How did he face his anxieties head-on? Here are some of Buffet’s practical tips on how to manage your performance worries and become a presentation expert:

1. Look for Wholistic Inspiration

Instead of spending so much time worrying, why not look for inspiration? Motivating yourself with other people’s success stories is one way to overcome your fear.

It’s reassuring to see other people overcome the same trials.

At eight years old, Buffett discovered the book How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. One of the most important lessons he learned was this:

“Rule number one: Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.”

How is this related to presenting ideas? According to Carnegie, “criticism puts people on the defensive,” making them more likely to defend themselves.

Imagine you’re in the middle of your pitch, and somebody in the audience counters what you’ve said. Will you go on the defensive and criticize your audience’s concerns? Or will you humbly accept the criticism and take it as a lesson learned for your future presentations?

Buffett took life advice and applied it to his fears. Taking control of his overall weaknesses allowed him to break through his self-doubt.

Improving yourself as a person also makes you a better speaker. Keep an open mind and treat all lessons as opportunities to hone your abilities.

2. Face Fear with Passion

When you’re associating with people that you love, doing what you love, it doesn’t get any better than that. – Warren Buffett

Think of something scary you’ve always wanted to try. For example, many people want to try bungee jumping at least once in their lives. Most people shy away from it because they dread heights. Should you let this keep you from doing something you’ve always wanted to do?

The same can be said about public speaking. Don’t let fear stop you from pursuing your goals.

Be realistic: What’s the worst thing that can happen if you mispronounce a word? A viewer or two may giggle, and that’s about it. The best case scenario is that nobody notices the mistake at all.

Anticipating the act is more nerve-wracking than actually doing the feat itself.

You may feel nervous waiting for your turn to go onstage, but once you step onto the podium, it’s never as bad as you thought it would be.

In the same way that Warren Buffet eventually faced his fears, you’ll only see what’s ahead of you if you stop looking away from what scares you.

3. Do What You Fear

“Practice makes perfect” is an old adage, but it’s the surefire way to master anything. In fact, a study from the University of Colorado suggested that practice accounts for an individual’s ability to improve and optimize their skills.

When presentation anxiety strikes, practice is your best friend. “You have to get out there and you have to do it. And the sooner you do it, the better,” Buffett said.

Buffett chose to sign back up for the course he once left. He needed to improve, and he realized he could only do this by practicing over and over again. Eventually, he started teaching a night course at the University of Nebraska, Omaha, wherein he taught investment principles to students twice his age.

Practicing your speech doesn’t mean memorizing it. Instead, remember the main points you want to get across, as well as the flow of the discussion. This’ll allow you to talk more naturally as well as be flexible in delivering your ideas. Reciting line by line will only stress you out, and thinking of specific words will make it harder for you to get back on track.

Conclusion

Becoming an effective presenter requires great skills, but what good are they if you’re afraid of showing them off in front of a crowd? That nerve-racking feeling may dent your presentation delivery, but it shouldn’t take over your life.

Don’t let your worries control you. Instead, control your fear. Let it strengthen your ability to receive criticism. Allow it to fuel your enthusiasm for sharing your message with as many people as you can.

Like Warren Buffet, inspire yourself, motivate yourself, and practice as often as you can. The more you do something that scares you, the less frightening it becomes over time.

With enough practice and determination, you may start enjoying your time speaking in front of an audience.

 

References:

5 TED Talk Secrets for Persuasive PowerPoint Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. April 29, 2015. Accessed May 4, 2015.
Ericsson, K. Anders, and Ralf Th Krampe. “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance.” Institute of Cognitive Science, December 1992, 3-68.
Gallo, Carmine. “How Warren Buffett And Joel Osteen Conquered Their Terrifying Fear Of Public Speaking.” Business Insider. May 16, 2013. Accessed May 4, 2015.
Schroeder, Alice. The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life. New York: Bantam, 2009.
Self-Evaluation Guide after a PowerPoint Presentation.” SlideGenius, Inc. April 22, 2015. Accessed May 4, 2015.

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How to Turn a Business Plan into a Great Pitch Deck for Investors

It’s not always easy to raise capital for a new idea. Whether you’re just starting out or have been in the game for quite some time, you need significant preparation in order to make a favorable impression on potential investors.

You need time to research the validity of your idea, and to work out its details and technicalities. When you already have a comprehensive and viable business plan, the next step is to create a pitch deck that will make investors sit up and listen.

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Most entrepreneurs make the mistake of including too much information in their investor pitch deck. They take their business plan, slap it into PowerPoint, and end up with a ridiculous amount of slides. Guy Kawasaki shared his experience of having to sit through pitches as a venture capitalist. He wrote,

…sixty slides about a “patent pending,” “first mover advantage,” “all we have to do is get 1% of the people in China to buy our product” startup. These pitches are so lousy that I’m losing my hearing, there’s a constant ringing in my ear, and every once in while the world starts spinning.

If you were in his place and you had to sit through a presentation that’s not only uninteresting but seems never-ending, wouldn’t you feel the same way?

We can’t allow investors to keep falling over due to vertigo, so here’s what you need to know about creating a powerful investor pitch deck:

What should a pitch deck contain?

pitch deck-target

A pitch isn’t about closing in on an investment just yet. Instead, think of it as an introduction. Just as you would with someone you just met, your pitch should serve as a conversation that will allow investors to learn more about your plans.

Your pitch deck doesn’t need to contain all the data from your research. According to Kawasaki’s own 10-20-30 rule of PowerPoint presentations and Chance Barnett‘s model for investor pitch decks, it shouldn’t have lengthy paragraphs or complicated graphs. All it needs are the things investors initially want to know:

  • Problem – Discuss the problem that you’re aiming to solve. Identify who is most affected by it.
  • Current solutions – Give a short rundown of how this problem is being solved currently. Point out what’s missing from these solutions.
  • Your solution – How do you plan to solve the problem? This is your chance to introduce your product/service and its story.
  • Underlying magic/technology – Go into your main selling point. What makes your product/service different? What’s the “secret sauce”? Include a demo if you can.
  • Business model – Discuss your key revenue streams. This is where you identify your target market and show off your numbers—pricing, revenues, conversion rates, etc.
  • Marketing and sales – Go into your marketing strategy. How do you plan to expand your customer base? What’s your targeted growth rate and how will you get there?
  • Competition – Where do you stand in the overall market space? Identify your competitors and explain how you’re different.
  • Team – Introduce the other people on the project with you and the key roles that they play. Show off their credentials and relevant experience.
  • Projections and milestones – Explain your financial projections, as well as your current milestones. Highlight some press mentions, partnerships, and other accolades.
  • Status and timeline – What is the timeline of your project and where are you at the moment?
  • Summary and call to action

These are the information that investors need to know to be able to tell if your plans are a perfect match for them.

Tips to keep in mind when working on your pitch deck:

pitch deck-work

  1. Cover only the most basic parts of your business plan and be as concise as possible. There will be time to go into specifics in the future. To keep it short, discuss only one concept per slide, and limit yourself to only 10.
  2. Let the investors dive into the minute details on their own. Give them separate documents like executive summary, patent details, financial and marketing reports, and other technical explanations. They can go through these documents after your pitch.
  3. The design of your pitch deck is important. Enhance your presentation with color schemes, images, and fonts that are consistent with the story you’re telling. We’ve written a lot about PowerPoint design in the past. Read up on some of our blog posts if you’re looking to work on the aesthetics yourself. You can also drop us a line if you want a more professional touch.

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Conclusion

An effective pitch deck doesn’t need to have every single detail of a business plan. Investors don’t have the time to sit through presentations that are too long and vague.

The point isn’t to immediately seal a deal, but to introduce your idea as something that has great potential for success. Your pitch deck should be clear and concise, showcasing only the key points of your vision. Be brief but memorable.

 

References

The 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint.” Guy Kawasaki. 2005. Accessed July 11, 2014.
Barnett, Chance. “The Ultimate Pitch Deck to Raise Money for Startups.” Forbes. May 9, 2014. Accessed July 11, 2014.

 

Featured Image: ImagineCup via Flickr
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4 TED Talks to Inspire Innovative Thinking in Your Company

Forbes contributor Cheryl Conner recently shared five TED Talks for entrepreneurs in search of creativity and inspiration. While the presentations she chose offered practical tips for those looking for continued success in business ventures, all of them offer great advice for anyone who  wants to enhance their careers.

Living up to its motto, “ideas worth sharing,” TED is never short on great presentations. We’re expecting even more when TED Global 2014 rolls around this October. While we wait for a fresh set of ideas, here are four TED Talks that can help inspire innovative thinking in your company—regardless of where you are on the corporate ladder.

Shawn Achor: ‘The happy secret to better work’

We’re often taught that happiness follows success, but psychologist Shawn Achor believes otherwise. In his TED Talk, Shawn offers that we reverse this formula. Actually, it’s happiness that inspires productivity.

90 percent of your long-term happiness is predicted not by the external world, but by the way your brain processes the world. And if we change it, if we change our formula for happiness and success, what we can do is change the way that we can then affect reality. What we found is that only 25 percent of job successes are predicted by I.Q. 75 percent of job successes are predicted by your optimism levels, your social support and your ability to see stress as a challenge instead of as a threat.

Kathryn Schulz: ‘Don’t regret regret’

Kathryn Schulz is a writer that specializes on ‘Wrongology’. In this TED Talk, she discusses the all-too-familiar feeling of regret, and how we should use it as a positive source of motivation.

You’re going to experience more regret in that situation if you missed your flight by three minutes than if you missed it by 20. Why? Well because, if you miss your flight by three minutes, it is painfully easy to imagine that you could have made different decisions that would have led to a better outcome. “I should have taken the bridge and not the tunnel. I should have gone through that yellow light.” These are the classic conditions that create regret. We feel regret when we think we are responsible for a decision that came out badly, but almost came out well.

Stanley McChrystal: ‘Listen, learn… then lead’

Four-star general Stanley McChrystal used to be the commander of the U.S. and International forces in Afghanistan. For his TED Talk, he shares how he managed to lead people of different backgrounds, skills, and ages into working toward a common goal.

And as soon as I hit, the first thing I did is I’d see if I’d broken anything that I needed. I’d shake my head, and I’d ask myself the eternal question: “Why didn’t I go into banking?” (Laughter) And I’d look around, and then I’d see another paratrooper, a young guy or girl, and they’d have pulled out their M4 carbine and they’d be picking up their equipment. They’d be doing everything that we had taught them. And I realized that, if they had to go into combat, they would do what we had taught them and they would follow leaders. And I realized that, if they came out of combat, it would be because we led them well. And I was hooked again on the importance of what I did.

Nilofer Merchant: ‘Got a meeting? Take a walk’

It might seem like an odd idea to have a business meeting while taking a walk, but as corporate director Nilofer Merchant suggests, fresh air and exercise can have a huge impact on how you think.

And if we’re going to solve problems and look at the world really differently, whether it’s in governance or business or environmental issues, job creation, maybe we can think about how to reframe those problems as having both things be true. Because it was when that happened with this walk-and-talk idea that things became doable and sustainable and viable.

Find more inspiring presentations at the TED Talks library.

 

Featured Image: Gisela Giardino via Flickr

Technology PowerPoint: Developing a Killer Presentation for Your Video Game Pitch

Just like a traditional sales proposal, a video game pitch includes a summary that highlights a game’s selling points to a prospective publisher.

It details how profitable the game would be if ever the publisher agrees to develop or fund it. For an independent game developer pitching a game idea to an established publisher, a technology PowerPoint can help communicate any concept more effectively.

Select the X Meets Y Formula

To grab your prospect’s attention, creating a very short version of your pitch would be a great idea. It gives you a way to set the stage for a longer concept pitch.

The best shortcut for this would be the formula:  X meets Y. For example, Warcraft is Dune II meets The Lord of the Rings. Got it? Another example: Max Payne, which is any John Woo film meets The Matrix. Mash-ups of well-known properties or genres may be a bit unimaginative, but it allows your audience to grasp your idea much faster.

If you can’t explain the concept quickly, your prospect might assume that your game isn’t ready yet for primetime and reject your proposal. A short pitch offers a great way for you to explain what your game is all about.

Level Up with Visuals

Technology PowerPoint presentations work best when they feature graphics and imagery.

When pitching to gaming companies, we can’t stress enough how important visual aids are. Compared to the way it handles textual data, our brain processes graphic information way faster.

Additionally, people in the industry are visual thinkers and communicators. When you use visual aids, you are speaking their language and thus, giving your idea a chance to be assessed in a better light.

It would be great if you can come up with a professionally produced pre-production art to accompany your technology PowerPoint slides. It creates the impression that you put so much thought into your proposal.

technology-powerpoint

 

Structure Your Proposal

While it is great to prepare a short pitch, it also pays to have a more detailed proposal handy. It should include all important details about your game.

The following are some of the information that you shouldn’t forget:

The High Concept – Pretty much like an elevator pitch, the high concept explains your idea as accurate as possible in a short sentence. Take note of the following gaming high concepts and learn:

  • Minecraft: Construct a 3D world with other players.
  • Unreal world: Survival game set in the Iron Age.
  • Super Mario: A platform game with a surreal world setting.
  • Sonic: A fast-paced platform game that features a fast hedgehog
  • Pacman: Navigate a maze while grabbing all the dots and avoiding bad guys.
  • Angry Birds: Slingshot birds at enemy pigs in this physics-based game.

Genre – The concept of genre in the gaming industry often has more to do with a game’s position in the shelves than its design or story. In general, a game’s genre is classified based on their type of gameplay.

Some of the most common video game genres are the following:

  • Adventure – Legend of Zelda, Tomb Raider
  • Strategy – Warcraft, Age of Empires
  • Role Playing Game (RPG) – Diablo, Final Fantasy
  • Shooter – Doom, Half-Life
  • Platformer – Super Mario Bros. Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Fighting – Street Fighter, Tekken

Other elements that you should include in your game technology PowerPoint are the in-game story, setting, target audience, hardware platforms, marketing, and risk analysis. You should also tackle the gameplay description and features. If there’s still time, focus on the mechanics to show how players will interact with the game. You can start by describing the story to capture attention.

Then, shift your focus on what makes your gameplay different from other games of its kind.

Pitching a video game idea is not all fun and games. So be sure that you practice. A lot. For the win.

Map Out Your Presentation With Mind Mapping

Designing an effective PowerPoint requires careful planning and preparation. You can start by writing an outline with a pen and paper.

If you’re more comfortable using a computer, then you may use a word processor such as Microsoft Word. If you want to take it up a notch, think about using a mind mapping tool instead.

Visual Representations

Mind mapping offers you a great way to brainstorm and give your ideas visual representations. It’s a process that combines imagery, color, and strategic arrangement of other visual elements.

Compared to manual note-taking, mind mapping has been proven to improve information recall mostly due to the use of images. With a large number of the population leaning towards visual learning, graphic representations of data is more easily processed than just walls of text.

In other words, it’s a perfect way not just to plan but also to deliver your PowerPoint presentation. It’s not just for your audience’s eyes, either. You yourself can benefit from this by looking at organized ideas that are easier to digest.

Powerful Program

Although you can create mind maps manually, there are different mind mapping tools available online that you can either purchase or download for free. Leverage your mind mapping skills with the use of powerful programs that help you organize your ideas more efficiently.

iMindMap, for example, is one of the most powerful mind mapping programs available today.

With this tool, you can create topic “branches” organically as if you are manually drawing a visual map. The program will draw and arrange the topics as you focus on typing the keywords of each topic.

mind mapping

One of the best features of iMindMap is its presentation mode. This feature animates your maps easily, allowing branches of topics to grow spontaneously. It also features a “presenter” view.

As you present, your own notes are made visible to you along with the menu bar that controls the presentation. What your audience can see, however, are just your mind maps.

iMindMap also offers the capability to make a recording of your voice, which you can then attach to a map branch.

Exportable Ideas

Another advantage of using mind mapping software is that your ideas become more exportable and accessible to collaborators.

ConceptDraw is an example of an efficient mind mapping tool that works by connecting mind maps and business processes such as sending tweets and making a presentation.

Using ConceptDraw’s presentation mode, you may zoom or pan around your mind map and collapse or expand the nodes in ways that would make sense to your audience.

conceptdraw

If you prefer to deliver your presentation using PowerPoint, you can simply export your mind map, either as a text outline or as a series of slides.

There’s a good reason why mind mapping is suitable for creating presentation. It can engage the audience’s attention faster, thanks to its visual structure. The process also allows you, the presenter, to explore ideas in a larger space.

 

Reference

Mind Maps®: A Powerful Approach to Note-Taking.” MindTools.com. Accessed June 13, 2014.