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Be Creative with Your Deck: Tips on Creating An Effective Team Slide

A pitch presentation is critical to clinching an important deal. Apart from polishing your pitch, though, it pays to prepare a slide deck about your team.

Potential partners are not only investing in your idea, they’re also putting their money on your team. They certainly would want to get to know the people who are going to make the endeavor a success.

 

GT Channel TeamA compelling story about your team can help establish your organization’s credibility and professionalism. So your team slide should leave a great impression.

To help you out, here are some tips on how to create a team slide that rocks.

Less is more

The primary purpose of creating the team slide is to highlight the group’s past accomplishments. This doesn’t mean, however, that you need to list every project everyone has ever worked on.

This will only overload the slide with too many details. As with any other type of slide, keep in mind that less is more.

One for all, all for one

The best way to present your team is to acknowledge their individual qualities before underscoring their overall aptitude as a group.

Start by highlighting each member’s qualifications for the project and showing how they are relevant. You may also give a short account of each one’s duties while emphasizing the expertise that they bring to the table individually.

After focusing on each of their strengths, emphasize their qualities as a team. Bring to the fore their capability to work together and how they complement each other as a productive group.

Short but sweet

Make your team introduction as short as possible. Ideally, the team slide should include three or four key players of your company. In about 30 seconds, you should be able to show everything about them that the investors would want to know.

Establishing the credibility and competence of your team is part of convincing potential investors with your pitch. With an impressive team slide, you have a better chance of making a compelling case for your team.

3 PowerPoint Techniques: Making Your Ideas PowerPoint-Friendly

PowerPoint slides can help make complex ideas easier to explain. They also allow your audience to grasp everything you say without much difficulty. Keep in mind, though, that you need to employ the right techniques to ensure the success of your presentation. To help you out, check out these common PowerPoint techniques that professional presenters use:

Bullets Instead of Paragraphs

Long paragraphs can make a slide look crowded and confusing. Often, the reason a presenter puts entire blocks of paragraphs on every slide is because he’s too lazy to sort out his main points. Or he intends to read the whole thing in front of his audience.

These shortcuts, however, will create the impression that you are not prepared and worse, unprofessional. As a result, no one will take your presentation seriously. To avoid this scenario, you may want to use bullet points instead of paragraphs.

Here are some important things to remember when using bullet points:

  • They’re short outlines of key points.
  • Leave room for you to expound.
  • Use as few words as possible.

Turn Numerical Data into Graphs

Slides that contain a lot of numbers can be strenuous to look at. As a workaround, some presenters would use a laser pointer to draw attention to the important figures on the slide. However, some people can get easily distracted by it. This may cause you to lose not only your audience’s interest, but also their patience. Presenting numerical data using graphs or charts would be a better solution of compressing data while drawing attention.

To determine the type of graph to use, figure out what your data is all about. Is it showing a trend? Then you may use a horizontal, dotted line graph. This is great for illustrating trends and changes over a certain period of time. Are you making a comparison between two sets of data? Then a bar graph would be handy in this case.

Any data is best illustrated with graphs. Make sure to choose the right type of graph type to help make your message clearer to your audience.

Describe With Images

If you are going to describe things, places, or even people, think about using images instead of texts. With the right photo or graphics, you’ll be able to cut to your audience’s emotions. It will get them engaged in the presentation better than what texts can do.

There you have it. Making your next PowerPoint presentation interesting would be much easier with these three techniques. If you want to make your slides even more powerful but you don’t have the time or expertise, getting the services of PowerPoint specialists would be a great idea.

 

References

Nordquist, Richard. “How Long Should a Paragraph Be?About.com. Accessed May 7, 2014.
The Art of Graphs and Charts.SlideGenius. April 21, 2014. Accessed May 7, 2014.

Applying the Rule of Three to Your Presentations

It is said that everything that comes in threes is perfect. The ability of the number three to be both brief but rhythmic in nature adds to its appeal to the general reader. It’s not too long, but at the same time, it still has substance.

This explains why many people are fascinated with The Rule of Three.

Grouping into Three

Stop, look, and listen; mind, body, and spirit; lights, camera, action; ready, set, go – these sets are just some samples of how we put this rule into use. Generally, you can find The Rule of Three in many stories, anecdotes, speeches, songs, and even jokes.

Basically, this so-called rule makes narratives more engaging and better presented. In telling a joke, for example, you can rely on a series of three points to help you create anticipation. The first two points are the parts that build up the joke while the third one releases the punchline. If you have heard about the one with three men (usually of different nationalities) entering a bar, you have been exposed to the Rule of Three.

The same principle applies to other aspects.

Thinking in Patterns

Have you noticed that when presented in patterns of threes, concepts and ideas somehow become more interesting and memorable? We may not always be aware of it but our mind prefers to view and process things in terms of patterns.

Whatever we do, we tend to look for patterns because, more often than not, they can help simplify things for us. And once we have simplified something, we become better at understanding or applying it into our everyday life.

Applying the Rule

You can apply the Rule of Three to your presentations. As the presenter, it can help you remember your key points as you speak.

Grouping your points into three’s will also let your audience understand and remember them better. Maximize the Rule of Three by dividing your topic into three parts. Naturally, your presentation will have a beginning, middle, and an end.

The beginning gives you the opportunity to break the ice. The middle part is where you expound on your topic. As for the end, wrap things up with an inspiring closing statement.

You can also apply the rule in a different way. If you are promoting a service, highlight its three benefits. If you are introducing a product, draw attention to its three features.

Regardless of your goal, the Rule of Three should be present in your presentation. It allows you to introduce your topic, emphasize it, and make it unforgettable. Furthermore, clustering a train of thought into threes is a great way to simplify things in a way that doesn’t just look good, but also highly effective in making an impact.

 

References

“Brain Seeks Patterns Where None Exist.” Scientific American Global. October 3, 2008. Accessed May 5, 2014.

How to Think Like $5.99 and Not Like $6.00

Imagine you own a clothing store. Now you decide to begin a sale for that store. Let’s say a particular type of shorts usually costs $20 per short, but for the purposes of the sale you’re going to mark them down to $15 a piece.

There are two ways you could present that discount. The first would be as a percentage. Going from $20 to $15 would be 25% off. The second would be as an absolute number with $5 off. Which way is better?

Both discounts amount to the same final price. 25% off $20 and $5 off $20 both result in the customer paying $15 for the shorts. So both representations of the discount should have the same effect, right?

Wrong. Jonah Berger, author of Contagion, explains to us that the consumers find the 25% discount more attractive than the 5$ off. While the two discounts are the same economically, they don’t trigger the same psychological effect. One feels like a larger discount than the other.

Accordingly, the next time you’re reporting numerical information, pay attention to how you are presenting it. The way changes are represented can have a big impact on how they’re perceived.

Focus on the final number.

Like the story above, most people seemed to be more enticed by the offer when the discount number was larger. Rule of thumb would be whenever you are offering a discount under $100 display it as a percentage, and when the offer is greater than $100 display it as an absolute number. This will make sure you are always maximizing your psychological impact. Simpler is better. No one cares about a page of numbers and figures that look like the green screen display from the matrix. You need to simplify your results, and then simplify them again. Think of your raw data as a pile of freshly picked vegetables. People don’t want to eat them when they still have dirt and leave stems on them. People want a quick and painless way to stay healthy, so what do you do? You take those vegetables, clean them, cut them, put them in a blender and make a smoothie. Then you take that smoothie and turn it into a wheatgrass shot. Quick and to the point. So yes, your data should be reduced to the size of a wheatgrass shot! After all, the simpler your can represent your findings, the easier it will be for your audience to understand you, which will in turn make your call-to-action more successful.

Tell a story.

Everyone knows the best stories are the ones told with pictures, so use them. Portraying data graphically reveals patterns in the data that are hard to notice otherwise Visual depictions of data are almost universally understood without requiring knowledge of a language. It is also useful to alter your tone and speed as you approach the finding of any given graph. Much like when telling a story, the storyteller tends to get really excited toward the climax or “best part” of the story; it is not only useful but critical to draw attention to the most important features of the data.

I’ll leave you with Hans Rosling’s fascinating TED talk revolved around displaying data effectively, which you can watch here

 

References:

Berger, Jonah. “Fuzzy Math: What Makes Something Seem Like A Good Deal?linkedin. August 28, 2013.

Kakutani, Michiko. “Mapping Out the Path to Viral Fame.The New York Times. February 25, 2013.

Rosling, Hans. “The Best Stats You’ve Ever Seen.ted.com. February 2006.