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Buzz Worthy: Technology Presentation Tips from CES 2015

Leaders of the tech and electronics industry recently came together for this year’s International CES, or Consumer Electronics Show. As with previous years, top companies in the field made use of the event to announce and preview their upcoming products. CES 2015 became a huge stage for memorable technology presentations at the start of the year.

Presentations delivered during the event’s 4-day run made noticeable impact. From all of these, it’s obvious that there are plenty of technology presentation lessons that we can stand to learn. Based on the observations made by presentation expert Carmine Gallo, we run down the tips that could help you in your next big pitch.

Start with a short but meaningful story

Storytelling is always a crucial part of any presentation, but it bears special importance for a technology presentation. The best way to connect with the audience is through something they can easily relate to. Talking about technological concepts can become confusing for people who aren’t familiar with it. Skip the jargon and the long-winded explanations about your new product or service.

What you should try to do instead is to tell a story that will make the audience see why your pitch is important to them. Take an example from Mark Fields, president and CEO of Ford, who wove a story with his presentation.

Outline your presentation by listing 3-5 key takeaways

Another way you can help the audience digest the information is by outlining key takeaways before tackling them one by one. Give the audience a chance to learn the scope of your presentation by listing the major points you’re going to make. After you list down your key takeaways, you can tackle them one by one with a more in-depth discussion.

To keep your presentation in the right track, Gallo also suggests to make sure you limit yourself to only 3-5 points. Tackling too much in a single pitch can derail your discussion. Remember to keep your presentation concise. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich does this successfully by listing down his major points at the start of his presentation. Watch his keynote here and make your own observations.

Incorporate demos and other memorable moments

There’s more you can do to make sure your pitch becomes memorable. Just like Intel’s Krzanich did in his keynote, you can take your discussion to life by incorporating a demo to your presentation. As Gallo puts it,

“Many presentations—especially product launches—lend themselves to a ‘wow moment.’ A creative and well-rehearsed demo generates a lot of talk and, if people don’t talk about your product, why bother?”

Another way you can create memorable moments in your presentation is by making use of props. If you remember our discussion on Nancy Duarte’s STAR (Something They’ll Always Remember) Moments, acting out your core message with the help of props is an effective way to give the audience something to talk about.

Allow your data to stand out and shine

Lastly, PowerPoint and visuals also play an important role in a technology presentation. Don’t forget to prepare a well-designed deck that incorporates your branding through colors and images. Aside from the aesthetics, it should also do a perfect job of illustrating the nuts and bolts of the product or service you’re pitching.

How? By making sure your data is well-presented. Make it stand out by focusing on the most crucial numbers and getting creative with your visualizations.

Take a page out of Samsung president and CEO, Boo-Keun Yoon’s book. Yoon made use of slides where all the relevant numbers stood out. Check out his keynote here to see how careful handling of data can improve your technology presentation.

Delivering a technology presentation has its challenges, but achieving success isn’t impossible. Take note of these lessons straight from the CES 2015 stage and incorporate it in your next pitch.

 

Reference

Boo-Keun Yoon, Samsung – Keynote 2015.” International CES. Accessed January 22, 2015.
Brian Krzanich, Intel – Keynote 2015.” International CES. Accessed January 22, 2015.
Gallo, Carmine. “5 Presentation Tips From CEO Keynotes At CES.” Forbes. January 9, 2015. Accessed January 22, 2015
How to Create a STAR Moment for Your Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. September 25, 2014. Accessed January 22, 2015
Mark Fields, Ford – Keynote 2015.” International CES. Accessed January 22, 2015.
PowerPoint Design Tips for Presenting Data.” SlideGenius, Inc. December 1, 2014. Accessed January 22, 2015.
Why Storytelling Is an Effective Presentation Technique.” SlideGenius, Inc. September 8, 2014. Accessed January 22, 2015.

 

Featured Image: International CES Photo Gallery

Selling Your Wife with PowerPoint: Why it Works

The universal question remains, “How do you win an argument with a woman?” 

Just like Phil and Claire Dunphy on ABC’S Emmy Award-winning show, Modern Familyit’s almost a daily struggle to prove who’s right and why. This timeless debacle has stumped husbands across the years as countless disagreements and failed persuasions have led to broken compromises.

We may believe that the common day PowerPoint presentation is merely just for business lectures but the marketing and persuasive ability of powerpoint slides may actually be one of the best explanation tools. When dealing with certain difficult issues such as mapping out your financial plans for the year, a PowerPoint presentation has the capability to share information in the most persuasive and simplest way possible; therefore allowing for more agreements- and fewer arguments.

1. Starting Off Your Presentation with an Attention Grabbing Quote

Just like in any persuasive essay or speech, the appeal of pathos (or emotion) when presenting your idea will catch your wife’s attention from the beginning. Your quote can also be a personalized statistic, say if you were trying to either sell or buy a substantial item or place that sums up a main purpose.

2. Utilize Visuals and Graphs

Images speak louder than words, too much text will cause anyone to lose interest fast. Using bar graphs and pie charts to explain your financial forecast or using graphics will make for any explanation to be easier and allow for more efficient points to be made. Talking numbers make for more confusion- but showing numbers allows for more information to be digested easily and this is essential in any great powerpoint presentation. 

3. Minimal Bullet Points

The simpler, the better. Bullet points are acceptable in family presentations and allow for direct and specific statements to be made without too much wordiness. You as the presenter are responsible for elaborating these ideas, but visually they should be presented in the simplest form.

4. Using If/Then Analogies

Creating an if/then scenario within your presentation will give you the ability to show your wife why your point is valid and using examples will assist in positioning your argument.


Convincing somebody of anything is not an easy task, and just like Phil and Claire try to make sure their points are the “correct” ones, you can utilize PowerPoint to share your ideas with your spouse and explain them in the most effective way possible.

Comment below and let us know if you’ve used PowerPoint to persuade your wife.

What You Need to Learn From Lion Tamers

Any lion tamer will have three tools to control their majestic beast: a whip, a stool, and a fistful of enticing snacks. Which of these tools is most useful?

[soliloquy id=”9422″]


Most would say it’s the whip, but they would be wrong. It’s the stool. When the lion tamer raises the stool to face his roaring counterpart, the lion sees all four stool legs and doesn’t know which one to focus on. Consequently, they stand frozen, enabling the tamer to keep them under control.

As interesting as this may be, we as humans are not impervious to this same manipulation. When you try focus on too many things in your work, you become incapable of taking effective action on any of them. Lack of focus significantly impairs your ability to lead and stick to your plan, especially when giving a presentation.

In order to prevent what I like to call the very appropriately named “tamed-lion syndrome” you should follow these rules:

Set goals.

Know what you do, how you do it, why you do it, and where you want to take it. Know all of that, and the goal-making process will be a piece of cake. Go to the first day of class and what does the professor do? He goes over the syllabus and talks about his goals for you as his student. Join a gym your instructor will immediately talk about your goals and what exactly you hope to achieve with your body. Both the college professor and the gym instructor are following the same trend, they’re highlighting end results. They’re trying to lure you in by showing you the potential the service can offer you.

 It is useful to set goals at all levels, daily, weekly, monthly, annual, and long term. Expressing your short and long term goals in your presentation are great for transparency for your audience. Giving a clear message and ultimate goal to your audience will allow them to empathize with you and genuinely understand your passion. It’s a universal fact that empathy, or really just emotion, is the single most powerful tool for selling. All in all, it’s pretty simple; set goals, explain them, and sell more.


“That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

-Steve Jobs


Get your priorities straight.

This is arguably the most important and useful factor when it comes to focusing. Knowing your long term goal is the best way to start. That in itself takes a while to figure out. But once you take that step, highlight, circle, star, check, enumerate, or do whatever it is you have to do to prioritize your tasks to get you to your goal. The more detailed, the more effective it’ll be. Priorities should be outlined along with your goals in your presentation. This comes back to transparency; the more your audience can understand you and your company, the more comfortable they will feel with you.

 

References:

Colan, Lee.What Lion Tamers Know About Focus. Inc.com. July 19, 2013. 
Jarrett, Christian. “How Goals and Good Intentions Can Hold Us Back.99u. July 10, 2012.

4 PowerPoint Resources You Can’t Miss Out On!

Effective slide design is not simple, but should be simplistic. It isn’t easy, but should be easily understood.

Most presenters fail at creating effective PowerPoint presentations from the moment they start planning them, because they don’t focus on the key elements. Proper layout, organization, font usage, and image usage are crucial facets of design.  We at SlideGenius have come up with a short list of 4 useful supplementary content, design and editing resources for anyone who may find themselves giving or creating a presentation.

1. PowerPoint Support Sites

Here are a couple of useful support sites to help deal with PowerPoint product issues:

2. Stock Photo Sites

Each of these three sites offers a wide variety of royalty-free images starting at $1 an image:

3. Editing Tools Sites

As I’ve started blogging about various PowerPoint and presentation topics, I’ve come across some interesting presentation tools. These tools might be alternatives to PowerPoint or complementary tools for PowerPoint users.

  • ColorCop (free eyedropper/color picker tool)
  • Freepath (combine files and other media files in a playlist)
  • WhatTheFont (font identification tool)

4. Useful Quotation Sites

Most of the famous quotation sites are difficult to use due to a variety of usability issues. I found these to be among the better ones for finding useful, concise quotes.

Innovation is a major aspect of effective design; you should always be looking to better your PowerPoints, their design, and the holistic delivery. These resources are a great way to begin maximizing the few minutes you have to deliver your corporate presentation, investor pitch, executive sale presentation, etc.

If you can think of any other useful resources that align with this theme, feel free to comment them on this post and we will be sure to add!

4 Types of Audience Members You Need to Present For

Your audience is filled with 4 different member types of thinkers: analytical, structural, social, and conceptual.

It’s your job to make your presentations appeal to all four. Like any other accomplishment, appealing to all four thinkers will involve research, namely research about how each thinker thinks. We, at our Presentation Agency, have looked into inc.com’s recent series of articles on leadership and compiled a rudimentary set of instructions to appeal to each thinker by analyzing the essentials that make up the foundation of each form of thought.

Analytical

Here’s how you can be sure to draw out your analytical-thinking audience:

  • Show your research.
  • Highlight important data from within the research.
  • You need to show the big picture, not just the details.
  • Provide a case study.
  • Analyze past successes to allow your team to develop new ideas.
  • Provide an overview as well as objectives.
  • Clarity about your needs is critical.
  • Quantify everything
  • Use analytical phrases like:
      • What is the cost/benefit of this project?
      • What does the research say?
      • I’ve been analyzing the situation.

Structural

So here’s how to communicate in aims to draw out your structural-thinking audience:

1. First, it’s important to understand that a structured thinker learns by doing

2. Next, provide plenty of “how-to” points

3. Hand out a step-by-step implementation plan and a guide for how things need to be done.

4. Explain through practicality.

5. Communicate in concrete terms and explain the rules.

6. Be very detailed.

Social

  • Here’s how you can be sure to draw out your socially oriented audience:
  • Don’t be afraid to refer to feelings.
  • Use questions like:
      • “How does that appeal to you?”
      • “How are you feeling about this?”
  • Or statements like:
      • “I’m concerned about how others will react.”
  • Show a personal connection.
  • Phrases that evoke this:
      • “Let’s work through this together.”
      • “Is everyone on the same page?”

Conceptual

Here’s how you can be sure you speak and interact conceptually to draw out your conceptual-thinking audience:

  • Think long-term; Where do we want to be in 5 years? You can always fill in the details and short-term afterward
  • Describe the levels or stages of your plans or ideas
  • Use abstract examples or metaphors
  • Define key terms

Thinking through this form of audience analysis will allow you to maximize the research for PowerPoint presentation, which will in turn lead more sales!

 

References:

Browning, Geil. “Why Being Social Makes You a Better Leader. inc.com. July 15, 2013.
Browning, Geil. “Why Steve Jobs’ Exactitude Mattered as Much as His Vision. inc.com. May 16, 2013.

Raising Capital? Consider a Scrolling Web Pitch!

Raising capital is complicated. There are a lot of pieces to put together, including selling your audience, knowing your valuation, how much capital you need, use of funds and much, much more.

The initial hurdle for countless companies comes at the intersection where entrepreneurs and investors meet. Entrepreneurs often stumble building their investment deck and effectively pitching which makes it that much harder to get people to give you the capital. Investors must believe in you and your abilities to manage and grow a company. The problem is that showing who you are and what you’re capable of can be difficult let alone doing it in a 10-15 minute window.

For that reason you need to put your heart and soul into the pitch, but not just the content, also the delivery. What does a perfect pitch look like, you ask? That is a matter of opinion and you’ll never see the “perfect pitch deck”, but recently its all about presenting your company in a unique way to stand out from the crowd.  One additional option you may consider is a scrolling web pitch. Scrolling web pitches incorporate a unique scrolling technique that allow the presenter to replace the generic professional PowerPoint click-by-click slides with an interactive, more organic and lively design.  This is not meant to be a replacement for the face to face PowerPoint pitch but a reinforcement and/or teaser to get the meeting.  Here are 4 reasons why you need to use scrolling web designs for you next investor presentation:

Keep Content Up to Date

In using a scrolling web pitch, you are making any future edits or updates to your text as easy as can be. This design simplifies the process and maximizes your use of time.

Stand Out from the Crowd and be unique

Most people email their large, boring and lifeless PowerPoint presentations to prospective investors, but it really doesn’t make sense to do that. Without context from the entrepreneur you’ll risk a misinterpreted message or worse they might not even move past the first three slides.  Treat you pitch with respect. Why be dull and lifeless when you can be unique, creative and memorable?

Monitor page analytics/views and keep consistency

Data, data, data! Being able to keep your pitch up to date online and get analytics will help you assess the effectiveness of your deck. Additionally, you’ll have created another venue to market in. A great scroll web pitch will be able to sell itself without you being there, so any viewer could potentially bite in your concept.

Create more interest and leads

Analytics and views lead to increased interest and leads. Garnering and extrapolating public interest in your concept will serve as evidence to any potential investors as quality and a great opportunity.

Think of it as PowerPoint presentation Darwinism: evolve your presentation or have it die. Though raising capital may be intimidating, challenging, and maybe seemingly impossible at times, the process starts with how you present yourself to people.

We’ve created an example of a scroll web pitch that you can see here.

If you have any questions or comments about scroll pitches just comment them on this post?

Why You Need Work With The Naked

Effective design is about displaying things as naked as they can be.

Effective design is about displaying things as naked as they can be. Let me explain. If two competing stores are selling orange juice, one markets the history of the store, the science behind the juice, the percentage of pulp in the juice, the work from the staff, and types of furniture in the store, and the second store uses only a picture of a juicy, ripe, and delicious-looking orange, would sell more? The second, obviously! Sales are about getting customers to get emotional about your product or service, while the former store may have its own advantages in marketing, the latter is focused solely on showing their product at its very simplest and purest form, an orange. It is almost completely pointless to describe everything about your business or product. People don’t have time for that. They want your message and pitch in the quickest, cleanest, and purest form possible.

Did Steve Jobs walk on stage and describe all the technical characteristics of the IPod? No. He walked up; stood mid stage, and said “It’s 1000 songs in your pocket.” While there is value in the details, it’s the nudity and bareness of a presentation that hold the value. Sell the core essence of whatever your selling, at the end of the day, it is what people remember, and therefore what you should maximize in your professional presentation design.

In aims to practice what I preach, Ill keep this post short. Ill finish with this; I could go on to write a book about simplicity, the art of persuasion, or even rhetoric, but there’s no need, because I’ve displayed the same message in less than 500 words.

Next time you start work on your next sales pitch, PowerPoint presentation, or really just anything, just take a minute and ask yourself, “Am I doing this in the most simple and effective way?” I guarantee it will change everything about your life.

Einstein quote

Work Cited:
Http://www.fastcodesign.com/3018872/can-flat-design-change-an-entire-culture-built-on-ornateness

Extreme Presenting: An Example from Ted Cruz

Amid the craze of the government shutdown fueled by heated debate inside our federal government, one almost unbelievable phenomenon was the 21-hour filibuster by Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz.

For those needing a U.S. history reminder, a filibuster is essentially when an elected official prevents anyone in his legislative body from voting by refusing to end the debate, usually, by hogging the floor talking. It’s an age-old tactic in the politician’s playbook, dating all the way back to Ancient Rome, where Roman Senator Cato the Young would give long, drawn-out speeches until nightfall to foil the political maneuvers of Julius Caesar.

This strategy still thrives in today’s political landscape, and it’s gotten no less extreme. While Cruz’s 21-hour speech may seem unfathomable, there have been several other extreme examples in modern politics. But how do these politicians prepare for these dauntingly long presentations? Here’re a few famously employed tactics that have allowed politicians to remain at the podium long after hours.

 

Not to be crude, but to address many of us have probably wondered: How do these politicians not run off to the restroom after all these hours at the podium?  

There’s actually been a lot of unanswered questions surrounding this mystery, perhaps because it’s one we might not want the answer to.

wendy-davis3-e1372439462263Texas State Senator Wendy Davis reportedly donned a catheter during her 11-hour filibuster of an abortion bill earlier this year. The 50-year-old democrat also wore pink running shoes and a back brace to remain standing and speaking to block this legislation, a move that was apparently effective, resulting in the bill failing.

 

 

 

 

Steam baths?

strom
The longest filibuster by a lone senator occurred in 1957, when Strom Thurmond of North Carolina spoke for 24 hours and 18 minutes, from 8:54 p.m. on August 28, 1957 and did not stop until 9:12 p.m. on the 29th, in an attempt to prevent the Civil Rights Act of 1957 from passing. In order to prepare for this insanely long speaking engagement, Thurmond took steam baths up until the day of his speech in order to dehydrate himself, “ridding himself of any access liquid.” While speaking, other senators purposefully asked lengthy questions in order for Thurmond to quickly take a break and gobble down a sandwich in the cloakroom before running back to the stage.

 

 

 

21 hours of things to say

I don’t care how good of a speaker you are, even my chattiest acquaintances would have Greeneggtrouble finding things to talk about for half that time. While Senator Cruz spoke primarily about the Affordable Care Act,  A.K.A. Obamacare, he made a few off-color references in order to keep his train of thought going, bringing in Darth Vader and even reciting the famous Dr. Seuss children’s book, “Green Eggs and Ham.”

 

 

 

 

My personal favorite filibuster?

Well, it’s not exactly real, but it’s the most entertaining to me. For those of you fellow Parks and Recreation fans, you might remember comedian Patton Oswalt guest starring on an episode this past season, where he ‘citizen filibustered’ the Pawnee City Council from amending its constitution.

The episode that aired only showed a small bit of what Oswald actually said. In reality, Oswald showed up, the show didn’t give him a script and just told him to “start talking.”

 

References:

Filibuster”. Dictionary.com. The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005.

Putting Your Presentation before Your PowerPoint.SlideGenius. December 9, 2013.

Root, Jay. “Ted Cruz Ends 2013 As He Began It: No Apologies.The Huffington Post. December 19, 2013.

3 Secrets from the Most Trusted Brands Around

Which company would you say has the best customer service in the world?

For me, only big names come to mind. Amazon, Fedex, Starbucks, Apple, Target; all these companies are seen and valued as great empires that run the United States, and to some extent, the world. Customer service has become a major facet of how people judge businesses today. Within customer service, lies it’s core foundation, trust. When people trust a brand, they use it, recommend it, share it, and more importantly, like it.

When we discuss branding, one of the simplest and most relevant examples would probably be corporate presentations. The way quality with which one presents their company to others is the level to which their branding valued. For that very reason, being able to understand and recreate the important aspects these trusted companies currently use will be invaluable to any executive.

We decided to take a crack at it and analyze the consumer survey created by Entrepreneur and The Values Institute at DGWB, a California-based think tank, which explored this very issue. The results are an analysis of 5 of the top 10 most trusted brands.

Simple & Personal: Amazon

The tycoon online retailer of just about everything comes out on the top of our list. Amazon’s success doesn’t root from the millions of products is manages, the unlimited and 24/7 access its offers, the great quality search filter it holds, or the shockingly effective and satisfying customer service it is compromised of. Amazon is best the because of its superior purchase experience. People love things to be easy and to be treated well; two things Amazon does beautifully well.

>Additionally Amazon is arguably best at fostering relationships with consumers by helping them make decisions through recommendations from other people. “People are able to choose items based on other consumer’s past purchases, user reviews and ratings and suggested complementary purchases. Consumers also have many options for forging a personal bond with the brand, including user profiles, reviews and ratings.”

So if there is anything we should learn from Amazon, it is to make things easy and personal. This is especially true for your professional PowerPoint presentations. You must be able make things easy to understand while allowing your audience to relate to you in a variety of ways. Tell a story, show emotion, show an inspiring video, or just do something that will invoke emotion from your audience and consequently more sales for you.

Customer Appreciation & Accountability: Fedex

FedEx has designed and more importantly, maintained one of the strongest corporate identities around. In the aforementioned consumer survey the company “received its strongest ratings in ability, specifically for being able to achieve what it promises and for the efficiency of its operations.”

Try to remember any of the recent Fedex commercial spots on TV. They all show a strong focus on recognizing that it’s not just about the logistics of moving boxes, but about an appreciation of what’s inside. The content, the story, the emotion, to a simple point, the meaning each box has. This is the main point. Fedex does a phenomenal job at showing their value for their customer and

“To further deliver that message, FedEx engages with consumers through its personalized rewards program and by interacting on social media channels.” The company thinks of their customers as much more than just an order number or box, and they show that in their branding and marketing, and that is true customer appreciation.

With regard to your corporate presentation, use the same idea. Highlight how you show customer appreciation and make clear that you hold yourself, and no one else accountable for your quality.

Be Product-Centric: Apple

Not many companies have the public and press waiting in line, for days, waiting breathlessly for each new product release. “The bottom line is whatever that new Apple product is, consumers trust that it will be smart and sleek and that it will improve the way they communicate, work or spend their leisure time. What’s more, they’ll enjoy the experience of making the purchase.”

Even more, Apple is known to hire empathetic people, and not measure their sales associates on sales. This at first seems absurd; almost every other retail store in the world wants good salesmen and will create a competitive environment to weed out the weak. Apple knows that its product is so well liked, that it can sacrifice the competitive edge between its sales associates. The only factor that allows them to be so confident in their product, its that they put so much focus on it, and they make sure everyone knows that.

Wrapping up

In short, today’s most trustworthy brands have created relationships with consumers through experiences that trigger a visceral and amazingly effective response. Quoting the aforementioned consumer survey results analysis by branding consultant Jim Stengel, “We’re seeing more of an emphasis on brands building emotional relationships with consumers because it’s powerful and it works. When you do it, you have a much stronger affinity, a much stronger business, much stronger growth and much stronger results.”

It doesn’t just come down to you making your have better customer appreciation, accountability, or product-centricty, it comes down to showing that your do these things. What easier way to show these things than through your next corporate, sales, or marketing presentation. Be transparent, be clear, and show your customers, partners, and the world how you do things, in return you might just be the next one on this list.

READ MORE: Secrets of the 10 Most-Trusted Brands – Entrepreneur