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An Angel Investor’s Guide to Cracking the Mind of an Angel Investor

“I would like to introduce myself to you. I am an angel investor. You may not have met the likes of me. I play several different roles. I am a listener to your presentations, a challenger of your strategy, an investigator conducting due diligence, a negotiator over investment terms, and finally a check writer to fund your growth.”


forumWho better to give advice for an angel investment pitch, than  an angel investor himself? Edward Harley, Angel Investor and member of the Keiretsu Forum, lays out exactly what you need to do to become part of the “top 5% of all presenters.” Though his context lies in the world of investor pitches, his advice is true and useful for anybody presenting about any subject.

Usually, you’ll have about 10 minutes to “pitch” your idea to an investor. Within those few minutes you need to successfully tell Harley’s seven stories:

1. The ‘fundamental business logic’ story

This is the part of your presentation that illustrates how you don’t just have an idea, but a logical approach to making a business out of it. Great ideas are valuable, but relatively useless without proper execution. Its great execution that changes the world. That is what investors, and really just audiences want understand from you; the steps you took or are taking to realize your idea. In other words, share your story.

2. The ‘total available market’ story

This section of your presentation is essentially the evidence you are using to support your “fundamental business logic story.” You are highlighting the path your business will walk on, and explaining how wide the passageway is.

3.’This is a $50m to $100m business’ story

Continuing on the”evidence” of your business logic story, this portion of the presentation is meant to display a sense of value. Your need to make your audience understand that your business venture is not only credible, but an enticing and convenient investment for them.

4. ‘The product can be differentiated’ story

Here, you’ll show why and how you are different and/or better than your competition. This is a key point. Your audience wants to know and identify your specialty. After all, it is that very specialty that people will remember you by. Harley says it that his  “expectation is that [he] will hear about a solution that is significantly better for the customer than all their existing choices, by ‘significantly better’, [he] mean[s] 10X better.”

5. ‘The product/service can be sold’ story

This area of your presentation should circle back to the past four sections. Here you should reaffirm that your product or service is reliable and has the potential to lead to satisfying results.

6. ‘This management team can do it’ story

You’ve made your case for the product or service, now you have to establish your credibility, and the credibility of your team, as a valuable, effective, and reliable workers.

7. ‘This is a good investment for the investor’ story

This portion of the presentation should sum everything up and reiterate the essential selling points. Here you are making the idea of an investment, sale, or whatever call-to-action concrete.

At the end of all this, it is time to ask yourself through the mentality of an investor, “Could I, your listener, replay to another person the very basics of your venture and how your target customers will benefit from using your product?”

If the answer to that is yes, then you have successfully boosted your chances to realize your presentation’s call-to-action.

Harley sums it up best by saying, “If you can passionately tell me those 7 stories while building a rapport with me where I eventually become an investor, we can jump over obstacles together. In addition to being a source of funds, I am a member of a terrific network of successful colleagues who are willing to assist you in your entrepreneurial effort. Our knowledge is both deep and wide, crossing industries, technologies, markets, and distribution channels. Thus, I encourage you to make the upfront effort to tell me your story. We can be successful together!”

 

Reference:

The Infographic that You Need to See

PowerPoint has about a 95% share of the presentation software market. There are over 500 million PowerPoint users worldwide and more than 30 million presentations are created daily. Over 6 million academic teachers use PowerPoint for classroom instruction.


Inforgraphic 1

Captus is Ready to Crush Their Competition

Captus provides proven military-grade analytics to big data in the commercial sector.


 

The company is an essential component in the field of analytics. Anyone could see that both their product and service were both top-of-the-line. Even then, Captus knew what most seem to overlook, which is that it doesn’t matter how good your product or service is, if you cant convince anyone to buy it, its practically useless. 

 

For that very reason they knew they not only deserved, but required top-of-the-line branding. Investing in the way you look as a company is one of the most crucial elements for sales.

captus pic
Their professional PowerPoint presentation, designed by SlideGenius, effectively showed Captus’s product, process and key capabilities, which in turn made it very easy for their audiences to understand their holistic concept and solution.By developing a very high-quality professional PowerPoint presentation, Captus was able to display the issue their worked was based off of in a useful way.

 

The issue they worked on was that acquiring detailed information from multiple databases takes a huge amount of effort and time.

The presentation thoroughly emphasized the benefits of choosing Captus over their competition by focusing on the core differences Captus offers.

 Though Captus already had a self-made PowerPoint presentation, they knew that in order to set themselves apart from their competition they need to be be better, not just in their product or service, but in the way they are seen by others. Being different and being better are what led them to invest in, and now officially have, a chic, insightful, and effective tool for branding and pitching themselves. captus pic 2

“Employing proven defense and space technology, Captus brings real intelligence capabilities to serious businesses by providing complete data management and analysis solutions, not just pretty visualizations.” Now, both their product and their brand are not only unique in their own industry, but effectively maximized.  

To find out how you can start developing your brand and presentation more effectively sign up for a 15-minute discovery call with Slidegenius!

7 Quotes Every Presenter Needs to Know

We’ve compiled our seven favorite quotes for presenters. These quotes can serve as inspiration for your presentation or can be used in it. In fact, most of these famous quotes are applicable to most businesses and relatable to anyone giving a professional PowerPoint presentation.


1.

abe lincoln quote

 2.

charles kettering quote

 3.

voltaire quote

 4.

churchill quote

 5.

peter drucker quote

6.

churchill quote2

 7.

greenspan quote

 If you can think of any other useful quotes for presentation professionals, let us know! Comment them on this post!

 

Acme Construction Uses SlideGenius for Huge Client Bid

Acme Construction is a California-based construction company with a knack for big projects. With an impressive history dating back to 1947–and more recently a couple high-end school and hospital extensions under their belt they were ready to go after what could potentially be the company’s biggest client to date (Details on the project off limits). acme2

Acme Construction was qualified for the project, but they needed a way to effectively visualize and present their expertise, experience, and capabilities, so they used SlideGenius to build them a deck based around the required criteria and interview questions for their project. SlideGenius was able to provide a complete, detailed picture of the company in a visually dynamic, high-impact presentation deck.

acme1When you need your company’s prowess to be known, don’t risk losing business because your potential client can’t tell how capable you are of the job. SlideGenius knows how to create presentations that make the sale by highlighting the most impressive aspects of your business in a dynamic way.
 

 

 

 

Heinz’s Crucial Model for Transparency

What’s one thing you’ll almost always see at the center of any given restaurant table?


First thing that comes up in my mind is a glass bottle of Heinz Tomato Ketchup. The fact of the matter is, Heinz ketchup has become a staple of American cuisine. Though, behind that world-famous condiment lies an unexpected story.

“Filthy, decomposed and putrid” are all words that famed cuisine author Pierre Blot used in 1866 to describe the quality of commercial ketchups being sold at the time. When you opened a bottle at that time, the contents could literally kill you. The main reason that ketchup was so filthy was due to the shortness of the tomato season. The season lasted from mid-August until mid-October, so ketchup could only be made fresh for two months out of the year’s twelve. By the late 1800’s Americans were so used to ketchup on their tables, that they expected its availability all year.  Manufacturers then began to use preservatives on massive quantities of ketchup to meet the year-long expectations. Those preservatives included boric acid, formalin, salicylic acid, and benzoic acid. And yes, those are chemical compounds used in today’s acne treatments and other commercial cleaning products. Even worse, the manufacturers added coal tar color the ketchup its signature red. And finally, to top it all off, the ketchup was cooked in copper tubs, leading to a chemical reaction between the copper and ketchup that could actually make the concoction poisonous to consume. How delicious does that sound?!?

The important part is what happened next.

Heinz took a complete turn and became the world’s leader in clean ketchup. And it all started with the very bottle itself being crystal clear in place of the brown bottles used by the rest. Heinz workers were also expected to be superfluously hygienic.  Heinz provided new uniforms, free laundry service for those uniforms, and even an in-house manicurist. In doing this Heinz nearly guaranteed clean employees, a clean environment, and a clean product. In fact, Heinz’s factories were such models of cleanliness that 30,000 visitors were allowed to tour the factory every year. Heinz knew he had nothing to hide.

As interesting as Heinz’s story is, the key part of it is what we learn it, and how we change as a result of the lessons we took away.

hEINZ TEXT BOX

If there were any principles that Henry Heinz valued more than any others, they were purity & transparency. Every bottle of Heinz Ketchup sold is see-through is for that very reason. It’s a design statement: purity through transparency. It is with that very principle that we must present ourselves to the world. Be pure and transparent in your goals, vision, and core company principles.

Define the vision

Heinz has branded its company mission statement to be “As the trusted leader in nutrition and wellness, Heinz – the original Pure Food Company – is dedicated to the sustainable health of people, the planet and our Company.” Like them, it is important to be clear in what your company is working towards. When people understand what you want from yourself, they can better understand how they can help, which is what you ultimately want them to do in some way.

With vision, comes the values you choose to build on to achieve your goals.

Define the values

Heinz names team building & collaboration, innovation, vision, results, and integrity as its core values. When it comes to choosing your values, you must really only answer two questions. “What do you want to work towards?” and “What do you need to do, or are willing to do, to get there?”

Define the quality

For billions of consumers around the globe, “if it isn’t Heinz, it isn’t ketchup.” It’s rational for people not to settle for anything less than greatness when it comes to quality, for that reason Heinz puts so much effort in marketing its own quality. Heinz says is beautifully and simply, “Good food is who we are, pure and simple.”

Define your vision, values, and quality in each and every one of your PowerPoint presentations and you will begin to allow your brand to be universally recognized for exactly what you want it to be recognized for. Taking these steps will show your audiences who and what you are in a simple yet relatable way, which is amazingly useful when it comes to maximizing your sales.

 

 

Work Cited:
http://www.fastcodesign.com/1673352/how-500-years-of-weird-condiment-history-designed-the-heinz-ketchup-bottle
http://www.heinz.com/default.aspx

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.

Moneyball’s Moneyball’s for a Game-Winning Call-to-Action

“Managers tend to pick a strategy that is the least likely to fail, rather then to pick a strategy that is most efficient,” Said Palmer. ” The pain of looking bad is worse than the gain of making the best move.”

― Michael Lewis, Moneyball : The Art of Winning an Unfair Game


Baseball statistics are boring. Plain and simple. Sure they may get some people’s attention, but statistically speaking, they are seen as a mind-numbing subject to talk about. Now maybe I say this with such conviction because I’m not an avid baseball aficionado, but what does get my attention is how Moneyball, a movie about baseball stats, proved to be so fascinating and successful (even to me!). I think it’s because the film is not really about numbers, and it’s not really a movie about baseball, either. The movie is about about what drives people to take risks and how public perception plays a role in our work. My favorite and most absorbed line of the movie is when Brad Pitt (Oakland A’s general manager) tells Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Oakland A’s Head Coach) that though his last year’s team made it to semifinals,   “If you don’t win the last game of the series, nobody gives a shit.” This really resonated with me and even dragged itself into my world of corporate presentation design and delivery. Think about what the “last game of the series” would equate to in your presentation. Three words: Call-to-Action (CTA). If your CTA isn’t strong, it will result in a meaningless presentation. Your presentation can be filled from start to finish with incredible charts, min-blowing stats, or powerful images, but if at the end of it all, you leave your audience with “and that it” then you have lost your “last game of the series” and failed at your presentation. With that, let’s look at what a successful and “last-game-of-the-series-winning” CTA consists of:

Keeping it simple

Like all successful company commercials, its gotta’ be catchy. The point of a CTA is to gather all the info and data you have already presented, and bundle it up into a “next step.” Redbull says it will “give you wings.” Coca-Cola claims you’ll “open happiness.” 15 minutes from Geico will “save you 15% or more on car insurance.” Three mogul-like businesses, one theme; simplicity. Being simple is what led these campaigns to be so incredibly successful. Applying CTA to modern times, I’ll put it in as plain language as I can think of; your CTA has to “tweetable,” “facebook-statusable,” and “textable.” Working with that goal in mind will make you be more creative and effective.

Use active and urgent language

Donate, buy, register, subscribe, call, text, order; these are all words that invoke a sense of command. These words should clearly tell your audience what you want them to do. Follow your command with the urgency. Offer ends, for a short time only, order now and receive; these invoke urgency. Urgency reels in emotion. Emotion sells.

Knowing size matters!

Make it big! Along with active and urgent language, one must make the CTA sound like earth-shattering news. It needs to be big enough that hearing it once will be memorable. A favorite example of mine is the HeadOn campaign from a few years back. It was essentially a 30 second commercial for a migraine relief chapstick-like product that said six words, “HeadOn, apply directly to the forehead.” It repeated the same six words over and over again until the 30 seconds were up. I must admit, it was pretty ridiculous and annoying, but guess what; I still remember it, and it’s been about 5 years since I’ve seen it. That says something.

Give it some space

Contrast, color, space, shape, and text; these are all characteristics of the design and layout of the text that you should thoroughly take into account. Just as the words themselves are crucial to the CTA’s success, so is the digital delivery. Make the CTA shine and impress. Think of the CTA as a star in your very own Broadway show. You want the spotlight on it at all times! Know the value of a great CTA and give it the time and effort it deserves. Soon enough, you’ll see results. 

I’ll end with my favorite scene from Moneyball, where you can enjoy here.

 
Work Cited: http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/416305-moneyball-the-art-of-winning-an-unfair-game

Our Five Favorite Books on Presenting with PowerPoint

1. Slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations by Nancy DuarteBook_Slideology

Nancy Duarte is a graphic designer, writer, and head of the presentation design firm Duarte Design. The firm is most notable for designing the award-winning Al Gore presentation-turned-movie, An Inconvenient Truth. In Slide:ology, she provides a great resource for getting inside the mind of a presentation designer and seeing how they think; conceptually and technically. The book breaks down the problems that people experience with PowerPoint, such as defaulting to bullet points or using clip art. This is a great read if you want to learn how to think about PowerPoint in a new, creative way.

2. Beyond Bullet Points by Cliff Atkinsonbbp

BBP hits on many of the subjects we’ve emphasized in our blog, and it’s a very good general how-to for good PowerPoint design. Naturally, a big point it makes is to avoid the use of bullet points in PowerPoint. Atkinson aptly observes that while bullet points are very easy to make, they’re difficult for the audience to comprehend and relate to. The book then hits on many other important themes in PowerPoint, such as the importance of storyboarding and the classic story arch.

 

 

3. Presentation Zen by Garr Reynoldszen-book1-x

Supreme overlord of the popular presentation blog presentationzen.com, Garr Reynolds has a lot to say on the art of presenting, and he’s compiled a good many of his thoughts in this book. A must read for any PowerPoint enthusiast or public speaker.

 

 

 

 

4. Speaking PowerPoint: The New Language of Business by Bruce Gabrielspeaking powerpoint

Compared to the more conceptual, creative ideas taught in the aforementioned books, this is more of a basic how-to. That’s not to say that Bruce Gabriel’s book on stolid PowerPoint design isn’t very useful. This book, written to be used by business people in boardroom presentations, is easy to comprehend and has a ton of practical application.
 

 

5. The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience by Carmine GalloSteve_Jobs_Cover[1]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aflac Uses SlideGenius to Present a New Data-Heavy Sales Strategy to Its Team

Recently, Aflac, the largest provider of supplemental insurance in the United States, utilized our PowerPoint prowess to create a presentation deck for internal use to promote a new sales strategy for their team. aflac2

Aflac has approximately 76,900 licensed sales associates in the U.S. and covers more than 50 million people worldwide, so internal training can be a daunting task for them.

An Aflac Insurance Agent needed to convey his effective new strategy to other sales associates. Insurance sales is drenched in statistics and probabilities, thus his presentation deck had a lot of data to incorporate in order to present his message effectively.

aflac1As we’ve said in the past, data and statistics can be very difficult to incorporate into a presentation in an engaging way, but when the prosperity of your company depends on getting these complex figures across clearly, this salesperson saw that he needed a professional PowerPoint designer to help visualize his data effectively.