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Quick PowerPoint Tips: Designing for SlideShare

Presentations are an effective way to get your brand and story out to the public. Thanks to SlideShare, there’s an easier way to reach an audience that might never get the chance to hear about your organization.

Since it was created in 2007, SlideShare has evolved into one of the biggest information sharing platforms in an easily accessible format. All you have to do is upload your PowerPoint presentations and you’ll be opening yourself up to a viewership that reaches up to 50 million visitors.

slideshare screencap
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Of course, this doesn’t automatically mean that your message will spread like wildfire. Not every presentation uploaded to SlideShare can become viral. As a different platform, SlideShare requires a different design.

Since you can’t include audio to explain your presentation, the slides you design will have to speak for themselves. Here are three important tips to help you do that:

SlideShare Tip 1: Aim for the right amount of text

We all know that lengthy paragraphs are a big PowerPoint mistake, but this advice is especially important for SlideShare. Although you won’t want to overwhelm your viewers with a barrage of text, you can’t have minimal, one-line phrases either.

Before you start designing your slides, make sure that your content is well-edited. Review your draft and cut out unnecessary words and sentences.

Aim for the most accurate explanation using as little words as possible. Your goal is to end up with copy that’s both concise and captivating.

An easy way to do this is by discussing one concept per slide.

To condense the information in your PowerPoint presentation, structure your ideas in a way that you can focus on one point at a time. Even if you end up with more slides than you expected, it won’t seem too long and bloated for viewers.

SlideShare Tip 2: Visuals make all the difference

Visuals play a particularly crucial role when you’re sharing presentations on SlideShare, perhaps more than in live presentations.

In front of an audience, you have the ability to command attention through dynamic movement and inflection.When your presentation stays behind the screen, it needs to find another way to pop out and become even more memorable.

This is where visuals make all the difference. If you want to command attention on SlideShare, make the most of images, colors, fonts, and other design elements and techniques.

Your first slide is especially important because this will serve as the thumbnail of your presentation.

SlideShare Tip 3: Maintain quality by uploading PowerPoint as PDF

You can upload your PowerPoint presentation in several formats. The only problem is that you might run into several issues regarding the quality of your presentation.

As presentation blogger, Jon Thomas wrote in his article on Social Fresh, different file formats yielded various results.

Uploading your presentation as a PowerPoint file, for example, will get you pixelated and compressed images. It might also affect the unique and custom fonts that you use.

Avoid issues by saving your file as a PDF. This allows you to main a polished and high-quality look.

Want more tips? Visit our SlideShare profile for more inspiration. There are also plenty of great ideas to be found in the featured section.

 

Reference

3 Lessons on Choosing Fonts for Your PowerPoint Design.” SlideGenius, Inc. January 14, 2015. Accessed January 21, 2015.
Abramovich, Giselle. “15 Mind-Blowing Stats About SlideShare.” CMO.com. March 12, 2014. Accessed January 21, 2015.
Make Your Point: 5 Tips for Editing Presentation Content.” SlideGenius, Inc. November 9, 2014. Accessed January 21, 2015.
PowerPoint Design Inspiration: What To Do With Marsala.” SlideGenius, Inc. January 19, 2015. Accessed January 21, 2015.
Slideshare Presentation How To, 5 Tips.” Social Fresh. Accessed January 21, 2015.

 

Featured Image: Death to the Stock Photo

PowerPoint Design Inspiration: What To Do With Marsala

Pantone Color Institute, the world’s leading color expert, recently announced their pick for 2015 Color of the Year. While their choice was initially met with some reservations, the warm and earthy Marsala remains an intriguing choice. Thanks to the rich narrative that goes behind the shade, Marsala is sure to inspire designers and creatives of every kind.

Seeing where the trends are heading, presenters should also consider incorporating the rich Marsala into their PowerPoint designs.

The narrative behind the color 

According to Pantone, Marsala represents the hearty and enriching qualities of “a fulfilling meal”. Thanks to its red-brown tones, the color also emanates a “sophisticated, natural earthiness.” The editorial pictures released by Pantone picture an elegant group of friends dining comfortably together.

As stated in the press release by executive director Lee Eiseman,

“Marsala enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability… Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal, while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.”

marsala 02 marsala 03

Following this narrative, Marsala is the perfect color for slides that want to depict a sense of luxury and a down-to-earth feel at the same time.

It’s the perfect choice for presentations and pitches around real estate, apparel, and retail. It will also help if you consider your organization’s own narrative. Think of the qualities that make your brand unique. If it matches with the qualities that are symbolized by Marsala, then Pantone’s choice is an obvious win.

Working Marsala into a color palette

There are plenty of ways to pair Marsala with other colors. Pantone came up with a total of 7 palettes that you can use for inspiration.

As listed on their website, Marsala’s warmth allows it to pop beside neutral colors like taupe and gray. Thanks to its rich undertones, it also works well with the colors amber, umber, as well as shades in golden yellow, green, and blue.

Color Palette: Pantone Color Palette: Pantone 2

To use similar looking palettes for your PowerPoint deck, make sure you temper these shades using a more neutral background. A PowerPoint color theme requires that you choose 2 light colors, 2 dark colors, and 6 accent colors.

Some factors to consider

Because Marsala is a rich and highly-nuanced shade, it’s important that you keep your slides balanced with a more minimalist design. You also need to make sure that the projector you’re using is working well. Busted bulbs might not pick up its wine-inspired tones. You’ll end up with a brownish shade instead. The same is true for printers.

If you plan to turn your presentation into a flipbook, make sure you use a high-quality printer to make sure the color’s integrity is maintained.

Marsala is a rich and vibrant color that tells a complex story.

While it’s primarily expected to appear in fashion, beauty, and interior design, there’s no reason you can’t incorporate it in PowerPoint design. Allow its rich and sensual shades inspire your presentation.

 

Reference

Basu, Tanya. “The Problem With Pantone’s Color of the Year.” The Atlantic. December 4, 2014. Accessed January 20, 2015.
INTRODUCING MARSALAPANTONE 18-1438.” PANTONE. Accessed January 20, 2015.
Turn Presentations into a Powerful Marketing Tool.” SlideGenius, Inc. July 23, 2014. Accessed January 20, 2015.

 

All images from Pantone.com

It’s Time to Change Up Your Elevator Pitch

When was the last time you delivered an elevator pitch? Did it help you achieve the outcome you were hoping for?

The elevator pitch is a concept that you’re probably already familiar with. In fact, you’ve likely crafted dozens of different versions in the years you’ve spent as a business professional.

The idea of an elevator pitch is to make the most of unexpected opportunities. You never know when the chance to reach out to prospects and pitch your new idea arises. If your elevator pitch is redundant and unremarkable, you can easily lose the opportunity to take your idea to the next level.

So, has your elevator pitch been working lately? If you’re feeling a little rusty, maybe it’s time to brush off the dust.

Here are our quick thoughts on how you can improve your elevator pitch:

It’s all about focusing on the main idea 

An elevator pitch has two characteristics:

First, it must be short enough to be delivered in a few minutes. Second, it must also be persuasive. Basically, your goal is to spark the interest of your listener in as little time as possible.

You’re not talking to get an immediate “yes”. Your elevator pitch is a quick introduction to your ideas for an opportunity to go further into details. What truly matters at this point is to get straight to the point and highlight the main idea.

To do that, focus on selling your story. That story should zero in on the main idea or the core message. Don’t spend too much time trying to explain details that may derail your conversation. Remember, because you only have a few minutes, focus on big moments.

By that, we mean getting to answer three crucial questions:

  • What do you do?
  • Why is it important?
  • How are you different from others?

Think of your elevator pitch as a movie trailer

In order to achieve the two characteristics of an elevator pitch, take some pointers from movie trailers. In an interview with Co.Create, Buddha Jones production house partner, John Long, imparts nine of the essential storytelling tips used in movie trailers.

A trailer is basically a synopsis of a movie. To urge viewers to watch a new release, editors condense a film to a sequence of clips that reveal basic facts about the movie’s narrative. Potential viewers are told what the story is about, who the characters are, and what potential problems they’ll face.

However, they also leave room for curiosity. By keeping the preview within certain boundaries, trailers urge the audience to seek out the answers to “what happens next?” and “how will this end?”

Similar to that, an elevator pitch is the synopsis of a longer and more complete presentation. While a traditional pitch might require you to give details about your business and activities, an elevator pitch is supposed to leave room for further questions.

As we mentioned earlier, you’re not trying to seal the deal here. What you’re trying to achieve is a better chance to converse and convince your prospect. Leave out the heavier details in your elevator pitch and focus on the premise instead.

Conclusion

All in all, the way to a better elevator pitch is to get a handle on the bare bones of your presentation. Go back to the most fundamental details of your pitch and make sure they stand out.

This isn’t about bombarding the audience with well-researched facts and data. An elevator pitch is about getting to the heart of the matter.

Get started on changing up your elevator pitch. Who knows? You might take the elevator with someone that could be your biggest client or investor yet. Don’t miss out on a perfectly great opportunity.

 

References

Hart, Hugh. “9 (Short) Storytelling Tips From A Master Of Movie Trailers.” Co.Create. May 29, 2014. Accessed January 14, 2015.
Steps to Mastering a Killer Elevator Pitch | SlideGenius.” SlideGenius, Inc.. June 10, 2014. Accessed January 14, 2015.

 

Featured Image: Thomas R. Stegelmann via Flickr

Why Simplicity Wins When it Comes to PowerPoint Slides

PowerPoint slides play an important role in successful presentations.

Before you load your deck with information, take a step back and approach the task with scrutinizing eyes.

As we’ve mentioned before, your slides should serve as a visual aid. What you present to the audience should contribute to the delivery of your core message.

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Most of the time, presenters tend to create PowerPoint slides that are overloaded with too much information. Instead of using their PowerPoint deck as a way to highlight main points, it becomes the focal point of the presentation.

According to research, this becomes a problem for both you and your audience.

Presentation science: Why simplicity is crucial to PowerPoint slides

In a study conducted by Christof Wecker, it was concluded that overloaded PowerPoint slides distract the audience from listening to the presenter’s explanation.

Because the participants were shown slides loaded with information, the attention of the audience is split between two things: struggling to keep up with what the presenter was saying, or reading the slides and ignoring the explanation.

Their concentration and ability to absorb information became compromised.

In cases like these, Wecker noted that it might be better to just present with no visuals at all. However, the real solution is creating simpler and more concise slides. All you have to do is focus on the most basic and crucial points of your content.

When your slides highlight key takeaways, you can help the audience reach maximum information retention.

As social science blogger Eric Horowitz wrote to explain the study:

Wecker found that the suppression of oral information was correlated with the subjective importance a person placed on slides. In other words, slides interfere with the retention of oral information because people often judge information on slides to be more important.

Tips and tricks: Making PowerPoint slides that work

That said, it’s easy to see why your overloaded PowerPoint slides have been putting audiences to sleep. To keep your presentations comprehensible, make sure that your visuals remain simple and straightforward. There are many ways to achieve simplicity in PowerPoint design. Here are just a few of the most basic tips:

  • Draft your ideas before attempting to make a PowerPoint deck. Outline the points you want to make and lay them out in a storyboard. This will give you the opportunity to arrange your presentation properly and edit out unnecessary details.
  • You can keep your slides minimal by limiting your use of text. Examine the content you have and try to get your point across in quick and simple sentences. Images can also be used to describe ideas that are a bit more complex and might require longer explanations.
  • Some PowerPoint features can also help keep your slides streamlined and simple. You can use PowerPoint’s Note section to keep detailed explanations out of your main slides.
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References:

Add Speaker Notes to Your Slides.” Office Blogs. Accessed January 8, 2015.
Create a SmartArt Graphic.” Office Blogs. Accessed January 8, 2015.
Horowitz, Eric. “Why You Need Concise PowerPoint Slides – Peer-reviewed by My Neurons.” Peer-reviewed by My Neurons. February 18, 2012. Accessed January 8, 2015.
How to Organize Your Ideas with a Presentation Storyboard.” SlideGenius, Inc.. September 1, 2014. Accessed January 8, 2015.
Visual Simplicity Is Captivating in Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc.. September 30, 2014. Accessed January 8, 2015.
Wecker, Christof. “Slide Presentations as Speech Suppressors: When and Why Learners Miss Oral Information.” Elsevier 59, no. 2 (2012): 260-73. Accessed January 8, 2015.

 

Featured Image: D Sharon Pruitt via Flickr

Listen Here: 5 Podcasts for the Busy Professional

With their recent popularity, podcasts can serve as the perfect information platform for busy professionals.

Unlike books, you can listen to podcasts and digest the same amount of information while you’re on the go. You don’t have to worry about setting aside a specific chunk of time from your schedule. You can easily garner useful facts and skills while you’re in the gym or going to work. For this reason, we’ve collected some podcasts that you can plug in if you’re looking to improve your business know-how, particularly in the areas of marketing and presentations.

1.) The Public Speaker’s Quick and Dirty Tips 

the public speaker podcast

Hosted by Lisa B. Marshall, this podcast offers exactly what its title suggests—easy-to-digest tips on presentations and public speaking. If you’re looking for a way to improve your communication skills, Lisa will answer questions and delve into presentation-related topics one episode at a time. While her discussions are usually pretty in-depth and exhaustive, she relays information without overwhelming her listeners. Best of all, you can easily check out the QDT website for a transcript in case you miss an episode.

2.) Marketing Over Coffee 

marketing over coffee podcast

Just like ‘The Public Speaker,’ this podcast airs bite-sized discussions that are exhaustive but not overwhelming. Hosted by John Wall and Christopher Penn, ‘Marketing Over Coffee’ covers a host of topics about traditional and digital marketing. In a span of about 20 minutes, you can learn helpful marketing techniques and easy-to-follow tips.  They’ve also done interviews with industry personalities such as Seth Godin, David Meerman Scott, and Simon Sinek. You can check this link for more information about the podcast and find notable episodes to download.

3.) Your Grand Idea

your grand idea podcast

Are you just starting up your business? If so, ‘Your Grand Idea’ is the perfect podcast for you. Hosted by Todd Skaggs and Kevin Carter, the podcast covers a wide variety of tips and case studies that will help your new venture move forward. What’s a better way to learn than by listening to the experiences of other entrepreneurs and professionals? Start listening to the 33 episodes available by visiting their website.

4.) The Toastmasters Podcast

toastmasters podcast

For more public speaking lessons, you can also tune into the Toastmasters Podcast. With hosts Bo Bennett, Ryan Levesque, and Greg Gazin, this podcast offers in-depth discussions that will help anyone improve their presentation skills. From lessons on using props during presentations to interviews with noted industry professionals, this podcast almost serves as a crash course on communication in the workplace. If you find yourself struggling with public speaking, the Toastmasters Podcast is a helpful antidote. Here’s a complete list of their available episodes.

5.) The Friday Hangout 

the friday hangout podcast

This podcast—hosted by Janet Fouts, Adam Helweh, and Steve Farnsworth—zeroes in on marketing in the digital world. There are plenty of discussions on social media marketing, branding, and PR to learn from, as well as interviews with a number of notable guests. The best thing about this podcast is how the three hosts inject elements of humor and fun in each episode, so it doesn’t feel like what you’re doing is all just for work. If you’re looking for a podcast that’s both engaging and informative, you can start listening to ‘The Friday Hangout’ here.

Podcasts can be your best source of information for today’s fast-moving world. Despite your tight schedule, you don’t have to forego learning important lessons that can help move your career forward. All you have to do is subscribe to these podcasts, plug in your headphones, and take a quick listen.

 

Featured Image: Robert Couse-Baker via flickr

New Year’s Resolutions: The Presentation Edition

The new year will always usher in plenty of opportunities. Be ready for a productive and fulfilling year by learning to improve your communication skills. Professional success relies on our ability to present and share new ideas. If you want your projects to keep moving forward, you need to focus on improving your skills as a presenter.

Keep your ideas afloat and the audience engaged with our own version of New Year’s resolutions:

1.) Start integrating storytelling into your presentations

You can’t separate storytelling from the presentations you deliver. It’s not enough to recite facts in front of your audience. Whether you’re pitching to investors or convincing clients to get on board, a story is the most powerful tool in your arsenal. That’s because stories are built right into our DNA. As social beings, we connect with each other through storytelling. What better way to get the audience to sit up and listen than by sharing a great story?

So what makes a great story? How can you spin your presentation into a compelling narrative? There are three things you need. First, you need to start with a message that resonates with your audience. Next, you need to have a character they can relate to. Lastly, you need to structure your presentation in a way that really pulls the audience in.

2.) Deliver a better presentation by fixing structure

Structure isn’t just important to presentation storytelling. Creating a well-structured presentation is also helpful for the audience. If you create a clear and discernable structure, they’ll be able to follow what you’re saying much easier. They won’t feel like you’re dumping a huge amount of information because you’ve carefully arranged them in a way that makes sense.

Aside from making sure that your presentation has a discernible beginning, middle, and end, keep all your points and arguments grouped according to specific themes. According to Barbara Minto’s Pyramid Principle, you can tackle one theme at a time, and the audience can easily categorize your ideas into groups.

3.) Improve the quality of your presentations through practice

Of course, you can’t expect to improve your skills without putting in some work. Aside from making sure your presentation is perfected, you also have to improve the quality of your delivery. You won’t be able to do that without taking the time to practice.

A lot of people think they can ‘wing’ their presentations. However, presentations are more than just being familiar with your materials. You also need to know the proper way to address the audience. The only way you can prepare for that is by rehearsing the way you’ll speak and move in front of people.

4.) Create a memorable experience by appealing to emotions

A presentation doesn’t have to be a dull affair just because you’re delivering an informative report. You can still create a memorable presentation that’s accurate and straight to the point. Strive to create a significant connection with the audience by appealing to their emotions.

What emotions are significant to your presentation? Do you want to make this a light-hearted affair? Or do you want to deliver a sense of urgency? Think of your emotional anchor and plan your presentation around it. Make sure your story and visuals contribute to conveying it. You should also focus on how you deliver your presentation. Emotions are also conveyed through speech and movement, so be mindful of your body language.

2015 brings an abundance of new opportunities. Don’t let them go to waste. Make sure all your points are well-presented. Deliver better presentations and achieve greater outcomes with these helpful but oft-neglected tips.

 

References

The Minto Pyramid Principle: A Powerful and Compelling Process for Producing Everyday Business Documents.” Barbara Minto. Accessed January 11, 2016.
Zak, Paul. “Why Your Brain Loves Good Storytelling.” Harvard Business Review. October 28, 2014. Accessed January 11, 2016.

Featured Image: picjumbo.com

The Pyramid Principle: Tips for Presentation Structure

There’s no easier way to lose the attention of your audience than by dumping too much information on them.

When you’re delivering a presentation, it’s important to a structure that everyone can follow. This structure needs to keep everything concise and straight to the point. It should allow one point to flow to the next in a logical manner. After all, the audience will find it confusing to hear wayward and tangential points. Luckily, learning Barbara Minto’s Pyramid Principle will keep you on the right track.

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Basically, the Pyramid Principle is a communication technique that allows you to to structure your points and arguments properly. It works by introducing a thesis statement before going into points and arguments that support it. Like a pyramid, the information you present should branch out as you move on towards specific details of the discussion. As written on Minto’s website,

“Extended thinking eventually ends in a single pyramid of ideas, at many levels, obeying logical rules, and held together by a single thought. Communicating the thinking requires only that you guide the reader down the pyramid.”

In other words, we can break down the Pyramid Principle into three main points:

1. Start with your thesis statement or key takeaway
2. Group arguments into main points
3. Branch out to discuss supporting details

If you map out your presentation, the structure would follow a hierarchy that look like this:

pyramid principle

As you can see, your presentation will be held together by single, key idea. To prove your statement, you will several different arguments that are grouped according to similarities. After that, you will discuss each detail as you move from one main point to the next.

To give you a better sense of the Pyramid Principle, let’s get into each of its three main points:

Start with your thesis statement or key takeaway

Following the Pyramid Principle, the best way to start your presentation is by laying out your conclusion immediately.

For business communication, it’s important to give the audience a clear idea about which direction you’re heading. While everyday conversations with friends will usually have a slow build up to a conclusion, talking with potential clients and investors are a different scenario. Considering the limited time we usually get with prospects, getting straight to the point obviously makes a lot of sense. In turn, this also allows them to see where you’ll be taking your discussion.

Group arguments into main points

With your takeaway presented, it’s time to delve into your main discussion. According to the Pyramid Principle, the next level involves grouping together all your arguments into main points. Each point will be a summary of specific supporting details that you’ll get into one by one.

Branch out to discuss supporting details

Finally, you can start getting into each of your main points by branching out to your supporting details. The idea is to keep everything under one theme so that the audience can easily picture how each item is related to one another.

Before arranging your presentation using the Pyramid Principle, you need to be sure of all the details of your content. You’ll need to brainstorm and draft out all of your ideas first. From there, you can edit your outline using either deductive or inductive reasoning.

You can start from the bottom up—deciding on all the points you want to make, grouping them together by theme,  and finally deducting your main takeaway. You can also start the opposite way—figure out the premise of your presentation, thinking of arguments what would make it valid, and then draft supporting details for each.

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Featured Image: martin_vmorris via Flickr

How to Share Your Prezi for Any Type of Audience

After creating the perfect prezi, it’s time to share your ideas with the world. For this week’s Prezi Feature, we discuss the different ways you can share your presentation and reach out to any type of audience. 

It took some time to get there, but you’ve finally finished creating the perfect prezi. After reviewing your presentation one last time, you decide that it’s ready to reach the eyes (and ears) of a larger crowd. So how do you make sure that your prezi reaches its intended audience? Well, it will all depend on who you’re trying to reach out to. Did you make your prezi for a big pitch? Is it a part of your content marketing campaign? Are you leading an online meeting with attendees scattered all over the country? Whatever the case, it’s easy to present and share your prezi any way you want.

Portable Prezi: For a traditional audience

Whether it’s inside a boardroom or an auditorium, traditional presentations are delivered directly to an audience. For situations like these, you might find yourself with one very practical concern. What if the venue you’re presenting at doesn’t have a reliable Internet connection? How can you use your prezi if you can’t access it online? To avoid any awkward mishaps, take the extra step to download a portable prezi.

Basically, a portable prezi is just the downloaded version of your presentation file. It’s something you can access on a Mac or PC without the use of an Internet connection, working the same way that a PowerPoint file would. It’s a great way to make sure your prezi is ready to go once you begin setting up inside the presentation venue.

To get your portable prezi, head to your library and click on the presentation you want to save. Next, find the ”Download‘ button at the bottom of your Prezi player.

share prezi 01

When the pop-up window appears, choose the ‘Presenting‘ option. Hit the blue button and just wait for your download to finish. If you encounter an error, Prezi will quickly prompt you to restart your download.

 

 

share prezi - portable prezi

When the whole process is over, you’ll get a ZIP file in your hard drive. Unzip the folder and click on the .exe file if you’re a PC user or the Prezi file if you’re on Mac.

Embedding Prezis: For a content marketing campaign

Another way you might want to share a prezi is by including it in your content marketing campaign. If this is the case, you can easily embed your prezi on to your company blog or website.

Access the prezi you want to share through your library and click on the ‘Embed‘ button underneath the player. When the pop-up window appears, all you have to do is copy the HTML code and paste it to wherever you’re editing your content.

share prezi 02

You can also adjust the size of the embedded prezi, and determine whether your audience will be free to pan and zoom across your presentation.

Present Remotely: For an audience gathered online

What about scenarios when you have to deliver the entirety of your presentation online? If you’re presenting to an audience that can only gather online, you have the choice to present your prezi remotely.

Like in the last two methods, all you have to do is access your prezi through the library. This time, you’ll need to click on the ‘Present Remotely‘ button below the Prezi player.  Once the pop-up appears, copy the link that’s provided to you and send it to your audience. Once everyone has the link, you can click on ‘Start remote presentation‘.

share prezi 04

You can have up to 30 individuals following your presentation and they don’t have to be Prezi users. However, when other Prezi users are following your presentation, you’ll see their avatars pop-up at the side of the screen. To turn the presentation over to any one of them, you can click on their avatars and choose ‘Hand over presentation‘.

As you can see, it’s not that hard to share a prezi to your intended audience. In fact, you can do it with relative ease. After all your work to polish both content and design, your prezi deserves a wider audience.

 

Featured Image: Featured Image: Death to the Stock Photo / Prezi logo via Wikimedia Commons

Prezi Design Tips: How to Leverage Your Brand

A company’s brand is an integral part of its identity. For this week’s Prezi feature, we discuss a few ways you can incorporate branding to make sure your presentations stand out from the competition. 

Whether it’s a small business or a multinational corporation, branding is always a process that’s integral to any organization. That’s why it’s important to make sure your brand is in the presentations you deliver. No matter how well-designed, it’s not enough to use stock templates and illustrations. You need to present visuals that highlight your company’s story and experience. If you want to stand out from your competition, branding your presentation is a step you can’t afford to skip.

In Prezi, an easy way to start branding your presentation is by uploading your own custom logo. If you’re either a Pro, EDU Pro, Enjoy, or EDU Enjoy user, you can replace the Prezi logo that appears by default in the lower left  corner.

brand prezi 01
Replace the logo with your company’s own logo by upgrading your Prezi plan.

All you have to do is head to the Theme Wizard by clicking on ‘Customize’ and choosing ‘Advanced’ from the right sidebar. From there, you’ll easily find the “Upload custom logo” feature. You can watch this video tutorial for a step-by-step review of the process.

 

Of course, uploading your logo is only the first step to fully branding your presentation. After all, the logo is only a single component of your company’s entire brand. You still need to make sure that the rest of your design remains consistent with your company’s core message and identity. To do that, you need to create a prezi that tells the complete story.

Here are some things you can keep in mind when building a presentation to leverage your brand:

Look to your logo to make font and color choices

brand prezi 04
The logo is your first source of inspiration when branding a presentation. (View Prezi)

One of the easiest ways to brand your presentation is by looking to your logo for some quick inspiration. It’s important to keep your integral design elements consistent with the visual representation of your brand. Head back to the Theme Wizard and customize your prezi by choosing colors and fonts that work well with your logo. Your choices doesn’t have to be directly similar. In fact, a bit of variety can add some interest to the look of your presentation. However, keep in mind that the fonts and colors you pick should still be compatible with the overall look of your logo.

Use images that fit your brand’s personality

brand prezi 03
The visuals that enhance your design should be consistent with your brand’s personality. (View Prezi)

You should also make sure that the images in your presentation are a perfect representation of your brand’s personality. You can check this resource to uncover more details about this. Once you have everything figured out, sit down for a quick brainstorming session. List down the words that come to mind when you think of the qualities that make your brand unique. You can then use your list to come up with keywords that will facilitate your search for the perfect pictures and illustrations.

Think of a visual metaphor that describes what you do 

brand prezi 02
Keep your brand story engaging by finding the perfect visual metaphor. (View Prezi)

You can also turn your story into a visual metaphor that will give the audience more insight about what you do. Designer Meghan Hendricks created a presentation to illustrate how an architecture firm made use of Prezi to pitch to a big client. In order to tell a story that corresponds to their brand, she used a blueprint as the design’s central metaphor. For your own presentation, think of an object or symbol that perfectly describes the service or product you’re offering. If you want to make sure that your presentation is as unique as your brand, stay away from cliches by taking the time to brainstorm and  hash out your ideas.

Presentations are the perfect opportunity to leverage your brand. Make sure your design remains consistent with your core message and identity by following these tips.

 

Featured Image: Featured Image: Death to the Stock Photo / Prezi logo via Wikimedia Commons

The Road to Delivering a Persuasive Presentation

As we frequently point out, the success of your presentation is measured through the impact it makes on the audience. If you can move them to action and persuade them to consider new ideas, then you’ll know that you’ve done your job right. Whether you’re pitching to investors, selling a product, or sharing your thoughts as an expert in a conference, the main goal is to convince and connect with the audience. As the presenter, you need to show them that your viewpoint is valid and worth their interest. Delivering a persuasive presentation is the quickest route toward this outcome.

So what does it take to deliver a persuasive presentation? What do you need to do to enthrall and engage an audience? Here are 3 essential things you’ll need to keep in mind:

Start with a powerful hook

A persuasive presentation should always start with something that will capture the attention of your audience. According to some experts, presenters only have 60 seconds to make a positive impression on stage. If you can’t begin to engage the audience within that time, you might lose their attention quickly. That’s why it’s important to start with a hook. Whether or not you have longer than a few seconds, it’s important to begin with something that will make people sit up with curiosity.

The best way to do that is by creating a sense of familiarity and relatability. Try to approach your presentation from the point of view of the audience. Show them that your presentation is more than just a collection of facts and data. Let them see that your presentation is actually relevant to their experience.

This is where storytelling is particularly effective. A story is a great way to appeal to emotions. You can share something from your own experience or share a scenario that emphasizes the perspective of the audience. This is especially crucial if you’re delivering a sales pitch. Try to describe a vivid story that situates your audience as the protagonist, highlighting problems that you can solve.

Give your audience something to look forward to

At the heart of it, a persuasive presentation is all about being able to sell an idea. To do that, think about your own experience as a consumer. Why do you choose certain brands over others? Why are you compelled to try out new products? For both scenarios, it’s because you’re offered something you want or need. In other words, products make certain promises that interest you.

The same should be said about your presentations. In order to “sell” your own ideas, you have to make a promise that the audience can look forward to. Consider the 2007 Apple Keynote where Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone. There, he repeatedly mentioned that their new product was going to “reinvent the phone“. Looking forward to this promise, 700,000 units were bought by consumers within the first weekend of its release.

While it’s important to make powerful statements, you should also keep them grounded with supporting facts and data. In his keynote, Steve Jobs provided quick demos, stats, and visuals to strengthen his message. The only promises you should be making are the ones you are sure you can keep. Offer the audience evidence to bolster the validity of your message. Aside from research data, you can also share some testimonials or demonstrations. Let them determine that your presentation is both powerful and reliable.

End with a call to action

When you reach the end of your presentation, it’s not enough to say thank you and quietly ask for questions. First, you’ll need to reiterate your main points, making sure that the main takeaway is clear for the audience to see. Next, you’ll need to urge them to take positive action.

Tailor a Call to Action statement that’s specific to the outcome you’re aiming for. After you’ve shared your ideas, it’s time to give the audience a particular goal or objective they can act on. What do you want to happen as a result of your presentation? Your answer to this question should be echoed to the audience in a strong and straightforward voice.

As we’ve mentioned in an earlier blog post, you need to be brief and straight to the point. Avoid using phrases that sound like you’re beating around the bush. Statements such as “if it interests you, maybe you can consider…” make it sound like you’re hedging. You need to show confidence in your presentation. If you’re confident about your presentation, the audience will surely feel the same way.
There are no shortcuts to a successful presentation, but the quickest route is through the art of persuasion. By delivering a persuasive presentation, you  can move the audience to consider and affirm new ideas. Follow these 3 tips to drive your audience into action and achieve the outcome that you’re hoping for.

 

Featured Image: Corey Leopold via Flickr