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Aristotle and the Art of Persuasion: Delivering a Persuasive Sales Pitch

Influence should be your main concern when it comes to speaking before an audience–may it be consumers, employees, teammates, or potential investors. Your goal is to make an impact big enough to either change your audience’s opinion or strengthen an already existing point of view.

The point of an effective sales pitch is to persuade your audience into buying or to think about your presentation, may it be a product, service, or concept. To do so, you must appeal to the listeners and convince then that what you’re offering is the most favorable choice.

The content and design of your custom PowerPoint should work together to convince your audience.

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The Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) was incredibly influential, especially that he made significant and lasting contributions to various aspects of human knowledge. One of his concepts included the modes of persuasion, which, according to him, can be furnished by the spoken word. These are as follows:

Ethos (Credibility)

Delivering a Persuasive Sales Pitch: Ethos (Credibility)

When delivering a presentation, you must assert your credibility and intelligence as a speaker. Your tone, pitch, and diction help establish this–you have to look and feel confident. Stage presence is also necessary in gaining the audience’s trust.

How do these factors translate to your PowerPoint presentation?

Include your credentials in a self-introduction slide.

Let your audience know who you are and what you specialize in, as these give your listeners a sneak peek into your expertise. If you have achievements that would help build your credibility as a speaker in the field, the better.

Leverage your credibility by quoting other industry experts.

Quoting industry experts add value to your presentation. It shows how familiar you are with the topic, boosting your credibility.

Pathos (Emotion)

Delivering a Persuasive Sales Pitch: Pathos (Emotion)

The emotional content of your presentation makes it more memorable. That said, you become a better speaker when you have the ability to work with your audience’s emotions just as you handle your own.

How will you add an emotional factor to your slides?

Tell a story.

Stories can get in touch with your audience on a personal level, hence making it an effective presentation technique. The more people can relate to it, the better they understand what the pitch is all about.

Rehearse your pitch in front of other people and have them give you feedback. Remember that storytelling can either make or break your presentation so you have to make sure that the story you’re sharing is appropriate for your audience.

Evoke emotions through visuals.

Colors have the power to change or reinforce your audience’s mood in a matter of seconds. Apart from the design itself, companies that build presentation decks put the palette they use into careful consideration.

Logos (Logic)

Delivering a Persuasive Sales Pitch: Logos (Logic)

Aristotle emphasized the appeal to logic and reasoning the most. Once you’ve captured your audience’s attention, the next step is to take action. Convince them that the change or action is within reason and in their best interest.

Survey results, market data, trends–the last mode of persuasion is the most common and the easiest to incorporate into a presentation.

How can you incorporate logic and reasoning into your custom PowerPoint presentation design?

Use backup in the form of case studies and testimonials.

When you include these into your presentation, it shows the effects of the practices, ideas, products, or services, in action.

Use common concepts as analogies and make comparisons.

Explaining complex concepts may not be an easy feat, but if you make the right analogies and comparison, those who may not know much about the subject can easily understand the topic.

While these strategies may seem obvious to many people, there are still those who are miss out on the advantages that these pointers give to the presentation itself, making them bland and unconvincing.

Hopefully, you apply these to your next sales pitch. Not only will you improve your credibility, but these will increase your confidence, too.

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References:

Brooks, Chad. “Get Emotional: 5 Ways to Give Better Presentations.” Business News Daily. September 12, 2014. https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/7117-give-better-presentations.html

Zetlin, Minda. “5 Presentation Tips: How to be a Stronger Storyteller.” The Enterprisers Project. February 6, 2018. https://enterprisersproject.com/article/2018/2/5-presentation-tips-how-be-stronger-storyteller

History.com Staff. “Aristotle.” A+E Networks. 2009. http://www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/aristotle

The Art of Persuasion: Delivering a Persuasive Sales Pitch

Influence should be your main concern when it comes to speaking before an audience–may it be consumers, employees, teammates, or potential investors. Your goal is to make an impact big enough to either change your audience’s opinion or strengthen an already existing point of view.

The point of an effective sales pitch is to persuade your audience into buying or to think about your presentation, may it be a product, service, or concept. To do so, you must appeal to the listeners and convince then that what you’re offering is the most favorable choice.

The content and design of your custom PowerPoint should work together to convince your audience.

SlideGenius Blog Module One

We redesign PowerPoint presentations.

Get your free quote now.

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The Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) was incredibly influential, especially that he made significant and lasting contributions to various aspects of human knowledge. One of his concepts included the modes of persuasion, which, according to him, can be furnished by the spoken word. These are as follows:

Ethos (Credibility)

Delivering a Persuasive Sales Pitch: Ethos (Credibility)

When delivering a presentation, you must assert your credibility and intelligence as a speaker. Your tone, pitch, and diction help establish this–you have to look and feel confident. Stage presence is also necessary in gaining the audience’s trust.

How do these factors translate to your PowerPoint presentation?

Include your credentials in a self-introduction slide.

Let your audience know who you are and what you specialize in, as these give your listeners a sneak peek into your expertise. If you have achievements that would help build your credibility as a speaker in the field, the better.

Leverage your credibility by quoting other industry experts.

Quoting industry experts add value to your presentation. It shows how familiar you are with the topic, boosting your credibility.

Pathos (Emotion)

Delivering a Persuasive Sales Pitch: Pathos (Emotion)

The emotional content of your presentation makes it more memorable. That said, you become a better speaker when you have the ability to work with your audience’s emotions just as you handle your own.

How will you add an emotional factor to your slides?

Tell a story.

Stories can get in touch with your audience on a personal level, hence making it an effective presentation technique. The more people can relate to it, the better they understand what the pitch is all about.

Rehearse your pitch in front of other people and have them give you feedback. Remember that storytelling can either make or break your presentation so you have to make sure that the story you’re sharing is appropriate for your audience.

Evoke emotions through visuals.

Colors have the power to change or reinforce your audience’s mood in a matter of seconds. Apart from the design itself, companies that build presentation decks put the palette they use into careful consideration.

Logos (Logic)

Delivering a Persuasive Sales Pitch: Logos (Logic)

Aristotle emphasized the appeal to logic and reasoning the most. Once you’ve captured your audience’s attention, the next step is to take action. Convince them that the change or action is within reason and in their best interest.

Survey results, market data, trends–the last mode of persuasion is the most common and the easiest to incorporate into a presentation.

How can you incorporate logic and reasoning into your custom PowerPoint presentation design?

Use backup in the form of case studies and testimonials.

When you include these into your presentation, it shows the effects of the practices, ideas, products, or services, in action.

Use common concepts as analogies and make comparisons.

Explaining complex concepts may not be an easy feat, but if you make the right analogies and comparison, those who may not know much about the subject can easily understand the topic.

While these strategies may seem obvious to many people, there are still those who are miss out on the advantages that these pointers give to the presentation itself, making them bland and unconvincing.

Hopefully, you apply these to your next sales pitch. Not only will you improve your credibility, but these will increase your confidence, too.

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Pointers for Planning a Successful Webinar

Preparation is a critical step in any type of campaign, including hosting webinars. To produce a successful one, you need to lay out all the steps leading to the actual event. It might be tempting to jump straight to the promotion stage, especially if you have a winning topic and a celebrated speaker, but no excuse can justify skipping the planning part. Without a solid plan in place, you may run the risk of delivering a lackluster presentation that will only prove to be a waste of time, effort, and money.

Planning a webinar may seem like a daunting task, but it’s necessary if you want a worthwhile output. Part of the process is creating a checklist that will solidify your strategy. You don’t have to worry about the technicality of it all. With the abundance of tools you have at your disposal, you can plan an online seminar even with limited technological expertise. And besides, every bit of effort you make will be worth the rewards you’ll reap in the end.

Can a Webinar Help Reach Your Business Goals?

You’d think the answer to that question is an unwavering yes, but it actually depends on the goals you aim to achieve. While it’s true that webinars are an effective marketing tool, they only work in certain contexts. So, before planning one, make sure it will leave a positive impact on your business.

What exactly are webinars for? For one, they’re a good training and outreach tool. You can use them to share your expertise to your target audience. Webinars are also effective for getting the word out to your customers when rolling out a new product. When done right, it can help you move customers further down the sales funnel and reposition yourself as an industry thought leader.

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Resources:

Berdeal-Skelly, Michelle. “6 Tips to Planning a Successful Webinar.” Find and Convert. October 14, 2014. www.findandconvert.com/2014/10/6-tips-to-planning-a-successful-webinar

Gilbert-Knight, Ariel. “10 Steps for Planning a Successful Webinar.” TechSoup. September 2, 2016. www.techsoup.org/support/articles-and-how-tos/10-steps-for-planning-a-successful-webinar

Sibley, Amanda. “10 Things That Take a Webinar From Good to Great.” HubSpot. January 3, 2014. blog.hubspot.com/marketing/webinar-planning-list#sm.0000w6nx4vstbcwkqnc12umt2kzcx

“15 Tips for a Successful Webinar.” MegaMeeting. n.d. www.megameeting.com/15_Successful_Webinar_Tips_Part1.html

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PowerPoint as a Communication Tool When Rebranding a Business

Every company experiences a rut. Perhaps it’s because of the ever-changing world, technology (and the lack of capability or desire to adapt), and/or a new management. It may even be the work of external circumstances. A strong yet underhanded competitor, maybe? Whatever the case, when your company is losing steam, there’s a fix. But it will take a lot of time and effort.

You know what it is. Rebranding. Not all companies need one since it’s very risky. But what about those that do? There have been success stories and huge failures. It’s a long campaign, and taking shortcuts may very well compromise everything: years of history, customer trust, employee loyalty, etc.

Any self-respecting entrepreneur knows that those are just as important as every ounce of effort you put into your business. That fact alone makes it risky from the get-go, but any miscalculated step you take is a potential snowball waiting to roll down. In short, disregarding a lot of considerations during a rebranding will only make things worse.

When it’s time to say goodbye to the old and say hello to the new, every person involved must be on the same page. For each process, everybody should work towards the same short- and long-term goal. Since rebranding doesn’t happen overnight, the possibility of people getting ahead—and, of course, people lacking behind—grows more or more. So letting each level of the hierarchy know what, where, and why is essential.

This, then, is corporate communication. Because you’ve got a lot of pointers, conditions, and rules you need to cover, transparency and reachability are definite musts. And what’s a better communication and presentation tool to use than Microsoft PowerPoint? Nothing, according to an awesome presentation design agency. Check this infographic on how you could leverage communication with your people in the best way possible.

[vc_raw_html]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[/vc_raw_html]

 

Resources:

DeMers, Jayson. “5 Examples of Rebranding Done Right.” Forbes. July 7, 2016. www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2016/07/07/5-examples-of-rebranding-done-right/#3c8c60492124

Shandrow, Kim Lachance. “The 8 Must-Follow Rules for Rebranding Your Company (Infographic).” Entrepreneur. September 10, 2014. www.entrepreneur.com/article/237296

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5 Tips to Help You Finish Your PowerPoint Deck on Time

Your presentations aren’t the only tasks you have to accomplish at work.

As much as you want to prepare a well-planned deck, your busy schedule might not permit you to do so.

You need to balance content and design to deliver a winning pitch.

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To avoid a presentation snafu, work on your PowerPoint while maximizing your time.

Here are five tips to finish your PowerPoint deck before the deadline:

Review your schedule and move things around

Preparing for a presentation is a long process.

It’s better to finish tasks gradually than try to do everything in one go. That way, you have the leeway to aim for quality and focus on one thing as you go along.

Check your schedule and see if there are things you can move around to make space for your tasks. Work around your free time and split up what you have to do.

Even if you’re days away from the big presentation, organize a to-do list to maximize the time you have left.

Prioritize tasks accordingly

If you’re finishing your deck on a tight deadline, you need to learn how to prioritize. Accomplish your PowerPoint deck following a particular order.

Start with a structure for your presentation before drafting the content and finally working on your slide design. This hierarchy will determine which direction you should take your PowerPoint deck, so make sure you have a solid foundation before you move on to the next task.

Look around the web for inspiration 

Coming up with your own design concept isn’t that hard. For one, there’s plenty of inspiration to be found by browsing around the Internet.

You can check out these links to see what type of aesthetic you’d like to go for in your presentation:

Re-purpose old presentations 

Save yourself time by working with something you already have. In his article for Content Marketing Institute, Vertical Measures CEO Arnie Kuenn suggests repurposing previous content for marketing strategies to save time and money.

Similarly, this principle can apply to your overall presentation as well. Review your old files and find some PowerPoint files that you can easily edit and turn into a different presentation. Change up the color scheme or replace images you used with new ones you found online. Be as resourceful as you can.

Perfection is the last step

While you need to make sure that each task is accomplished properly, don’t try to chase perfection just yet.

Due to your limited time frame, you can’t spend too much time ironing out details.

The most important thing is to finish your PowerPoint deck. Once you’ve done that, review your presentation one last time and tweak the areas that may need improvement.

If you run out of time , it’s better to present a complete PowerPoint deck than something that looks hurried and incomplete.

Preparing an effective PowerPoint deck will take some effort. Make sure you maximize the time you have by taking note of these easy tips.

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References:

Kuenn, Arnie. “Repurposing Benefits.” Content Marketing Institute. October 28, 2013. Accessed March 12, 2015.
The Pyramid Principle: Tips for Presentation Structure.” SlideGenius, Inc. December 21, 2014. Accessed March 12, 2015.

 

Featured Image: Life of Pix

A Guide to Making a PowerPoint Style Guide

Corporations and organizations often use a style guide to ensure that all their visual materials maintain a consistent and cohesive look.

Because it’s impossible to keep track of every PowerPoint deck created in such an environment, a style guide guarantees that every presentation will correspond to your organization’s brand identity.

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Before starting on your style guide, familiarize yourself with PowerPoint’s Slide Master function to create and customize templates first. This makes it easier to accomplish once you begin distributing it throughout the organization.

Here are areas you need to focus on:

Leverage branding

Every design rule or suggestion that you put down should contribute to your branding efforts. As we’ve discussed in the past, an easy way to integrate branding into PowerPoint design is through the clever use of colors.

Set down some rules on the color scheme that everyone should use for presentations. Keep your brand’s logo and overall aesthetic in mind, making sure your rules for the color scheme goes well with both. Let your colors stand out so that the audience can see that your slides are part of a larger, unified whole.

Another way to leverage branding is by using visual metaphors that correspond to your brand identity. Include suggestions for images and illustrations people should use in their PowerPoint designs.

Establish rules following best PowerPoint practices

Aside from branding, a PowerPoint style guide also helps you maintain the quality of all the slide decks presented in your organization’s name.

As such, it’s important that you establish key rules that follow the best PowerPoint practices. Be strict about the use of bullet points and the amount of text included in a single slide. Establish pointers on how data should be presented. There are different ways to do it, but all in all, you should make sure that charts and graphs don’t get too overwhelming by inputting only the content that matters to your pitch.

Something else you can consider is making suggestions that can help manage the length of your company’s presentations.

In this PowerPoint style guide from the American Marketing Association, there’s a suggestion that a PowerPoint deck should match its length in number of slides. For example, 10-minute presentations should have no more than 10 slides.

Add reminders for presentation delivery

It might seem unnecessary, but you can also include a few reminders on how presentations should be delivered.

While a PowerPoint style guide may be focused on design, its overall objective should touch on improving presentations delivered throughout your organization. Also remind others to be more careful with the way they present their slides. After all, the point of creating PowerPoint slides is to enhance the message people are delivering with their presentations.

At the end of the day, what matters is what audiences are left with. If the delivery is improved, you can expect outcomes to improve as well.

A PowerPoint style guide is a way you can make sure presentations are organized and consistent with the company’s overall message. Have a clear vision on how you want these presentations to look like, and what kind of impact you want them to leave on audiences.

These are the things you need to have defined and clarified in your PowerPoint style guide:

  • Use of logo
  • Color scheme
  • Font type and size
  • Use of bullet points
  • Use of images, icons, and illustrations
  • Presenting data in charts and graphs
  • Editing and cutting back on slides
  • Pointers on presenting slides to make the most of the visual aids

Keep these in mind and start establishing some rules and pointers to maximize your use of effective visuals.

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References:

Chapman, Cameron. “Why Your Brand Needs a Style Guide, and How to Create One.” Webdesigner Depot. Accessed March 6, 2015.
Design Ideas: How to Improve PowerPoint Templates.” SlideGenius, Inc. December 9, 2014. Accessed February 4, 2015.
Improve Your Presentations with the Power of the Metaphor.” SlideGenius, Inc. November 17, 2014. Accessed January 12, 2015.
PowerPoint Style Guidelines.” American Marketing Association. Accessed March 6, 2015.
The Top 10 Best PowerPoint Design Practices.” SlideGenius, Inc. November 18, 2014. Accessed March 6, 2015.

 

Featured Image: Death to the Stock Photo

Are Your Online Presentations Working For You?

There are many advantages to reaching out and connecting with your audience online. Consider integrating online content marketing as part of your strategy for optimal audience engagement.

What better way to pique your target audience’s interests than providing them with content that’s both useful and relevant to their interests?

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That said, online presentations can significantly improve your brand’s visibility online.

As you know, a presentation is both a visual and informative medium. Take note of the ways you can cut back lengthy PowerPoint presentations and turn them to more SEO-friendly slides. In the process, don’t forget to check if the end product lines up with your objectives.

Ask yourself these questions to make sure your online presentations are working for you:

How relevant are your online presentations? 

According to NN Group co-founder Jakob Nielsen, majority of online users spend only about 10 to 20 seconds browsing through a web page to find what they’re looking for. If the page doesn’t have that information, they’ll skip over to the next link.

Don’t let the same thing happen to your online presentations. If the audience skips past the thumbnail of your online presentation, they might never scroll back to have a second look.

Make sure you’re relevant to what they might be searching for.

Create a presentation offering to give them tips or advice, but don’t make it too generic.

Business consultant, Mark Evans, stresses the importance of fitting the needs and interests of your target audience by learning as much as you can about them.

From that knowledge, create a headline and title slide that will surely catch people’s attention.

Can your content sustain interest? 

Now that you’ve caught your audience’s attention, the next step is figuring out how to engage and keep them interested.

Keep them on your page by highlighting your core message and key takeaways.

Don’t present your online pitch in a roundabout way. Define your presentation’s premise from the get go and put your main points forward.

This lets your target audience tell that your ideas are in line with what they’re looking for.

They’ll keep clicking to see what’s on the next slide.

Do you have a clear Call-to-Action?

After making a compelling argument, leave your audience with one last powerful statement. Before they move on to find something else to read, don’t forget to make your pitch.

That’s what a Call-to-Action is for. Should they contact you for inquiries? Should they follow you on social media?

End with a clear-cut statement that lets the audience know what you want them to do next.

We can’t emphasize enough how much online presentations can help your brand in the long run. Engage your target audience and gain the leads you need by keeping these 3 things in mind. If you want help with designing an online presentation audiences will never forget, contact us to schedule a conversation with our PowerPoint experts.

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References:

5 Steps To An Integrated Approach To SEO-Friendly Content Marketing.” Marketing Land. March 11, 2014. Accessed February 27, 2015.
Evans, Mark. “The Importance of Really Knowing Your Target Audiences.” Forbes. March 20, 2013. Accessed February 27, 2015.
How Long Do Users Stay on Web Pages?Nielsen Norman Group. Accessed February 27, 2015.
Perfecting Your Presentation Title Slide.” SlideGenius, Inc. October 16, 2014. Accessed February 27, 2015.
Why Your Presentations Need Better Slide Headlines.” SlideGenius, Inc. November 3, 2014. Accessed February 27, 2015.

3 Ways to Cut Back Your Text-Heavy PowerPoint Slides

The most effective PowerPoint slides are often simple and concise. As branding experts TRAY Creative put it: cluttered slides will only put your audience to sleep.

Effective decks help the presenter discuss a topic with memorable and arresting visuals. In other words, a PowerPoint presentation isn’t there to act as your script or teleprompter.

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If your presentations are always burdened by text-heavy PowerPoint slides, it’s time to dial back and strip your deck bare.

Try the following suggestions to make sure you don’t have walls of text blocking the audience’s interest in your discussion:

Strip your content down to its essentials 

Cutting back on text-heavy PowerPoint slides rely on your ability to edit your own content.

Before you start making your PowerPoint deck, review the draft you’ve prepared and see how you can simplify your points even more. Your goal is to strip down your content to the bare minimum.

You don’t have to waste space on your slides to elaborate particulars. Your slides are there to highlight the main points and takeaways.

Everything else that needs to be discussed or described is for the presenter to do on his own.

Use multiple slides to split up bullet points

Bullet points are often maligned in PowerPoint design because of constant misuse. A lot of presenters insist on presenting text through a bullet point list, even if the text requires a lengthy paragraph description.

Bullet points are meant to simplify content and list down key information. If you’re going to use it to cram several paragraphs on a single slide, you’re not utilizing bullet points properly.

Split up your content across multiple PowerPoint slides. Even if you end up with 10 more slides than you originally planned, your deck won’t look poorly designed.

Spreading out your PowerPoint to tackle one point at time will help you make sure your slides aren’t dragged down by too much text.

Represent content visually

I’m sure you’re familiar with the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Remember to keep it in mind when making PowerPoint slides, because it’s extremely crucial to presentation design.

Sometimes, it can be hard to cut back on content because there are things that require several sentences to describe.

Luckily, PowerPoint is a visual tool. Instead of using up slide space on lengthy descriptions, you can represent certain parts of your content through pictures or graphics instead.

Turn a discussion on a particular process into a flowchart. Find pictures that represent your brand values. Think visually and use images to relay what might need several sentences to say.

In general, try to keep your PowerPoint slides visual. Use text to enhance the meaning of particular images or graphs, and do it by using the simplest sentences or phrases. Remember, a PowerPoint deck is a visual aid. It shouldn’t overwhelm your audience with too much information. As the presenter, it’s your job to take the stage and discuss your presentation accordingly.

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References:

Visual Storytelling: How Stories Are Told in Pictures.” SlideGenius, Inc. October 27, 2014. Accessed February 24, 2015.
PowerPoint Insight: Reconsidering the No Bullet Points Rule.” SlideGenius, Inc. August 21, 2014. Accessed February 24, 2015.
7 PowerPoint Mistakes That Put Audiences to Sleep.” TRAY Creative Seattle Marketing Branding Web Design. Accessed February 24, 2015.

 

Featured Image: Hernán Piñera via Flickr

What You Need to Achieve Presentation Success

Delivering a successful presentation isn’t always easy. As we’ve already established, success requires a lot of planning and preparation. There’s no shortcut to achieving success. That said, start considering the essential steps to perfecting your output.

Cross off these things from your to-do list and you’re sure to get where you want to be:

Establish a concrete goal

You can’t reach your destination unless you know which way to go. That’s why it’s important to establish and map out your goals—whether it be to seal a deal with prospects or gain new investors for your venture. Consider these your overall destination.

To get there, you need to think about a few other markers.

Set aside some time to think about what you want your presentation to be like. Aside from your overall goal, think about the message you want to share.

Ask yourself what you want your listeners to remember about your presentation. What message will help you achieve more?

Connect with your audience

The next step to presentation success is making sure your message suits the audience. After all, connecting with them is a vital ingredient of your presentation. Otherwise, you’ll end up boring people.

If you want to avoid such a scenario, research the people you’ll be presenting to. What kind of group are they? What is the presentation for and why should it be valuable to them?

How do you make sure the points you’ll present add to their knowledge? How can you tell a story that will push them towards positive action? Consider these 4 questions to create a reliable audience profile to help build your presentation.

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Use your time wisely

Time is another factor to consider when it comes to achieving presentation success. You won’t have all day to make your point, so you need to be able to create a presentation that makes the most of the time you’re given. Whether you only have 30 minutes or more than an hour, start off your presentation strong.

The first few minutes is extremely crucial. Your performance during this time will help determine if your audience will maintain their attention until the very end.

The introduction will set the tone of your entire presentation. Make sure you use this time to make a noticeable impression. After that, you still need to sustain the energy you initially established.

Presentation expert Carmine Gallo had suggested incorporating “soft breaks” after every 10 minutes. Spend 10 minutes making your point, and then give your audience a chance to catch up by re-engaging them using these techniques.

Make sure your slides stand out

Your PowerPoint slides can play a huge role in presentation success. Even the best message needs the help of visuals to engage a commonly disengaged audience.

We’ve given plenty of design advice over the years, but here are a few more that might help you on your road to presentation success:

  • Don’t be too conscious of the number of slides you’re using because this will depend on the content of your presentation. A more helpful method would be to draft out all the points you want to make and condense them to slides through a storyboard.
  • All your design choices will contribute to pushing your message forward. Make sure the color scheme, fonts, and graphics you use help set up a theme that doesn’t distract from what you’re trying to say.
  • Simple slides aren’t necessarily boring. In presentations, “less is more” is actually a valuable motto. A lot of presentations are weighed down by over-the-top graphics and animation. For your presentation, be mindful of using white space and other design elements.

Achieving presentation success doesn’t have to be difficult. All you need is time to plan what you want to say and prepare accordingly.

Think about the message you want to deliver and make sure everything you do helps you push that message forward to the audience. If you need any help, don’t hesitate to contact our presentation design experts. We can create PowerPoint slides that will help ensure your perfect outcome.
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References

Audience Participation: 4 Crucial Questions to Answer.” SlideGenius, Inc. August 28, 2014. Accessed February 16, 2015.
Choosing the Right Colors for Your PowerPoint Design.” SlideGenius, Inc. June 3, 2014. Accessed February 16, 2015.
Gallo, Carmine. “Why PowerPoint Presentations Always Die After 10 Minutes And How To Rescue Them.” Forbes. April 30, 2014. Accessed February 16, 2015.
How to Organize Your Ideas with a Presentation Storyboard.” SlideGenius, Inc.. September 1, 2014. Accessed January 8, 2015.
Introductions: 5 Creative Ways to Start Your Presentation.” SlideGenius, Inc. November 30, 2014. Accessed February 16, 2015.

 

Featured Image: Death to the Stock Photo

How to Prepare a Flipbook: The Presentation’s Fine Print

As we’ve established in the past, a majority of people respond positively to visual information. Avoid unloading too much data on your audience and trying to fit everything in a short series of slides.

This doesn’t mean that you can leave out the fine print completely. Sometimes key individuals like investors in your audience will want a closer look at the details.

As a solution, provide them with a flipbook—a document where they can examine the details they need in their own time.

Unlike a PowerPoint deck, a flipbook carries a lot more text and information. It’s similar to a report, but with a better sense of design. Even if it’s meant to act as a supplementary document, a flipbook will need to be as visually engaging as the presentation you delivered.

Here are our top pointers to make sure your flipbook works well with the rest of your presentation:

Your flipbook needs to stand out

Business documents are often kept simple, printed in a subtle black and white. However, if you’re looking to impress people, you need something more that will encourage your recipients to keep flipping through the pages.

As with a PowerPoint deck, make sure that key information stands out in your flipbook. Learn to experiment with different design elements to add life to the information you’re presenting.

While expounding on details, make use of images, illustrations, and color accents to help key points stand out.

Keep basic design principles in mind

Even as you make sure your flipbook stands out with great design, still be mindful of the same principles that guide your PowerPoint deck.

Remember that people have limited attention spans, and need room to relax their gaze so they can focus on more important objects.

Continue to observe basic design elements such as contrast, white space, and the rule of thirds in order to strike the perfect balance.

You’ll be able to grab your viewers’ attentions without saturating them with too many slide elements this way.

Structure your content properly

Proper structure helps your document become much easier to read, regardless of its length. If you can cut up your content into consumable chunks, recipients will be able to easily scan your document for the information they need.

For some tips, here are just a few ways you can keep your content organized:

  • Break down discussion with headlines
  • Highlight the key takeaway with a subheading
  • Discuss a single point per paragraph
  • Use bullet points to list down key information
  • Add pull-quotes to emphasize important parts of your content

Use grids and columns as a layout guide

Documents are also much harder to read when the layout is haphazardly done. You can’t just arrange your content randomly.

Make sure your layout encourages the reader to keep going, guiding them from one point on the page to the next.

To solve this problem, utilize grids and columns as you format both design and content.

Design blogger, Sean Hodge, explains in his article on Smashing Magazine, the benefits and purpose of grid-based design. Hodge included a grid’s optimization of variety and transformation of disharmony into something that enhances design rather than detracts it.

These can guide you in arranging your content in a satisfying and creative layout, so make use of them for visual appeal.

Whether you’re creating a PowerPoint deck or a flipbook, powerful visuals play an important role in helping your ideas stand out. If the occasion calls for a closer look at the details, give the audience your presentation’s fine print. Follow these tips to prepare a flipbook that magnifies the importance of the message you’re delivering.

 

References

Design 101: Basic Principles for Your PowerPoint Designs.” SlideGenius, Inc. July 31, 2014. Accessed February 6, 2015.
Hodge, Sean. “Grid-Based Design: Six Creative Column Techniques.” Smashing Magazine. March 25, 2008. Accessed February 6, 2015.
PowerPoint Lesson: The Rule of Thirds in Slide Design.” SlideGenius, Inc. November 10, 2014. Accessed February 6, 2015.
The Visual (spatial) Learning Style.” Learning Styles. Accessed February 6, 2015.
Using White Space in PowerPoint Design-a Closer Look.” SlideGenius, Inc. December 4, 2014. Accessed February 6, 2015.
Watson, Leon. “Humans Have Shorter Attention Span than Goldfish, Thanks to Smartphones.” The Telegraph. Accessed February 6, 2015.

 

Featured Image: siBorg via Flickr