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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

3 Easy Steps to Your Own PowerPoint Design

Don’t let an important message get buried under bad PowerPoint design. A great story can fall short if your visuals end up boring the audience.

The standard bullet point design won’t do much for your success. If you really want to be impressive and make sure your message sticks, be diligent in creating effective PowerPoint slides, which you can do in three easy steps.

Today, we’re sharing tips on how you can create unique and memorable designs without ruining your schedule.

Step 1: Customize a PowerPoint template

Creating your own deck design from scratch is a daunting task. Unless you have a perfectly planned concept, it’s better to go down another route. Start with a PowerPoint template that you can customize, which you can apply using the Slide Master function.

To upgrade default PowerPoint templates, create your own color schemes. You can follow the color patterns of your company’s branding efforts or use programs like Adobe Color CC to find the perfect combination.

You can also use high-quality images as backgrounds to some of your slides. Just remember to choose images that aren’t too heavy on the eyes. They shouldn’t stick out from the overall visual theme of your PowerPoint design.

Step 2: Add carefully curated images

Aside from images for backgrounds, it’s also important to illustrate your points with pictures.

There are plenty of different images find on the Internet that will fit the subject matter of your presentation. Just be sure to carefully browse through your wealth of choices, aiming for images that allow for a unified look in your PowerPoint design.

Other than the overall theme of your images, make sure that they all match visually. You might find some images are too saturated and underexposed.

To solve the problem, make adjustments and corrections using photo-editing tools in PowerPoint.

Step 3: Be mindful of good design practices

As you put the different elements of your slide deck together, it’s important to keep good design practices in mind. These include the sparse use of text and animation, as well as the careful consideration on which font types to use.

Among our most important lessons is the proper use of white space in PowerPoint slides.

Contrary to what some may think, minimalistic design is not simply the absence of extraneous objects on the slides, but in removing distracting clutter and helping the viewers’ eyes focus on more important elements.

Tap into this principle and keep your design and layout balanced and in order as you craft your overall deck.

PowerPoint design comes from inspiration

If starting with these three steps still feels a bit overwhelming, you can find inspiration from all over the web.

Creativity stems from inspiration, so keep looking for designs that catch your eye. Start by browsing samples designs and studying their methods for inspiration.

Not sure where to begin? Contact us and consult with our PowerPoint experts today!

 

References

Design Ideas: How to Improve PowerPoint Templates.” SlideGenius, Inc. December 9, 2014. Accessed February 4, 2015.
Ivanoff, Ada. “Design Minimalism: What, Why & How.” SitePoint. June 6, 2014. Accessed February 4, 2015.
Tutorial: How to Use PowerPoint as a Photo Editor.” SlideGenius, Inc.. February 2, 2015. Accessed February 4, 2015.
Using White Space in PowerPoint Design-a Closer Look.” SlideGenius, Inc. December 4, 2014. Accessed February 4, 2015.
Where to Find Unique Images for Your Presentation Design.” SlideGenius, Inc. December 18, 2014. Accessed February 4, 2015.

 

Featured Image: Life of Pix

Tutorial: How to Use PowerPoint as a Photo Editor

Despite what others might think, PowerPoint remains to be a flexible tool. It may get a bad reputation from the “Death by PowerPoint” dilemma in board rooms, but like any other tool, correct use of PowerPoint lies on your ability to familiarize yourself with its different functions.

If you take the time to learn what you can, you’ll find space to explore your creativity.

In this regard, we thought it might be useful to discuss using PowerPoint for other purposes. Other than building slide decks, you can actually tap into the classic presentation software in plenty of ways, one of which is using PowerPoint as a photo editor.

If you don’t know your way around Photoshop yet, use PowerPoint to do basic photo editing and enhance images you want to use for your presentations.

For the purpose of this tutorial, we’ll be using PowerPoint 2010 to demonstrate the program’s various functions.

Here’s everything you need to know to get started:

The basic commands

To start using PowerPoint as a photo editor, we have to familiarize ourselves with the Format tab under Picture Tools. Insert the image you want to edit into a blank slide. Once you select that picture, this tab appears on your ribbon:

powerpoint photo editor 01
(Click for larger view)

From this tab, the most basic photo editing commands you’ll need to know are the following:

1.) Pictures Style – This entire group signified by the icons that fill most of the tab allows you to easily customize pictures with just a click. There are plenty of styles to choose from. You can choose to add different effects or borders, and even change the shape of your picture. The icon for Picture Layout allows you to convert your picture into a SmartArt graphic.

2.) Corrections – The sun icon on the left side of the tab allows you to edit a photo’s brightness and contrast. You can also choose to either sharpen or soften its focus.

3.) Color – Right beside the Corrections icon is where you can change the saturation and tone of your chosen picture. It also gives you the option to overlay different color filters to get the exact look you’re going for.

4.) Crop – On the right most part of the tab, you’ll find the Crop icon. Aside from using it to trim down your image to a particular size, you also have the choice to crop your image into a particular shape. All you have to do is click the arrow right below the Crop icon and choose Crop to Shape.

Adding captions to images

Something else that you might want to do is add text to your images. Adding captions is pretty straightforward on PowerPoint. All you have to do is use the TextBox as you usually would when building a PowerPoint slide. Click on the Insert tab and select the Text Box icon.

powerpoint photo editor 04

From there, you just have to create a TextBox anywhere you’d like on the picture and start typing your caption from there. To make the text stand out, you can add a background color by selecting Shape Fill. Adjusting the transparency of the box will often give you the best look.

powerpoint photo editor 05
(Original image from Death to the Stock Photo)

For this example, we set the Shape Fill effect at about 30% transparency. You can adjust this by selecting the Shape Fill icon and choosing More Fill Colors.

powerpoint photo editor 07

From here, it’s easy enough to adjust your TextBox to get the look that works best with the picture.

Saving your pictures

Once you’re happy with the edits you’ve made, you can go ahead and save your picture as its own file. All you have to do is right-click on your edited image and choose Save Picture As.

You can also save several objects as one picture. This will be useful if you added a text box for captioning. Hold the Shift key and select all the elements you want to include in a single picture. After that, all you have to do is right-click and choose Group. After that, you can finally save your picture as usual.

Creating a Polaroid effect 

Using these techniques, you can now edit your pictures easily. Practice your skills by trying your hand at creating a Polaroid effect on PowerPoint.

powerpoint photo editor 06

All you have to do is follow these steps:

1.) Select your image and crop it into a 1:1 ratio.
2.) Right above your cropped image, use the Shape tool to draw a rectangle.
3.) Select the rectangle and add a Shadow (Outer) effect through the Drawing Tools Format Tab. Once you get the drop-shadow, change the rectangle’s color to white and remove the shape outline.
4.) Select the rectangle again and right-click. Click on Send to Back and select Send Backward. From here, your cropped image will appear again.
5.) Adjust the picture to create the look of a Polaroid. Make sure you leave more space at the bottom when you’re moving the image around the rectangle.
6.) Finally, group the shape and the image together and save as instructed above.

As you can see, PowerPoint isn’t as stifling a tool as most people make it out to be. If you know how to get creative, you can use it as a photo editor and achieve unique designs. Explore and utilize its different functions to get the most out of this classic presentation software.

 

Featured Image: Death to the Stock Photo

5 PowerPoint Pitch Deck Tips For SEO-Friendly Slides

There are plenty of great benefits in creating a solid content marketing strategy.

As we’ve discussed before, we found that it’s an easy way to connect and engage with consumers. By sharing content that is relevant to them, you help them create an emotional connection with your brand.

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Of course, gaining leads through this method isn’t always easy. Sure, sharing your PowerPoint slides on the Internet does introduce your brand to a wider audience. The problem is that it might take them a while to find your content, even if you’ve created slides that are relevant and useful for them.

To nudge these potential consumers in your direction, let your slides stand out. The way to do that is by making your PowerPoint and pitch deck presentations SEO-friendly.

BrightEdge CEO Jim Yu stresses that unlike its earlier stages, SEO content no longer means stuffing your work with random keywords, but incorporating them into meaningful and well-researched content.

So how can you optimize your PowerPoint’s searchability? Follow our five tips:

Optimize your title slide

The title slide is an important part of your presentation, especially if you’re sharing it online. It’s the first thing that people will see when they’re browsing and come across your PowerPoint deck on SlideShare or any other site.

It’s also the title slide that will help them decide if your content is relevant to their interests. As such, optimize your title slide.

Take the time to craft the perfect title for your presentation, which needs to contain the keyword you’re optimizing for. The keyword should flow naturally with the single phrase you come up with.

Also have visuals that match your creative and SEO-friendly title. While the keyword helps search engines decide that your content is a match, it’s the visuals that will capture your target audience’s attention.

Use long tail keywords in the content

Using keywords shouldn’t stop at the title slide. The long tail keywords you choose should also be incorporated to the content of your slides.

For SEO beginners, that means you should incorporate keywords that are quite specific to the topic you’re discussing and optimizing for. This way, your content doesn’t get buried under millions of results for a general search term.

HubSpot contributor, Corey Wainwright, explains the use of long tail keywords. Such keywords flow naturally with the rest of your writing. Doing otherwise might end up alienating your audience.

Provide an accurate description

Aside from content, you also have to provide an accurate and thought-provoking meta description of your presentation.

Focus on the core message of your presentation and make sure that stands out in what you write.

A good description isn’t too long. A few, quick sentences will do. This will serve as the space where you can include information about your company, like links to your website and social media profiles.

Carefully tag your pitch deck presentation

Another crucial step to SEO-friendly slides are the tags. Sites like SlideShare allows up to 20 for your presentation.

Tags are keywords that will make it easier to categorize and find your content. Make sure you use those that are relevant to your content and your brand.

Tagging random keywords might damage you in the long run by marking you as spam. Always relate your tags to what your presentation is actually about.

Share presentation on social media

Finally, it’s time to share your presentation on social media platforms. When you upload your PowerPoint deck, you don’t have to sit around and wait for the audience to appear.

Do the heavy lifting and take your presentation to them. Share links to your newly-uploaded PowerPoint pitch deck presentation on your social media profiles. This will give your followers a heads up.

In turn, they can share it on their own profiles or websites. Search engines prioritize results that have plenty of back links. The more you share your pitch deck presentation, the larger your reach will become.

Sharing your presentations online can help you reach out to a wider audience. Do it right by making sure your PowerPoint slides have SEO advantage. Take note of these tips and do your best to connect and engage with consumers through the large world of the Internet.

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References:

Content Marketing Lesson: Presentations Create More Impact.” SlideGenius, Inc. July 13, 2014. Accessed January 29, 2015.
Wainwright, Corey. “The Ultimate Guide for Mastering Long Tail SearchHubSpot. Accessed January 29, 2015.
Perfecting Your Presentation Title Slide.” SlideGenius, Inc.. October 16, 2014. Accessed January 29, 2015.
Yu, Jim. “5 Steps To An Integrated Approach To SEO-Friendly Content Marketing.” Marketing Land. March 11, 2014. Accessed January 29, 2015.

 

Featured Image: Picjumbo.com

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
Visit SlideShare.net

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

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