Slidegenius, Inc.

8 Ways to Maximize Engagement in Internal Communications Presentations

Are big changes happening in your company? How will you spread that information to every employee?

The success of your business depends on your effective communication skills as a leader. Simple emails and memos don’t inspire. The challenge lies in engaging your employees.

Effective internal communication creates a more unified front throughout your company. With everyone on the same page, you can guarantee you are all working toward the same goals.

At SlideGenius, we specialize in professionally designed PowerPoint presentations. We fully believe in the power and capabilities of visual storytelling.

Our expertise with PowerPoint has helped over 3,000 clients worldwide, boosting their communication internally and externally.

We design every presentation with the intent of creating engaging material to generates positive results for you.

The following are some tips on how you can boost the effectiveness of your internal presentations:

Disseminate Presentations
to Each Department

Tailor versions of your presentation for the context of each department. It will consume more time and effort, but ultimately, this hard work maximizes the relevance of your presentation in the audience’s eyes.

Broad presentations may save time, but they sacrifice delivering a focused message for something quick and easy. Don’t set a bad example. Do it right the first time.

Tell a Story

Even within the context of seemingly mundane businesses or industries, injecting storytelling into your presentations can make them more compelling and engaging. It’s the difference between your audience staring at their feet and watching your every move.

The goal of storytelling is to get your audience to relate with the information being presented. The more people can grasp what’s being told to them, the more they are able to follow the flow of your discussion until the end.

Provide Concrete Examples

People latch onto information more easily when it’s clear-cut and definitive. Vague statements regarding your company’s improvement or decline fosters disinterest. After all, how can anyone improve a situation they can hardly imagine?

Case studies are great examples of concrete information. Don’t be afraid to bare the nitty-gritty with your employees. It’s this data that will prove you are the authority on the subject.

Boost Company Morale

Your presentation isn’t only meant to update your employees on things happening in the company and the market. Treat these meetings as opportunities to express your gratitude to those who made the goals achievable. Connect to people broadly, but also individually. Feeling seen not only makes them more inclined to tune into what you’re saying, it will put them on their best behavior afterwards.

When you boost a person’s confidence in their work, it will increase their motivation to improve.

Use Professionally
Designed Infographics

Make the most out of your data by presenting them with a unique visual twist. People are more likely to process and retain visual information better than simple text and numbers. A well-made infographic has the power to transform even ordinary bits of data into engaging materials.

Encourage Audience Participation

You may be the lead presenter, but the presentation does not need to be a one-way street. Invite your employees to ask questions or provide feedback during your presentation to include them in the discussion.

This involvement helps promote a feeling of inclusivity and transparency that will be appreciated by your employees. It’s also a great way to remind them that there is an opportunity to practice teamwork in every setting.

Provide Handouts

Handouts will help your audience keep track of everything that’s being talked about, especially for heftier presentations. Employees will be able to take those handouts with them as accessible resources of information.

Most people will not absorb all the relevant information the first time around. Allowing people to hold onto this info will give them more time to process it, absorb it and increase your chances of making a longer lasting impression.

Make Your Presentation Available Online

There will be cases when some members of your organization will not be available for your presentation. Having an online version of your deck ensures everyone will get to see it when they can, and even review it if need be.

As you continue this practice, you will be building an increasingly invaluable source of knowledge and value… as well as increasing your own profile.

SlideGenius Prepares Presentations for You  

When there’s too much work on your hands already, partner up with us and we can design your next internal presentation for you! From PowerPoint presentations to animated videos, we professionally craft presentations to boost communication skills and internal messaging.

Our dedicated work is possible because of our team of passionate presentation designers, writers, and animators. We continuously develop our skills to provide every client with exciting and unique presentations that meet the world-class standards.

We’ve helped countless clients raise their company’s profile internally and externally. We can do the same for you! The growth of our clients is our greatest measure of success. Together, let’s elevate your company further through the limitless possibilities in PowerPoint!

Reach out now to get a free quote—contact us today!

4 Ways to Boost Your Likeability in Business Presentations

A likeable image has nothing to do with physical beauty. Looking the part might give you a charismatic appeal, your characteristics as a speaker are what actually attract interest, and engage your listeners.

Make a winning impression and boost your business relationships by working on what keynote speaker Tim Sanders calls the likeability factor. Presentation trainer, Cath Daley presents a list of questions that can help you determine your scale of likability. This involves aspects of your personality such as friendliness, relevance, empathy, and realness.

Here’s how you can enhance your innate traits to become a more likeable individual and more effective speaker:

Show Genuine Friendliness

The simple acts of smiling and disclosing some personal information make you look approachable and interesting. While a neutral face may sometimes be more appropriate in formal occasions, showing some emotion where needed connects your audience further to you. Communicate appreciation with small courtesies such as saying “thank you.”

Maintaining a professional reaction towards negative feedback also adds a more congenial feel to your business presentations.

Make Yourself Relatable

“Listening is an art that requires attention over talent, spirit over ego, others over self. “ – Dean Jackson

The skills to listen and to engage are not only essential in achieving life success, but also in attaining business growth. Demonstrating responsiveness during your pitch creates room for audience participation.

Express your willingness to understand their comments and observations about your presentation.

Express Passion and Compassion

If there’s one thing that Steve Jobs taught us about doing great work, it’s to love what you do. Business deals are closed when potential clients feel that you can offer them benefits. This is why your passion to inform your audience makes you a more likeable presenter.

Signify your intent by acknowledging your audiences’ needs and providing information that is designed to help them without difficulty.

Embrace Authenticity

Combine humility and positive vulnerability with your expertise to create authenticity. Show your listeners that you’re a human being with a sincere message. Share a personal experience that’s directly related to your pitch to add a human touch to the hard data you may be presenting.

Being confident without being arrogant makes you closer to your audience.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Exposing your genuine self to the audience is the easiest way to build rapport for your presentation’s message.” user=”SlideGenius” hashtags=”pitch, sales, marketing” template=”light”]

Conclusion

Become a likeable presenter to attract and engage your audience effectively. Increase your likeability factor to create meaningful connections that boost your business success.

Looking for pitch perfect slide presentations? Give us a call at 1-858-217-5144 or request a free quote from Slide Genius today.

SlideGenius Blog Module One

Download free PowerPoint templates now.

Get professionally designed PowerPoint slides weekly.

Sign Up Now

References

“Are You a Likeable Presenter? Which of These 10 Key Characteristics Apply to You?” CathDaley. Accessed July 30, 2015.
Body Language: Signify Intent with Movement.SlideGenius, Inc. October 20, 2014. Accessed July 30, 2015.
The Likeability Factor.” Tim Sanders. Accessed July 30, 2015.
Three Powerful Ways to End Your PowerPoint Presentation.SlideGenius, Inc. May 18, 2015. Accessed July 30, 2015.

Let’s Get Visual: 3 Reasons Why You Should Use Infographics

Infographics are a popular medium of data presentation. While they don’t necessarily replace research, it’s become a go-to medium for quick information sharing.

In her article on Piktochart, digital strategist Nevyana Karakasheva explains how infographics compress your content into easily digestible visuals that can go viral online, depending on how much social shares you generate. The potential for sharing makes it an effective marketing tool, both for sharing relevant content to your prospects and subtly promoting yourself.

What exactly influences the infographic’s overall appeal? When reading infographics, people ask these three common questions:

Why are infographics the current trend?

What’s an infographic’s selling point?

Will using these visual aids attract your target audience?

Here are some answers that could help:

[blockqoute text=”Looking for a PowerPoint Expert?”]

Q: Why are infographics the current trend?

Visual learning is in. With 65% of the population identifying as visual learners, according to professor Patricia Vakos of Pearson Prentice Hall, it’s no wonder why infographics are an attractive option to the majority.

An infographic’s strategic use of color, layout, image, and text appeal to the visual learner’s desire for creative knowledge. Even for the not-so visually-inclined, infographics help break down the data overload many of us experience in today’s world.

In a world bogged down by too much information, having something to summarize data into appealing and easily digestible points is like a breath of fresh air. Because of its all-around charm, an infographic can attract the interest of most audiences, making it perfect for presenting facts and statistics.

Q: What’s an infographic’s selling point?

It helps explore your creativity when planning its design and layout. You can opt to place content to an existing infographic template or play around with design elements.

Challenge your creativity while dishing out valuable information. After all, the sky’s the limit when it comes to creating an infographic.

You can make use visuals to point and connect to facts or illustrate them. This makes your material engaging and more attractive than plain textual overload.

Q: How will using these attract your target audience?

It’s accessible to users, mostly online. Because they are being shared over social media, infographics are more appealing and accessible. Their various layouts and visual designs also make plain data more interesting to look at.

An infographic turns difficult statistics into discernible information. It also makes your brand easier to share and understand. The added exposure and clarification help expand your network, boost your page views, and introduce you to prospective clients.

Although nothing beats a face-to-face presentation, having infographics on your site or your slide deck saves you time explaining facts.

Conclusion

Infographics are striking sources of information.

Contrary to popular belief, they don’t just cater to visual learners; they also attract all types of people. The visual aspect leaves you free to explore the infographic’s creative possibilities.

At the same time, they also break down difficult data into easily readable information. This lets viewers easily process them and share it with their friends. If you want to get yourself out there, consider putting up your own infographic.

Need advice for your infographic design? Let our SlideGenius experts assist you. Contact us today for a free quote!

[blockqoute text=”Searching for the Top PowerPoint Agency?”]

References:

Karakasheva, Nevyana. “Why Infographics Are An Inseparable Part of a Successful SEO Campaign.” Piktochart Infographics. June 1, 2015. www.piktochart.com/why-infographics-are-an-inseparable-part-of-a-successful-seo-campaign
Vakos, Patricia. “Why the Blank Stare? Strategies for Visual Learners.” Pearson Education, Inc. 2003. www.phschool.com/eteach/social_studies/2003_05/essay.html
“The Visual (Spatial) Learning Style.” Learning Styles Online. n.d. www.learning-styles-online.com/style/visual-spatial

 

Featured Image: “Visual Acuity” by Elizabeth Hann on flickr.com

Relate to Your Audience with a Universal PowerPoint

With all of the functions available to PowerPoint, the one main challenge of showing original content to your audience becomes more and more difficult. At a time when it’s become possible for any presenter to embed live Web sites and real-time social media feeds to illustrate their points clearly, what exactly will surprise your audience enough to help your own presentation stand out and move people to action?

The good news is innovation doesn’t always equate to originality. Instead of going for the avant-garde, why not make your pitch resonate with your listeners? If your audience has heard it all, go the other way and work with classic presentation techniques that still prove to be effective to their tastes.

Creating a universal PowerPoint everyone can relate to guarantees a more attentive audience. Here’s how you can produce an attractive and interesting presentation:

Stick to the Time Limit
Running out of time: Stick to the Time Limit

Corporate pitches are notorious for boring people after a certain number of slides. Preventing this depends on how well you can memorize your pitch and keep the audience interested. However, for those following business guru Guy Kawasaki’s famous 10-20-30 rule, this limit falls on the 20-minute mark.

Aside from the fact that people’s attention spans have notably grown shorter, they’ve probably heard hundreds of pitches before. Yours is no different from all the others, but you have a chance to make an impression by condensing the meat of your presentation into a short but sweet delivery.

Keeping a set time limit in mind prevents you from going off tangent with your discussion. It helps you develop an awareness to organize your content in such a way that delivers all the important points without exhausting your audience. Remember that you don’t have to overwhelm your listeners with all the details you’ve gathered from your research. If you have anything that you can’t include in your pitch, distribute handouts or other materials during or after your pitch as supplements.

Tell a Storytell a story - powerpoint presentation tips

Eliminate the difficulty of attracting listeners by crafting a story around your brand. Think of it as a way to give your pitch a solid structure with a beginning, middle, and end. Stories can draw more attention than hard facts and difficult data. Make your slide deck more palatable by supplementing it with a story everyone can relate to.

Don’t saturate your slides with text. Add relevant images that illustrate your words, coupled with brief phrases or words to further expound on them. Straightforwardly handing all the heavy data to people might result in information overload after a while, so making use of speech metaphors is a good break for them. It’s been observed that because metaphors, like narratives, activate the creative right side of the brain, it puts people more at ease and lowers their skepticism towards sales pitches and other marketing efforts.

For instance, you can show a baseball player how to hit a home run as a metaphor to illustrate hitting the so-called sweet spot. At the same time, keep your story simple. It’s important to hook your audience’s interest, but exaggeration makes you lose your credibility as a speaker.

Use Relatable Themesred thumbsup

A good story only works if it uses relatable themes at its very core. Use topics your audience are familiar with. One of the most effective examples incorporated in a brand’s story is Steve Jobs’ pitch for Mac. In this instance, Jobs’ use of well-known tropes such as heroes and villains impressed itself on people’s minds and got Mac out into the market successfully.

Leverage your brand in the same way by citing something that’s relevant to everyone. This can include current trends. Better yet, research what timeless concepts still ring true with people’s sensibilities at present. Tropes like providing for your family or even excelling in sports contain the underlying themes of love and teamwork, which are just two of the positive messages that people appreciate hearing.

Utilizing these keeps your story from being too obscure for your audience to understand and retains an entertaining structure to base your pitch on. Even the most complex topics can be broken down into digestible and interesting narratives that everyone, or mostly everyone, can get.

Appeal to Emotions

Appeal to Emotions: different emotionsThere are different ways to subtly appeal to your audience’s emotions. You can do this in your speech by using Pathos, one of the public speaking pillars established by the ancient Greeks. This involves getting people to sympathize with your points until they’re eventually convinced of their validity.

Generate the reactions you want by applying the same principle on your deck. Consider experimenting with color to complement your story. Certain colors can also evoke emotional response from people when used at the right time. Warm colors like red and yellow elicit alertness, while cool colors like blue and green ease tension. Incorporating your brand’s colors in your deck will help viewers associate your business with your presentation.

But don’t just make your pitch about emotional appeal. Having too little actual substance in your presentation will tune out the more scrutinizing audiences and leave everyone else confused about your points. Use the emotional hook to reel in the crowd, and once they’ve invested their interest in what you have to say, bring out the facts and data to support your claims.

Go Visual

public speaking skills: overall satisfying presentation

Content, delivery, and design should always work hand in hand for an overall satisfying presentation. This means that while you sharpen your public speaking skills, you should also apply the same tips on your PowerPoint or any other visual aid you have at hand.

Don’t be deceived by the presentation tool’s user-friendliness. Plenty of presenters have fallen into the trap of either overly embellished or sparse decks that have failed to pique audience interest despite the speaker’s enthusiastic pitch.

The key to effective visuals is to find a balance between text and images. Saturating your slides with an entire script will invalidate your physical presence since viewers will assume they can just read everything on the screen. Similarly, using inappropriate images that have only the vaguest relation to your pitch will confuse them. That doesn’t mean that you don’t have leeway to use visual metaphors. Just make sure you can establish a clear connection between your point and your picture of choice.

Support your images with text, but use only keywords. Long sentences and paragraphs should be used sparingly and only if necessary.

The TakeawayRelate to Your Audience with a Universal PowerPoint: the end

You don’t need a flashy pitch and deck to get people to listen. Here’s a quick review of how to make your PowerPoint more interesting to audiences:

1. Stick to the time limit. Condense your points to fit people’s attentions without compromising quality by organizing and preparing your content effectively.
2. Deliver your message with a simple but universal presentation. Tell a story everyone can relate to with your speech and your visuals.
3. Use images that convey your story while keeping your text minimal to leave room for elaboration. Appeal to people’s emotions with the right color combination and a pitch that gets people’s sympathy.
4. A distracting deck can only get you attention for so long. Bank on slides that people will remember for a longer time.
5. Craft a PowerPoint to complement your winning pitch. Put only the necessary images and text that will support your ideas to drive your points home.

Need help creating a memorable deck? Contact our SlideGenius experts today for a free quote!

 

References

Henneke. “How to Use the Persuasive Power of Metaphors.” Enchanting Marketing. 2013. n.d. www.enchantingmarketing.com/how-to-use-metaphors
Kawasaki, Guy. “The 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint.” Guy Kawasaki. December 30, 2005. www.guykawasaki.com/the_102030_rule
Watson, Leon. “Humans have shorter attention span than goldfish, thanks to smartphones.” The Telegraph. May 15, 2015. www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11607315/Humans-have-shorter-attention-span-than-goldfish-thanks-to-smartphones.html

 

3 Ways to Make People Fall in Love With Your Presentation

It’s the most romantic time of the year, with Valentine’s Day personified by Cupid, who has long played a role in the celebrations of love. It was believed that if Cupid’s arrow struck your heart, you would fall in love with the next person you meet.

What if there was a way you could make people fall in love with you and your presentation without having to shoot any love arrows at anybody’s heart?

In present times, you don’t have to learn archery to aim at and win someone’s heart, but there are countless ways to make the person you love notice you. Most of them are based on desirable characteristics, such as physical appearance, perceived behavior, and social skills, a lot of which have to do with being kind and charming.

After all, Valentines is that time of the year when everyone expresses their love and appreciation for the special people in their lives by gifting them with flowers, greeting cards, chocolates, and other sweet surprises. Does this mean that you have to shower your existing and prospective clients with gifts, printed collaterals, and other merchandise?

Well, not exactly.

What Makes People Fall in Love with Presenters?

The variables that influence the feeling of attraction aren’t limited to love per se. They’re also essential to making fruitful relationships that go beyond intimacy. This means you can use the same tactics to get professionals to fall in love with you and agree to start a business partnership with you.

So the question is: What sort of gifts would you give as a presenter?

Instead of focusing on the material aspects of gifts, we recommend delving deep and bringing out the best parts of your personality instead. In this post, we’ll discuss how to make people fall in love with you on a professional level by making the most out of your body language, communication skills, and your personality. Check out these specific tips to grab your audience’s attention and make them want more:

1. Seduce Them with Gestures

Make people fall in love like a cupid

As a presenter, you may feel a lot of pressure to offer some grand and amazing benefits to woo the audience over to your side. While having a strong brand and offering always helps in convincing your listeners to close a business deal with you, sometimes all you need are sweet romantic gestures to show deep affection for the love of your life.

As what many people would say, “Actions are incomparably more attractive, effective, and valuable than words.”

The same thing can be said for presentations. Your speech isn’t enough to get someone’s eye on you—after all, they aren’t just listening to you through a phone or speaker. They’re engaging all of their senses as they watch you, especially their sense of sight. That’s why you need to take all aspects of public speaking seriously and do it as if you’re wooing the person you like or, in this case, a person you want to convert into a lead.

Spice up your talking points with enticing yet subtle gestures and body language to win people over. In fact, research by Toastmaster International has found that purposeful body movements can benefit you in three ways: support what you say, attract audience’s attention, and relieve physical tension. In particular, smiling at your listeners makes you look more appealing and engaging. This friendly physical cue ensures good rapport and improves your chances of sealing a business partnership.

According to a study by researchers Kellerman, Lewis, and Laird, you can also make a person fall in love with you by looking into their eyes. This comes in handy during presentations when you want to build a fruitful relationship with your audience. Make sure to hold your viewer’s gaze, but you don’t have to look at them 100% of the time. It’s okay to take a quick peek at your notes or pick up a prop to make your speech more natural.

Express these body movements as naturally as possible so that you can stand out and win over the competition.

2. Communicate with Kindness

Romantic gestures to make people fall in love

Whether they’re of the personal or professional sort, all relationships can benefit from clear communication. It allows people to voice out their interests, share their concerns, and influence others’ decisions. On the other hand, not having clear communication lines can lead to misunderstandings, split-ups, poor sales, and lost deals.

In the same way that you wouldn’t be able to read your love interest’s mind, you can’t exactly use special powers to figure out exactly what’s going on inside your audience’s head. That’s why you should work on improving your communication skills to foster a healthier and stronger business relationship.

As a presenter, you need to communicate with gentleness to keep people listening because addressing them aggressively will result in unwanted confrontation that might turn them off. Consider your audience’s needs to get everyone on the same page. Ask questions to get a better grasp of what they really want. When you’re more aware of their needs, you’ll be able to map out a more specific strategy that will appeal to their interests. You’ll have more control of your overall presentation flow.

Active listening also makes people feel more loved and appreciated. Respond with neutral phrases like “I see” and “Yes” to show that you’re taking an interest in them. These responses express your high level of respect for your audience’s ideas, encouraging them to participate more in the discussion.

Make sure not to look away from the person who’s speaking, or else, you might make them feel like you’re not paying attention to them at all. At the same time, staring too long at them might make them feel uncomfortable. To combat this, try nodding occasionally at certain points to show that you’re still listening and that you understand what they’re trying to say.

Besides asking questions and listening to their side of things, telling funny yet appropriate jokes is another way to boost your likability. Make some witty and humorous remarks to hook them in more with your pitch. Just make sure your jokes are appropriate and relevant to the discussion; having too many jokes makes you seem like you’re not taking the discussion seriously, while offensive jokes can stain your professional image.

All it takes is a little act of kindness to make people feel like they’re floating on air.

3. Charm Them with Your PersonalityCharm people with loveable personality

Acceptance and love must come from within. It’s hard to build loving relations with others if you don’t start with loving yourself. The same idea goes for presentations. With that in mind, work on maintaining a positive attitude and let your personality shine through to nurture fruitful business relationships.

Don’t point out your weak skills when courting someone. It’s usually not the right time or venue for it and may even permanently change people’s perspective of how capable you are. Instead, focus on further improving your strengths and consider your weaknesses as points for improvement. Building upon your strong points and working around your weak points are about seeing these things as opportunities rather than problems. Manage them both to improve your overall performance and charm the crowd.

If the odds aren’t in your favor, maintain your composure and face presentation errors with confidence. Instead of apologizing excessively, recover quickly without showing that you’re physically bothered by the mishaps. Be mindful of your facial expression and body language; looking angry can make the audience feel like you don’t want to accept criticism, while looking sad makes you look like you’re not ready to hear negative feedback.

Apologize only when necessary—just once is enough. More importantly, take full accountability for the mistake and act quickly to fix it. Unexpected moments like this show your vulnerability and communicate your humanness, giving your audience the authentic you. At the same time, you also display your ability to troubleshoot and resolve issues in a short period of time.

Adding a personal touch to your pitch also hypes up the discussion. Share experiences and stories related to the subject matter to impress your audience more. Be honest with them to get the credit that you deserve.

It’s Time to Make Your Move!Cupid made two people fall in love

You won’t get anything done by just staring at your audience like you’re lovestruck, but there’s a lot you can do to appear more relatable and appealing. Here’s a quick review of the tips we’ve shared to make the audience gaze in awe at you instead:

1. Seduce them with subtle gestures like smiling and making eye contact to exude friendliness.
2. Try communicating effectively by asking questions, actively listening, and telling jokes to keep the flame of an effective pitch burning, as well as keep the engaging conversation going.
3. Take accountability for any mistakes. Be genuine and express your true self to create a positive impression on you and your pitch.

There’s no standard formula for making people fall in love you. Some tips work for others but don’t work for the rest. This idea also applies to public speaking, so you need to be willing and able to put yourself out there for guaranteed audience attention.

With this advice in mind, put on your best business attire, get out, and woo the audience over to your side!

 

References:

Kellerman, J., Lewis, J., & Laird, J. D. (1989). Looking and loving: The effect of mutual gaze on feelings of romantic love. Journal of Research in Personality, 23, 145-161.
“Gestures: Your Body Speaks.” Toastmasters International, 2011.
DiResta, Diane. “How to Make Your Audience Fall in Love With You.” DiResta Communications Inc. February 14, 2014. www.diresta.com/how-to-make-your-audience-fall-in-love-with-you
Nicholson, Jeremy. “Loving Eye Contact: How Mutual Staring Can Create Passion.” Psychology Today. March 31, 2015. www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-attraction-doctor/201503/loving-eye-contact-how-mutual-staring-can-create-passion
Schumm, Laura. “Who is Cupid?” HISTORY.com. February 14, 2014. www.history.com/news/ask-history/who-is-cupid

 

[Chinese New Year] Presentation Lessons from the Chinese Zodiac: The Monkey

In the Chinese lunar calendar, each year is represented by a Chinese zodiac animal sign. It’s believed that people born under each sign possess certain personal characteristics. This is a cycle that takes twelve years to repeat itself.

This 2016, we enter the Year of the Fire Monkey. According to San Francisco astrologist Susan Levitt, it’s the ninth animal sign in the Chinese zodiac. Characterized by traits such as curiosity, mischievousness, and cleverness, the monkey is a lively animal that’s known as a smart trickster.

At first, these may not sound like positive traits for an experienced and composed presenter. After all, monkeys may seem too hyperactive and troublesome for their own good. If we dig beneath the surface, however, there are quite a few things to learn from our roguish simian friends.

Let’s look at some Year of the Monkey tips that can help you dominate the presentation stage.

Communicate CuriosityCurious monkey hanging from a tree

People born in the Year of the Monkey are said to be curious and ambitious. They’re seen to have a great thirst for knowledge and often feel the need to try everything at once. However, this doesn’t mean you should start asking your audience personal questions, crossing the line from being professional to poking your nose into other people’s private lives.

Simply expressing curiosity towards your listeners can improve audience connection for business people and casual listeners alike. This can come in the form of challenging possibilities, displaying interest, and offering opinions. Give your audience the impression that you’re eager to know what problems are currently affecting them. Words like “I’d be very interested to know,” “How do you feel about,” and “From my point of view” are a few of the magic phrases that can put you and your audience on the same page.

Persuade them by showing them how curious and welcoming you are about taking their sides into consideration. By sharing your client’s concerns related to things like costs and implementation dates, you show that you’re willing to work with them as partners.

Expressing interest in your audience’s wants and needs makes them feel more valued. This makes it easier to connect with them for a more persuasive and engaging pitch.

Practice PlayfulnessMonkey playing while holding a banana

Our simian friends are also known for being mischievous. They love to play around and enjoy practical jokes, traits that are reflected in people born during the Year of the Monkey. However, said traits can be both good and bad, depending on how you approach them.

A little mischief can add a dose of fun to your presentation as long as you don’t overdo it. With people born under this sign, high energy can be a key to success but can likewise distract from main ideas during a presentation. It can be easy to enjoy yourself so much and accidentally go overboard with your delivery, causing your audience to forget about your main points.

Like with our previous tip, however, a restrained approach to playfulness can make for a more powerful delivery.

Sprinkling some humor onto your speech effectively engages and entertains people. It can also bring people back from the clutches of boredom, especially during highly technical discussions. With so much information consumed every day, an icebreaker can definitely make everyone chuckle or at least smile, giving them a quick breather from an otherwise straightforward and serious discussion.

One way to create a more cheerful atmosphere is to tell them a simple joke that can connect to your topic. Another way to break the ice is to quote a comical but appropriate line from a movie that fits your subject to lighten up the discussion and break the monotony. Just be wary of potentially offensive material that could undermine your credibility and tune out your listeners.

Play around with your use of language to vary up your speech and sound more interesting, such as by using metaphors, exaggerations, puns, and other figures of speech. A controlled approach to humor can help counterbalance the dull moments while still properly communicating your message, making your pitch even more memorable.

Convey ClevernessMonkey cleverly picked a banana from a tree

Aside from being charismatic and energetic, people born during the Year of the Monkey are also seen as inherently intellectual and creative. This isn’t all that surprising given that apes are our closest genetic relative in the animal kingdom, according to scientists.

To astrologers, people born under this zodiac are the most likely to be eccentric geniuses among the 12 animal signs. Their sparkling wit and sharp minds are the key qualities that make them a good leader. They know how to listen closely and work out solutions at the same time.

These attributes are hallmarks of successful people but also make for an effective speaker.

Be strong-willed, quick-witted, and opportunistic. Never make a move without an established plan. Instead, always come in prepared with a strategy to conquer. Prepare for your speech with the right amount of practice in front of close friends and confidants.

Don’t forget to double check your presentation deck for possible errors that may undermine your credibility. Also, be ready to spot and take advantage of opportunities that may come your way. Don’t rely too much on a preplanned structure and stay on your feet to improvise when needed.

Monkey Marketing MagicMonkey swinging in the tree with a banana on his hand

People born during the Year of the Monkey are believed to be curious, playful, and intelligent, but these positive traits aren’t exclusively theirs for acing that next speech. Here’s a quick wrap-up of the tips and tricks we’ve enumerated in this post:

1. Make your discussion open for everyone so you can gauge their expectations by expressing interest in their wants or needs. Share what you have in store for them and predict what they have in mind.

2. Sprinkle a little bit of fun in your speech. Using a lighthearted approach can equally increase engagement while complementing your message. Recite a funny line or a short joke to help with entertaining your audience.

3. A clever approach to all aspects of your presentation can increase your credibility, making you sound more knowledgeable and convincing in your field. Remain focused and prepared to be able to pounce on any opportunity that can arise from your speech.

Monkeys get a bad reputation, mostly seen by the public as badly behaved creatures, but some of their qualities can be harnessed into positive and productive skills that can bring success in the boardroom. It’s time to take some astrological cues and take this year by the reins with our matching presentation tips.

This 2016, use these monkey-inspired cues to imbue some extra marketing magic for your next pitch.

 

References:

Clark, Eugene. “Lessons for business in the Year of the Monkey.” China.org.cn. December 31, 2015. www.china.org.cn/opinion/2015-12/31/content_37424803.htm
Febrilian, Dio. “Asking about Possibilities, Expressing Curiosity and Desire, Expressing Views.” Dio Febrilian. n.d. www.diofebrilian.info/2012/12/asking-about-possibilities-expressing.html
Levitt, Susan. “2016 Fire Monkey Year.” Susan Levitt. October 1, 2013. www.susanlevitt.com/astrology/monkey-year-2016/
“Chinese Horoscope: The Monkey Sign (猴).” Scientific Psychic. n.d. www.scientificpsychic.com/fun/monkey-astrology.html

Match Made: Romancing the Audience for a Better Sales Pitch

Business presentations aren’t confined to stiff and stuffy deliveries. You can find inspiration outside the boardroom, especially if you’re up for a sales pitch.

To outdo the competition and close your sales, you need to be creative enough when selling your product. One way to do this is to call up your inner Cupid to establish personal engagement that results in investment and loyalty.

Just like a great romance, your relationship with the customer should be a lasting passion. Don’t settle for shallow enthusiasm. Get your audience to love you.

Courtship

All romances and sales pitches start with the courtship stage.

Look up your prospects and align your marketing strategy to your client’s wants and needs. Your competition could be bigger, more experienced, and more influential. In this case, don’t try to beat them at their own game.

Try to create your own playing field.

In the book Brand Romance, brand experts Yasushi Kusume and Neil Gridley discuss high design principles that ensure customer loyalty. According to these principles, a recognizable brand identity is one way to effectively bring your product to the audience.

Introduce yourself during your pitch and build a narrative around your journey. After that, you can present a value proposition to show solutions unique to your services.

Have your visuals reflect your brand’s distinct character, whether by incorporating your logo or by using your company colors into the deck.

Passion

Think of your presentation as a first date with the audience. Sometimes, their attentiveness dies halfway through your speech because your offer might not be too impressive. People have a limited attention span, so make the most out of your pitch.

A bit of humor lightens the mood and disperses any lingering tension. However, make sure that all these seemingly unrelated points still lead back to you.

You can only entertain your listeners with interesting anecdotes for so long.

Delivering a dragging and winding speech not only distracts prospects from your major ideas but also dampens their interest.

Commitment

Don’t let the connection with your listeners go cold. Letting them walk away without convincing them of your importance will ruin your chances at making a sale.

Cover as many blind spots as you can, and avoid making common presentation mistakes that alienate the audience. Do away with fillers, but don’t force yourself to be perfect either. Act natural and be confident.

People feel more at ease with someone who uses the conversational tone while establishing their authority on stage. Take notes from your previous sales pitches to see which tactics worked to attract people and which ones failed.

Keep the Flame Alive

Be intimate with the audience, and court their interests by building upon your identity. Having a distinguishable personality sets you apart from the competition. Keep their attention by delivering engaging stories that eventually point back to your main pitch.

Finally, commit to maintaining their interest by constantly improving your public speaking skills. As in any relationship, the connection you make during your sales pitch should ideally lead to a long-term commitment for your business.

Need help with your presentation? Consult with our SlideGenius experts today for a free quote!

 

References:

Kusume, Yasushi and Neil Gridley. Brand Romance: Using the Power of High Design to Build a Lifelong Relationship with Your Audience. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
Watson, Leon. “Humans have shorter attention span than goldfish, thanks to smartphones.” The Telegraph. May 15, 2015. www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/03/12/humans-have-shorter-attention-span-than-goldfish-thanks-to-smart

 

Featured Image: “A Taste of Romance.” by Esther Spektor on flickr.com

Back to the Future (of Marketing): Interactive Brochures

Your presentation is just the beginning, so don’t let your pitch end in the boardroom. In fact, take it further: have your audience take your company’s brand with them, wherever they go.

There are many types of collaterals that people can take home, but why stop there? Don’t just think in terms of physical items that they can carry around with them.

Here’s an idea: translate your usual print materials to digital media. That way, you don’t just reach out to your target market but you’ll also expand your network to other potential leads.

The Future Is Digital

Technology undeniably plays a big role today in people’s lives. For businesses, digital marketing proves to be an important tool in attracting prospects and increasing sales. Digital media helps marketers monitor what type of content people are more responsive to, allowing them to adapt accordingly. At a time when print is going digital, brochures and pamphlets can be converted into interactive sources.

Including interactive brochures in your digital marketing strategy benefits you in many ways. Paperless collaterals don’t only help the environment but also offer more accessibility than a traditional handout. People can view your company’s story anytime, anywhere, and you’ll even be able to track their interest in your business.Things like page analytics and data can help determine whether your content is drawing people in or not.

Take It Outside

Old-fashioned brochures stay with potential partners and clients. While these are good giveaways after a presentation, they reach a limited audience Take your content outside the boardroom and present your product and your story to other people.

There’s an available market online that you can’t tap into with word of mouth and networking alone. You can reach out to a wider audience faster by using people’s interconnectedness through digital media. At the same time, your existing customers are free to review your services from an easily downloadable interactive brochure. Expanding your partnerships and taking care of your current clients will be easier once you go digital.

Engaging the Audience

Interactivity is what makes the e-brochure so appealing. Unlike its paper counterpart, an interactive brochure can let you execute creative ideas that can only be possible with a digital medium. Although it’s basically a PDF version of your handout, you can put additional features, like an animation, that your viewers can interact with.

Aside from its availability in any electronic device, a digital brochure makes your content more engaging. If there’s one thing that should remain constant from your pitch to your marketing strategies, it’s audience engagement. You’re more likely to get investors by steering their attention towards you. Achieving the right combination of fun and professionalism in your e-brochure helps you get noticed.

Don’t give your prospects flat information. Make their experience interactive.

The Bottom Line: Go Big, Go Digital

Technology is a major game changer in the field of marketing. Don’t become outdated. Enter the new playing field and bring your product to a bigger market.

Making use of interactive brochures effectively attract and keep people’s attention. Its accessibility makes it easily available to anyone interested in your services. Prospects’ increased awareness of your brand boosts your sales leads and volume significantly.

Not sure where to start your digital marketing strategy? Consult with our SlideGenius designers today.

 

References:

“What Is Digital Marketing?” SAS. n.d. www.sas.com/en_us/insights/marketing/digital-marketing.html

 

Featured Image: “Connected and Charged” by Bob ~ Barely Time on flickr.com

3 Reminders When Facing a Presentation Audience

Connecting with the audience and getting your message across is the goal of any presentation. The impact you make varies on the preferences of the people you’re facing. Nothing’s wrong with tailor-fitting your presentation for the specific group you’re presenting to.

Most of the time, it’s even encouraged. But if you’re looking for a general framework, there are some rules that apply to any type of presentation audience. Remember the following guidelines the next time you face a crowd:

Your Listeners Aren’t Children

No one wants to be talked down to. Although you have to explain your points clearly, don’t treat your audience like they don’t know anything. Be careful not to offend them by sounding like you’re belittling them. Doing so will make you sound obnoxious and would only deter them from listening.

Get to know your listeners either by interacting with them prior to the event or looking them up. This gives you a better grasp of how to handle them. In most cases, using the conversational tone is good enough to establish rapport without sounding condescending.

Consider how you would want to be addressed by another person and apply this when communicating with your audience.

Don’t Make Fun of Anyone

Engaging listeners is important in keeping their attention. One way to keep people interested is by involving them in your speech. Let your audience participate by prompting them with questions or incorporating humor. But don’t overdo it.

Don’t crack a joke just to get their attention. Make sure what you’re saying is still connected to your main idea. Straying from your point only makes things confusing.

Another important reminder when using humor is to never make fun of an audience member. In her book, Public Speaking is Not For Wimps, leadership speaker Kimberly Alyn dedicates a section to discussing the correct use of humor in public speech.

Although humor engages, it can sometimes do the opposite and further discourages the listener. This isolates and embarrasses the object of ridicule. The last thing you’d want in your presentation is to have someone feel discomfort because of something you did.

Be Professional

This may sound common, but professionalism is a must in any presentation. Don’t sacrifice your credibility in an attempt to appear familiar with your audience. Relating a few personal experiences is fine in creating a narrative where people can associate with.

On the other hand, steer away from being overly comfortable. Telling stories that are too personal can make the audience feel as uncomfortable as a stiff presenter. In a way, distancing yourself from your listeners also shows a form of respect.

People will appreciate your effort as you connect with them, but will also feel awkward if it goes overboard.

Conclusion

Dealing with your audience can be tricky. You need to know the right thing to say, at the right time. But once you find out how to win over your listeners, there’s very little else you need to be worried about. In case you don’t, you can apply common courtesy.

Don’t belittle your audience by over explaining facts or questioning their culture, unless it’s intrinsically a part of your presentation. Apply some fun to your speech, but never at the expense of another person’s feelings. Being considerate and empathic maintains a professional atmosphere during your speech.

Converse with people to ease tension, while keeping your own dignity intact. It’s a way of sounding like a familiar friend without overstepping your bounds.

Need a good PowerPoint to match with your well-planned speech? Contact our SlideGenius experts today and get a free quote!

References

Alyn, Kimberley. Public Speaking is Not for Wimps!. Florida: Llumina Press, 2003.

 

Featured Image: “Audience” by Jesper Ronn-Jensen on flickr.com

How to Engage Audiences with Your Mirror Neurons

Body language helps significantly when delivering your message.

It doesn’t matter whether you have an interesting topic to tackle, an engaging PowerPoint deck to display, or a captivating story to tell. How you communicate nonverbally affects the entire performance.

Most people don’t see how observing others influences our actions. This is where the magic of mirror neurons takes place.

What is a Mirror Neuron?

A mirror neuron is a type of neuron that allows people to empathize with others’ conditions. This happens when someone observes another person, thus mirroring his behavior. If we notice a stranger who bumps into a concrete wall, our brain is wired to empathize and experience the same feeling the stranger does.

[easy-tweet tweet=”A mirror neuron is an effective technique to use when getting your message across.” user=”SlideGenius” hashtags=”content, strat” url=”https://www.slidegenius.com/blog/how-to-engage-audiences-with-your-mirror-neurons/” template=”light”]

When someone feels down, we tend to sympathize with the person involved, letting our brains respond with comfort.

We might be unaware of this kind of response, but for presenters, this is an effective technique to use when getting your message across.

What Makes it Effective?

Moving towards the audience doesn’t just help you physically interact with them. It also allows you to engage them using eye contact, facial expressions, movements, and gestures. In this case, you are more likely to convince your audience by reflecting some of their reactions.

This is useful when you want to connect with a large crowd. You might not be able to achieve it, but connecting with them without going near them physically is possible. Selecting a few members of your audience to engage, particularly those who are in front, will help you do this by activating their mirror neurons.

If one of your audiences look at another member, his brain tends to react the same as if you’re talking to him as well.

How Can You Apply This?

This technique can be used to create interest, focusing their attention on your performance. E-learning expert, Vicki Kunkel cites in her book Dr. Wayne Dyer, a well-known speaker and author, who is an expert at applying this technique to his performances.

Every time Dwyer presents, he’s able to make his audiences feel part of a story. He does it by describing the event itself and projecting body movements, showing people how it made him feel. Another way he manages this is by walking around in one part of the stage while tackling a subject.

When he changes or moves on to another topic, he transfers to a different area. This is to emphasize what he’s discussing and to make it easier for his audiences to follow the discussion.

Summing It Up

Master this technique to connect with your audience’s emotions, keeping them engaged and allowing them to fully understand your message. Take advantage of mirror neurons to influence your listeners’ reactions for a convincing pitch they can’t refuse.

To help you with your presentation needs, SlideGenius experts can offer you a free quote!

 

Reference

Kunkel, Vicki. Instant Appeal: The 8 Primal Factors That Create Blockbuster Success. New York: AMACOM, 2008.

 

Featured Image: Wikimedia