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

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

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

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

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

Ethos (Credibility)

Delivering a Persuasive Sales Pitch: Ethos (Credibility)

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

How do these factors translate to your PowerPoint presentation?

Include your credentials in a self-introduction slide.

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

Leverage your credibility by quoting other industry experts.

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

Pathos (Emotion)

Delivering a Persuasive Sales Pitch: Pathos (Emotion)

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

How will you add an emotional factor to your slides?

Tell a story.

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

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

Evoke emotions through visuals.

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

Logos (Logic)

Delivering a Persuasive Sales Pitch: Logos (Logic)

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

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

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

Use backup in the form of case studies and testimonials.

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

Use common concepts as analogies and make comparisons.

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

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

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

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References:

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

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

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

The Art of Persuasion: Delivering a Persuasive Sales Pitch

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

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

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

SlideGenius Blog Module One

We redesign PowerPoint presentations.

Get your free quote now.

get a free quote

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

Ethos (Credibility)

Delivering a Persuasive Sales Pitch: Ethos (Credibility)

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

How do these factors translate to your PowerPoint presentation?

Include your credentials in a self-introduction slide.

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

Leverage your credibility by quoting other industry experts.

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

Pathos (Emotion)

Delivering a Persuasive Sales Pitch: Pathos (Emotion)

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

How will you add an emotional factor to your slides?

Tell a story.

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

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

Evoke emotions through visuals.

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

Logos (Logic)

Delivering a Persuasive Sales Pitch: Logos (Logic)

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

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

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

Use backup in the form of case studies and testimonials.

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

Use common concepts as analogies and make comparisons.

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

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

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

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Get professionally designed PowerPoint slides weekly.

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Finding the Perfect Topic for Your Business Presentation

To deliver a great business presentation, you need to go full blast from the get-go. Even when you’re still trying to come up with ideas for your talk, you should dedicate ample time and effort in your work. The perfect topic won’t come knocking on your door—you have to find it and work hard for it.

But isn’t that the question, exactly? How hard do you need to work to come up with the right topic for a presentation? How do ideas come to be in the first place? Where do they come from and how do you get hold of them?

The Birth of an Idea

Steven Johnson on his TED talk, “Where Good Ideas Come From,” described an idea to be “a network on the most elemental level,” and a new idea as “a new network of neurons firing in sync with each other inside your brain.” When you have a lightbulb moment, your brain is essentially forming new patterns that it has never formed before. This is what gives you a sense of enlightenment—an epiphany, so to speak.

With great ideas in your arsenal, you can deliver a business presentation that will keep your audience at the edge of their seats. But a list of ideas is not enough. You need to narrow it down to one topic that will give you and your audience utter satisfaction. Here’s an infographic to help you do just that.

Now, you have the recipe for the perfect topic. What’s left is to create a compelling business presentation that stays true to your subject matter. Remember, your job is far from over. Choosing a topic for your talk is just the beginning. Now that you have the foundation for your speech, it’s time to start building new ideas over it.

Resource:

Johnson, Steven. “Where Good Ideas Come From.” TED. September 2010. www.ted.com/talks/steven_johnson_where_good_ideas_come_from/transcript?language=en

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4 Types of Charts You Should Use for Business Presentations

Using charts is tricky for business presentations. More often than not, they tend to overload your slides with numbers and distract your audience from your main findings.

Similar to using spreadsheets, these are tools used to analyze data before presenting them. However, charts have one advantage over spreadsheets: They can visually compare and show relationships between numbers and information, making them more understandable for the audience. This also lets you hold their interest long enough to get your point across.

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If you absolutely need to use charts, these are the four basic types that can help simplify an otherwise long and boring topic.

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1. The Organizational Chart

Business Presentations: Organizational Chart

This chart is used to explain relationships between members of a group.

Here, information is displayed in a top-to-bottom format, with the executive or manager at the top. The chart branches out to show direct and indirect relationships between staff, managers, and executives.

This gives everyone a clear picture of who reports to whom and who is responsible for what.

While the organizational chart explains structures, it doesn’t show how a company operates. You can use flowcharts to explain how your company does business with others. You can also use these to talk about any other type of business procedure.

2. The Flowchart

Business Presentations: Flow Chart

The flowchart is more linear, sometimes circular, in nature.

It’s best for explaining processes, especially during business presentations. The flowchart builds a clear picture of where something begins, what happens in between, and where it ends.

When using this chart, start with the first step. When an order comes in, what step follows next? Is there a step where the request is evaluated? Arrange them sequentially, and add if-and-then statements if something goes wrong with that step.

The more complicated a process is, the harder it is to illustrate with a flowchart. Stick to the basics and keep your illustration simple to avoid confusing your audience with too many numbers.

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3. The Line Graph

Business Presentations: Line Graph

One of the simplest to create and the easiest to understand, line graphs show progressions and can also forecast results.

If you were to track, for example, the increase and decrease of your company’s earnings per year, simply plot the period of time you need to measure on the horizontal X-axis. The vertical Y-axis will be used to measure the amount gained or lost.

After plotting the data, simply connect the points with a line to show their progression. You can even use it to compare similar types of data by using different colored lines.

Line graphs are great at comparing progressions, but if you want to accurately show increases and decreases in value, bar graphs are perfect for the job.

4. The Bar Graph

Business Presentations: Bar Graph

While they can also show comparisons over time like line graphs, bar graphs are used for measuring larger changes.

The two main variants for bar graphs are horizontal and vertical graphs. Both rely on rectangles to show how much one thing is worth against another. For example, if you were to measure the net worth of similar companies with a vertical bar graph, you could arrange the company names in the horizontal X-axis, and set the values in the vertical Y-axis. The higher the rectangle displayed, the more valuable the company is. For horizontal graphs, these are more appropriate for data with longer labels. The usage is the same with a vertical graph, except that the X and Y axes are reversed.

Which Chart Should You Use?

4 Types of Charts

Instead of you simply talking about information with a slide full of text, these charts can conveniently illustrate your data.

It can be about procedures, your organizational structure, or even the progressions and comparisons between information.

While these four graphs can illustrate and compare several things at once, they can overload your slides if they contain too much information. Keep only the most essential processes and state only the most important individuals in any organizational structure.

It’s best to limit your comparisons to at least three things to make your presentation easier to understand.

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References:

“Types of Graphs – Bar Graphs.” Types of Graphs. n.d. www.typesofgraphs.com/bar.html
“Types of Graphs – FlowCharts.” Types of Graphs. n.d. www.typesofgraphs.com/flow.html
“Types of Graphs – Line Graphs.” Types of Graphs. n.d. www.typesofgraphs.com/line.html
“Types of Graphs – Organizational Chart.” Types of Graphs. n.d. www.typesofgraphs.com/organizational.html

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Why ‘Planning Analog’ is Better than ‘Going Digital?’

There are two basic steps to planning: conceptualizing, and organizing your ideas. These steps determine your presentation’s core message. After all, you won’t be able to discover what points would work and what wouldn’t without careful planning. This involves in-depth research and freewriting before you can come up with the best ideas that you can focus on.

But where do most presenters begin when planning for their pitch and deck? In some cases, most of them go digital to start the process. They use presentation software programs like PowerPoint to identify and structure their discussion points.

Alternatively, some still prefer writing down and outlining rough ideas using the analog approach. They use this method to allow their thoughts to flow naturally without the distraction of any digital devices.

You might be asking, between these two methods, where do you begin planning your business presentation? Should you think digital, or plan analog?

In this post, we’ll cover how planning analog is more effective than the digital method. But before we proceed, let’s look at how each approach varies to find out which fits your purposes.

The Downside of ‘Planning Digital’

The Downside of Planning Digital

Nothing’s wrong with going digital when you start throwing in all your presentation ideas. It actually helps you do straight edits and modifications on your slides, making your work easier.

While others may view this approach as helpful, some may not agree with putting their ideas straight to the deck. Just by doing it often might negatively affect the deck’s overall quality.

PowerPoint offers support to your performance, but it can also distract the crowd when your edits result in a cluttered slide deck. Outlining your thoughts this way limits your ideas from flowing naturally since you’re editing on the fly.

Giving in to what PowerPoint can provide makes you stay within your comfort zone. With a digital device on hand, planning won’t be smooth sailing compared to an idea generated with a pen and paper.

The Benefits of ‘Planning Analog’

The analog technique uses brainstorming as a mind-mapping strategy to dig up brilliant ideas.

It enables speakers to generate ideas on a paper, sticky note, or whiteboard, helping you to flesh out more important points for your topic.

Here are more good reasons why you should opt for this approach during the planning stage:

a. Provides Clearer Objectives

Provides clearer objectivesListing down your ideas helps you determine what you want your audience to understand, even if this list was made on a simple sticky note. This involves bringing together your key points and highlighting your presentation’s main message. Also, it gives you an idea in identifying what objectives will successfully execute your plans.

In this way, you can think of effective strategies that will not only generate audience interest, but will also guide you in creating an outline that compresses your thoughts.

Focus on your goals to develop cohesive content that emphasizes your core objective.

b. Reinforces Creativity

Reinforces creativityStructuring your pitch using a pen and a paper allows you to come up with better ideas to improve your visuals. Choosing these traditional drawing tools helps you produce different concepts relevant to your subject.

Dumping your thoughts straight to PowerPoint can make your deck’s structure look haphazard since content weren’t arranged systematically beforehand.

When planning, consider going to other places where you can discover new ideas that can build up your pitch. Squeeze out your creative juices by creating a storyboard using traditional tools. This lets you sort out and prioritize your points first.

c. Saves Time

Saves timeIt doesn’t only unleash your creative side, but it also saves you time when creating a perfectly-designed deck. Planning analog gives you more time to categorize and specify each idea that you’ve gathered and thought of.

According to sales trainer Jerson James, arranging your ideas using a computer will only distract you with other things. These distractions include email alerts and even other office tasks, which only draw attention away from your main priority.

Time yourself when organizing your thoughts. Even something as simple as taking a five to ten-minute breather to sort out your ideas can help you arrange everything afterwards.

Let’s Go Analog!

Let's Go AnalogWhether you prefer to do it on your laptop, or on a piece of paper, planning is important to deliver your message effectively. Choosing between planning digital and analog isn’t a problem. Skipping the stage can only make things worse. However, using the analog approach is more advisable since it opens a doorway of great and clearer ideas, as James wrote in his article.

Remove any barriers when planning for a visually-appealing presentation. Concentrate on drafting your pitch to produce clearer objectives that’ll help you achieve your main goal.

Use traditional tools to reinforce creativity that offers fresh, new perspectives that’ll entice the audience. Plan analog to save time and keep you from any distractions that’ll put the entire presentation at stake. Once you’re done, then you can open your PowerPoint and execute your plans to craft a winning deck.

Need a well-designed PowerPoint presentation? Contact the SlideGenius team now to get a free quote!

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Reference

James, Jerson. “Preparing for a Presentation? Think Analog.” LinkedIn. July 13, 2014. Accessed October 19, 2015. www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140713181747-35264839-preparing-for-a-presentation-think-analog

Prepare Your Defenses: Battling Noise in Sales Presentations

As we’ve seen in stories, zombies are drawn to loud noises. This lets them swarm you and prevent you from reaching whatever goal you have set. Applying this in our line of work as presenters, there’s no better way to infect the audience with zombie-like expressions than letting noise interfere with your own pitch.

It’s impossible to get your message across if the crowd can’t hear you properly, but this isn’t limited to sounds that your audience can hear. Noise can also come in the form of unnecessary interruptions that get in the way of your business presentation. Technical glitches, distracting colors, inappropriate pictures, unreadable fonts, even a malfunctioning air conditioner can all count as noise.

Simply put, anything that makes your listeners uncomfortable is a potential hazard. These can prevent you from convincing them to invest in your proposal, which means lost partners and potential profits. Fortunately, there are two types of noise and three ways to immunize your clients from it.

In a post written on Public Speaking Tips, professional speaker and author, Lenny Laskowski, states that noise comes in two forms: external and internal.

External Noise

extermal noise in a presentation: walking dead themeThe first type may come from your surroundings, disrupting effective communication with your listeners. An unsilenced phone going off, a tall person blocking the view of another behind him, or an unexpected update notification flashing in the middle of your presentation can get in the way of delivering a successful performance.

Parts of your audio-visual aid might even unintentionally distract your audience. For example, if the speaker volume isn’t high enough, any narration that might be embedded won’t be heard. The same thing applies to your visuals if the screen is too bright or too dark.

Using colors can also be a distraction. If the setting or topic requires formality, using bright colors isn’t ideal to complement a formal presentation. The same goes for times when you need to put on an energetic personality and fire up your audience but end up using dark colors in your slides.

The venue itself is also a factor. If it’s too hot, too dark, or uncomfortable because there aren’t enough seats, people may have trouble listening to you. That’s why you should always check out the area beforehand.

Internal Noiseinternal noise in a presentation: walking dead theme

The second type, internal distractions, are worse because these come from within and may include your own negative thoughts and feelings.

You might be emotionally distracted by being too enthusiastic or possibly tired, which can affect the energy you have for your presentation. A lack of energy or sounding too serious can give the impression that you just want to get your speech over with. It may be fine to sound enthusiastic, but too much of it, like in an investor’s presentation, might make you sound too biased if you make promises without backing them up with hard facts. Alternatively, if you become too serious in an event that needs a more casual and friendly setting, this can send the wrong impression to your clients and infect them with that same lack of interest.

On the other hand, the audience might also be biased or have misgivings about your topic, especially if you present any new unproven products that have yet to enter the market. While skepticism may be unavoidable, you need to prepare for possible contrasting opinions during your Q&A section if you have one.

Here are three things to consider when combatting both types of noise to safeguard your presentation’s success:

1. Detect the Source of Noise detect noise and proceed to your presentation: walking dead theme

Damon Verial, a professional writer and contributor for various Web sites, including eHow, tackles the importance of finding the source of noise. He explains that depending on the importance of the situation, noise should be eliminated through various means.

Careful preparation is what helps you avoid unwanted interruptions, but despite your best efforts, some unexpected circumstances are still hard to prepare for. For example, your laptop might randomly shut off, or your slides could suddenly freeze while presenting. In times like these, you need to have backup devices that have copies of your presentation, if possible, so you can pick up where you left off immediately.

Before striking back, identify the root of the problem to find an immediate solution. Was it lack of preparation that disgruntled you? Or was it a problem with the venue that disturbed your presentation? The former can be taken as a lesson for what to prepare for next time. The latter can be resolved with some help. In this case, ask for the organizer’s help to take control of the situation and minimize any disruptions.

For technical problems, politely ask the coordinator to help you fix any issues so you can continue your presentation. This will help you handle the situation and put everything in place. Lighting problems, sound systems, microphones, and even power cables are things that they should be ready for.

2. Sharpen Your Listening Skills

sharpen listening skills for better presentation: walking dead themeYour job isn’t limited to speaking; listening is also vital to dealing with your audience. With the end goal of delivering a message, improving your listening skills is an essential part of the process. You need to know what concerns your clients will have when you bring your proposal to the table. These aren’t limited to prices. Timelines, implementation costs, and possible benefits are also factors to determining how feasible your proposal can be.

However, passive listening isn’t enough. To be an effective listener, actively seek out and attend to people’s concerns. This lets you better understand what they mean when they ask questions about your topic. After all, noise works both ways too: you need to ask for clarifications if clients voice out their concerns in order to prevent any misunderstanding and give appropriate responses.

By being an attentive listener, you get to answer in a constructive and engaging manner while showing your audience respect. This gives the impression that you genuinely want to know what others need, as opposed to simply pushing your products out and hoping someone will be willing to invest in them.

Aside from convincing them to voice out their opinions, give your viewers a chance to help you clarify anything that needs to be addressed. This prevents any possible misunderstandings that can divert their attention.

3. Harness the Power of Repetition

stress relevant info in your presentation: walking dead theme

Never underestimate the power of repetition when combatting unwanted noise. People remembering your pitch after it’s over can make the difference between success and failure. If your prospects remember what you want them to, and you give them the means to contact you afterwards, you’re halfway to converting more leads to sales.

Simply having excellent speaking skills isn’t enough. You also want your listeners to remember the best parts of your performance. That’s why audience recall is important in any presentation. Keep your points simple enough to repeat them for emphasis but not so much that you endlessly reiterate each one. Are there aspects of your proposal that you can reduce into one to three words? Use these to reinforce your speech and support your facts so that the audience will remember exactly what you stand for.

A simple way to improve recall is to repeat your main points during vital breaks or at the end of your pitch. This highlights important takeaways for the audience, emphasizing your thoughts and stressing relevant information for your listeners to make your pitch memorable.

Done right, it makes your pitch sound more entertaining and convincing.

The Takeaway: Always Stay Alertstay alert: walking dead theme

Always anticipate an onslaught of diversions. These can come from the venue, your equipment, your slides, or even yourself or the audience. Consider the appropriate tools to use and have backups in place when technical breakdowns happen. It won’t hurt to coordinate with your organizers for any contingencies you can use in worst-case scenarios, too. This lets you stay focused to avoid further distracting your listeners.

Instead of immediately going on the offensive, strengthen your defenses against disturbing noises that can ruin your performance. At the same time, maintain a solid feedback line for communicating with your audience. They may not always understand you, but if you take efforts to understand their side of things, you’ll be able to find out exactly what causes the noise on their end. You’ll also come across as someone who wants to build better business partnerships with other people rather than a typical salesman who simply talks about their own products without considering if it’s the right fit for his customers.

Don’t let negative thoughts or circumstances overwhelm you. Combat them by detecting the unnecessary noise, enhancing your listening skills, and reiterating your ideas to make sure everyone gets the point. Once you’ve got unnecessary noise under control, you’ll have the audience focusing on the most important things: the benefits that you can give them, and why they should choose you over the competition. This’ll prevent spreading blank stares to the audience and help you convert more leads for your business.

 

References:

Laskowski, Lenny. “Aspect 6 – The Noise.” Public Speaking Tips, May 22, 2015. www.ljlseminars.blogspot.com
Verial, Damon. “How to Overcome Noise Barriers in Communication.” eHow, n.d. www.ehow.com/how_8031308_overcome-noise-barriers-communication.html

On the Other Slide: 3 PowerPoint Hacks to Improve Your Deck

PowerPoint may be a user-friendly tool, but its functions go beyond templated slide designs and bullet-point lists. You don’t have to stick to plain slides and clunky graphics. Instead, why not improve your deck and create a design that’s suited for your presentation?

Here are some PowerPoint hacks to help you do just that:

1. Be Creative with Your Images

powerpoint hacks

It’s no secret that the leading cause of Death by PowerPoint, or complete audience boredom, is a slide overloaded with too much information.

Replace blocks of text with images or keywords you can expound on. This leaves you free to talk more and keeps the audience’s attention fixed on you. However, some presenters use this as an excuse to insert random images in their slides in an uninspired layout.

Make your deck more interesting by being creative with your use of images. Instead of copy-pasting a stock image to the middle of your deck, why not crop and edit it first? Crop images to your desired size by dragging the crop handles that will appear around your picture once you format it. Creatively incorporating and tweaking images to perfectly fit your deck lets you illustrate the essence of your core message without boring your audience.

2. Enhance Design with Animation

powerpoint animation

Depending on how you use them, animation and transition can make or break your presentation.

Some presenters have been criticized for their excessive use of slide transitions and animations. For example, business presentations may require no more than a simple wipe. Overdoing it with a dramatic transition like Fracture or Dissolve may lessen your professional credibility.

Fortunately, Microsoft’s presented a solution to that problem and released one of PowerPoint’s latest features, Morph. The add-in allows users to create seamless and impressive animations that can also be used as a slide transition.The Morph option can be found under Transitions, and it lets you animate your desired slide element, which can be in the form of objects, text, or images.

Unlike the previous animation options for PowerPoint, this transition type requires you to draw out a work path for the object you want to animate. You can just drag the slide element in the direction you want it to go. When you view your presentation, the object will move on its own without needing a prompt, like a mouse click. This frees your hands and lets you further use body language to emphasize key points and connect with the audience instead of having to focus on operating a clicker.

3. Have Your Pitch in Mind

powerpoint hacks

Everything on your deck should contribute to your pitch.

That said, the greatest PowerPoint hack is to always keep your pitch in mind when you’re crafting your slides. Extraneous elements will only distract the audience from your main point. Before adding anything, think about why you’re putting it there and whether it will enhance your spiel.

Keep an outline of your content to remind you of your slide order. Highlight key terms you want to emphasize in your visual aid so you’ll know what to include and what can be saved for verbal elaboration.

Decide whether you should plug in your data as text or whether you can improve on it by presenting it creatively. For example, diagrams, charts, and other visual representations may make hard information more palatable to your audience.

Content, delivery, and visuals should all go hand-in-hand, so don’t leave out one for the other. Make sure you develop each of these elements equally for an overall winning presentation.

The Takeaway: Take Advantage of PowerPoint’s Features

ideas

PowerPoint is a constantly growing software, rich with new features. Improvements in the presentation tool make it possible to improve your deck without too much hassle. To summarize:

  1. Be creative with your deck design and experiment with image layout and position. Crop and edit pictures before putting them on your slides so that they can work together with your overall design to get your message across.
  2. Make use of PowerPoint’s latest features, particularly Morph for animation, to make your deck more attractive and interactive.
  3. At the same time, always align your deck with your pitch. Good design used inappropriately can still lead to a confusing presentation.

Craft a winning deck with these PowerPoint hacks, or contact our SlideGenius experts today for a free quote!

 

References:

“PowerPoint 2013: Formatting Pictures.” GCF Learn Free. www.gcflearnfree.org/powerpoint2013/17
“Using the Morph Transition in PowerPoint 2016.” Office Blogs. www.support.office.com/en-us/article/Using-the-Morph-transition-in-PowerPoint-2016-8dd1c7b2-b935-44f5-a74c-741d8d9244ea

Preparation: Your Weapon to a Clear Presentation Flow

It doesn’t matter if you’re in the middle of a business presentation or a zombie apocalypse.

You won’t survive by going in unarmed and unready.

Preparation is key to ensuring your survival.

A measured approach smoothens and improves presentation flow.

This makes you a more effective and engaging speaker.

Learn how to survive with this infographic presentation made by our expert writers and designers here at SlideGenius.com.

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3 Ways to Combat Noise in Your Business Presentation

Have you wondered why it seems difficult to deliver your message clearly and effectively? Things such as noise can negatively affect your business presentation, making it impossible to get your message across since they can’t easily understand what you’re trying to say. According to eHow contributor, Damon Verial, noise also acts as a communication barrier that stumps your overall performance.

Learn how noise disrupts your success as a presenter, preventing you from conveying your point clearly.

Two Types of Noise

Your job doesn’t end after preparing your PowerPoint slides and crafting your pitch. In fact, your actual performance begins when you might experience unexpected slip-ups. One of those is noise. There are two kinds of noise which presenters often face:

1. External Noise

This includes distracting sounds such as:

  • audiences laughing
  • background noise
  • any accidents that affect your overall performance

This type of noise is sometimes unavoidable, since these are outside factors beyond your control.

2. Internal Noise

This kind of noise involves your own thinking and that of your audience’s. It includes being uncomfortable about your topic, worrying about how your audiences perceive you, or failing to recognize their needs. While these can be controlled with careful practice before you present, mistakes are still possible even with the strictest rehearsal.

There are three ways to combat this kind of noise and effectively communicate with your audience:

a. Determine the Cause of Noise

Internal and even external noise can be controlled to a certain extent. Identify its source to find an immediate solution. If the problem is in the venue, you can adjust by politely telling the organizer to resolve the particular distraction.

For example, if it’s technical problems or any physical noise, ask them to fix it so you can proceed with your message. You might not be able to remove it entirely, but you can prevent further distractions that may affect your performance.

b. Enhance Your Listening Skills

As a speaker, you need to understand that speaking isn’t your only job. Since your objective is to make your audience understand your message, listening is part of the process. Keep them engaged by asking them to participate and giving them a chance to speak up.

It also prevents any misunderstandings, which are also considered as noise.

c. Use Repetition for Emphasis

This reminds your audience of significant ideas from your pitch, especially if they were unable to understand your point. Reiterating your thoughts enables you to highlight what you want them to learn and to focus on providing them with memorable information.

This shows that you respect the time they spent listening to your pitch, and you want to give them something in return.

Conclusion

Noise prevents you from giving your message clearly. While it’s true that it can be controlled to a certain extent, learning how to fight this distraction will help you communicate effectively with your audience. By identifying the source of noise, you’ll be able to solve that particular problem and lessen any negative effects.

Listening also helps you to easily understand your audience and avoid being misunderstood. Repeating your points allows you to emphasize what you want them to learn. It also shows that you care about your audience.

Applying these will give you a more effective and successful presentation. To help you with your PowerPoint presentation needs, let SlideGenius experts assist you!

 

References

Check Out The Room Before You Speak.” Total Communicator. Accessed September 11, 2015.
Overcome Anxiety Like Presentation Expert Warren Buffett.” SlideGenius, Inc. May 04, 2015. Accessed September 11, 2015.
Verial, Damon. “How to Overcome Noise Barriers in Communication.” eHow. Accessed September 11, 2015.

 

Finding Common Ground: Key to Professional Presentations

Inevitably, you’ll encounter a crowd of listeners with highly mixed and diverse backgrounds.

Their differences can be in levels of knowledge, perspectives, responsibilities, and expectations. They’ll likely have concerns that mirror their diversity.

You want to address all their issues without taking too much time presenting.

At the same time, you want to make sure your approach caters to all their learning needs.

Professional speakers can bridge the gaps inbetween by finding common ground to optimize their presentation.

Understand Their Perspective

Always begin by finding out as much as you can about who you’ll be presenting to.

If possible, request help from intermediaries to get you in contact with people who’ll be attending your presentation.

Find out as much as you can about their experiences and competencies, their important concerns and questions, and their preferences in enjoying presentations.

In case you can’t talk to them personally, ask people of similar backgrounds to give you an idea of what you need to do to better prepare.

If you’re unable to get in contact with your potential audience in advance or ask people of similar qualifications, come to the venue early. You can use this extra time to mingle with your audience before the appointed time.

Not only will this lessen your chances of running late, it’ll also make you look more professional because the audience will see that you don’t waste anybody’s time.

Identify and Avoid Misunderstandings

Sometimes, an investment pitch will be unsuccessful because the audience misunderstood or misinterpreted information.

Usually, you can answer questions through a Q&A session after your main presentation.

However, you can avoid this problem altogether by researching your information and checking your facts correctly.

Don’t get tangled in an awkward situation where an audience member catches you on factual mistakes. This embarrassment can cost you potential clients.

Also, base all of your arguments on clear data. Avoid jumping to conclusions based on incomplete raw numbers or facts.

Don’t prematurely claim a long-term upward trend in profits based on just one week of data with a sample size of one sole company.

The one thing an audience will hate more than being confused is being willfully deceived.

Connect the Dots

Now that you know what your listeners have in common, you can easily craft a message that speaks to each of them, while sounding like you understand them as a whole.

Based on what you’ve found out about them, you can easily determine which stories or metaphors the whole crowd can relate to.

This will also help you determine if you can speak in a more conversational tone or if it would be safer to use a more formal tone.

Knowing the composition of your audience also lets you decide the amount of jargon you can let through with your speech. You wouldn’t want to seem highfaluting while explaining to a crowd of marketers, would you?

Common Ground

A diverse group of listeners requires an approach that caters to each one of them, while also connecting with all of them simultaneously.

Getting into their head allows you to best cater your message for your mixed audience.

Proper and responsible research and fact-checking avoids embarrassing situations and misinformation.

All of this guides your message and allows you to deliver it to best inform, engage, and convince.

Find the common ground to radiate a credible professional vibe for any presentation opportunity.

References

http://smartblogs.com/leadership/2014/06/17/finding-common-ground-with-your-audience/