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How Data Visualization Can Make or Break a Business Presentation

Data visualization is a powerful force, and adding a slideshow not only enhances the message you’re trying to deliver, it gives it context.

Make no mistake: when data is involved, a visual is essential. A well-designed presentation with ample data visualization is a surefire way to get your message across. Plus, it’ll keep people engaged. Nothing puts people to sleep faster than someone rattling off statistics or trying to explain quantitative change over time.

Having a contextual representation of the data helps presenters stimulate their audience, giving onlookers a reason to pay attention.

A quarterly boardroom presentation, the pitch for a merger or acquisition, an appeal to stakeholders, the next big company initiative—whatever the subject of your business presentation, it demands data visualization.

Without something to look at, your message may fall on deaf ears.

What is Data Visualization?

Data visualization turns quantifiable data into something more than graphs, tables and charts. It creates comparisons through images and makes sense of data beyond numbers.

More than turning numbers into images, data visualization connects them with three important context variables: MeaningCause and Dependency. These variables help audiences better understand what they’re seeing and connect them to the greater concept.

Why is it Critical?

Humans are visual creatures! Hence, every business presentation involving data needs a slideshow.

Engaging your audience’s sense of sight, along with aural stimulation, is a twofold way to get your point across—especially if it involves data and figures.

Take a moment to think about math.

Most people can’t do a multi-step equation in their head. But, give them a piece of paper and a pencil and they’ll have no trouble working it out in short order.

The people viewing your business presentation may not have to solve any problems, but the concept is the same. Without visualization, it’s hard to come to a conclusion or contextualize data. Creating a visual makes it easier for the brain to digest information.

Take the following simple statement, for example:

“Customers were four times more likely to buy Product X than Product Y, and nine times more likely than Product Z.”

Hearing that statement might raise a few eyebrows, but it’s hard to visualize what that means in your head. Instead, attach those figures to pictures of the products or proportionate representations, and you’ve created context.

Suddenly, the data is about more than numbers—it’s about competition. It’s about market share. It’s about dominance.

Here’s a great visualization of the world’s biggest data breaches:

As you can see, good data visualization connects figures to concepts in a way that provokes thought beyond the numbers. It gives meaning to the greater concept, reveals the cause behind the figures, and explains the dependency of the data, so people can make broader conclusions.

Data Visualization isn’t Always Easy

While data visualization is the key to getting your message across, creating it is easier said than done. It needs to walk the fine line of creativity, relevancy, and clarity, or people will miss the message entirely.

Keep this acronym in mind:

  • Clearly distinguish the data 
  • Leverage powerful imagery 
  • Explain the “in” 
  • Allude to the bigger picture 
  • Remove unnecessary elements 

Remember that this is meant to make data appealing. Someone should be able to see the data, contextualize it, and connect it to a larger concept.

But more than that, data visualization should tell a story.

Let’s say you’re describing Total Addressable Market (TAM), Serviceable Available Market (SAM) and Target Market (TM) in a pitch deck.

It’s one thing to say “our TAM is 80 million people, our SAM is 40 million people and our TM is 10 million people.” It may be true, but it’s uninspiring. It doesn’t tell the story of your product, brand or abilities. Instead, consider the power of data visualization:

Data visualization has levels, too.

In the above example, you might use your brand’s colors to delineate the different groups or arrange the icons in the shape of your logo. It’s subtle nuances like this that empower data visualization and drive the point home.

For most people at the helm of a business presentation, it’s hard to conceive these nuances when designing a slideshow.

Business professionals are intent on delivering the message—they’re not as engaged in how it’s delivered. Only someone with a background in graphic design or media analysis understands how important the little things are in data visualization.

And while almost everyone has access to PowerPoint, few people have the design chops and creative ability to execute exceptional data visualization.

PowerPoint is the Gold Standard for Data Visualization

Let’s make one thing clear: PowerPoint is the premier tool for data visualization.

We’ve all seen our fair share of bad PowerPoint presentations, but that’s not representative of how powerful this software truly is. In the right hands, PowerPoint is a game-changer for any business presentation.

PowerPoint offers numerous tools to make understanding facts and figures easier, particularly when it comes to data visualization. In-suite table and graph generation makes it easy to turn data sets into basic visuals—color-coded, labeled and in myriad styles.

Drag-and-drop, resize and stylistic tools also make it easy to insert prepared images into the presentation itself. Animation keeps audiences engaged! While we don’t recommend the star wipe for a formal presentation, dissolves, fades and curls are all great options.

For someone with a graphic design background, PowerPoint is a playground for making even the driest facts and figures interesting and exciting.

Data Demands a Visual Experience

It doesn’t matter how interesting or important your data is, it’s not going to have the effect you want it to without visualization to make it real.

For a business presentation to be successful, it takes emphasis on data visualization and the design elements that make important information pop off the page. If you’re going to give a business presentation with a visual element, make sure the visual is truly engaging. Dropping text into a PowerPoint isn’t enough. Adding colors and transitions might make it flashy, but they don’t inspire your audience.

To take your presentation to the next level and drive home a true understanding takes data visualization, done right.

What are Designers’ Go-To Fonts for PowerPoint Presentations?

Your performance as a speaker, with the effective integration of powerful visuals, make a good presentation. If you want to get the branding right, you should balance these two in every pitch.

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If you’re going to use a PowerPoint presentation for your pitch, you have to remember that the content of your deck should reflect your overall message.

One way to emphasize the content is through using the right fonts. This aspect of visual design is one of the most important choices you have to make. Arranging the text strategically in your presentation can help you send a powerful message.

Getting a customized PowerPoint presentation? Here are a few things you should know about font styles?

Serif vs Sans Serif

These are font styles that you should familiarize yourself with. You can use these for various parts of the presentation, differentiating one part from another, or putting emphasis to retain information.

If you see small elements extending from the letters, these are called “serifs” and fonts with these are commonly used in magazines, books, or anything related to print. Sans serif lacks the projecting elements jutting from the edges. You can see this style dominating most web-based experiences.

To give you a visual representation of the two styles, take Garamond and Arial for example. Garamond is characterized by the small lines at the ends of its characters while Arial has none of these.

While on the topic of various font styles, fonts are categorized in five different ways: Geometric, Humanist, Old Style, Transitional, Modern, and Slab Serif.

Font Alternatives

Times New Roman had been the default font for Word Documents for decades, only to be replaced by Calibri in Office 2007. If you would like to veer from the norm, here are some fonts you can use as alternatives:

  • Libertad
  • Carrig
  • Helvetica
  • Raleway
  • Open Sans
  • Alégre Sans
  • Roboto
  • Futura
  • Lato
  • Centabel Book

Before you choose your font, however, here are factors you need to consider before:

Theme

The font you choose should go well with the theme of your presentation—it should match the message you’re trying to convey—because if it doesn’t complement the look and feel of your deck, it will be noticeable.

Demographics

Know who your audience is—their age range, their interests. It’s important that you engage them through things they understand and like. For example, if you’re presenting to a group of young people, make sure that you’re using a typeface that can be easily understood.

Legibility

To make sure you hold the readers’ attention, make sure the text is readable. Save the fancy-looking fonts for headlines and more prominent usages.

Mood

This is what you get when you combine the aesthetics of the typeface to the readability of the text. The font you choose evokes an emotion, but its readability can take communication to a whole new level.

There are plenty of fonts to choose from, which is why you should stick to just one. Two to three types should suffice—no point in combining two fonts that look the same. Improve your design by combining the ones that complement each other and let your presentation stand out.

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References:

Saltz, Ina. “Serif vs. Sans Serif.” LinkedIn Learning. February 1, 2013. linkedin.com/learning/graphic-design-foundations-typography/serif-vs-sans-serif

Mann, Meredith. “Where Did Times New Roman Come From?” New York Public Library. December 9, 2014. www.nypl.org/blog/2014/12/09/times-new-roman

Friend, Joe. “Why Did Microsoft Change the Default Font to Calibri?” Forbes. December 18, 2013. www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2013/12/18/why-did-microsoft-change-the-default-font-to-calibri/#11a89f613e06

Bonneville, Douglas. “How to Choose a Font—A Step-by-Step Guide.” Smashing Magazine. March 24, 2011. www.smashingmagazine.com/2011/03/how-to-choose-a-typeface/

Are Visuals in Business Presentations Actually Helpful?

Visual aids upgrade your speech, as the combination of content and design add flare to your presentation. These make your pitch more understandable and allow your audience to follow the discussion with their eyes.

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Before making a customized PowerPoint presentation, your goals must be clear—you should be sure of the message you want to convey. When you have a plan, you’ll know what you have to work on to achieve your objectives.

So what exactly is so important about visual aids that it’s imperative that you prepare one for your business presentation?

It conveys the message loud and clear.

Visuals help you catch your audience’s attention and engage them throughout your presentation. With these, you can communicate complex ideas in an understandable way. Rather than “telling,” you’re “showing” the audience exactly what you want to say, allowing them to make connections on their own—given that the graphics you use are relevant to your discussion.

Approximately three-quarters of adults in America own a smartphone, making it one of the most quickly adopted consumer technologies to date. Apart from this, they spend almost five hours on their phones. Why is this number important?

As a presenter, you’d want to keep your audience’s eyes on you. So, to keep their attention off their phones, you have to make your visual aids appealing. Add graphics, images, and animations relevant to the topic at hand and you’re good to go.

It elicits emotions.

Images are highly subjective. That said, there are certain categories that are more likely to elicit strong emotional responses compared to others. Images can help establish a long-term connection with the hearts and minds of your audience.

Rather than using bullet points, images that resonate with the audience inspire them to act. Plus, this makes it easier for them to retain information for a longer period.

It saves processing time.

A picture paints a thousand words and it holds true to this day. Using visuals relevant to your presentation is less time-consuming compared to writing a few hundred words. Apart from that, you’d only need to make sure that what you say revolves around that.

In addition, because your audience’s brain works overtime to process all the information fed to them, visuals prove to be the most efficient way to make your discussion easier to understand.

Your visual aids shouldn’t distract your audience, but rather help them reach the core of your presentation. These can either make or break their first impression of what you are pitching and you as a presenter. Simplicity is key when it comes to customized PowerPoint presentations—the best way to keep your audience’s attention is by removing clutter.

Nothing else maximizes efficiency and effectiveness quite like professionally designed visual aids, but take note: you may have the best PowerPoint design, but its purpose is only to add interest and enhance the way you convey your message. You’re still the star of the show, which is why you still have to do well with your speech.

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References:

Miltner, Olivia. “You’re Not Addicted to Your Smartphone – You Just Really Like People.” OZY. April 1, 2018. www.ozy.com/acumen/youre-not-addicted-to-your-smartphone-you-just-really-like-people/85737

Tierney, Leah. “6 Types of Images That Elicit an Emotional Response.” Shutterstock. May 5, 2017. www.shutterstock.com/blog/6-types-of-images-that-elicit-an-emotional-response

“Using Visual Aids.” University of Pittsburgh. www.speaking.pitt.edu/student/public-speaking/visualaids.html

Are We There Yet?: How to Measure Marketing Success

Triumph may seem easy enough to identify, but there are actually different measures and indicators of marketing success.

Don’t compare yourself to bigger and more established organizations’ achievements if you’re still starting out. Good marketing strategies take plenty of time to enact. Ultimately, they depend on the goals you’ve set and how long you’ve been going.

But how do you really know if you’ve made it big? Here are three ways to make it easier to find out:

Set a Goal and a Timeline 

Like we’ve said, different businesses peak at different points. You can’t say you’re progressing or declining without definite proof.

If you want to measure how well you’re doing your job, look at your goals. Maximizer.com recommends you think of them as the Key Performance Indicators of an effective marketing campaign.

Some of the common KPIs to watch out for, according to Carolyn Edgecomb of Impact Branding and Design, are sales revenue, customer value, and conversion rate. But remember to measure your objectives alongside a specific timeline.

How much return on investment do you expect after three months? After five years? Visualizing your goals this way makes it easier for you to track your improvement.

Don’t expect to achieve everything overnight. You need to invest in your goals, and that effort takes time.

Know Where You Stand

One way to avoid unrealistic expectations is to know where you are in your marketing campaign.

Looking at your target beside your current position makes it more realistic. That’s where your timeline comes in handy.

At the end of every mark, see if you’ve reached the goal you set out with. This will let you know if you’ve attained a definite amount of success.

But remember that progress is continuous. You have to strive for further growth once you’ve gotten to where you want to be.  One success should only generate more ambitious pursuits.

Create new marketing strategies to address these. Development should only challenge you to keep on top of the competition.

End Action Rate

One way to avoid unrealistic expectations is to know where you are in your marketing campaign.

Looking at your target beside your current position makes it more realistic. That’s where your timeline comes in handy.

At the end of every mark, see if you’ve reached the goal you set out with. This will let you know if you’ve attained a definite amount of success.

But remember that progress is continuous. You have to strive for further growth once you’ve gotten to where you want to be.  One success should only generate more ambitious pursuits.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Progress is continuous. One success should only generate more ambitious pursuits.” user=”SlideGenius” hashtags=”marketing, biz” url=”https://www.slidegenius.com/blog/are-we-there-yet-how-to-measure-marketing-success/” template=”light”]

Create new marketing strategies to address these. Development should only challenge you to keep on top of the competition.

Conclusion

There are different indicators of a successful marketing campaign. It can be tricky to measure how well you’ve done with something that can seem so subjective.

However, this also means you get to move at your own pace. Work steadily and diligently through your goals.

Set a specific timeline that will help concretize your vision. What matters is that you prioritize your audience’s feedback to your promotions by monitoring their end action rate.

Need help with your business presentations? Contact our SlideGenius experts today and get a free quote!

 

References

Edgecomb, Carolyn. “The 10 Marketing KPIs You Should Be Tracking.” IMPACT Branding and Design. March 1, 2013. Accessed October 22, 2015. http://www.impactbnd.com/the-10-marketing-kpis-you-should-be-tracking

“End Action Rate.” Klipfolio. Accessed October 22, 2015. http://www.klipfolio.com/resources/kpi-examples/marketing/end-action-rate

“Key Performance Indicators For Marketing Professionals – Maximizer Blog.” Maximizer Blog Key Performance Indicators For Marketing Professionals Comments. June 24, 2015. Accessed October 22, 2015. http://www.maximizer.com/blog/key-performance-indicators-for-marketing-professionals/

 

Featured Image: “Success Key” by GotCredit on flickr.com

How to Open the .ODP Format Using PowerPoint 2013

The OpenOffice program’s OpenDocument Presentation (.odp) format is mostly used by professionals as a “lighter” alternative to Microsoft PowerPoint. The free software suite is an open-source program used for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, and other business endeavors, much like its paid counterpart. OpenOffice can also store lecture materials, documents, and business presentations.

While this may save costs for investing in the “heavier” Office Suite, the main issue is the .odp file format’s several incompatibilities with the Office Suite.

PowerPoint’s flexibility lets you open OpenDocument Presentation (.odp) files without a need to set up any tools or programs on your desktop or laptop. Just open the document as it is and view it from inside the program.

Some features of PowerPoint, such as SmartArt and transition sounds, aren’t supported by the OpenDocument Presentation format. So a PowerPoint user might have to make several accommodations for an OpenOffice user and vice versa, which takes time.

However, compatibility issues don’t make it impossible to open .odp in PowerPoint.

How to Open the .ODP Format Using PowerPoint 2013

1. Open Microsoft PowerPoint 2013.

open PPT 20132. Click the File tab and you’ll be taken to the Backstage view. Click on Open in the vertical ribbon.

click File3. Select the Computer icon and choose Browse. A dialog box named Open will appear.

choose Browse4. Make it easier to find your file by filtering your documents to only show “.odp” files. You can do this by clicking on the dropdown menu named All PowerPoint Presentations in the bottom right corner of the dialog box named Open.

Click on the dropdown menu named All PowerPoint Presentations5. Select OpenDocument Presentation from the dropdown menu.

Select OpenDocument Presentation6. Now, open your OpenDocument Presentation file.Open OpenDocument Presentation file

Important Information about the .ODP Format

Opening an OpenDocument Presentation might show up differently in PowerPoint 2013 because both programs don’t have all of each other’s supported features. Take a look at this list from Office.com to see which features of .odp are supported in PowerPoint.

Since compatibility is a major concern between the two programs, it’s best not to use advanced animations and complex transitions, especially those with sounds from PowerPoint. These won’t be able to show up in an OpenDocument Presentation.

Another step you should take is to check your .pptx file before forwarding it to your colleague or client. When you send the presentation as an .odp file, see if it looks the same when viewed in OpenOffice.

To make sure your formatted objects made from PowerPoint appear in OpenOffice, convert the formatted elements into an image in your PowerPoint file so that it can be viewed in an OpenOffice Presentation. Take note that when you save your charts or shapes as an image, you won’t be able to edit it afterwards.

Yes, PowerPoint Can Definitely Open .ODP!

Make sure to follow each step above to help you open this file format. Don’t forget to consult the list from Microsoft Office for concerns on compatibility.

To help you with your presentation needs, our PowerPoint professionals can help you out with a free quote!

 

References:

Bennet, Kirk. “How to Open .Odp Files on PowerPoint.” Business & Entrepreneurship. n.d. yourbusiness.azcentral.com/open-odp-files-powerpoint-4304.html
“Supported Features in OpenDocument Presentation (.odp) Format.” Office. n.d. support.office.com/en-us/article/Supported-features-in-OpenDocument-presentation-odp-format-f6d5b015-a417-4096-bf61-a5c3f58d125f
“Use PowerPoint to Open or save a Presentation in the OpenDocument Presentation (.odp) Format.” Office. n.d. support.office.com/en-us/article/Use-PowerPoint-to-open-or-save-a-presentation-in-the-OpenDocument-Presentation-odp-format-e32d52a1-a793-49a3-aa2a-6bb1420fab60

5 Types of Web Content to Boost Your Business Presentations

Are you more of a fan of visually presented information? Just scroll down all the way to the bottom for an infographic version of this post!

Contrary to popular misconceptions, corporate pitches aren’t just cold, blank, and straightforward. When it comes to presentations, content and design should work together to supplement your pitch.

Whether you’re talking to a customer or an investor, all parts of your deck should aid you in engaging and grabbing the audience’s interest. To do that, you need relevant visuals that add to your ideas. This may mean images and animation, but it can also come in the form of live Web pages. Not only can embedded content give proof of your company’s achievements, but they also encourage clients to contact you.

Embedding Web Content into Your Business Presentations

For users familiar with the 2010 version of Microsoft Office, LiveWeb is a useful add-on for embedding Web content on your slides. It can also enhance your credibility in a pitch by providing a concrete look of your offerings. This gives you an opportunity to leverage them for your business.

The direct LiveWeb feature has been discontinued in recent versions of PowerPoint, but you can download a third party add-in to bring it back. There are also other add-ins which are available for PowerPoint 2013 onward that have the same functions as LiveWeb. One of these is PowerPoint’s Office Mix, which allows users to insert Web pages, apps, and even interactive quizzes into their slides.

Let’s take a look at which Web sites are ideal for embedding and how the content you use from them can contribute to your pitch:

1. YouTube

YouTube Web Content

Compared to other learning styles, visual learning is the most common among a large group of people. Engage your audience visually to keep them hooked onto your pitch. Broadening the range of media you offer further supports and visualizes your main points, making it easier for viewers to digest.

For instance, videos can transform the way customers perceive your product. In an article on the effect of videos on its viewers, Invodo’s Claire Queally shows that buyers who view company videos are two to three times more likely to purchase something from the brand.

Take this marketing strategy from the Web to your own presentation by embedding YouTube videos into selected slides. Whether they’re product demos or AVPs about your company, this gives you an opportunity to both inform and impress them. Just make sure that your videos are relevant to your pitch and people’s current interests. At the very least, they should reflect the benefits your clients will be gaining from your products, as well as your advantages over the competition.

If you’re planning to deviate from the usual company video and simply insert a supplementary clip to entertain viewers, don’t stray too far from your core message. For example, a recorded speech from a keynote speaker related to your topic is acceptable, but a random cat video might miss your target audience and your point entirely, especially in a formal business setup.

2. Twitter

Twitter Web Content

In the age of social media, influencers are more accessible than before. Most of these prominent figures are found on the net, where their followers can easily see them. However, keynote speaker Jay Baer differentiates influencers, who simply raise brand awareness, and brand advocates, who actually convince others to invest in you. These online reviews on brands can impact people’s perception of you, especially for millennials who are often tuned into digital media.

To gain a wider audience and increase the probability of lead conversion, show your tech-savvy prospects what others think about your brand. Display a live Twitter feed on your deck to access customer opinions in real-time. Doing this gives your clients the latest updates about your company. Convincing people to invest in you will be easier if you can show positive impressions from past clients and customers. At the same time, you won’t be able to show a Twitter feed without enough mentions.

Encourage customers who support your product to use hashtags and other social mentions on Twitter. Ride on the wave of trending topics and launch a marketing campaign or site content that users are currently into. The more positive feedback your brand receives, the better its image becomes in the market.

3. Facebook

Engine Facebook Web Content

This social media giant offers one of the best chances for generating leads with casual interactions. Like Twitter, Facebook is a place where users and influencers can interact and trade recommendations of their preferred brands. Boost your image even further by tapping into this established social media platform.

If you plan to show how popular or active you are with your online market, Facebook is your best bet. Being the most widely used social network, it contributes greatly to showing consumer opinions about your brand. Highlight your marketing efforts through Facebook’s built-in analytics tracker, which shows the number of likes, mentions, and even followers of your page. Outside your presentation, you can use the tracker to keep track of how many leads have interacted with your page.

As an embedded live page on your deck, showcase how actively you engage your consumer base. It will encourage past customers to repeat interaction with your page and inspire leads to start a transaction with you. Making use of Facebook analytics can establish your market dominance when you pitch to other clients because it’s an impressive aid for those who might want to see the statistics behind your claims.
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4. LinkedIn

exhaust LinkedIn Web Content

In a study conducted by public relations firm Weber Shandwick, the future of large corporations seems to be geared towards going digital. As we’ve already reiterated in the previous points, social media is a fast growing arena for customer and business interaction. It’s no wonder CEOs are turning to it for increased exposure.

Among all social media sites, LinkedIn remains the most popular for networking with other companies. In fact, it’s used by nearly 28% of CEOs from Fortune 500 companies in 2014 alone. If Twitter and Facebook can show proof of how effective you are with customers, LinkedIn operates within your circle and instead displays how well-connected your network is. Your business partnerships, as well as the people you’ve worked with, are essential in communicating how well you can swim with the big fish.

At the very least, an effective LinkedIn profile should contain relevant samples of your portfolio. It should also feature important connections with people and companies related to your line of work. All these can prove decisive in showing your effectiveness as a business partner. In addition to expanding your customer relations, make sure you take note of your company’s relationship with other businesses, too, because being associated with other trusted brands also improves your image.

As the old adage says: “Birds of the same feather flock together.”

5. Company Web Site

Company wheel Website

Some presenters will settle with screen caps of their company site, if they include it at all in their business presentation. Since most don’t, details about their Web site often simply remain as a tiny contact detail in their slides. However, that can easily be missed. Less meticulous audience members might not pay attention to the fine print and only retain the highlights of your pitch.

Let your prospects form their initial impression of your company site during your presentation itself by including it as one of the Web pages on your slides. Embedding your site as a live Web page shows your audience how to navigate around it, so walk your viewers through your page in real time by including it in your presentation. In case the previous platforms in the points above don’t work out well for you, you can always show the same statistics, testimonials, and even videos available on your site.

Aside from social media profiles, being active on your own site is important information for prospects. Other client interactions will come from your company’s page, so letting people know how consistent your online presence shows how dedicated you are as a business partner. As mPower Consulting founder Brian Hamlett states in his article, building up your site once isn’t enough to keep people interested. Show them that there’s something to look forward to every time they visit your page to ensure closing and repeating a transaction.

One Last Thing: Facts Establish Reputation

red car with social media icons

Credibility is crucial to presentations. Investors need to put their money into someone they can trust in order to grow their business. To establish this, improve your deck with various kinds of Web content. As with socialization, networking is now going digital, so catch up with the times to avoid being left behind.

With a large number of the population leaning towards visual, make your slides more interesting with images, but don’t stop there. Embed YouTube videos to inform them about how your company does business or how your products can help your clients.

Enumerating your advantages over the competition and showing these at work are great ways to sell yourself. You can also prove how popular you can be with customers and businesses through positive testimonials from social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. According to creativity mentor Luke Sullivan’s book, Hey Whipple, Squeeze This, these types of feedback serve as solid proof of your achievements. They can go a long way to convince both customers and partners that you’re the company they want to invest in.

Work your online presence into your deck for more convincing business presentations!

Check out and share this infographic!

 

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References:

Sullivan, Luke. Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This a Guide to Creating Great Ads. 3rd ed. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, 2008.
Baer, Jay. “Social Media Influencers versus Brand Advocates Infographic.” Convince&Convert. www.convinceandconvert.com
Gross, Liz. “How to Add a Live Twitter Feed to Your PowerPoint Presentation.” Social Media Today. June 6, 2013. www.socialmediatoday.com
Hamlett, Brian. “The Importance of Consistently Updating Your Website.” MPower Consulting. www.mpoweringu.com
Knarr, Cat. “8 Secrets to Building a Stunning LinkedIn Profile.” The Huffington Post. February 3, 2014. www.huffingtonpost.com
Kushner, Daniel. “Best Practices for Successful Lead Generation Through Social Media.” Business 2 Community. June 29, 2015. www.business2community.com
Parsons, James. “How Do I Get Tracking on My Facebook Page?” Boostlikes. May 8, 2015. www.boostlikes.com
Queally, Claire “Top 5 Things to Know About eCommerce Video Viewers.” Invodo. November 17, 2015. Accessed August 27, 2015. www.invodo.com
“80% of CEOs from the World’s Top Companies Take to Social Media.” Weber and Shandwick. May 18, 2015. www.webershandwick.com
Office Mix. Accessed August 28, 2015. mix.office.com

SOS! Presentation Disasters and Survival [Infographic]

Presentation disasters can happen to anyone.

No matter how much you prepare for your big day, there will always be a few obstacles that’ll appear, ones that you never expected would come up during your speech.

Unfortunately, nobody’s perfect, and even the best professional public speakers run into these occasional hitches.

What makes these people stay ahead of the competition is how they handle problems that suddenly happen without prior notice.

If you’re not careful, your discussions can turn into complete presentation disasters… even more so if you can’t handle unexpected events.

After all, Murphy’s Law became well-known because it’s been proven time and time again.

“Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”

You can’t anticipate these moments like a psychic, but you can always cope with sufficient preparation and a calm demeanor.

Preparing for Possible Presentation Disasters

What are some good tips on handling presentation disasters?

All you need to do is to implement some simple back-up plans in case something goes wrong.

Before anything else, keep calm.

As soon as you’ve assessed the situation, start planning your response to the emergency.

Make sure you have presence of mind and you’ll have no problem overcoming any possible hitches during your big moment.

Here’s a short infographic on applying disaster preparedness to problem-proof your presentation.

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Count from 6 to 10: A Quick Guide to Great Presentations

We’ve previously discussed how the numbers one to five can make your business presentations count. This was based off keynote speaker Stephen Boyd’s tips to create a presentation countdown. With our own take on it, let’s continue counting from number six to number ten.

6. Presenting after SIX o’clock P.M.

Business professionals work eight hours on a regular basis. After a long day, only a few stay later than six o’clock p.m. to polish their paperwork, web designs, PowerPoint slides, and the like. After all, we want to get back to our families and our lives, right?

Deliver your presentations as if you’re doing them after six in the evening. Embody the elements of fun, involvement, and learning to keep your audience awake. Treat your audience like close friends and family you’ve been longing to see. Sustain their interest from the beginning to end, no matter how late it is.

7. Seven Means Complete

According to the Bible, the number seven has three Hebrew roots: saba, shaba and sheba. These three biblical ideas are associated with oaths, perfection, and completeness. Whether you’re delivering a pitch to a potential client or discoursing a monthly report with co-workers, your PowerPoint presentation should contain complete data.

Providing evidence supports your argument or main idea. Maximize the use of graphs and charts, statistics, and other visuals for a more comprehensive discussion. Inevitably, your audience will have questions or clarifications which you can tackle in a Q&A session. However, it pays to address all of these possible questions from the beginning to make things easier for everyone.

8. Eight for Affinity

The number eight is drawn with two interconnecting circles. Lacking one circle, either at the top or at the bottom, means you have zero. Presentations are about making connections. Your business speech is useless without an audience.

Command interest by connecting with them on a personal level. You can best engage an audience by exuding a credible aura, by appealing to their emotions, or by challenging their intellect. Building networks after your business pitch is another way to solidify your core message, and get viable results as well.

9. Nine for Anticipation

Where there’s nine, an end is anticipated — nine is followed by ten, ninety-nine makes way for one hundred, and so on. Anticipating unforeseeable circumstances in your talk is a good presentation skill. Don’t make your audience tune out because you panicked or lost your train of thought. Always be prepared for whatever can go wrong in a speaking engagement.

Planning ahead increases your chances of foreseeing or dealing with such problems.

10. Perfect Ten

There’s no denying that the number ten connotes perfection. Ten is a rounded number, which is why our counting system is based on the power of ten. We rate things with one being the lowest and ten being the highest. Striving for perfection is the best mindset for succeeding in your business presentation.

Make sure that your PowerPoint design has the perfect font combo and title slide. Reinforce it with confident delivery and compelling content. Always aim for a deck that will get a perfect ten rating.

To Sum It Up

Use numbers six to ten as your guide for delivering fun, complete, engaging, planned, and perfect business presentations. Remember the importance of connecting to your audience, sharing complete and pertinent data, appealing to emotions, anticipating crises, and striving for perfection.

Need a PowerPoint deck to give you an edge? Check out our portfolio for inspiration, or contact our slide design experts for a free quote.

 

References

Boyd, Stephen. “Public Speaking By Numbers.” Speaking-Tips, August 17, 2011. Accessed June 10, 2015.
Count from 1 to 5: A Quick Guide to Great Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. July 14, 2015. Accessed August 27, 2015.

3 Ways USP’s Make for Successful Business Presentations

Big ideas are important in business-to-business presentations. The stakes are higher, with both capital and profits on the line. Also called major selling ideas, they act as your pitch’s cornerstone, condensing your offer’s features, advantages, and benefits into an easily understandable and repeatable concept.

A Unique Selling Proposition (or USP) is a marketing concept that allows advertisers to demonstrate a product’s key effectiveness and guides their advertising campaigns’ tone, message, and overall execution. It’s the core that makes any big idea successful. Before stepping into the spotlight, take a step back and analyze if your product is memorable and unique enough to present itself. They may even guide you into becoming a better public speaker.

Here are three ways to use USP’s to improve your business presentation technique.

1. It Demonstrates Appreciable Value

People tend to invest in or buy something that either has proven value or improves their daily lives. Examine your potential customers and, if possible, find out their priorities and motivations. Use this information to determine how to best package what you’re selling.

Similarly, focus on figuring out the ideal way of convincing them to buy in or invest. Knowing how your product improves lives is an important part of fine-tuning your message. During your pitch, assert how your product can make your customers’ lives better to grab their attention.

2. It Reveals an Inimitable Quality

Your audience has probably listened to countless unmemorable pitches. If you don’t play your cards right, you could be one of the many failed proposals, especially if you’re presenting to an established business. Pitch yourself as someone who can offer something that no one else can.

Advertisers research on possible competitors to determine their USP’s validity and sustainability. Similarly, check out your rivals and figure out how you can get a leg up on them through presentation design. Having a unique and professional-looking deck is a surefire way to impress and engage.

3. It Displays a Strong Hook to Reel Them In

As we’ve discussed before, having the facts is only one part of getting your pitch done. It’s the same with your USP. Flex your creative muscles to craft what you bring to the table into a communicable, understandable, and sellable business proposal.

Package what you must share with your potential investors into a novel idea, and you’ll have the main ingredients to success.

Conclusion

Before you start selling your product, make sure that your product can sell itself.

Pinpointing your USP and fleshing it out requires some intensive research and inspiring creativity. Fortunately, it makes an untold amount of difference in making a simple collection of facts and sentences into an effective marketing strategy.

First, find out how your offer improves your target market’s lives. Second, show them what only you can do, which competitors can’t replicate. Lastly, present your product or service in a creative way. Start applying the concept as an approach to business presentations now and reap the rewards.

 

References

Belch, G., & Belch, M. (2001). Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective (5th ed.). Boston, Mass.: Irwin/McGraw-Hill.
Fine-tuning Your Presentation’s Core Message.” SlideGenius, Inc.. November 11, 2014. Accessed August 24, 2015.
Reeves, R. (1961). Reality in advertising. New York: Knopf.
Unique Selling Proposition (USP).Entrepreneur. Accessed August 24, 2015.

 

Featured Image: “Apples-Stand-Out” by Flazingo Photos on flickr.com

3 Ways Simplicity Gives Better PowerPoint Presentation Ideas

We’ve mentioned before that giving a presentation is similar to marketing and advertising. This is why you need a simplistic deck for better PowerPoint presentation ideas.

But what exactly makes what Cutting Edge Advertising author Jim Aitchison calls the “less is more” principle effective enough to make ad agency gurus and professional presenters rely on them? Why do professional presenters like those who give the TED Talks make better impressions?

There are three reasons why simplicity gives better presentations.

According to ad veteran Luke Sullivan, all of them rely on a principle made by one of the founders of the ad agency behind the famous Volkswagen ads: “…they won’t listen to you if you’re not interesting, and you won’t be interesting unless you say things imaginatively, originally, freshly.”

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1. Simplicity Gets Your Point Across

Aside from being able to sell effectively, Aitchison suggests that an ad needs to be understandable. This is the same requirement that every professional PowerPoint presentation needs in order to sell.

With simplicity, your sales pitch becomes more understandable, accurate and concise, letting you state your main point and tell your clients what they get out of your proposed product from the start.

2. Simplicity Cuts Through The Competition

Everyday, people are being bombarded with a clutter of advertisements. Clients face a similar situation with presenters. With all the other pitches to sit through, they need to sort through every potential partner’s gimmicks and extra bells and whistles.

With simplicity, you get to state what you can do, what clients get out of your offer and what advantages you have to outsell the competition.

3. Simplicity Gives More Creativity

With a simplistic strategy, you have more room to be creative and interesting. Once you know your product and your position in the market (be it an industry leader, an upstart underdog or a company playing second fiddle), start crafting your PowerPoint slide designs and your speech around highlighting your current strengths.

For example, do you want to highlight your achievements as the best company in the industry? Do you want to feature your advantages over the top companies? Do you want to introduce a new product’s advantages and benefits to the client?

It all depends on how you want to present your company to your client. One effective way to do this is to keep it simple enough to be interesting.

The Main Ingredient: Look To Your Product

Those questions are simple strategies that give room to let your presentation visual design ideas do the talking, a specialty of PowerPoint design professionals. The answer to doing all this lies in finding that one thing that makes your product interesting.

To know more about how to highlight your best ideas, take a few minutes to get in touch with us, all for free!

 

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References

Ad Agency Tricks: Outsell Competitors in Sales Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2015. Accessed August 21, 2015.
Aitchison, Jim. Cutting Edge Advertising: How to Create the World’s Best Print for Brands in the 21st Century. 2nd ed. Singapore: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004.
Great Volkswagen AdsAccessed August 21, 2015.
Sullivan, Luke. Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: A Guide to Creating Great Ads. 3rd ed. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, 2008.