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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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Survive Your Presentation Info Run with Teamwork!

Creating a compelling business PowerPoint requires more resources than you think.

To convince your investors, you need sales and market data from your accounting teams. Thoroughly pitching your products requires having to talk to your sales and marketing divisions. Meanwhile, you’ve got to coordinate with your creative teams to make your presentation more visually engaging. That’s not counting the coffee, snacks, and energy drinks to keep yourself awake long enough to put all of these together.

Indeed, making your PowerPoint impressive requires considerable effort, but with the right supplies, you’ll survive the worst and power through to the end. Let’s take a look at three tips to make stockpiling your resources easier.

1. Have a Dedicated Information Source

powerpoint information source

Resources are always a necessity for any business. The question is, how much of them do you need? (Michaelson & Michaelson 2010, 16).

The same applies to the information you’ll be using for your presentation. Luckily, there’ll always be someone in your company who can give it to you, be it the marketing team, sales department, or even the middle managers. The trick is to know who holds which information. That way, you’ll avoid asking people who can’t help you or, worse, people who only give blank zombie-like stares, saving you time when gathering information.

Aside from your marketing and sales departments, you could glean insights from your customers to make your presentation more convincing. This information could come from your in-house or partnered research group. It could even come from your customer care people if you have them.

Once you find out who has the info, get to these people… fast.

Other companies are on reconnaissance for bits of info. Like hungry scavengers, they want to find them before you do.

2. Delegate Your Tasks

delegate task

Everyone in the company will be skilled at something (Michaelson & Michaelson 2010, 23) in order to survive.

Simply tossing the entire presentation deck to your admin assistant won’t cut it. Because each of your teams will have their own specialties, it’s best to collaborate when you can.

Better yet, make a quick list of who edits what. This is vital for getting your facts and talking points straight. Your finance team could lay out the data in a more understandable format, your marketing team could simplify the technical words, and your creative team can make the designs more appealing.

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By splitting the work between your departments, you’ll end up finishing the deck faster. With different people and departments adding to the presentation, this will familiarize yourself with each person’s specialized knowledge.

Knowing more about your topic from different perspectives makes you more confident. In effect, you’ll avoid sounding like a droning, aimless zombie when presenting.

3. Communicate Regularly with Your Teams

communicate

Every business grows. Even your competitors.

This is why you have to safeguard your sources while improving your team’s collaboration.

Information isn’t meant to be holed up in a prison. It should be free to spread and grow stronger. There will always be new updates: higher sales figures and projections, new images and designs from your creatives, and new products from your marketing department. In order to keep offering the best for your clients, keep yourself well-stocked with these developments.

Stay ahead of the competition as much as possible. To do that, safeguard the backbone of your business (Michaelson & Michaelson 2010, 87). In this case, this means your information sources. You’ll never know when someone will eventually surround your base and steal your business right from under your nose.

Survival is The Key

survival is the key

In a fast-paced, dog-eat-dog environment, those who allocate and use their resources wisely reach the top of the pile. Your presentation bug-out bag should include all the necessary information to survive any speaking engagement.

Keep yourself updated with everything about the competition, and be on alert for new insights you can use to improve your company. This will keep you ahead of the game, long enough to establish a profitable relationship with your business partners.

To help give you the extra edge, you can even get in touch with a presentation partner. It’ll only take a few minutes for a FREE quote!

Check out and share our infographic with your teammates!

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References

Michaelson, Gerald A., and Steven Michaelson. Sun Tzu the Art of War for Managers, Second Edition: 50 Strategic Rules Updated for Today’s Business. 2nd ed. Avon, Mass.: Adams Media, 2010.

Why Listening Is the Most Important Communication Skill

When was the last time you had a decent conversation? While some say that communication is “talking to” people, others would argue that a simple change of preposition can mean a world of difference between one-sided ranting and healthy dialogue. Try “talking with.”

Hearing and listening, as is often said, are not the same. A common difference in definition is that the former means your ear takes in the information. Scientifically put, it’s the physical phenomenon of vibrations in the air reaching your eardrums; thus, you hear many things, like the whistle of the breeze, the roaring of engines, or footsteps and claps. Meanwhile, the latter is more than just hearing; you also heed and keep in mind what the other is saying, taking in the details and assessing and analyzing their thoughts. When you get the facts straight, you can answer with and/or add your own insights—and eventually, an exchange of ideas. This, then, is discourse, a conversation.

No matter the setting, be it a business meeting, negotiation, personal relationship, etc., listening precipitates proper understanding. While the act may seem simple, don’t underestimate the power of distractions. It could be the sound of a TV or a radio in the background or the whispering hum of a nearby motorcycle. It could be anything that takes your attention away from the one you’re listening to. Even your own thoughts can be a disturbance.

Communication is not a one-way street; you must do you own part too. Foster better conversations by listening because it…

Communication Skill 101: Encourages Open-Mindedness

Encourages Open-Mindedness

Sure, you’re an individual with your own thoughts, judgments, and biases (which, in perspective, isn’t inherently wrong or bad since it’s human nature). But shutting your mind to your own prejudices is a surefire way to close yourself off from the point and mindset of the person you’re talking with. Worse is that you will only spiral down to the mentality that you have a solution you can’t keep inside and interrupt them so that you could speak. This is a very rude gesture. Avoid it at all costs.

Instead, be openminded and receive with no preconceptions or assumptions. If it helps, try thinking of yourself as a blank slate, and everything you hear and listen to is carved onto you. It’s a different take on empathy, but it helps you be in the speaker’s shoes. It helps you connect and relate. And that’s when the magic begins.

Helps Understand

When you keep an open mind, you learn more about the situation and/or the person you’re talking with. You mentally process the information and analyze the details as they come. You don’t jump to conclusions; rather, you are guided by the information you received as you fit the pieces of the puzzle.

Seek to understand. By listening intently, you open yourself up to see what they see and feel what they feel. It’s more than empathy (but it does play an integral part). It’s also about creating a deeper connection and relationship with the person you’re talking with. Since there are no shortcuts to strengthening bonds, listening to understand is a good place to start.

Communication Skill 101: Allows for Better Responses

Allows for Better Responses

When everything has been said, you take things into consideration, be it the problem and its circumstances or the task at hand and its instructions. Knowing what the other party knows and feels about the whole matter makes responding easier and more natural, especially when it deeply affects them.

Because you listened, you have more insight on the stance of the person you’re talking with. You get to see deep into their minds and their thought processes. Then you come up with your responses and add to—or counter (but not argue about)—what they said.

There’s no more dancing around the issue, no more sugarcoating, and no more stepping on anyone’s toes. Listening makes you completely aware and sensitive of your partner and how they respond back to you, and that level of mindfulness goes a long way.

Deepens Bonds

Humans are social creatures. If you have no one to socialize with, you’ll most likely crave talking to anyone or anything—even a volleyball. People feel joy in being with others. Even the mere presence of someone satisfies the neocortex, the part of the human brain comprised of sections involved in social cognition.

This is the foundation of communication: the need to interact with others, be it casual storytelling, heavy rant sessions, or business meetings. Listening shows you’re not just there to talk and socialize; it gives people the comfort and security that what they say is heard, understood, and taken to mind and heart. That puts them at ease, and the trust slowly builds and/or strengthened. You know more about them, and they get to know more about you.

Of course, you’re not the only one who should listen. Ideally, communication is a two-way street. When you’re the one talking, the other should focus on you and on what you’re saying and vice versa. This is common courtesy. There are more rude gestures than interrupting one when speaking, like imposing your unsolicited solution.

A cornerstone of any great relationship is communication. The better the communication, the more lasting the bond. Don’t waste a good one just because you feel the need to talk over the person you’re speaking with. Instead, let it be a proper conversation. Listen, then talk. Talk, then listen. It’s about the giving and taking.

 

Resources:

Bush, Mirabai. “Why Listening Is the Most Radical Act.” Mindful. January 31, 2017. www.mindful.org/why-listening-is-the-most-radical-act

Feintuch, Stacey. “9 Things All Good Listeners Do During Daily Conversations.” Reader’s Digest. n.d. www.rd.com/advice/relationships/how-to-listen

Foster, Nancy. “Good Communication Starts with Listening.” Mediate.com. n.d. www.mediate.com/articles/foster2.cfm

Hellesvig-Gaskell, Karen. “The Difference Between Hearing & Listening Skills.” Livestrong.com. April 16, 2015. www.livestrong.com/article/83661-difference-between-hearing-listening

Roua, Dragos. “After I Read This, I Started to Speak Less and Listen More…” Lifehack. n.d. www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/6-benefits-speaking-less-and-listening-more.html

Schilling, Diane. “10 Steps to Effective Listening.” Forbes. November 9, 2012. www.forbes.com/sites/womensmedia/2012/11/09/10-steps-to-effective-listening/#12e324f73891

Verstraete, Mary. “What Is the Most Important Communication Skill to Acquire?” Center for Coaching Excellence. n.d. www.centerforcoachingexcellence.com/blog/the-most-important-skill-to-building-trust

Vrticka, Pascal. “Evolution of the ‘Social Brain’ in Humans: What Are the Benefits and Costs of Belonging to a Social Species?” The Huffington Post. November 16, 2013. www.huffingtonpost.com/pascal-vrticka/human-social-development_b_3921942.html

“Listening Skills.” Skills You Need. n.d. www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/listening-skills.html

“The Importance of Listening.” Boundless.com. n.d. www.boundless.com/communications/textbooks/boundless-communications-textbook/learning-to-listen-and-helping-others-do-the-same-5/understanding-listening-29/the-importance-of-listening-132-8285

“The Importance of Listening, and Ways to Improve Your Own Skills.” Udemy Blog. December 13, 2013. blog.udemy.com/importance-of-listening

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PowerPoint as a Communication Tool When Rebranding a Business

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

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

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

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

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

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Resources:

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

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

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6 Ways to Effectively Communicate Ideas at Work

That brilliant idea you have which can affect positive change in the workplace is largely useless until you communicate it to someone who can bring it to life. However, pitching an idea to a colleague is easier said than done. It’s not easy to explain a concept to someone who has a different background. You’ll need to bridge a knowledge chasm that separates you from your intended recipient. You also have to watch your manner of speaking since you can’t afford to insult your recipient with the faintest hint of condescension. In the same way, you can’t be too naïve to assume that the other person is on the same page as you.

Presenting an idea to a coworker, whether it be a superior or an equal, is always a risk. There’s a possibility of your proposal getting turned down, or worse, ignored. This is why you need to be fully prepared before making your business pitch. Make sure you possess not only flair and poise but also valuable content—a worthwhile idea that can sell itself. Keep in mind what Dorothy Tannahill Moran from Next Chapter New Life, said: “There is a difference between a great idea and an idea that will truly advance the cause of business.”

Know the Recipient's Hot Buttons

Know the Recipient’s Hot Buttons

People have different ways of processing information. Some learn best with visuals while others prefer one-on-one talks. Others are still more comfortable with written exchanges. Conduct a research that will allow you to learn what’s best for your audience. You should possess a heightened sense of contextual awareness if you are to thoroughly understand your recipients. Be astute in sensing their moods, values, and attitudes. Develop a contingency plan that will allow you to align your objectives with theirs. After all, the pitch is not for you but for the company as a whole. 

Direct and Concise Pitch

Make Your Pitch Direct and Concise

Trim the fat from your pitch and go straight to the point. Don’t bore your recipient with unnecessary details. Instead, stick to what your idea will do for them and the organization. “Managers want solutions to the problems that are keeping them awake at night,” said Leigh Steere from Managing People Better. He couldn’t have said a truer statement. When delivering your pitch, make sure to keep the buzz words out. Cut to the chase before your recipient tunes out from your smooth talking. Remember, substance should always come before form.  

Gain the Recipient's Trust and Confidence

Gain the Recipient’s Trust and Confidence

People don’t usually open up to those they don’t trust, so you should try to gain your audience’s confidence before asking them to accept your idea. You can gain your recipient’s trust by displaying a level of authenticity and transparency. Be relatable when delivering your pitch by telling stories, using examples, and applying humor in appropriate situations. Speak to your recipient’s emotions, and let your message take deep root with them. Engage in a meaningful conversation by encouraging a dialogue. Surely, you can learn from them as much as they can learn from you. 

Assert Yourself and Speak With Tenacity

Assert Yourself and Speak with Tenacity

When speaking with superiors and senior colleagues, you should talk and act like they do. Treating them like peers will encourage them to do the same to you. Respect their authority and position, but don’t be deferential and submissive. Show them that you’re thinking in the same level as they are. This will give them the impression that you can stand by your idea and defend it when the need arises.

Prepare and Practice Diligently

Prepare and Practice Diligently

No matter how great your idea is, if you don’t practice how to deliver it, your pitch will likely prove unsuccessful. To maximize your chances, have someone to practice your pitch on. This person should have a total lack of knowledge regarding your idea. He or she should also be willing to provide you with honest feedback. You can practice your pitch on more than one person to take more perspectives. Presenting your pitch to a test audience will help you pinpoint the aspects of your presentation that need improvement. If the test audience understands and approves of your idea and the manner by which you present it, you’ll know that you’re starting off on the right foot. 

Find the Right Time to Make Your Pitch

Find the Right Time to Make Your Pitch

Let’s say you’re ready with your pitch. You have a cutting-edge idea and an innovative way of presenting it. The only concern that remains now is, when is the right time to deliver your pitch? There isn’t one answer to this question since every circumstance is different. You’re on your own to assess whether your recipient is ready to participate in your presentation. Perhaps Tannahill Moran’s words can help you. She said, “If the house is on fire, a new idea tossed into the mix may not go over well unless the idea helps the immediate crisis. You want to present an idea when the ability to focus and plan exists.”

The Aftermath: How to Brace Yourself for Responses

The Aftermath: How to Brace Yourself for Responses

Prepare yourself for the many kinds of responses you may receive. There’s a high possibility that your recipient will pepper you with questions to test your thinking. Think two steps ahead and formulate a response to every possible concern. When you’re faced with antagonism, keep an open mind. A dissenting opinion can help you improve on your idea. If, however, your pitch is ignored, follow up until you get an answer—just do so in a non-imposing way. After all, your audience don’t owe you their participation. It’s up to you to get them engaged.

You might only have one shot at presenting your newfangled idea. Make sure you put your best foot forward and deliver a pitch that is worthy of your recipient’s time.

 

Resources:

Baxter, Susan. “Learning Styles: Three Ways to Process Information.” Top Ten Reviews. n.d. www.toptenreviews.com/software/articles/learning-styles-three-ways-to-process-information

Boitnott, John. “How to Pitch Your Brilliant Idea Without Making the People You Need Feel Stupid.” Entrepreneur. October 10, 2014. www.entrepreneur.com/article/238176

Bonilla, Christina. “Want to Be Taken Seriously? Communicate Like a Boss.” Smart Like How. October 13, 2015. www.smartlikehow.com/blog-native/2015/10/12/l0d6fzogavxj6p72p0yucsuzvdpd9w

Cohan, Peter. “5 Ways to Communicate More Clearly.” Inc. December 4, 2012. www.inc.com/peter-cohan/five-ways-to-improve-your-communication-success.html

Edinger, Scott. “If You Want to Communicate Better, Read This.” Forbes. March 20, 2013. www.forbes.com/sites/scottedinger/2013/03/20/if-you-want-to-communicate-better-read-this/#59a3132b2281

Groth, Aimee & Lockhart, Jhaneel. “7 Smart Ways to Come Up with More Ideas at Work.” Business Insider. January 21, 2012. www.businessinsider.com/7-smart-ways-to-come-up-with-more-ideas-at-work-2012-1

Herrity, Joseph P. “Communicating Ideas Effectively.” Preferred Visions. n.d. preferredvisions.com/publications/thought-provokers/communicating-ideas-effectively

Madden, Kaitlin. “Have a Great Idea? How to Tell Your Boss.” CNN. March 16, 2011. edition.cnn.com/2011/LIVING/03/16/cb.tell.boss.good.idea

Myatt, Mike. “10 Communication Secrets of Great Leaders.” Forbes. April 4, 2012. www.forbes.com/sites/mikemyatt/2012/04/04/10-communication-secrets-of-great-leaders/#1b42d2021e06

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How Printed Handouts Benefit Your Business Presentation

While most presenters focus on making effective PowerPoint presentations, handouts are also essential tools for clearly understanding topics.

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Handouts aren’t suited for all situations like inspirational talks, for example. Business presentations, however, require more complex information and data. In this case, provide your audience with hard copies that summarize your message.

What’s Inside?

Handouts should reflect your overall business presentation, but don’t print out all your slides. Include only what is relevant—plan what your handouts should contain and only include keywords which drive your main points.

Explaining everything in one sitting might lose your audience’s interest because they’re burdened with too much information.

At the same time, presentation trainer Olivia Mitchell encourages the use of white space in handouts to let audience members write down any important questions or ideas they have while you deliver.

Instead of separating you from them, it actually helps you engage them more.

How Is It Important?

Handouts are great for business presentations that demand detailed explanations, especially when you’re maximizing your time while presenting your ideas.

While this isn’t a prerequisite when you do a presentation, it’s one way of making it more memorable for your audience.

Though practice and preparation prevent you from forgetting some of your key points, it’s still significant to give time for making your handout to avoid leaving your audience hanging.

When Should You Give Handouts?

Give them out before, during, or after your presentation. Each time period has its pros and cons.

Providing handouts beforehand might make them think they don’t need to listen to your presentation since they already have the information. They can also be distracted reading your handouts instead of paying attention to your speech.

But if you do choose to distribute before the presentation, let your handouts serve as a guide, not a distraction.

On the other hand, giving handouts during the presentation lets you interact with your audience and makes them feel involved. People can write down their ideas and notes on these interactive handouts, making them feel more invested in what you have to say.

If you choose to distribute handouts after the presentation, advise your audience before you begin. Inform them that you’ll provide a summary, so they won’t be distracted by listing down complex data or facts.

It’s not an issue at what point in your presentation you distribute your handouts. What’s important is that you engage and capture your audience’s attention.

Knowing your handouts’ benefits makes your presentation more memorable. They can be kept for future reference since they’re printed materials, helping your audiences remember your company after your presentation.

Giving your audience something to review lets them recall your presentation’s key message. SlideGenius can help you craft printed materials containing stand-out texts and visuals.

Take a look at our portfolio, or contact us. All it takes is fifteen minutes.

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References

13 Best Practice Tips for Effective Presentation Handouts.” Speaking about Presenting. Accessed June 5, 2015.
A Quick Guide to Presentation Handouts.” SlideGenius PowerPoint Design & Presentation Experts. 2014. Accessed June 5, 2015.
Presentation Tips: 5 Quick Steps to Audience Engagement.” SlideGenius, Inc. December 16, 2014. Accessed June 5, 2015.
Using Handouts.” Total Communication. Accessed June 5, 2015.

Three Powerful Ways to End Your PowerPoint Presentation

How you end your PowerPoint presentation is as powerful as the first few minutes of your speech.

Calls-to-action let you leave the room on a high note, but as leadership trainer Bruna Martinuzzi suggests, there are other ways to close your discussion with a bang.

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Most presenters end a PowerPoint with a “Questions” slide, adding unnecessary length to your deck. Instead of doing that, consider these to create an effective final statement:

Cite a Quote

Cite a relevant quote that resonates with your key message. Never underestimate a quotation’s ability to positively reinforce your audience. To motivate your listeners, consider specific industries and appropriate personalities when quoting. Turning to quotes that aren’t suited for your pitch might dampen your credibility.

For example, something on marketing efforts can come from a notable business person.

An example of an appropriate statement for such a presentation would be: “‘Word-of-mouth marketing has always been important. Today, it’s more important than ever because of the power of the Internet,’ according to content marketing pioneers, Joe Pulizzi and Newt Barrett.” But a similar quote from actor-turned-politician Arnold Schwarzenegger would sound out-of-place.

Choosing to end on a quote can either move your audience or tune them out, depending on what you use and who you cite.

Use Videos

We can’t deny the power of videos in effectively engaging audiences. They’re ideal for highlighting a reel that demonstrates who you are, what you do, and how you can make their lives easier. This creates a strong connection and immediate impact, especially for viewers who prefer visual data.

A combination of audio and visuals also contribute to better information retention, getting your message across, and wrapping up your pitch in an interactive way. You get to take a break from the discussion’s information-heavy part.

Practice Humility

A touch of humility works well in influencing your audience. It ties back the points you’ve made in your PowerPoint slides while generating sympathy from your audience.

When you make an outstanding claim, contrast it with humility for a good ending.

Your audience’s positive response relies on a dramatic ending statement. Pick a strategy that creates a huge difference in your presentation’s overall impact and success.

Whether it’s citing a quote, using videos, or practicing humility, the choice is all yours.

As presentation design experts, SlideGenius can help you achieve the perfect pitch that leverages your message from beginning to end. Check out our portfolio for some of our recent projects.

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References:

Frank Sinatra: Make Your PowerPoint Presentations Sing.” SlideGenius, Inc. May 12, 2015. Accessed May 18, 2015.
How to Spend the First 3 Minutes of Business Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. May 6, 2015. Accessed May 18, 2015.
Martinuzzi, Bruna. “12 Ways To Nail Your Presentation In The Last 30 Seconds.” American Express. Accessed May 18, 2015.

Using Inclusive Words to Connect During Sales Presentation

Apart from creating an effective PowerPoint sales presentation, a powerful way to connect with your audience is to use inclusive words. More than content, visuals, and performance, your listeners want you to show that you care about them.

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According to keynote speaker Kristin Arnold’s book, Boring to Bravo, inclusive pronouns such as “we,” “our,” and “us” create a lasting connection with your audience, making them feel included in your speech. Instead of using “you” and “your,” incorporate inclusive words to indicate that they’re part of your presentation.

Turning “You” into “We”

Help your audience understand that your goal is to connect with them. As public speaking consultant Steven D. Cohen suggests, “You must solve this problem” differs from “We must solve this problem.”

The former indicates that your audience is solely accountable while the latter signifies that both you and your audience are responsible, making them realize that you can work things out together.

It’s All About Them

It’s normal to worry about how you look while performing or how your pitch will compel audiences to purchase your product.

The entire speaking engagement isn’t about you. It’s all about them. They must know if you’re addressing their needs rather than your own. Make them see that you’re not selling at all.

Understanding Their Beliefs and Interests

Before writing your speech, learn your audience’s background and culture. This is why audience analysis is important. Your pitch’s content should be relatable to each group of individuals.

Make your pitch sound more conversational and add a personal touch to capture their attention faster. Telling your own stories helps them relate to what you’re saying, making them more interested in your speech.

Listen and Adjust

To show that you care about your audience’s needs, observe their behavior while delivering your speech.

Since you’re in control of the entire presentation, focus on your audience rather than yourself. If you take

If you take time to listen, you can adjust your technique while speaking, depending on your audience’s reactions. This prevents you from losing their interest and ending your performance ineffectively.

Inclusive words make your presentation more powerful and engaging, connecting you with your audience in a way that keeps them interested and convinces them that you value them more than anyone else.

If you want to learn more about making appealing presentations, SlideGenius can help you out to address this concern.

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References:

4 Types of Audience Members You Need to Present For.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2013. Accessed May 18, 2015.
Arnold, Kristin J. Boring to Bravo: Proven Presentation Techniques to Engage, Involve and Inspire Your Audience to Action. Austin, TX: Greenleaf Book Group Press, 2010.
Cohen, Steven D. “It’s All About the Audience.” University of Balitmore. Accessed May 18, 2015.