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Reinforcing Your Brand Identity

You’ve probably heard the terms “brand identity” and “brand image.” They’re both important. But do you know the difference?

Your brand identity is how you want people to perceive your brand. Brand image, on the other hand, is how people currently see your brand.

At SlideGenius, we’ve spent years making sure that our clients are presenting themselves in the best possible manner. Each client gets their own dedicated design team.

If you’re a bit uncertain about telling your brand identity from your brand image, we have a few ideas for you.

Form Your Visual Signature

Humans are visual creatures. Our memories are deeply tied to what we see. We associate moments and feelings to colors, images, scenes. So, usually, when we talk about brands or companies, the first image that comes to mind is the logo.

Your logo will be an intrinsic part of your identity. It will appear on emails, stationery, ads and anything that connects to your company.

It must reflect the personality of your brand. Is it fun, creative and active?Or is it more subdued, minimalist and classic? Take the time to conceptualize your logo and, if you are able, hire a professional to design it.

Take note that your logo should reflect the company’s colors and your chosen typeface.

Choosing your company colors is as important as conceptualizing your logo.

Most people base their decisions on emotion. Apart from this, color psychology has been widely used in branding and marketing.

Consider what emotions you want your target audience to feel. Make sure that the chosen emotion also fits your brand’s identity.

The other element of your logo is the typeface.

Fonts carry layers of subliminal communication and meaning, much like color. Do you want your brand to exude strength and power? Consider a typeface with sharp and angled edges. Soft and graceful? Cursive might work well. Make sure that, like color, your chosen typeface matches your brand’s identity.

As a final touch, create your company’s tagline or slogan. Your tagline must be short, simple, and consistent with your brand’s identity.

If you’re having trouble with the design, consult with SlideGenius today. Branding is one of the areas we specialize in.

Content Is King

Once you have formed your visual signature, another avenue to reinforce your brand is to create a steady stream of content on all your company’s channels. Content is essential in your public relations, enabling the audience to know you better through blog posts, articles, white papers and other media such as videos and photos.

To create quality content, you have to determine your brand’s voice first. Is it friendly? Professional? Technical? Like your visual signature, your brand’s voice must match your brand identity so that your target market can relate and trust you more.

Once you have decided on a voice, use it to create your content, whether it be written, photos, or video. Keep it relatable but significant, whether in inspiring brand loyalty or upselling your services.

Social Expression

Finally, utilize social media to closely engage with your audience using your brand voice. Imprint your brand identity on your social media accounts. Utilize your logo, tagline, colors. Write and promote posts that align with your identity. Use your brand voice to converse with the audience.

Social media allows you to encourage conversation, providing a platform to promote and reinforce your identity to the world.

Find a Design Agency that Supports Your Brand Identity

Remember that you are telling your brand’s story. Integrate the elements of your brand’s identity in everything you do, whether it be on social media, presenting to a client, or talking to a large audience. Consistency is important, and in time your brand image will develop organically and inspire a loyal following.

At SlideGenius, we help businesses reinforce their brand identity and shape their brand image through presentations, content, and imagery. We have helped thousands of people create dynamic PowerPoint presentations that bring your value to the forefront while elevating your brand identity. We’ve helped people raise more than $500 million over the years. We can help you, too. Reach out to find out to find out if you can help.

Bullet Points and Why They Matter to Your Presentation

Many articles online provide profound insights on how to charm your audience, retain attention when speaking in public, or create the best presentation for the right purpose. And for the most part, there have been similarities that can be seen in almost every piece. One of the many from presentation experts is: “Don’t ever use bullet points. You don’t need them.”

What warranted the general avoidance? Is it because it’s primarily considered the reason for death by PowerPoint (DbP)? If you consider bullet upon bullet in different slides, then sure, you can call the whole thing as walls of text. Given that humans favor the visual over the textual, audiences will be bored by all the reading.

But did you know “death by bullet points” exists? Symptomatic, not synonymous, to DbP, overuse and misuse of bullet points have always been every audience member’s nightmare. And it has happened more than once, much to the annoyance of the crowd. Does that mean that bullet points should be avoided?

Not necessarily. Bullet points are useful in specific situations, and in the proper context, they’re your best tool. Here are a few reasons why they matter.

Optical Break Bullet Points

Optical Break

Reading can be strenuous for the eyes, especially when you have a big block of text in one slide. While seeing this word wall can be intimidating for some, others would just outright not read it. Those who attempt will find themselves blinking more since their eyes dry out from, unsurprisingly, not blinking (because they’re reading).

Bullet points put line breaks on long passages, not just with the negative space from the background but also with clear markers on where a specific item begins and ends. Shorter bits of text are more welcome since they’re easier to understand, digest, and remember. Any form of relaxation is pleasant for your eyes.

Organizing information | Bullet Points

Organized Information

In the same way that your eyes need a break, your brain also needs a breather when trying to comprehend a long paragraph—much less a lengthy sentence. This is where bullet points shine.

Dissect the text, then separate and summarize the main points. Those summations can then be what you can put on your bullets. That brevity is already a big plus; how much more if they’re fascinating?

Think of bullet points as the “too long; didn’t read” (TL;DR) version, the abridged edition, of your long paragraph. By bulleting the main points, you can shorten a sixty-word section to merely a fraction of that, saving your audience’s time. Plus, they get to listen to you more.

Overall readability | Bullet Points

Overall Readability

Which would you rather see: a big block of words or a bulleted list? Which of the two is cleaner and easier on the eyes and is therefore more readable? Most, if not all, would say the latter, especially when the layout is planned properly. With the former, you risk instances of misreading since there are too many words and lines all bunched up in one place.

Keep your slides neat and tidy by having few words—and relatively fewer bullet points—in them. Prevalent enough is the 6×6 rule, stating that you should have no more than six bullets with six or fewer words each in a slide. There’s also the “three words and four bullets per slide” rule.

The Last Bullet Point

There’s a reason why bullet points are overused, and consequently are now being mistreated for it. Just like the Comic Sans fiasco, most people are tired of seeing bullets in almost every presentation they attend. However, that’s not a reason to ignore and neglect the importance and benefits of using this tool.

Of course, you should always exercise moderation; there is such a thing as death by bullet points. A good way to avoid that is by not overloading your slides with bullets, which can be just as bad as a wall of text. In short, know when and when not to use them.

Your slides are your visual aid, so making them clean is on you—and for your audience.

Resources:

Bruce, Robert. “8 Quick Tips for Writing Bullet Points People Actually Want to Read.” Copyblogger. February 7, 2012. www.copyblogger.com/writing-bullet-points

Clark, Brian. “Little Known Ways to Write Fascinating Bullet Points.” Copyblogger. October 23, 2006. www.copyblogger.com/little-known-ways-to-write-fascinating-bullet-points

Crerar, Paula. “PowerPoint Bullet Points: Do We Need Them?” Brainshark. January 24, 2012. www.brainshark.com/ideas-blog/2012/January/powerpoint-bullet-points-do-we-need-them

Paradi, Dave. “How to Write Powerful Bullet Points.” Think Outside the Slide. n.d. www.thinkoutsidetheslide.com/how-to-write-powerful-bullet-points

“10 Ways to Avoid Death by Bullet Points.” Presentitude. March 4, 2015. www.presentitude.com/10-ways-avoid-death-bullet-points

“Comic Sans: Why All the Hate?” Snapily. January 8, 2013. www.snapily.com/blog/comic-sans-why-all-the-hate

Crafting Engaging Content for Your Presentation

Good content is a key ingredient to a great presentation. Your audience is entitled to it, and it’s your duty as a presenter to grant them this right. When crafting content, keep in mind that you’re not bound by words alone. Content is about communication. It’s about conveying information, sharing your knowledge, and telling stories. It goes beyond the superficiality of letters and symbols and aims to produce meaning that can be easily understood and widely appreciated.

The way content is presented is also important. You can dress up your presentation through design and layout. However, you must remember that when all’s said and done, nothing—not even first-rate aesthetics—can compensate for bad content. Make sure to use content primarily to put your message across and inspire your audience into action.

Here are some tips to help you craft great content for your presentation:

1. Pick a relevant and interesting topic.

Every presentation must contain a core message. You can offer that message as a kind of takeaway that the audience can bring home after the presentation. Every idea you weave into the content should circle back to the core message. Otherwise, it needs to go.

2. Involve your audience from start to finish.

Professional speakers will tell you that content needs planning. The difference between a comprehensible presentation and a confusing one is that the former is well-planned and neatly outlined while the latter is just a hodgepodge of mismatched ideas. So, before you rush to a speaking commitment, take time to brainstorm and write ideas down. Establish your structure and decide on the flow and direction of your speech.

Needless to say, you can only plan your content if you know your audience thoroughly. You should tailor your presentation to their needs if you’re going to keep them engaged in every turn. They will only listen to you through the end if you make your presentation relevant, useful, and relatable.

3. Leverage current trends to spark interest.

People crave hot and popular trends. If you jump into the bandwagon and exploit trends while they’re still funky, your audience will be more inclined to advocate your brand. Find out what their tickle spot is and what gets them excited, then incorporate it into your content to maximize engagement.

4. Relay a story to create an emotional bond.

Stories are among the most engaging types of content. In contrast to facts and statistics, they can liven up your presentation and make it more memorable. The problem with hard data is that they’re difficult to comprehend because of their abstraction. They’re meaningless unless you make them about the audience. Stories, on the other hand, can carry an emotional weight that you can use to connect with your spectators, consequently keeping them hooked through the end.

Humor, Simplicity and Repetition for Your Presentation

5. Play on humor when appropriate.

When used properly, humor can be a powerful communication tool. It can help underscore your point, ease tension, and build rapport with your audience. However, you also need to be careful when using it lest it backfires. The thing about humor is that it can’t be forced. If you work too hard trying to incorporate it to your content, you may appear frivolous, or worse, desperate for attention. When that happens, your credibility might become tarnished and your presentation might sink.

Make sure you use humor spontaneously. The best kind of humor springs as anecdotes from personal experiences. What’s good about anecdotes is that they’re easy to tell because you’ve either experienced or witnessed them firsthand. The audience are more likely to relate with them because they’re genuine and personal.

6. Use simple words instead of jargon.

It doesn’t take a literary genius to craft good content. In fact, when it comes to presentations, simplicity is preferred over complexity. It may actually be quite rude to use big words when communicating a simple idea. Do your audience a favor and talk to them in a conversational tone. Avoid corporate lingo unless you’re speaking to a certain group who can understand industry-specific language. You can achieve better results if you speak in words that resonate with the audience. Watch your diction and make sure that everything you say is easily understandable.

7. Ingrain your message by repetition.

According to two Indiana University studies, a chunk of information remains in a person’s short-term memory for only eighteen seconds. To ensure that your audience remembers your core message, repeat keywords and phrases that highlight it. Draw their attention until the end so that they won’t be distracted from your content. Just be creative when doing so to avoid frustrating them.

A good content is easy to distinguish from a bad one. When your spectators find how useful and interesting your presentation is, they’ll appreciate the extra time and effort you spent to refine it. As a result, they’ll be more willing to share your content and spread your message.

Resources:

Daisyme, Peter. “5 Ways to Create Engaging Content Your Audience Will Share.” Entrepreneur. October 14, 2015. www.entrepreneur.com/article/251616

Mazur, Michelle. “Craft Presentation Content That Wows.” Communication Rebel. October 14, 2012. www.drmichellemazur.com/2012/10/craft-presentation-content-that-wows.html

Noar, Adam. “How to Write Engaging Content for Your Slides: 15 Simple Presentation Tips.” Presentation Panda. n.d. presentationpanda.com/blog/how-to-write-engaging-content-for-your-slides-15-simple-presentation-tips

“Presentation Skills: Using Humor Effectively.” The Total Communicator. n.d. totalcommunicator.com/vol2_2/funnymeeting.html

“Repetition: Making Prospects Remember Your Key Messages.” Freestyle. September 2, 2016. www.freestyleservices.com/single-post/2016/10/04/Repetition-Making-Prospects-Remember-Your-Key-Messages

Four Elements of a Successful Presentation

What makes a successful presentation? When delivering a presentation, being a strong and confident speaker can help in engaging the audience.

The quality of your slides – the content and overall design – is another matter. You also have to consider other elements such as the venue and its effect on your delivery.

If it’s your first time to deliver a presentation, it’s okay to feel nervous. To help you overcome the jitters and ensure the success of your presentation, here are some tips that you may want to keep in mind:

Quality Content

Regardless of your topic, avoid making its scope too broad. Try to be specific by focusing on three or four important points. It would be great to tackle them in such a way that the first point flows logically to the next and so on.

Make sure that your information is clear and logical. Present what your audience is expecting to learn and stick to your agenda. In case they want to know more about your topic, they will ask for sure. Just be prepared for their questions, though.

Engaging Slide Design

Use appropriate colors when designing your slides. Avoid too many color combinations to maintain a clean and professional look.

The same goes for the text. Keep it to a minimum by aiming for one point for each slide. Be sure that the text is large enough to be read even by people at the back of the room.

To enhance readability, the slide’s background color and the text should have great contrast. Resist the urge to use fancy fonts. Plain and simple font types would do for better readability.

Don’t forget to use images. You can always use pictures or graphics to enhance your presentations, not to decorate the slides but to support your points. So make sure to use relevant and high-quality images.

Prepared Venue

When it comes to the venue, some variables can either enhance or reduce the impact of your presentation. If possible, visit the place in advance and check for the following:

Is the presentation going to be held indoors?
Will it be in a hall or a boardroom?
Will it be darkened?
Is the room carpeted? Or will the sound bounce off bare floors, instead?

To further get the feel of the place and be more confident on the big day, you may want to rehearse your presentation in the actual venue.

Impressive Delivery

Your delivery can make or break your presentation. Make sure you have practiced your speech and the timing of your slides.

If possible, practice in front of a colleague and ask them to give genuine feedback. Recording your presentation using the record function in PowerPoint is also a great idea.

It can help you hear how you actually sound. If you notice anything off with your pitch or enunciation, make the necessary adjustments.

What Makes an Effective PowerPoint Presentation?

An effective PowerPoint presentation can make a lot of difference in facilitating a business meeting or making a sales pitch.

Can you imagine spending the entire time speaking in front of an audience without something to attract their attention? Nothing beats having a visual aid to back you up, not to mention keep your audience awake.

Of course, you need to work on making your PowerPoint powerful enough to communicate your message effectively. So what makes a presentation effective?

Design

In terms of PowerPoint presentation design, the main consideration should be legibility. One of the most common mistakes that many presenters make is stuffing their slides with entire blocks of texts. PowerPoint presentation specialists would advise you to avoid this.

Apart from making the slides look illegible and boring, it creates the impression that you are not prepared. This could put a dent on your professionalism and credibility.

In general, the layout isn’t meant to detract the viewer’s gaze. It should be able to highlight your points. Keep the text large enough for easy reading, with the color contrasting well with the background.

If you’re using images, make sure they don’t detract from the message. They should work to support the text, not overpower it. According to Inc.com‘s Eric Markowitz, consistency is essential in establishing a visually engaging deck. Make sure you know your brand, and you stick to it.

Content

Regardless of the message you want to communicate, you need to make sure that the content is presented clearly. The best way to do this is by organizing whatever you have to say into three main points.

Whatever details you want to include, they should all lead to those points.

Creating an outline of your main points can help you organize the flow of your PowerPoint presentation. It can also help you determine the parts of your talk where slides are necessary so you can avoid overusing them. Presentation slides are extremely useful.

Overusing them, however, might confuse your audience.

Delivery

Whatever you do, remember to talk to your audience and not to your slides. As a mark of a lazy presenter, reading the slides can tune your viewers out. The important thing is to engage your audience by maintaining eye contact as much as possible.

Use your slides only as supporting tools. Just take your main points to heart (without disregarding the amount of time you spend on each of them) and you’re good to go.

PowerPoint is an essential tool for business communicators. It can make your life so much simpler.

Conclusion

No matter how animated you can be or how skillful you insert humorous lines in your script, you need a visual tool to bring your ideas to life.

Hopefully, these three elements should be able to point you to the right direction in creating an effective PowerPoint presentation.

 

Reference

Markowitz, Eric. “5 Tips for a Great PowerPoint Presentation.” Inc.com. 2011. Accessed May 8, 2014.