Slidegenius, Inc.

Sliding the Deck: 3 Uses of a Scrolling Web Pitch

Technological advancement has become a major game changer in people’s lives. It transformed the way we interact with and perceive our surroundings, affecting the trends’ direction in recent years.

The onset of technology, particularly the Internet, has altered the way businesses do presentations. Gone are the days when a simple pitch is enough to satisfy an audience. Now, companies can reach out to prospects through various mediums.

The creation of a Web site or page has become a requirement for a business to be available to its target market, and even in that area, things are constantly changing. The scrolling Web pitch is an innovation that eliminates separate Web pages and allows any site visitor to scroll through your company’s features and journey seamlessly.

To seal the deal with an investor, use a scrolling Web pitch to warm them up and draw them in before your actual presentation.

Here are three reasons why:

Easy to Edit and Monitor

Do you want to edit text or images on your pitch? The scrolling Web pitch simplifies the process and offers better efficiency. Its design makes the scrolling Web pitch easier to monitor. You don’t have to go to individual pages to keep your content consistent since you can see everything in one place. Uploading your pitch online also gives you some insight on who else is interested in your product or services.

Other than investors, interested parties you might have overlooked can access you anytime, anywhere. Monitoring your page analytics and views lets you know whether your deck effectively attracts people. It’s a way of getting feedback without directly asking for it.

Emotional and Aesthetic Appeal

In his article for Digital Telepathy, UX/UI designer Nathan Weller expounds on the benefits of pageless Web design. Aside from its technical functions, Weller highlights the scrolling Web pitch’s strong visual appeal. Its clean design not only brings together a combination of image and text that makes use of current graphic design trends but also communicates your story. Like an old-fashioned presentation, page-less pitches still depend on narratives to connect with its audience.

Unlike earlier versions of Web sites, your viewers are free to experience this narrative without the hassle of moving from one link to another. People can even interact with the page through various elements you can leave for your site visitors to enjoy.

Among these are simple animations like images that move or buttons that emit sound when someone hovers their mouse over them. The easy navigation it provides make scrolling Web pitches more understandable and palatable. It compresses information and data without compromising quality, saving both you and your client’s time.

Higher Lead Conversion

The end goal of any pitch is to increase sales leads and volume. Scrolling Web pitches achieve that by being attractive avenues for your prospects to interact with your business. The nature of its layout improves your prospect’s perspective on your product and leaves a better, more lasting impression on them.

Another advantage is how shareable your content becomes. Sharing articles, images, and even whole Web sites online is the new word of mouth in the age of the Internet. Because the page-less pitch is available at the click of a link, anyone can view and share it. This increases other people’s awareness of your product and expands your network of customers. With the scrolling Web pitch, the client goes to you.

Conclusion

There are many benefits to using a scrolling Web pitch. It’s easier to edit and is more visually appealing than page-by-page Web sites. It also effortlessly draws attention to your business, increasing lead conversion and expanding your connections.

While the page-less pitch doesn’t act as an exact replacement for an investor presentation, it’s still a good warm up before your actual speech. It may seem difficult to create, but with the help of a presentation guru, you can upload your own scrolling Web pitch in no time.

Contact our SlideGenius experts today for a free quote!

 

References:

Weller, Nathan B. “8 Reasons Why Pageless Design is the Future of the Web.” Digital Telepathy. June 5, 2013. www.dtelepathy.com/blog/design/8-reasons-why-pageless-design-is-the-future-of-the-web

 

Featured Image: “Electronic Library” by Emilio Labrador on flickr.com

Unblock Your Mind: Overcoming Presentation Mental Block

Getting a mental block in the middle of your presentation isn’t the end of the world. Even the most experienced public speakers have had mental blocks at least once in their lives. However, the best pitches aren’t the ones that are pulled off perfectly. In fact, they’re the ones that speakers were able to rebound from successfully after a misstep.

If you’re having problems with your train of thought, you can still overcome it with a few simple techniques.

Look at Your Notes

Presenters often favor spontaneity over their script. Sometimes they even forego the standard outline. What they don’t realize is that without a solid guide, they become more prone to experiencing mental blocks. Not everybody can keep track of their thoughts and deliver a pitch at the top of their heads. Most of the time, presenters who come in totally unprepared fumble halfway through their speech.

To prevent the embarrassment of not knowing what to say next, it’s alright to refer to your notes occasionally, especially for your major points.Your goal is to communicate effectively with your audience, and you can’t do that if you’re rambling or if you’re too stunned to talk. If keeping notes at hand distracts you and limits your body movement, you can also memorize your script. Just make sure you wrote it with a natural delivery in mind. Otherwise, your stiff speech won’t convince anyone.

Pause for Effect

It may seem counterintuitive, but pauses in your speech can also help you get over your mental block. If you find yourself in a tight spot, don’t feel ashamed to pause and collect your thoughts. Instead of biding time with filler words, pausing creates anticipation for what you’re about to say.

RedRover Sales & Marketing managing partner Lori Turner-Wilson writes in her article on the Memphis Daily about how the human mind takes about eight seconds to make a firm first impression of you. The same eight-second rule may apply to your pitch, so use your moments of silence wisely.

Take time to stop before every major idea. You can also pause to punctuate your speech, making it seem more natural to listen to.

Don’t Forget to Breathe

One of the leading causes of presentation mental block is anxiety. Calming your nerves helps you remember anything you might have forgotten because of panic. Research shows that breathing helps relax the mind and increase productivity. Whenever you get tongue-tied on stage, take a deep breath. This will prevent you from stressing out over your loss of words.

At the same time, don’t be too hard on yourself for not remembering what you were going to say. Remember that the audience doesn’t know your speech the way you do. You have total control over your pitch, so be confident enough to handle yourself gracefully.

To Sum It Up: Relax and Regroup

Experiencing mental block is every public speaker’s greatest obstacle, and they can strike at any time. Be honest with yourself when you’re experiencing it during your speech. Instead of panicking and resorting to filler words, remember that it’s acceptable to look at your notes every now and then to keep track.

If you’re really out of words to say, pause before every important part in your speech. People won’t mind. They’ll just think you’re building up towards your next point. Finally, whenever you feel that your fear is getting ahead of you, take a deep breath. Deep breathing helps clear your mind to recall your next points.

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

 

References:

Turner-Wilson, Lori. “8-Second Rule of First Impressions.” Memphis Daily News. n.d. www.memphisdailynews.com/news/2011/jul/20/8-second-rule-of-first-impressions

 

Featured Image: “King Conquers All” by Uddhav Gupta on flickr.com

Moneyball’s Moneyball’s for a Game-Winning Call-to-Action

“Managers tend to pick a strategy that is the least likely to fail, rather then to pick a strategy that is most efficient,” Said Palmer. ” The pain of looking bad is worse than the gain of making the best move.”

― Michael Lewis, Moneyball : The Art of Winning an Unfair Game


Baseball statistics are boring. Plain and simple. Sure they may get some people’s attention, but statistically speaking, they are seen as a mind-numbing subject to talk about. Now maybe I say this with such conviction because I’m not an avid baseball aficionado, but what does get my attention is how Moneyball, a movie about baseball stats, proved to be so fascinating and successful (even to me!). I think it’s because the film is not really about numbers, and it’s not really a movie about baseball, either. The movie is about about what drives people to take risks and how public perception plays a role in our work. My favorite and most absorbed line of the movie is when Brad Pitt (Oakland A’s general manager) tells Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Oakland A’s Head Coach) that though his last year’s team made it to semifinals,   “If you don’t win the last game of the series, nobody gives a shit.” This really resonated with me and even dragged itself into my world of corporate presentation design and delivery. Think about what the “last game of the series” would equate to in your presentation. Three words: Call-to-Action (CTA). If your CTA isn’t strong, it will result in a meaningless presentation. Your presentation can be filled from start to finish with incredible charts, min-blowing stats, or powerful images, but if at the end of it all, you leave your audience with “and that it” then you have lost your “last game of the series” and failed at your presentation. With that, let’s look at what a successful and “last-game-of-the-series-winning” CTA consists of:

Keeping it simple

Like all successful company commercials, its gotta’ be catchy. The point of a CTA is to gather all the info and data you have already presented, and bundle it up into a “next step.” Redbull says it will “give you wings.” Coca-Cola claims you’ll “open happiness.” 15 minutes from Geico will “save you 15% or more on car insurance.” Three mogul-like businesses, one theme; simplicity. Being simple is what led these campaigns to be so incredibly successful. Applying CTA to modern times, I’ll put it in as plain language as I can think of; your CTA has to “tweetable,” “facebook-statusable,” and “textable.” Working with that goal in mind will make you be more creative and effective.

Use active and urgent language

Donate, buy, register, subscribe, call, text, order; these are all words that invoke a sense of command. These words should clearly tell your audience what you want them to do. Follow your command with the urgency. Offer ends, for a short time only, order now and receive; these invoke urgency. Urgency reels in emotion. Emotion sells.

Knowing size matters!

Make it big! Along with active and urgent language, one must make the CTA sound like earth-shattering news. It needs to be big enough that hearing it once will be memorable. A favorite example of mine is the HeadOn campaign from a few years back. It was essentially a 30 second commercial for a migraine relief chapstick-like product that said six words, “HeadOn, apply directly to the forehead.” It repeated the same six words over and over again until the 30 seconds were up. I must admit, it was pretty ridiculous and annoying, but guess what; I still remember it, and it’s been about 5 years since I’ve seen it. That says something.

Give it some space

Contrast, color, space, shape, and text; these are all characteristics of the design and layout of the text that you should thoroughly take into account. Just as the words themselves are crucial to the CTA’s success, so is the digital delivery. Make the CTA shine and impress. Think of the CTA as a star in your very own Broadway show. You want the spotlight on it at all times! Know the value of a great CTA and give it the time and effort it deserves. Soon enough, you’ll see results. 

I’ll end with my favorite scene from Moneyball, where you can enjoy here.

 
Work Cited: http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/416305-moneyball-the-art-of-winning-an-unfair-game

3 Reasons Why You Need a PowerPoint Presentation Specialist

In an age where computers and technology are rapidly becoming more and more user friendly, it’s common for people to adapt a do-it-yourself mindset when it comes to PowerPoint presentations. Sure, covering the basics of throwing together a PowerPoint is something anyone can do, but to do it well and effectively–that takes expertise.

Here are three of our favorite reasons why leaving your presentation design to the experts is not only preferred, it’s imperative to your and your company’s success.

Consistency and Brand Recognition

Paycation04
An example of a creative, engaging slide by SlideGenius.

Many large sales companies allow their sales associates to have a good amount of free reign during corporate sales presentations, but this often includes letting these sales people craft and present their own PowerPoint presentations, which can often lead to lack of synergy and a muddled corporate identity.

With a unified, clearly discernible PowerPoint, your company can present itself in a consistently professional manner, avoid ambiguity in your sales strategy, and allow for creativity in the field within a controlled context. It also sets the standard of excellence for presentations throughout the company.

Make a Memorable Impact

Sadly, many are okay skimping by with just an adequate presentation, but there’s a world of difference between a passable presentation and one that’s going to make an impression, and ingrain what you have to say into your audience’s memory.

A great presentation, one designed by the specialists who do it for a living, is a carefully crafted narrative accompanied by graphic designs that visualize your message in a way that’s easily digestible and highly impactful.

We all know the moments where we need to present at the top of our game, and unless you happen to be an expert PowerPoint designer, that wont happen if you show up with a home-made presentation.

Exemplify Your Skills

A PowerPoint presentation is a visual aid. It’s an element in your presentation; it’s not a presentation in itself. You, or whoever it is that will be presenting, should always be the key component in the presentation. However, without a strong visual representation of your message, all the passion and clarity will be diminished.

AreUOk11

Furthermore, a presentation that doesn’t show creativity, passion, and competency can have a serious correlation to how your entire business is perceived. You might be a computer programming company, a lackluster presentation will still reflect poorly on your ability to do the job, whatever that job may be. Show that you are a competent, professional company in all aspects, and confidence in all aspects of your work will follow.

3 Things You Must do at the Start of Your Presentation

Think of how the most recent Bond movies start.

They begin off with 8 minutes of Daniel Craig punching, shooting, and shoving his way through building walls, while back flipping onto moving boats, while explosions are going off everywhere, after which he gets a  wink and kiss from some girl who is probably in some Victoria’s Secret cover … and all of this happens before the credits even roll.

Set your corporate presentation alongside to that intro sequence. That’s your competition.  The world has changed into a viral and fast-paced society that needs instant gratification in every aspect of their lives. Audiences no longer hold the patience to listen to you going on and on about boring background or technical information. Your audience will judge you and decide whether you are even worth listening too within those first 8 minutes, probably even before that.

These next 3 steps are the key to maximizing your introduction, and in so doing, captivating your audience:

1)     Establish your credibility. Traditionally speaking, credibility is generated from two independent factors: trust and expertise. If your audience find you trustworthy and reliable they will feel compelled to listen to you, regardless of what you’re saying.  Unlike trustworthiness, expertise tends to be judged more objectively, with credentials, certifications or quality of information. So don’t be afraid to throw you titles and education at your audience. Charisma is the last piece in establishing credibility. If people like you, they will listen. Now, to apply credibility to your corporate presentation or investor presentation you only need a couple of slides. Demonstrate that your company has the right experience and you will put the audience into a constructive frame of mind – seeking to find ways to use what the presenter is offering, rather than seeking to find holes in your arguments.

2)     Empathize. Prospects are usually looking for somebody who understands the challenges they face, and who can offer a solution to these problems. After or during the time frame when you are sharing your credibility, present an outline of the specific issue or problem your work relates to. In doing this, you show your audience that you understand the problem. After drawing them in with your outline, spend your time showing how you can solve these problems the audience have. The key issue here is to make sure that you actually talk to the audience’s challenges; if the audience don’t recognize themselves in your portrayal, then you won’t succeed in displaying empathy.

albert-einstein-quote

3)     Promote Interaction. Try to start your presentation with a question or challenge for the audience. By presenting a well-judged puzzle and asking the audience to solve it, attention levels can quickly be raised. Careful to not do anything too hard or too easy, they are easy ways to make this tactic backfire and disengage the crowd. On a related note, it is most effective to promote interaction both at the beginning and at the end of your presentation. Most “presentation experts” simply walk up, say their “schpeel,” and walk off. Like reading a good story, they give you good content, but then stop. The point of a presentation is to achieve some sort of business related action. Sell, buy, invest, divest; it’s all part of the same root.  What is the point of your presentation if you don’t leave the audience with a call to action? Just because they listened to you doesn’t mean they’ll do anything else. Leave them with a “next step.”

Let’s sum up. Starting your presentation effectively is critical to its success. If done poorly, your introduction can singlehandedly loose your audience for the entire presentation. Know what the point of your presentation is, and act accordingly. Use these 3 tactics to maximize your next PowerPoint presentation.

Work Cited:
http://www.m62.net/presentation-theory/presentation-structure/how-to-start-a-presentation/





Controlling Your Physiology for Your Presentation

Can you guess what this is describing?

Your hands are disgustingly warm and sweaty, your heart is beating at frightening speeds, you knees are weak and you feel like you’re going to collapse. Your fingers can’t seem to stop pinching each other. Each breath you take is getting progressively harder and weaker. Those butterflies in your stomach (the ones that everyone talks about in romantic movies) seem to be flying viciously into places they’re not supposed to. In a matter of minutes, you seem to have developed a stutter and the ability to crack your voice like a pubescent thirteen-year-old boy.

In medical terms, it’s called glossophobia, but for those of us without PHDs, it is what most people feel before speaking in public.

Let’s be honest, nobody wants to wants to sit through twenty minutes of some guy twitching and sweating through a presentation about why their software is the latest and greatest. Controlling your physiology for your presentation is crucial if you want your presentation to have any value to your audience.

You may not be a presentation expert, but you can certainly train yourself to be able to give an interesting and effective corporate presentation. Here are a few tips for that:

Find a way to relax right before your presentation. Take deep breaths, wash your hands with warm water, listen to your pump-up song (Kanye West seems to do the trick for me), or stretch. Find something that gets rid of your nerves but keeps you focused at the same time.

Be the body for your presentation. Let your fingers point, your hands wave, and your shoulders shrug. Movement is good; it keeps the audience focused on you. Just make sure to have it under control. Don’t be excessive with it. Pinpoint three people in the audience: one on each far corner of your vantage point, and one smack in the middle. As you speak, alternate making eye contact with each. This will help you know where to look and keep any nervous movements away.

Smile and laugh; they’re both contagious. It is instinctive for people to smile at a smile. Since you are in control of the mood in the room while you presenting, use it to your advantage. Smile and look happy, and soon enough your audience will mirror that. Speaking to a public that seems genuinely interested and happy to hear what you are saying will ease your nerves and relax your body. This in turn will make your presentation more human and organic.

Prepare for perfection. In his Art of War, Sun Tzu explains how “every battle is won before it is ever fought.” Practice every scenario, every word and movement. A LOT! If your presentation is interactive with the audience or includes questions, anticipate them. Use them to your advantage. Practice in front of anyone and everyone. Time yourself. You can even record yourself for critique. Know what you’re going to say, how you’re going to say it, when you’re going to say it, and how people will respond to it. Do this, and you will have won the battle.

Sun-Tzu-Strategy

Video: The Way Forward For Marketing

Video marketing is a new type of internet marketing which involves creating 2-5 minute short videos about a particular topic. So for example, for a car dealer website company, they would only design their videos around automotive video marketing. Once the videos are completed, they are uploaded to different websites such as YouTube for distribution and exposure to the world.

The best way to make videos is to convert articles. This is usually done by creating a powerpoint presentation of the original article which transforms the article text to an animated slideshow. Once the powerpoint presentation is built, relevant pictures are then added to the slideshow and then a voice is then added to the slideshow as a voice-over narration. The last thing to do in this process is to record the presentation using a screen capture software package such as Camtasia and once this has been completed, the slideshow is then converted to a video that can be uploaded to internet websites such as Youtube. By converting articles to videos, the amount of time that someone takes to read the articles is greatly reduced and, therefore, the chance of reading the whole article is increased. Article marketing is a popular type of advertising in which businesses write short articles about the business and then publish them on the internet. Writing short articles with good links within it will increase search engine optimization which means that a company with links to their website within the article will encourage search engines to rank the website further up its rankings.

How to use PowerPoint templates

The following article is a transcript from a our video product, “Intro to PowerPoint XP.”

You’ve opened PowerPoint and you’re ready to design your first presentation. But how do you begin? There are a couple of approaches you could take, depending upon your temperament and design skills.

  1. You could jump right in and start typing text, adding background colors, and experiment with your font colors and styles. (not recommended)
  2. You could use a pre-configured template.

Unless you have great design skills, I recommend creating your first presentation using a pre-made template. Microsoft has done us a favor … they’ve hired a team of artists and graphic designers, people with experience with color-schemes and typography, to design a large collection of “template” styles. These templates come complete with backgrounds, pictures, and pre-chosen fonts and colors.

The quality of these pre-installed templates is actually pretty good, though some may need a little “tweaking” to look perfect. If you aren’t satisfied with the default templates, you can also find free templates online. There are also many websites out there selling professional-looking templates.

There are a couple of ways to apply a template. When you first open up a blank PowerPoint presentation, go over to the task pane and choose a template. If you can’t find the templates in the Task Pane, go up to the file menu and click
[Format – Slide Design]

 

 

When you click on the template thumbnail, the style is applied to your slide. Actually, the template changes all your slides. If you only want the current slide to change, click the little arrow to the right of the template button and chose [apply to selected slides].

I recommend using a template when designing your first site. In fact, I “always” use templates, as this is the easiest way to make your PowerPoint show look professional. If you change your mind later, it’s always easy to switch to another template!