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7 Apps Every Presenter Should Use


“With all the apps out there, it’s easy to get stuck with the same icons on your home screen — and never so much as click on the newer ones that would benefit your business most.” – Mashable

Each of these apps have the capability to make your presentations more effective, organize your time to complete those PowerPoint presentations more efficiently, or just make your life easier in general.

1.  Lift

Lift helps you achieve your goals, big or small. With your busy schedule, traveling, and running from conference to conference, it is important to stay organized, and keep the important goals you have in check. Lift will force you to keep consistently working on your important goals or tasks at whatever frequency you want.

2. CloudMagic

CloudMagic is a universal and indispensable search engine for all your data. CloudMagic lets you search across Gmail, Yahoo, Dropbox, Evernote, etc., through one simple search box. Very useful when putting together data for any investor pitch, corporate presentation, or sales pitch!

3. TripIt

Tripit is most useful for our “always traveling” presenters. TripIt gives you the ability to organize your travels just by forwarding your booking confirmations to an email address. This app will reduce your stress five times over and will allow you to relax and focus on your presentation instead of the flight.

4. Refresh

Refresh digs through social networks to provide users with a bio on anyone before meeting them; a great way to get some research on your audience prior to delivering your PowerPoint! Knowing the dirty “deets” on specific audiences will allow you to relate  to them, which will in turn keep them interested.

5. Audible

As a speaker, you should always be learning and reading books. It’s a great way to keep a steady stream of personal stories, quotes, or news that will come in handy to keep your data unique, interesting, and relevant. I’ve found Audible extremely helpful to listen to books while on the go.

6. LIA

With LIA you can access sales content in the field on a tablet and it works. When you only have 5 minutes with your prospect – trust LIA

7. Corkulous

Corkulous is an easy-to-use idea board only for iPads in which you can collect, organize, and share your ideas in a completely natural and organic way.

8. Sadun’s Whiteboard

This app lets you transform your IPad into a presentation screen and connect to any projection system using an Apple VGA connection or composite/component video-out cable and draw directly to an external screen using standard whiteboard markers and erasers. Really creative way to do live examples of anything you’re presenting on.

If you know any other useful apps for presenters or work related to presentations, feel free to comment them below to be added to this post!

 

References:

Gerber, Scott. “15 Underrated Apps Every Entrepreneur Should Use.” Mashable. October 26, 2013.

Tan, Kay. “30 Useful IPad Apps for Business & Presentation.Hongkiatcom.

4 Types of Audience Members You Need to Present For

Your audience is filled with 4 different member types of thinkers: analytical, structural, social, and conceptual.

It’s your job to make your presentations appeal to all four. Like any other accomplishment, appealing to all four thinkers will involve research, namely research about how each thinker thinks. We, at our Presentation Agency, have looked into inc.com’s recent series of articles on leadership and compiled a rudimentary set of instructions to appeal to each thinker by analyzing the essentials that make up the foundation of each form of thought.

Analytical

Here’s how you can be sure to draw out your analytical-thinking audience:

  • Show your research.
  • Highlight important data from within the research.
  • You need to show the big picture, not just the details.
  • Provide a case study.
  • Analyze past successes to allow your team to develop new ideas.
  • Provide an overview as well as objectives.
  • Clarity about your needs is critical.
  • Quantify everything
  • Use analytical phrases like:
      • What is the cost/benefit of this project?
      • What does the research say?
      • I’ve been analyzing the situation.

Structural

So here’s how to communicate in aims to draw out your structural-thinking audience:

1. First, it’s important to understand that a structured thinker learns by doing

2. Next, provide plenty of “how-to” points

3. Hand out a step-by-step implementation plan and a guide for how things need to be done.

4. Explain through practicality.

5. Communicate in concrete terms and explain the rules.

6. Be very detailed.

Social

  • Here’s how you can be sure to draw out your socially oriented audience:
  • Don’t be afraid to refer to feelings.
  • Use questions like:
      • “How does that appeal to you?”
      • “How are you feeling about this?”
  • Or statements like:
      • “I’m concerned about how others will react.”
  • Show a personal connection.
  • Phrases that evoke this:
      • “Let’s work through this together.”
      • “Is everyone on the same page?”

Conceptual

Here’s how you can be sure you speak and interact conceptually to draw out your conceptual-thinking audience:

  • Think long-term; Where do we want to be in 5 years? You can always fill in the details and short-term afterward
  • Describe the levels or stages of your plans or ideas
  • Use abstract examples or metaphors
  • Define key terms

Thinking through this form of audience analysis will allow you to maximize the research for PowerPoint presentation, which will in turn lead more sales!

 

References:

Browning, Geil. “Why Being Social Makes You a Better Leader. inc.com. July 15, 2013.
Browning, Geil. “Why Steve Jobs’ Exactitude Mattered as Much as His Vision. inc.com. May 16, 2013.

Raising Capital? Consider a Scrolling Web Pitch!

Raising capital is complicated. There are a lot of pieces to put together, including selling your audience, knowing your valuation, how much capital you need, use of funds and much, much more.

The initial hurdle for countless companies comes at the intersection where entrepreneurs and investors meet. Entrepreneurs often stumble building their investment deck and effectively pitching which makes it that much harder to get people to give you the capital. Investors must believe in you and your abilities to manage and grow a company. The problem is that showing who you are and what you’re capable of can be difficult let alone doing it in a 10-15 minute window.

For that reason you need to put your heart and soul into the pitch, but not just the content, also the delivery. What does a perfect pitch look like, you ask? That is a matter of opinion and you’ll never see the “perfect pitch deck”, but recently its all about presenting your company in a unique way to stand out from the crowd.  One additional option you may consider is a scrolling web pitch. Scrolling web pitches incorporate a unique scrolling technique that allow the presenter to replace the generic professional PowerPoint click-by-click slides with an interactive, more organic and lively design.  This is not meant to be a replacement for the face to face PowerPoint pitch but a reinforcement and/or teaser to get the meeting.  Here are 4 reasons why you need to use scrolling web designs for you next investor presentation:

Keep Content Up to Date

In using a scrolling web pitch, you are making any future edits or updates to your text as easy as can be. This design simplifies the process and maximizes your use of time.

Stand Out from the Crowd and be unique

Most people email their large, boring and lifeless PowerPoint presentations to prospective investors, but it really doesn’t make sense to do that. Without context from the entrepreneur you’ll risk a misinterpreted message or worse they might not even move past the first three slides.  Treat you pitch with respect. Why be dull and lifeless when you can be unique, creative and memorable?

Monitor page analytics/views and keep consistency

Data, data, data! Being able to keep your pitch up to date online and get analytics will help you assess the effectiveness of your deck. Additionally, you’ll have created another venue to market in. A great scroll web pitch will be able to sell itself without you being there, so any viewer could potentially bite in your concept.

Create more interest and leads

Analytics and views lead to increased interest and leads. Garnering and extrapolating public interest in your concept will serve as evidence to any potential investors as quality and a great opportunity.

Think of it as PowerPoint presentation Darwinism: evolve your presentation or have it die. Though raising capital may be intimidating, challenging, and maybe seemingly impossible at times, the process starts with how you present yourself to people.

We’ve created an example of a scroll web pitch that you can see here.

If you have any questions or comments about scroll pitches just comment them on this post?

Halloween’s Takeaway Lessons for Presentations and Marketing


I say Halloween, what do you think of? Costumes, candy and cavities? Most people do.

The fact of the matter is Halloween is one of the most commercially influential holidays throughout the year. It is crucial to be able to see it as more than just a holiday for young kids to trick-or-treat. In just analyzing 2013’s Halloween’s sales and marketing activity, you’ll be able to tailor the way you present and/or market your company to increase sales for the season, and respectively apply the same tactics to any other holiday in the near future.

Here are a few facts and stats about this year’s Halloween:

1. This year, according to Bloomberg Rankings, it seems Americans are spending less Halloween costumes, candy and decorations

2. Almost 75% of Americans who celebrate Halloween said that the state of the U.S. economy had no impact on their Halloween plans

3. Nearly 33% of “Halloween celebrators” found inspiration for their costumes online

4. About 50% of adults in the western U.S. planning to wear costumes this year, which was the most out of any other part in the country

5. Despite the above fact, the overall number of people above the age of 18 who celebrated Halloween dropped from 71% percent to 65%

6. Americans spent an average of $20.99 per person on Halloween decorations

So what’s the takeaway?

Don’t be most people, do your research with plenty of time before the season hits. Use the information, and market accordingly. Marketing for this may include giving a PPC marketing, online campaigns, or maybe even a professional PowerPoint presentation to pitch. For that reason, it is crucial to prepare yourself for any avenue of marketing by having the necessary data about your potential customers.

 Whether you business runs on sale for adults, teens or children, laying out the bullet points, like we did here, will help you understand how your market reacts to any event and will consequently let you prepare your corporate presentations or pitches with a more complete and well-rounded background. 

 I’ll leave with Huffington Post’s hilarious list of 2013’s best costumes: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/29/best-halloween-costumes-o_n_4170143.html

 

Reference:

Murray, Brent. “The Scary Truth About Halloween: Oh, My!Bloomberg.com. October 31, 2013.

Captus is Ready to Crush Their Competition

Captus provides proven military-grade analytics to big data in the commercial sector.


 

The company is an essential component in the field of analytics. Anyone could see that both their product and service were both top-of-the-line. Even then, Captus knew what most seem to overlook, which is that it doesn’t matter how good your product or service is, if you cant convince anyone to buy it, its practically useless. 

 

For that very reason they knew they not only deserved, but required top-of-the-line branding. Investing in the way you look as a company is one of the most crucial elements for sales.

captus pic
Their professional PowerPoint presentation, designed by SlideGenius, effectively showed Captus’s product, process and key capabilities, which in turn made it very easy for their audiences to understand their holistic concept and solution.By developing a very high-quality professional PowerPoint presentation, Captus was able to display the issue their worked was based off of in a useful way.

 

The issue they worked on was that acquiring detailed information from multiple databases takes a huge amount of effort and time.

The presentation thoroughly emphasized the benefits of choosing Captus over their competition by focusing on the core differences Captus offers.

 Though Captus already had a self-made PowerPoint presentation, they knew that in order to set themselves apart from their competition they need to be be better, not just in their product or service, but in the way they are seen by others. Being different and being better are what led them to invest in, and now officially have, a chic, insightful, and effective tool for branding and pitching themselves. captus pic 2

“Employing proven defense and space technology, Captus brings real intelligence capabilities to serious businesses by providing complete data management and analysis solutions, not just pretty visualizations.” Now, both their product and their brand are not only unique in their own industry, but effectively maximized.  

To find out how you can start developing your brand and presentation more effectively sign up for a 15-minute discovery call with Slidegenius!

How to Think Like $5.99 and Not Like $6.00

Imagine you own a clothing store. Now you decide to begin a sale for that store. Let’s say a particular type of shorts usually costs $20 per short, but for the purposes of the sale you’re going to mark them down to $15 a piece.

There are two ways you could present that discount. The first would be as a percentage. Going from $20 to $15 would be 25% off. The second would be as an absolute number with $5 off. Which way is better?

Both discounts amount to the same final price. 25% off $20 and $5 off $20 both result in the customer paying $15 for the shorts. So both representations of the discount should have the same effect, right?

Wrong. Jonah Berger, author of Contagion, explains to us that the consumers find the 25% discount more attractive than the 5$ off. While the two discounts are the same economically, they don’t trigger the same psychological effect. One feels like a larger discount than the other.

Accordingly, the next time you’re reporting numerical information, pay attention to how you are presenting it. The way changes are represented can have a big impact on how they’re perceived.

Focus on the final number.

Like the story above, most people seemed to be more enticed by the offer when the discount number was larger. Rule of thumb would be whenever you are offering a discount under $100 display it as a percentage, and when the offer is greater than $100 display it as an absolute number. This will make sure you are always maximizing your psychological impact. Simpler is better. No one cares about a page of numbers and figures that look like the green screen display from the matrix. You need to simplify your results, and then simplify them again. Think of your raw data as a pile of freshly picked vegetables. People don’t want to eat them when they still have dirt and leave stems on them. People want a quick and painless way to stay healthy, so what do you do? You take those vegetables, clean them, cut them, put them in a blender and make a smoothie. Then you take that smoothie and turn it into a wheatgrass shot. Quick and to the point. So yes, your data should be reduced to the size of a wheatgrass shot! After all, the simpler your can represent your findings, the easier it will be for your audience to understand you, which will in turn make your call-to-action more successful.

Tell a story.

Everyone knows the best stories are the ones told with pictures, so use them. Portraying data graphically reveals patterns in the data that are hard to notice otherwise Visual depictions of data are almost universally understood without requiring knowledge of a language. It is also useful to alter your tone and speed as you approach the finding of any given graph. Much like when telling a story, the storyteller tends to get really excited toward the climax or “best part” of the story; it is not only useful but critical to draw attention to the most important features of the data.

I’ll leave you with Hans Rosling’s fascinating TED talk revolved around displaying data effectively, which you can watch here

 

References:

Berger, Jonah. “Fuzzy Math: What Makes Something Seem Like A Good Deal?linkedin. August 28, 2013.

Kakutani, Michiko. “Mapping Out the Path to Viral Fame.The New York Times. February 25, 2013.

Rosling, Hans. “The Best Stats You’ve Ever Seen.ted.com. February 2006.

Aflac Uses SlideGenius to Present a New Data-Heavy Sales Strategy to Its Team

Recently, Aflac, the largest provider of supplemental insurance in the United States, utilized our PowerPoint prowess to create a presentation deck for internal use to promote a new sales strategy for their team. aflac2

Aflac has approximately 76,900 licensed sales associates in the U.S. and covers more than 50 million people worldwide, so internal training can be a daunting task for them.

An Aflac Insurance Agent needed to convey his effective new strategy to other sales associates. Insurance sales is drenched in statistics and probabilities, thus his presentation deck had a lot of data to incorporate in order to present his message effectively.

aflac1As we’ve said in the past, data and statistics can be very difficult to incorporate into a presentation in an engaging way, but when the prosperity of your company depends on getting these complex figures across clearly, this salesperson saw that he needed a professional PowerPoint designer to help visualize his data effectively.

 

 

 

The Need for Data Visualization in Presentations

All the numbers, figures, facts and stats that you gathered for your professional presentation are all useless…let me tell you why.

Let me explain through this: If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” My answer to that philosophical question would be “who cares?” If the tree is not in my sight, my space, causing me any problem, or bringing me any benefit, why am I interested?

Much like that tree, and its sound or soundless noise, is of no direct interest to me, neither is your data, at least not yet. At the moment, your data is like that tree, it is a vague and irrelevant issue to the typical audience member. They don’t see, hear, feel, or need the sound or the tree, so to them, it is useless.  The only way your complicated bar charts, pie graphs, numbers or percentages (your tree, if you will) will make me care is if they are relevant to me. The first step to relevance is making your data understandable.

What is data visualization?

Data Visualization is the idea of visualizing data away from your computer and in so doing, making sense of your complex issues. Once your audience can make sense of your data, they can begin to see any personal relevance or interest in it. This is where data visualization comes in again.

Data visualization has the power to harness the relationships of meaningcause and dependency. These three elements are what people use to judge personal relevance and interest on. If your audience understands the true meaning of what your showing, then sees what it can cause, or has caused to them personally, and finally understands that the next move is dependent on them, then you will have effectively made your data useful.

How to visualize your data

Extract the data from your current line graph, bar graph, pie chart, statistics or whatever medium you are displaying your data through. Then take a relevant photograph, or drawing, or design, and incorporate the data in it. For example:

“It’s one thing to see bar charts for average daily water consumption per capita in the United States, Mexico, the United Kingdom, China and Haiti…”

data vis bar chart

“… it’s another to see those bar charts shown as cups of water filled to different levels.”

data vis cup chart

 

The key point to understand with this is that the design is meant to support and complement the data. For example:

  • data on football fan attendance visualized by having fans hold up helmets to make a bar chart;
  • data on declining education budgets visualized as a bar chart traced in the dusty rear window of a preschool;
  • data on increasing dental costs can be visualized in a toothpaste line graph on a dollar bill

Additionally it is essential to focus on the central aspect of the visual. Whether it may be photography, hand drawn art, or a mix of the two, be sure it is good quality. Check the lighting, the picture quality, contrast, etc. Keep the photo free of extraneous elements; they will only confuse the audience. Take you base piece and add some descriptive text and a title in an image-editing program. Pretend it is your original chart or graph.

Science behind visualizations

These visualizations are effective interesting because as humans, we are not yet hardwired to understand and compute the things we see on screens and on paper. We are built to understand the real world, and we are very good at evaluating the things in it, and this lends an immediate grasp of the subject that rectangles on a screen sometimes can’t imitate.

Work Cited:

http://blog.visual.ly/real-life-dataviz/

Presentation Lessons from the Fed; Intentional Vagueness & Ambiguity

“I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”

Ladies and gentlemen, Alan Greenspan.

In 1987, Alan Greenspan famously said this and confused the crap out of a reporter questioning him about his plans for the Federal Reserve’s position on some matter, which for the sake of this article, is no longer important. Understanding the coded financial jargon, known as “Fedspeak” (a deliberate parallel to “Newspeak” of George Orwell’s novel, “1984”), used by U.S. Federal Reserve officials, is quite the challenge.

Greenspan, much like every other Fed board chairman in history, intentionally uses this vague and ambiguous dialect to answer questions about their monetary policy. In doing this, they can prevent financial markets from overreacting to their remarks. According to Alan Greenspan, the recognized chief in “Fedspeak,” using the coded dialect involves, “purposeful obfuscation to avoid certain questions coming up, which you know you can’t answer.” Here’s an example:

The Fed originally said: “The Committee will maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and continues to anticipate that economic conditions, including low rates of resource utilization, subdued inflation trends, and stable inflation expectations, are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate for an extended period.”

The Fed’s official explanation of this “Fedspeak” phrase reads: “Extended period is conditioned on resource slack, on subdued inflation and on stable inflation expectations.”

Nevertheless, some observers think the phrase actually means something closer to: “the U.S. economy is still doing pretty poorly, and so we really have no clue as to how long the economy will take to recover enough for the Fed to start raising interest rates.”

war-is-peace-freedom-is-slavery-ignorance-is-strength-e13136358167901

Although “Fedspeak” may be useful in political, economic, or governmental situations, a corporate presentation should be exactly the opposite. Any presentation expert will agree with the fact that clear, concise, and tangible information is necessary for a successful and effective PowerPoint presentation.

Have a story to tell before you start creating your PowerPoint presentation. Once you can clearly define your beginning, middle and end, you are ready to begin the presentation design and sequence.

The best way to avoid ambiguity and confusion in your audience can be found in a “three-act story” structure. This structure revolves around these three questions that your audience will ask themselves:

  1. Why should I care?
  2. How will your product make my life better?
  3. What action would I need to take?

Instead of using 30 different statistics, 4 slides of technical data or long background stories, focus on simple, clear, direct language. Make your content easy to understand, easy to remember, and better yet, easy to share. Make your content into universal converter (those big bulky blocks you take on trips to Europe to charge you phone or camera) .

Your content should be universally transferable from Facebook statuses, to Tweets, to text messages. The easier it is for people to share, the more they will.

Ill leave you with Leonardo Da Vinci’s philosophy that Steve Jobs often quoted: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

 

Reference:

Alkalay, Leo. “Understanding Fedspeak.eToro Blog. June 17, 2011.

Using Statistics and Metaphors Effectively in Your PowerPoints

Did you know that every person recorded in history that has been able to lick their elbow has had an IQ characterized as that of a genius?  While the previous statement is a complete fabrication of my imagination, it doesn’t negate the fact that you just thought of licking your elbow to see if you were a genius.

Statistics, metaphors, pictures, videos they all make us think in very specific and useful ways. Knowing how to manage these presentational aids can be what makes your next presentation sound like if you have been taking private classes with Tony Robins.

Presentations bogged down by statistics, overwhelming data, and technical topics can send your audience dozing off in minutes, but never fear, there are a few techniques that can help you convey the true significance of what you’re presenting.

When it comes to data, simplify and get creative.

If you’re presenting your data with a table, you might as well be force feeding sleeping pills to your audience. Instead of cramming all your data on to one page, give each statistic its own page, accompany each with a visual, and present them as individual, easy-to-digest morsels. If you have a slide crammed full with numbers, chances are nobody is going to take anything away from it.

Why should we care?

Statistics can captivate when presented effectively, they just need to be framed in such a way that makes your audience understand their significance. Paint a picture that depicts their relevancy. An excellent example of this was done during the 2012 presidential race when there was much to-do over the net worth of President Obama and of Governor Romney.

Adjusting for inflation, George Washington was the United States' richest president of all time.Obama

While it was revealed that Obama was among the poorest presidents ever elected and Romney was among the most wealthy, their combined wealth didn’t even come close to that of George Washington’s, when adjusting for inflation. Framing statistics in this way helps to give life to numbers that can often be monotonous and sedating, because practical application and historical context can make them much more relatable.

Metaphors, metaphors, metaphors.

If you’ve got a tough sell or a hard point to make, a metaphor can often help paint a picture for your audience to wrap their heads around. Metaphors can evoke an emotional response, which is very desirable when presenting potentially dry information, such as an investment opportunity.

Even better, Visual metaphors

When we listen to something, only 3 percent of our brain neurons are engaged, but when we see an image, that number jumps up to 30 percent. As far as engaging an audience on a chemical level, and ensuring that they retain the information you wish to convey, a visual representation of the conclusion your presentation seeks to reach will be, literally, 10 times more effective.

What you talk about is meaningless unless you know how to express it. It all comes down to two factors: how you say it and how you show it. Whether the topic is stem cell research or peanut butter protein bars, the audience will only care based off of how you present what you are presenting.

Harness the power of these presentational aids, and you will rule the world. Not really, but you will definitely have captivated your audience.

SOURCES:

http://www.slideshare.net/CarlKwan/how-to-present-data-and-statistics-visually

http://www.forbes.com/2010/07/14/george-washington-hoover-jfk-obama-personal-finance-10-richest-presidents_slide_5.html

http://soappresentations.com/the-value-of-metaphor-in-business-presentations/