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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.

SlideGenius Blog Module One

Download free PowerPoint templates now.

Get professionally designed PowerPoint slides weekly.

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Pantone’s Color of the Year and How You Can Use It for Business

Pantone calls itself “the world-renowned authority on color,” and perhaps rightfully so. The company has been in business since 1963, when its founder devised the Pantone Matching System, a standard scheme for identifying and communicating different shades and hues.

At the turn of the millennium, the company launched the project, “Color of the Year.” For seventeen years now, Pantone’s color forecasting has been a self-fulfilling prophecy. Different industries worldwide refer back to it when releasing new trends.

The Art of Color Forecasting

Although Pantone’s Color of the Year is widely anticipated and supported by a number of industries, the science behind it is still obscure. As Pantone senior vice president Ron Potesky said, “The complexity of the logic behind Color of the Year is greater than interior design or fashionit’s a forecast, a reflection of what’s happening in the world.”

The process of color forecasting is not a simple one, although it’s highly subjective in nature. For months on end, the Pantone team gathers what they call “proof points” from all over the world. They go to car shows, runways, decorator showcases, and other important events that define culture and lifestyle. They try to make sense of meaningful overlaps so they can distill the mood and state of the times into a single color.

Pantone’s yearly selection serves no direct purpose to the consumer world, but its influence can be observed in many sectors. Owing to its longevity and the power of social media, the project has reinvented itself as an authority in color trend selection.

If you’re into the colors game, check out this infographic about Greenery, Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year.

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Colors and business always go hand in hand. The consumer world is about trust and persuasion, and it’s hard to accomplish either or both if your brand is portrayed in a dull and dismal way. Choose a vibrant and fresh palette this yearone that includes Greenery, perhapsand you might just see your customers showing more interest in your business.

Back up your skills with a well-designed PowerPoint presentation by letting our team to assist and offer you a free quote!

 

Resources:

Beals, Rachel Koning. “Nature and New Beginnings Inform Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year: Greenery.” Market Watch. December 8, 2015. www.marketwatch.com

Budds, Diana. “Pantone’s New Color of the Year Is Weird and Perfect.” Facto Design. December 8, 2016. www.factodesign.com

Friedman, Vanessa. “Color of 2017? Pantone Picks a Spring Shade.” New York Times. December 8, 2016. www.nytimes.com

Hazzard, Tracy Leigh. “Why Pantone’s Color of 2017 Matters to Your Business.” Inc. December 9, 2016. www.inc.com

Hua, Karen. “Pantone’s Color of the Year 2017 Is Inspired by Nature and Influences Design.” Forbes. December 9, 2016. www.forbes.com

Pasquarelli, Adrianne. “How Pantone Picks Its Color of the Year.” Advertising Age. December 22, 2015. adage.com

Stewart, Jude. “Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year: Greenery!” Print Mag. December 8, 2016. www.printmag.com

Stock, Kyle. “How Pantone Is Still Turning Color into Money.” Bloomberg. August 27, 2015. www.bloomberg.com

Weiss, Dyanne. “Does Pantone’s Color of the Year Influence Marketing?” Chron. n.d. smallbusiness.chron.com

“Color Can Influence Emotions in a Way that Few Other Mediums Can.” Digital Skratch. n.d. digitalscratch.com

“Color Psychology: How Does Color Affect Us?” Pantone. n.d. www.pantone.com

“Color Psychology: The Emotional Effects of Colors.” Art Therapy. n.d. www.arttherapyblog.com

“Introducing Greenery.” Pantone. n.d. www.pantone.com

“Shinrin Yoku.” Shinrin Yoku. n.d. www.shinrin-yoku.org

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Making Your Presentation Stand Out with Powerful Design

Once you’re onstage, the stars are you and your presentation. Of course, your training got you there in the first place: charisma, clear and loud voice, likable aura—public speaking skills polished over and over again until they’re perfect, almost like second nature, and suited to your needs—and appropriate for every crowd imaginable.

But what about your presentation? Is it tailored to your audience? There’s a risk you don’t want to take when, despite how good you are as a speaker, your presentation is not as appealing: you don’t get your message across as effectively as you want, vis-à-vis death by PowerPoint.

Since humans are visual creatures, our brains process imagistic information faster and more efficiently than text. This is a benchmark you should take advantage of when creating visually appealing and enticing slides, a tip awesome presentation designers always live by. Check this infographic for tips on how to charm your audiences, arrest their attention, and, most importantly, get your message across.

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Visuals play an important role when arresting attention. In a world of eight-second attention spans and faster everything—connectivity, accessibility, and even loading times—people would rather spend more of their time on different, more valuable things.

Come to think of it, it’s a cyclical cause and effect: everything is faster, so people expect things to be even faster, ergo the short attention spans. Kind of a messed-up Pygmalion effect, only for things instead of persons.

With that happening, there’s now two steps to do: get their attention and retain it. Good, proper, and creative use of visuals can already do the first, and they can certainly take care of the second, especially when your topic goes from “something that makes them curious” to “something that genuinely piques their interest and makes them ask questions.”

There’s a beauty that certain senses can solely appreciate. Music to the ears. Caress on the skin. For the eyes, it’s appealing design. Beauty. Make something that both you and your audience will appreciate. In turn, they will appreciate you.

 

Resources:

Golden, Felicia. “The Power of Visual Content: Images vs. Text.” eyeQ. February 11, 2015. www.eyeqinsights.com/power-visual-content-images-vs-text

McSpadden, Kevin. “You Now Have a Shorter Attention Span than a Goldfish.” Time. May 14, 2015. www.time.com/3858309/attention-spans-goldfish

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This is How Visual Marketing Grows Your Business

No one can question the power of the internet. Since its introduction more than half a century ago, it has helped us accomplish greater things. Take global communication, for example. Social media has made it possible for anyone to communicate with another person anywhere in the world. It’s a phenomenon that took the world by surprise upon its release.

When the initial wave of excitement over social media dialed down, image-based social platforms like Pinterest and Instagram followed suit. They redefined the customer experience and set a new trend in marketing.

Today, image-based content—or what is known in business as visual marketing—is becoming more of a permanent fix rather than a passing movement. Visual marketing is here to stay. Retailor your campaign to include visual content that’s relevant to your target audience.

Visual Marketing: toy store

The Goldmine that is Visual Marketing

Online marketing is behind the decline of print advertising. Although it will take decades to obliterate textual content, we can now see how online ads are dominating the marketing world. Even in the virtual platform, text doesn’t reign supreme anymore. Visuals are taking a huge share in the market. In fact, professionals estimate that 84% of communications will be visual come 2018.

What exactly is visual marketing and why is it so powerful? Visual marketing is the radical use of design elements to connect with a target audience in a unique and creative way. It includes images, GIFs, slides, infographics, videos, checklists, and other graphics.

Visual content can strengthen your brand image and make your campaign more successful. To use the words of Anita Campbell, CEO and founder of Small Business Trends, “Harnessing the power of images and visuals will make your marketing more powerful and more memorable. Images, when done deftly, can turn concepts and intangible things into something concrete. That helps people envision your brand and your message in their mind’s eye—and remember you when it comes time to buy.”

Researchers found that colored visuals increase people’s willingness to read content by 80%. In the same way, contents with relevant images get 94% more views than those without graphics. It’s clear how visual marketing is changing the business landscape. 

Visual Marketing: Key elements

Key Elements that Drive Visual Marketing Success

Powerful though it is, visual marketing won’t sell itself. You need to learn how to use it to its full potential.

  • Brand Story and Personality

Showcase your brand story through visual marketing. Good visuals coupled with good narratives forge lasting bonds with customers.

  • Creativity and Resourcefulness

Differentiate your brand by doing something unique. Use your creative juice every time you communicate with your audience. Innovation is a good way to weed out competition and let your voice stand out.

  • Depth and Impact

Unless your content makes the audience stop and look, it will be lost in the background. Make sure that your social media posts have depth so that you can develop a compelling case that hooks the audience.

  • Humor and Entertainment

Humor is always a competitive edge. Use it in an impeccable way to enthrall your target audience and make them love your brand more.

  • Relevance and Application

As a marketer, you should know your audience well. It’s your mission to understand what the customers find valuable. Use all the information you have to make your campaign more targeted and personalized.

  • Call to Action

Lacing your visual content with a call to action will increase your chance of getting a better return on investment. Encourage your audience to engage with your brand across all social media platforms. 

Visual Marketing: Teaching

The Goal of Every Marketing Campaign

Brand awareness is just one of the many purposes of visual marketing. Thought leadership is another. Marketing in general is crucial to business, so you must leverage it as much as you can. Below are the five E’s of marketing according to Create, Connect, Convince.

Educate. Convey information about your brand. Your visual content must be as informational as your textual content.

Engage. Encourage your target audience to take part in growing your business. They are the most important resource you can use.

Enhance. Marketing is about promoting your brand, so don’t be afraid to blow your own horn and proclaim the benefits of your business. Just remember to do it in a non-intrusive way.

Entertain. When you’re posting through Facebook and other social media sites, you’re communicating with real people. Add emotion and humor in your content to entertain the audience.

Entice. You want potential customers to talk about your business. You want existing customers to buy your products. You can only do all this if you create a brand that is interesting enough to attract attention.

Visual is, without a doubt, the future of marketing. It will only be a matter of time before every content online is dominated by graphics and visual designs. Don’t wait until everyone else has taken all the spoils. Take your own share now and watch your business grow exponentially.

 

Resources:

Bradley, Sarah. “Visual Marketing: What’s Out There and How It Benefits Business Owners.” Search Engine Journal. April 11, 2014. www.searchenginejournal.com

Ditteaux, Matt. “Visual Marketing Tips for Your Business.” SB Marketing Tools. n.d. www.sbmarketingtools.com

Kaushal, Navneet. “How to Leverage Visual Marketing to Grow Your Blog Traffic.” Business 2 Community. November 16, 2016. www.business2community.com

Kim, Larry. “16-Eye-Popping Statistics You Need to Know About Visual Content Marketing.” Inc. November 23, 2015. www.inc.com

Mawhinney, Jesse. “37 Visual Content Marketing Statistics You Should Know in 2016.” Hubspot. January 23, 2016. blog.hubspot.com

Moltz, Barry. “5 Ways to Use Visual Marketing Online to Boost Your Business.” American Express. October 26, 2011. www.americanexpress.com

Moritz, Donna. “The Shift to Visual Social Media.” Socially Sorted. n.d. sociallysorted.com.au

Schawbel, Dan. “Leverage Visual Marketing to Grow Your Business.” Forbes. n.d. www.forbes.com

Vats, Shashvat. “How to Use Visual Marketing to Grow Your Business.” Viral Woot. July 1, 2016. viralwoot.com

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Design that Speaks: Styling PowerPoint Background Designs that Work

Designs add depth to content. They are useful for PowerPoint presentations, especially when words alone aren’t explicit enough.

Ideally, PowerPoint pitches should consist of a limited amount of words. Therefore, being expressive is a challenge. Usually, they only contain keywords but because designs impose tone or suggest interpretation, they become more comprehensible.

Studies suggest that elements of art have several different connotations to them. However, they are seldom obvious. It’s common to people that yellow is a happy color or that red looks romantic. But for the average majority, that’s just about it.

Using Psychology in Design

Many know psychological interpretations of art elements such as color, but only a few use this knowledge to their advantage; or at least see them as advantageous.

The ability to understand psychology in design and creativity, and use them in presentations is powerful. “When design and behavior match, the design will be superior,” said Simon Norris in an article. The more psychological effects a slide possesses, the more value it has.

PowerPoint background designs, as much as content does, play a crucial role in persuading audiences. They can influence how others think about you and how they react to you.

One of the secrets in creating a successful business pitch is by connecting with your audience. By appealing to their emotions, you help them remember the idea of your message.

Create effective PowerPoint pitches by incorporating knowledge on useful art psychologies. Know how various elements of art can be used to attract audiences through this infographic.

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Resource:

“Visual Communication and The Psychology of Design.” SuperGraphics. www.supergraphics.com/blog/visual-communication-and-psychology-design

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Reinvent the Wheel: Microsoft Makes PowerPoint Less Boring

Microsoft PowerPoint has established itself as the standard Office program for anyone giving their own presentation. Its user-friendly features make it even easier to understand on-screen. But though it reigns over all other visual aids, critics have raised several arguments against it… the most infamous of which is Death by PowerPoint.

This basically means an abuse of the software tool that results in a lengthy and often boring presentation. However, Microsoft has modified PowerPoint to serve its users better. The company’s latest additions to the program may be the best yet.

Better Designs

If you’re not someone who settles for PowerPoint’s slew of generic templates, then the PowerPoint Designer feature is for you. This new element is a welcome departure from PowerPoint’s previously limited options. Now, you can choose from a wide range of slide designs that coordinate themselves with the images you upload on your deck.

This includes a suitable color palette and strategic layout that’s sure to catch the audience’s attention. Ticking off your deck’s layout from your presentation checklist gives you more time to focus on prepping for content and delivery. Effortlessly feel like a pro with this easily customized creation.

Seamless Animations

Microsoft’s second pet project, PowerPoint Morph, makes creating slide animations more efficient for both veteran and first-time presenters. With this new tool, PowerPoint takes a step forward from their presentation forte and brings it up a notch to basic animation. As with Designer, Morph lets you add a personal touch to your slide. It eliminates awkward and stiff transitions, helping you create impressive animations for your deck.

For those who want more animated slides, Morph takes care of that process for you. Whether you’re tweaking text, images, or 3D shapes, it allows you to animate all the objects in your slide. All you need to do is duplicate these objects and outline the path you want them to move in.

Gone are the days when you had to fumble for videos online. Now, you can make your own moving clips with PowerPoint Morph’s help.

Optimized Engagement

With the arrival of these two PowerPoint game-changers, what else could Microsoft possibly have up their sleeve? As it turns out, they’ve got a lot more. The company also introduced Office Insider to loyal Microsoft users, particularly those using Microsoft 365.

While this third announcement isn’t an additional feature per se, it does give loyal customers a glimpse of more upcoming add-ins regarding Microsoft Office. Those who sign up for Office Insider will get to see PowerPoint’s latest features before anyone else does, even getting to try it out for themselves. This move has possibly endeared users even more. After all, increased customer engagement with the product is a great way of reaching out to people.

Being in the loop better guarantees long-term patronage of Microsoft’s services.

Back in the Game

Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that PowerPoint’s new features are game-changers for visual presentation. Despite the criticisms thrown against it, the attempts to make Microsoft PowerPoint less boring are actually working, and they’re effective, too. Their Designer and Morph add-ins bring raw text and images to life with effortless design and amazing animation.

Microsoft further caters to its customers by letting them sign up for Office Insider and get in on the latest software updates. Of course, it still doesn’t hurt to ask for a little help from presentation gurus every now and then. Contact our SlideGenius experts today for a free quote!

 

References

Koenigsbauer, Kirk. “The evolution of PowerPoint—introducing Designer and Morph.” Office Blogs, November 13, 2015. Accessed November 18, 2015. blogs.office.com/2015/11/13/the-evolution-of-powerpoint-introducing-designer-and-morph/
Passary, Summit. “Microsoft Introduces New PowerPoint Design Tools: Designer And Morph.” Tech Times, November 14, 2015. Accessed November 18, 2015. www.techtimes.com/articles/106755/20151114/microsoft-introduces-new-powerpoint-design-tools-designer-and-morph.htm

Featured Image: “136/366 – Death by PowerPoint” by Paul Hudson on Flickr.com

3 Reasons You Should Hire a PowerPoint Specialist

The internet has greatly boosted the speed and quality of how people share and develop knowledge. Web culture has spawned a new generation of people with an independent can-do mindset, and presentation design isn’t an exception.

This is exactly why you’ll need experts in the field to give you advice. You can go places with your presentation pitch deck if you have someone that understands your brand’s value, and the best marketing tools that your message needs.

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As an excellent presenter, don’t show up with an amateur presentation that distracts and disengages your audience.

Here are three important reasons to hire a PowerPoint specialist:

They Can Tell Your Story

A lot of companies give their sales associates freedom with their presentation designs, causing them to stray from the story you want your brand to tell. Audiences appreciate presentations that speak in a language consistent with the same story as your brand.

Professional presentation designers provide decks that stay true to your core identity, ensuring that your audience gets the right message, as inconsistency between your visual design and your speech confuse and tune your audience out. If you’re a high-class brand, no one will invest in you if your slides are cluttered and use eye-searing colors. Unity between your brand story and presentation deck effectively complements and conveys your message.

Having trouble narrowing down your company’s narrative? A team of experienced marketing specialists can streamline your brand story to better reflect your core values and your company identity.

They Can Wow Your Audience

A PowerPoint presentation specialist can provide exemplary, eye-catching, and engaging decks. Expect no less from people who do this for a living.

PowerPoint specialists can fulfill all your presentation needs and more. Do you need striking visual design? You deserve it. Do you want your logo animated? They can do that for you. How about a video in your presentation? They can make one from scratch.

A design that complements your purpose gets your message across. Audiences appreciate uniform content, visual elements, and purpose, making them feel like you know exactly what you’re talking about. This increases the chance of converting budding interest into positive action.

They Can Boost Your Confidence

A PowerPoint presentation is merely a visual aid, but don’t underestimate the importance of coming up to bat with a well-designed pitch deck. Stepping into the spotlight is much easier when you can focus on presenting. You free up resources to concentrate on improving your service’s other aspects or preparing as a presenter, instead of worrying about how your template should look or what image will exemplify the concept you’re talking about in one glance.

A professionally designed pitch deck can increase customer trust and engagement, making your job simpler and your goals easier to achieve. With fewer things to worry about, you’ll also have more time and money to improve your actual product or service, creating a positive feedback loop that begins and ends with excellent service.

Effective presentation design involves a lot of preparation. The process involves unifying your brand, your core message, and your specific purpose. If you think your brand warrants only the best, then you need the assistance of true presentation professionals.

Call up one of our PowerPoint specialists, and let’s get you started on that pitch deck that your brand deserves!

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References

3 Reasons Why You Need a PowerPoint Presentation Specialist.SlideGenius, Inc. August 1, 2013. Accessed May 19, 2015.
3 Additional Perks of Getting a PowerPoint Presentation Specialist.” SlideGenius, Inc. Accessed May 19, 2015.

Using White Space in PowerPoint Design—a Closer Look

In our previous discussion on some of the best PowerPoint design practices, we mentioned the importance of creating white spaces in your slide designs. We thought it would be useful to take a closer look at this concept.

What is white space, and how can presenters wield it effectively when building their PowerPoint decks?

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White space is necessary to creating a well-balanced and harmonious design. By leaving negative spaces in your design, you’ll get rid of clutter that could distract your audience. Steven Bradley of  Vanseo Design came up with an interesting analogy that underscores this point.

Try to imagine every note playing at the same time or being played so quickly that there’s no distinction between one note and the next. You wouldn’t have music. You’d have a solid wall of noise. As Zappa said, “There’s gotta be enough space in there.” You have to leave room for the sounds to be distinguished from each other, to be heard for what they are.

A few notes played together form a chord. All notes played together form noise. To create rhythm and melody requires a measured and planned space. Music isn’t sound. It’s a balance between sound and space. Without both there is no music.

Without spaces in music, your favorite song won’t make much sense. With the notes garbled together, you’ll simply end up with noise. The same thing can happen when your design lacks white space. The space between different elements is also important to design. If a single slide is filled with different things that have little to no space in between, the audience won’t know where to focus their attention.

The importance of white space in PowerPoint design

Apart from bringing focus to your PowerPoint presentations, there are plenty of other reasons why white space is important to slide design. According to Bradley, white space does three main things. You can think of these as the more practical application of white space in your designs.

First, using white spaces allow you to group the elements of your design together. White spaces also allow you to create emphasis and hierarchy between the elements of your design. Lastly, it improves the  readability  and clarity of your design. All in all, white space helps your audience understand the structure and logic in a single slide.

Other than these practical reasons, white space is also important to the aesthetics or overall look of your PowerPoint design. In both print and web design, white space can create a feeling of luxury and sophistication. As Connor Turnbull of Tuts+ writes,

White space can add a feeling of sophistication and luxury into a generic webpage by creating the feeling that the product is more important than the real estate it lives in. It can make a product look luxurious by using the “less is more” principle. When you look at Apple’s website – a brand that we regard as being in the more premium end of computing – there is very little needed, as the products speak for themselves, albeit alongside some minimalist taglines. This is a phenomenon that is also popular with premium health and well being websites where little content is needed to communicate the general idea of the product or service advertised.

Other common associations made with white space was also pointed out by Bradley. Aside from luxury, quality, and sophistication, white space can also convey the following meanings:

  • Cleanliness
  • Spirituality
  • Purity
  • Openness
  • Calmness
  • Solitude

If these concepts are important to the topic or theme of your presentation, it becomes especially important to consider the effective use of white space in your slides.

Analyzing the use of white space in sample slides

Having discussed the importance of white space, it’s time to learn how to use it effectively. There’s more to it than making sure there’s enough space in each of your slide. Creating white space should be a deliberate choice that helps bring balance and focus in your design.

Micro and macro white space

Technically, there are two different types of white space. As its name suggests, micro white space refers to the smaller spaces that separate different elements. It could be the space between the items you’ve listed in bullet points, the lines of text that make up a paragraph, or an image and its caption. As Mark Boulton points out in an article  on A List Apart, it’s the “itty-bitty stuff.”  On the other hand,  macro white space refers to what’s in between major or larger elements in the design composition.

White Space Sample 01

By creating enough micro space between the lines of text, the audience can easily read what this slide is about. It amount of micro space in the main text also gives the slide a more streamlined appearance, which coincides with the idea it’s pitching. Meanwhile, the macro space allows the audience to take in each part of the slide more carefully. It also allows the logo and tagline to stand out even more.

Passive and active white space

White space can also be either passive or active. Passive white space refers to fixing the space between elements to make sure design remains balanced and symmetrical. That could mean making sure that your margins remain consistent throughout your presentation. Alternately, active white space refers to creating white space that is asymmetrical or inconsistent with the rest of the composition. This helps you create more emphasis and interest for the focal point of your slide.

White Space Sample 02

The passive spaces in this slide are in between the different picture. You’ll also notice that the amount of space between the pictures and the top of slide are consistent. That also falls under passive space. In both instances, the equal and consistent spacing gives the design a cleaner look. Meanwhile, the green rectangular shape that bears the logo and title of the presentation obviously stands out because there’s active white space around it.

Boulton points out that effective use of white space lies in constant practice. Take the time to look through some of the other sample slides in our portfolio. Observe how the different types of white spaces are use to create the overall look and feel of the design.

Make sure you keep these terminologies in mind when you’re building your slides. You can learn more about using white space by reading these resources in full:

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Featured Image: Death to the Stock Photo

Visual Thinking: Do Images Fill Your Brain?

Do you have a hard time memorizing people’s names, but can easily place the face of a stranger? Is it hard to articulate your ideas and turn them into words? Do you prefer sketching out the details of a project? Do you love solving puzzles like this one? Those who are more inclined to visual thinking will likely answer yes to all these questions.

What is visual thinking?

Learn more about the unique ability to see the world in pictures and the skills it involves by watching these two videos:

Are You A Visual Thinker? by BuzzFeed Video

Visual Thinking 101 by Sean Griffin

Developing visual thinking skills

As we often discuss here, our brains are more inclined to process and retain visual information. This is why visualization is an important element in presentations. Complex concepts are better explained through the use of illustrations, charts, diagrams and pictures. Verbal or textual explanations can easily become confusing. People who are more inclined to visual thinking will know this for a fact.

While not everyone might be considered visual thinkers, others can easily develop the same set of skills. With a bit of practice, we can all achieve visual literacy. As Philip Yenawine of Visual Understanding Education writes,

It involves a set of skills ranging from simple identification (naming what one sees) to complex interpretation on contextual, metaphoric and philosophical levels. Many aspects of cognition are called upon, such as personal association, questioning, speculating, analyzing, fact-finding, and categorizing. Objective understanding is the premise of much of this literacy, but subjective and affective aspects of knowing are equally important.

Here are a few resources you can read to get started on your visual thinking journey:

 

Featured Image: Fons Heijnsbroek via Flickr