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Be a Marketing Jedi: 3 Lessons from the Star Wars Franchise

Whether you’re a casual passerby or an avid fan, you’ve definitely run across the Star Wars franchise in one way or another. After the first three movies’ success in the late 70’s, Star Wars was canonized in pop culture and passed down to generations of viewers. A decade later, a new Star Wars movie is on its way – and it’s hitting screens this December.

Beyond strategic marketing, Star Wars’ fame is anchored on impressive world-building. You could even say that its marketing strategy is greatly dependent on the universe it’s created. Can a sci-fi movie really teach us something about marketing?

Let’s list down 3 reasons why the films continue to sell to millions of fans:

1. Recruiting the Audience

1-Star-Wars-Recruiting-Audiences

Aside from George Lucas, enthusiasts have greatly contributed to the Star Wars franchise, and it’s not just in terms of their time and money. People have been helping the Star Wars universe grow and expand thanks to their dedication in creating mini-worlds. This comes in the form of numerous fan theories and spinoffs that continue to circulate through mainstream media – by building on an existing offer, fans keep the franchise alive with their own genuine interest in engaging with the work.

Businesses can learn a few things from this example by looking at how word-of-mouth from the older fans made a positive impact on Star Wars’ brand reputation.  How would an old movie from several decades ago still be a hit with today’s generation if not for the recommendation of older fans? Why would older fans recommend something that they didn’t find to be of high quality? In the same way, you’ll expand your business by providing great service to your customers. By satisfying them, you’ll have them talking about you to other people, recommending your services over the competition’s.

Most of the time, there’s no need to blatantly push yourself in the audience’s faces. Subtle promotions like creating online fan pages for your business gives customers an avenue to voice feedback and concerns on their dime, increasing the chances of getting honest feedback over canned responses. Wean off forced brand promotion like click bait and empty promises. Allowing customers to develop genuine interest helps your market establish a more solid relationship with your product because they’re the ones coming to you, not the other way around.

Thus, work on building natural connections and make people more invested in your product so that you can draw in more customers. After giving them great service, your current clients can introduce you to their personal networks and gain you further exposure.

2. Counting on Content

2-Star-Wars-Count-on-Content

The Star Wars films’ basic premise is one of the most common in literary history: a young man’s coming of age. Thanks to its universality, the plot resonated with a wide range of audiences. Its filmmakers added more diversity to the basic plot by weaving in variations.  Plot twists and additional details made the general backdrop more exciting, making for iconic movie scenes that continue to appeal to audiences of different generations.

This, in turn, increased people’s interest in the movie. After all, if you were to keep creating the same content over and over, and in the same style, there’s not much reason for your audience to stick with you if they can find something more interesting created by the competition. Even if they’re still working within the same universe, the filmmakers were able to create new content within those restrictions, adding a unique touch to each movie so that each film had its own memorable moments.

If you want prospects to show the same loyalty to your brand, you have to focus on crafting content that matters. The simplest way to creating relevant content is by studying your audience’s interests. Though you can do this the traditional way via surveys, focused group discussions, and interviews, there’s now a simpler, more accessible way of doing so, one that can possibly even get you more genuine results: observe how your audience behaves on their social media accounts.

Providing quality content means aligning your marketing objectives to satisfy your audience, positively boosting your image as a business that values the market’s comfort above anything else. Like the Star Wars universe, take a relatable yet innovative approach with your brand. Be as relevant as you can to your market by emphasizing the benefits people can gain from your services.

3. Adapting to the Times

3-Star-Wars-Adapt-to-Times

According to Writer’s Digest‘s Chuck Sambuchino, when it comes to creating a believable setting, you can’t afford to leave things stagnant. Your landscape and characters need to progress (or regress) over time, even if it’s just in one plot line. The Star Wars franchise has especially banked on this aspect of world-building by creating not just a bunch of interrelated movies, but an entire series. It would have been a waste to not explore the full potential of the set-up, considering how vast it was.

This expansion, as well as the branch-off into TV series and books, won the favor of those who were growing up with the movies. At the same time, the additional details from the expanded universe welcomed new fans into the franchise. In the same way that audiences quickly lose interest in being served the same story over and over, there’s not much for them to look forward to if your offer – or your approach to marketing it – stays the same, despite the changing times.

Similarly, businesses may have a specific target market in mind, but your customer demographic will constantly change as they grow older and gain new lifestyles. If you choose to keep targeting the same people you first reeled in, you’ll have to adapt, or they’ll leave your brand behind for another brand that suits their new, more relevant needs. At the same time, you have to figure out how to keep new customers or clients coming in. What was relevant during the founding of your company may be phased out within a few years’ time. It’s a delicate balance to maintain, but one that must be given proper attention in order to keep your business going.

In order to keep up with the times, research your customers’ preferences by following their latest trends or giving specific surveys. Adjust your product and overall vision accordingly.

Building the Empire

04-Star-Wars-Build-Empire

What, then, is the lifeblood of the Star Wars franchise? It would have to be its rich and ever-growing world. Both the original and subsequent films enjoy continued popularity because of a thriving creative community that keeps it alive. But they wouldn’t have that large audience if they hadn’t offered something that gave people value.

Apply some Star Wars wisdom to your own brand and encourage customer engagement with the product. Reel them in through substantial content that caters to their interests, and keep yourself updated with current trends and topics in the market.

Take some lessons from the Star Wars movies’ marketing and world-building strategies, and soon you’ll be establishing your own brand empire, getting clients and customers to join your side.

References

Cooper, Tristan. “6 Star Wars Fan Theories That Are Too Good Not to Be True.” Dorkly. January 28, 2015. Accessed November 17, 2015. www.dorkly.com/post/71852/star-wars-fan-theories
Handy, Bruce. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens Is on the Cover of Vanity Fair.” Vanity Fair. Accessed November 17, 2015. www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2015/05/star-wars-the-force-awakens-vanity-fair-cover
Sambuchino, Chuck “Tips on World Building for Writers — How to Make Your Imaginary World Real.” WritersDigest.com, October 8, 2014. Accessed November 17, 2015. www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/tips-on-world-building-for-writers-how-to-make-your-imaginary-world-real

Branding Lessons from Volkswagen’s Emission Test Fiasco

Your brand is your key to building and maintaining your customer base. Keeping your brand’s promises consistently keeps people loyal to your brand. A single mistake can instantly break that trust, which may cost years to get back.

This is why the recent allegation of Volkswagen using software for cheating diesel engine emissions test results is such a big deal.

What happened during the 2015 Volkswagen scandal?

Why the Volkswagen Scandal was Such a Big Deal
Why the Volkswagen scandal was such a big deal.

According to reports, the US Environmental Protection Agency discovered that the automaker had installed a program to adjust engine performance when the cars were subjected to carbon emission tests. This led people to believe that Volkswagen’s diesel engines were compliant with environmental standards, meaning they were supposedly cleaner.

As if this wasn’t enough, reports also say similar models shipped to European and Asian countries could also be affected by this software as well. The total number of affected vehicles could reach at least 11 million.

CEO Martin Winterkorn has already apologized for his company’s apparent violation of environmental safety standards, and is set to step down. While we have yet to hear news about a product recall, it’s safe to say that the public’s trust in Volkswagen has dropped significantly. Even then, there are also lessons we can learn about safeguarding your brand during trying times:

1. Do a Product Recall

Volkswagen should do a product recall 2015
Don’t let defective products stay in the market, or your brand’s reputation could tank further.

If anyone finds something wrong with your product, do a recall as soon as you can. Auto manufacturers like GM and Honda have also done recalls over defective parts when problems have been reported. This shows that you’re not willing to risk the public over the mistakes you made. You also give the impression that you act swiftly to correct your mistakes.

2. Issue an Apology

Volkswagen issued a public apology about the 2015 emission tests
Own up to your company’s mistakes. Never run away from them.

Owning up to your mistake is a crucial part of the brand recovery process. If you don’t share your side of the issue, the media will just keep reporting complaints from people and accidents caused by defective products This can be seen in the public apology done by Winterkorn. While it’s true that the public is still angry with Volkswagen, at least they humbly admitted their mistake and didn’t point fingers.

3. Keep the Public Posted

Volkswagen should keep the public informed about the 2015 issue
Once you’ve acknowledged the problem, keep taking steps to solve the problem, while keeping the public informed at the same time.

Maintaining a presence and updating your customers is another crucial lesson here. It goes without saying that you need to improve your product and fix what was broken. But as you do this, always remember to keep the public informed about the steps you’re taking.

As of this writing, Volkswagen has yet to take action over the affected cars. Expect that a costly recall will come up, though. While billions of dollars and euros might be spent to fix this problem, the people will be watching the company’s every move. It’s best for them to avoid taking wrong turns at this juncture.

The Bottomline

Volkswagen has a lot to learn from its emission test scandal
Volkswagen has a lot to learn from its public scandal, but the company can still recover with a lot of hard work.

The hardest part about your brand is that you will, at some point, have to own up to your mistakes. When this happens, it’s important to be quick in recalling any affected products. Don’t forget to share your side of the story and what you plan to do about the situation. This will help minimize the damage done by bad publicity and show that you‘re doing something to address the problem.

As for the Volkswagen fiasco, the company’s going to need a lot more than an apology to get their brand back on the right track.

References

DeBord, Matthew. “VW’s Cheating on Emissions Tests Goes to the Heart of Its US Business.” Business Insider. September 21, 2015. Accessed September 23, 2015. www.businessinsider.com
Thomas, Chad. “VW Chief Winterkorn Steps Down After Emissions Scandal.” Bloomberg.com. September 23, 2015. Accessed September 24, 2015. www.bloomberg.com
Thompson, Mark, and Ivana Kottasova. “Volkswagen Scandal Widens: $7.3 Billion Cost, 11 Million Cars.” CNNMoney. September 22, 2015. Accessed September 23, 2015. www.money.cnn.com

Consistency: The Key to an Effective Sales Presentation

Consistency is one of the foundations of success. This principle’s importance, however, is often neglected, with people barely realizing the positive effects of being and staying consistent.

But what is consistency in a sales presentation?

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In today’s business scene, inconsistent PowerPoint presentations often overlook the little details. This leads to sales pitches that end up falling flat.

If you want to sell your product or service, an effective sales pitch calls for a consistently convincing deck in terms of visuals and content.

Why is Consistency Important?

Your PowerPoint is a visual aid, but that doesn’t mean it’s just there to look aesthetically pleasing. It’s your partner in getting your message across, so it’s important to dress it up in a way that complements your pitch. PowerPoint is your tool to emphasize and enhance certain points.

Ensure your deck’s overall content isn’t confusing by considering the texts and visual designs that you’ll be placing.

Consistency in Content

Maintain a single and uniform structure in your main points to show unity in your overall presentation.

Keep your writing style the same from the beginning to end, especially when enumerating important ideas. Watch out for spelling and grammatical errors in your content. Avoid typos to make your presentation look professional and credible.

Keeping an eye on tiny details like these indicate that you value your company’s image and integrity.

Consistency in Design

LogoYes founder, John Williams, enumerates the effects your choice of color has on your business. Make sure you use a consistent color palette so that everybody retains your company’s image.

That’s why companies like Coca-Cola only use specific colors instead of all the colors of the rainbow—it makes it easier to connect your product to a certain look. Incorporate images and backgrounds that have the same subset of colors. Select relevant and appropriate visuals that support your text and highlight your product’s important points.

You can repeat certain elements to help keep your deck consistent. For example, don’t jump from wavy lines in one slide to straight lines in another slide. When each slide looks like it came from the same company, your presentation looks well-crafted and well-designed.

Inconsistency negatively affects your overall presentation because your audience won’t know what you stand for. Who wants to invest in somebody who doesn’t even know what they really want to say? Staying consistent, not just in text but in visuals, helps keep your audience on the same page.

It keeps them from guessing whether you’re one company or another, especially since consistent visuals repeat certain elements, stamping them more effectively in clients’ minds. Know what you want to say and how you want to be perceived. Use consistent visuals for a more efficient and clear PowerPoint presentation.

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References

“Structuring a Presentation.” University of Leicester. Accessed May 26, 2015. http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/ld/resources/presentations/structuring-presentation
Williams, John. “Your Brand’s True Colors.” Entrepreneur. March 06, 2007. Accessed May 26, 2015. www.entrepreneur.com/article/175428

Using Common Values in PowerPoint Presentations

Chances are, just about every person you’ve met has their own standards. This could be about the food they eat, the brand of clothing they wear or the gadgets that they purchase for work or for leisure.

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What makes these standards so important? They define almost everything people do, from the decisions they make to the things they believe in. For effective presenters, challenging or reinforcing these beliefs can make their speeches all the more convincing. This is because they can easily identify the values that their audiences live by, and use these to refine their presentation’s main message.

Shared Beliefs Establish Trust

Using shared beliefs to make your argument credible isn’t a new technique. Marketing professor Lisa Fortini-Campbell’s book, Hitting the Sweet Spot (1992), recommends an ethics-based marketing method to form a level of empathy with customers. This involves knowing what values your customers live by and reinforcing those beliefs when advertising your products.

For example, you can show how a particular brand of SUVs can make family road trips more enjoyable and, more importantly, safe. Another example was when Kraft Foods, Inc. stopped advertising junk food to children to keep a credible relationship with its customers, most of whom were parents concerned for their family’s health.

As long as brands can show that they believe in the same things that we do, they can maintain a healthy relationship with customers. However, brands have to back this up by delivering with their marketing, products, and services, instead of simply speaking of these values.

Presentation as a Form of Marketing

Some may argue that making a presentation has nothing to do with marketing. But consider this: if you were to pitch your company’s health insurance, how would you convince your client to make that investment if they prefer to keep costs at a minimum? Would you compare your package to cheaper but less comprehensive offerings? Or would you appeal to their sense of responsibility by proposing that investing in their employees’ health could deliver long-term benefits?

If you think about it, giving a presentation can be considered a form of marketing; planning what to pitch, how to propose it, and how to design the PowerPoint all follow a similar process. In the end, they all rely on establishing connections to effectively sell themselves. This allows for easier time forming their content around certain beliefs to justify proposals and ideas.

Having a Common Ground

To use this marketing method properly, ask yourself if your company’s core values are aligned with your client’s.

In the above scenario of selling an insurance package, you can determine if there any common morals that you both practice in your respective companies. For instance, you would focus on a construction company’s belief in optimal safety and healthcare when selling insurance products. You could also focus on a finance company’s belief in making the most out of their money.

Find out which beliefs can you capitalize on when making your PowerPoint presentations content. Once you have this information, you’ll have an easier time applying values-based messages to your proposals or recommendations. Your slide designs can also be attuned on those shared moral values that you both bank on.

Taking this approach means you should keep in mind that your clients are humans too. Each client has their own set of ethics that influences their decision-making. In the same way that brands and advertising can use shared beliefs to encourage customer purchase, a properly designed PowerPoint presentation can use this approach to gain client approval.

By utilizing the power of belief to establish a common ground with your clients, this can be an effective tool to get the business results you need.

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References:

Cross, Vanessa. “The Goals of Values-Based Marketing.” Chron. Accessed April 21, 2015.
Fortini-Campbell, Lisa. Hitting the Sweet Spot. Chicago: Copy Workshop, 1992

Listen Here: 5 Podcasts for the Busy Professional

With their recent popularity, podcasts can serve as the perfect information platform for busy professionals.

Unlike books, you can listen to podcasts and digest the same amount of information while you’re on the go. You don’t have to worry about setting aside a specific chunk of time from your schedule. You can easily garner useful facts and skills while you’re in the gym or going to work. For this reason, we’ve collected some podcasts that you can plug in if you’re looking to improve your business know-how, particularly in the areas of marketing and presentations.

1.) The Public Speaker’s Quick and Dirty Tips 

the public speaker podcast

Hosted by Lisa B. Marshall, this podcast offers exactly what its title suggests—easy-to-digest tips on presentations and public speaking. If you’re looking for a way to improve your communication skills, Lisa will answer questions and delve into presentation-related topics one episode at a time. While her discussions are usually pretty in-depth and exhaustive, she relays information without overwhelming her listeners. Best of all, you can easily check out the QDT website for a transcript in case you miss an episode.

2.) Marketing Over Coffee 

marketing over coffee podcast

Just like ‘The Public Speaker,’ this podcast airs bite-sized discussions that are exhaustive but not overwhelming. Hosted by John Wall and Christopher Penn, ‘Marketing Over Coffee’ covers a host of topics about traditional and digital marketing. In a span of about 20 minutes, you can learn helpful marketing techniques and easy-to-follow tips.  They’ve also done interviews with industry personalities such as Seth Godin, David Meerman Scott, and Simon Sinek. You can check this link for more information about the podcast and find notable episodes to download.

3.) Your Grand Idea

your grand idea podcast

Are you just starting up your business? If so, ‘Your Grand Idea’ is the perfect podcast for you. Hosted by Todd Skaggs and Kevin Carter, the podcast covers a wide variety of tips and case studies that will help your new venture move forward. What’s a better way to learn than by listening to the experiences of other entrepreneurs and professionals? Start listening to the 33 episodes available by visiting their website.

4.) The Toastmasters Podcast

toastmasters podcast

For more public speaking lessons, you can also tune into the Toastmasters Podcast. With hosts Bo Bennett, Ryan Levesque, and Greg Gazin, this podcast offers in-depth discussions that will help anyone improve their presentation skills. From lessons on using props during presentations to interviews with noted industry professionals, this podcast almost serves as a crash course on communication in the workplace. If you find yourself struggling with public speaking, the Toastmasters Podcast is a helpful antidote. Here’s a complete list of their available episodes.

5.) The Friday Hangout 

the friday hangout podcast

This podcast—hosted by Janet Fouts, Adam Helweh, and Steve Farnsworth—zeroes in on marketing in the digital world. There are plenty of discussions on social media marketing, branding, and PR to learn from, as well as interviews with a number of notable guests. The best thing about this podcast is how the three hosts inject elements of humor and fun in each episode, so it doesn’t feel like what you’re doing is all just for work. If you’re looking for a podcast that’s both engaging and informative, you can start listening to ‘The Friday Hangout’ here.

Podcasts can be your best source of information for today’s fast-moving world. Despite your tight schedule, you don’t have to forego learning important lessons that can help move your career forward. All you have to do is subscribe to these podcasts, plug in your headphones, and take a quick listen.

 

Featured Image: Robert Couse-Baker via flickr

Visual Storytelling: How Stories are Told in Pictures

Are pictures really worth a thousand words? Let’s take a look at some facts.

According to a whitepaper published by NewCred and Getty Images, the following statistics are proof:

  • 40% of people will respond better to information presented visually
  • 83% of human learning is visual
  • 44% of users are more likely to engage with brands on social platforms if they post pictures
  • Articles and blog posts that contain images get 94% more views than those without

Aside from all that, there’s also proof in the way our mind works. The human brain can process visuals 60,000 times faster than information presented through text. In fact, we’re all highly attuned to our sense of sight. According to Dr. John Medina, vision trumps all of our other senses.

With these facts laid out, it’s easy to see why images are important to presentations and marketing materials. Through visual storytelling, you can use pictures to create stronger emotional impact. Pictures can tell a story that immediately allows your audience to connect with the message you’re sharing.

So whether you’re delivering a presentation or revamping your social media profiles, visual storytelling is the best way to go. When selecting pictures to use, try to keep in mind the four key characteristics of visual storytelling:

Authentic

The best stories come from candid moments. It’s why photo sharing has become so prevalent in the age of social media. Replacing the super-polished stock photos are snapshots that allow others to see the world through a more personal perspective. Take, for example, Dove’s Real Beauty campaign. Instead of featuring models that are photoshopped to perfection, Dove featured everyday women and challenged today’s absurd beauty standards.

To find images that are more authentic to your story, focus on what your brand stands for. Look for images that convey your identity and experiences as a brand. Next, look for something that will resonate with your audience. Think about the people you’re addressing and what might be authentic for them.

Relevant

Visual storytelling should also take into account what’s happening in the world. After all, your message doesn’t exist in a bubble. It’s contextualized in a milieu—a world where billions of individuals are discovering new things every single day. Make sure your visual stories are relatable and relevant to the audience you want to target. Consider what Oreo did to make the most out of a blackout that interrupted the Super Bowl. For your own visual story, choose images that evoke a sense of time and culture.

Sensory

The only thing better than a picture is the real thing. But since you can’t have real situations on a PowerPoint slide, you’re going to have to settle for the next best thing. Visual storytelling thrives on imagery that can heighten emotions and senses.

Close-up and macro shots are great for showing textures that audiences can almost touch. On the other hand, a long shot can also take your audience into a particular scene, allowing them to experience it through a wider perspective.

Archetypal

Lastly, the best of visual storytelling alludes to narratives that are practically as old as time. If you think about it, you’ll notice that all your favorite stories are tied together by recurring themes and archetypes. These are universal symbols—called such because they can be found across many different countries and cultures. For your visual stories to be a success, you need to take these symbols and turn it into your own.

Find an archetype that relates to your brand and make it your own. Get to know your own new character and find images that correspond to this new version of a well-loved symbol.
Visual storytelling is great technique to use in presentations and marketing efforts.  By weaving imagery together, you can create a story that speaks volumes about your core message.

READ MORE: The Power of Visual Storytelling – NewsCred + Getty Images (Whitepaper)

 

Featured Image: Ravinder M A via Flickr

Trade Show Tips: Things to Remember On the Exhibit Floor

Exhibiting at a trade show? Industry events can turn into a great business opportunity if you know how to do to it right. According to Chief Marketer‘s Ruth Stevens, the terrifying possibility of customer rejection can be tempered by some measures. Here’s our take on these trade show do’s and don’t’s.

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Apart from networking with potential clients, you’ll be able to show off your latest offers and learn more about the trends in your field. In order to get the best outcome from your endeavor, make sure to follow these trade show tips when you’re on the exhibit floor.

Trade Show Tip #1: Train your team to work together for a common goal

Trade shows can be tricky because you’ll be sharing the stage with other people. In order to make sure everyone is on the same page, you need to plan and prepare with your entire team. You want everyone in your booth to work together for a common goal.

You want everyone to be in sync, instead of competing with each other. Hold meetings where you and your team can discuss what you want to achieve during the trade show. Allow them to contribute to making plans. Most importantly, include periodic training sessions to make sure your staff is well-prepped for the big day.

Trade Show Tip #2: Watch the crowd for potential clients

I think part of being a good entrepreneur involves being a keen observer. As you explore the different booths on the exhibit floor, keep an eye out for potential clients.

If you find someone that could make a good prospect, don’t be afraid to introduce yourself and make polite conversation. Train your team to do the same thing while they’re manning your booth.

Trade Show Tip #3: Learn to take no for an answer

Conversing with prospects is important. In fact, trade shows are a great venue for it. But if they turn down your pitch, be courteous and respect their decision. That person was probably looking for something else and your solution wasn’t it.

Again, learn to be sensitive to the people you’re networking with. If they’re not interested, don’t work to change their mind. Instead, work hard to engage the people who might be.

Trade Show Tip #4: Always share your contact information

To nurture the relationships you’ve made during the event, don’t forget to hand out business cards or flyers with your contact information.

Similarly, you should compile all the business cards you were able to connect and reach out to prospects as soon as you can.

Trade Show Tip #5: Be friendly but professional

It’s important to keep a warm atmosphere during a trade show. The people who approach your booth should always feel welcome.

Always be friendly and approachable, but keep in mind that this is still a professional event.

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Reference:

Stevens, Ruth. “Trade Show Marketing Do’s & Don’ts: Ways to Annoy Your Prospects.Chiefmarketer. 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.

 

Featured Image: Sam Galison via Flickr

Marketing Presentation Mistakes that are Costing You Clients

Marketing keeps the cogs of your business running. That’s why marketing presentations are crucial to developing and promoting your brand.

It’s one of the most effective methods to share your company story, where you have some time to make your case. Don’t waste a great opportunity to showcase the very best of your brand with presentation mistakes you can easily avoid.

Here are presentation mistakes that may cost you your clients:

1.) Lack of preparation

Presentation prep should go beyond putting together PowerPoint slides. While slide design is certainly important (as we’ll discuss later on), you should also take the time to do some research, prepare your materials, and practice your delivery.

Start preparing for your presentation as early as possible. This will give you enough leeway if you decide to change some things, or if you realize that you might need professional help. You should also iron out the most practical details of your presentation.

Give yourself an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the venue you’re speaking at. That way, you can learn the technical requirements of the equipment you’ll be using and avoid the awkward “technical difficulties” spiel.

2.) Boring and generic PowerPoint designs

You can’t make a favorable impression if you’re repeating PowerPoint designs. Don’t settle for the generic PowerPoint templates. It’s important that your slides are designed to fit the theme of your discussion.

Incorporate your brand into your PowerPoint design, and make sure that your key points are well-illustrated through interesting images and graphics.

3.) Sounding too much like a sales pitch

While you definitely want to seal the deal, your presentation should also have more than just a plea to get hired.

Don’t be tempted to go down the sales pitch route. Showcase your brand by presenting how and why it’s significant to your audience. You have to appeal to their emotions and experiences. Presenting a bunch of data that supposedly shows why your services are the best in the industry won’t do anything if you can’t say why it matters to your audience.

Consider these tips while preparing your presentation content, inspired by Certified Speaking Professional Terri Langhans:

  • Research about your audience
  • Identify three to four of your key attributes that you think are important to them
  • What could they benefit from these attributes and why is that important?

4.) Poor and uninspiring delivery

There are three components to an effective presentation: content, design, and delivery. Your content may be compelling. Your PowerPoint design may be breathtaking. But if you deliver your presentation by mumbling to yourself, all your effort becomes moot.

Luckily, poor delivery is one of the presentation mistakes you can easily remedy. The Internet is a wonderful source of inspiration. Watch Steve Jobs introduce the first iPhone here. Observe how he makes use of an energetic performance and take note of his movements and speech patterns.

5.) Tuning out the audience

If you were in the audience, would you trust a presenter talking AT you? Don’t make the mistake of tuning out your audience. The point of your presentation is to introduce your brand and create a favorable impression.

If you go through your presentation without so much as a quick glance at your audience, you won’t succeed in your mission. Make eye contact with a few individuals in the audience. Smile throughout your presentation. You can also mention that you’ll be taking inquiries at the end of the presentation.

Do whatever it takes to make sure that your presentation is inviting and inclusive.

Featured Image: Clover Autrey via Flickr

Your Brand Should Be In Your PowerPoint Designs

PowerPoint is a powerful business tool, especially in marketing. If you’re presenting to potential clients or pitching to investors, your PowerPoint designs need to be consistent with your company story. Your presentations will stand out. More importantly, you’ll help your audience become more familiar with your brand. Here’s a quick lesson on how you can add branding to your PowerPoint designs, and enhance the presentation experience.

Why it’s important to upgrade your PowerPoint designs with branding

powerpoint designs-the brand formula
The formula to an effective brand. (Image by Troy Thompson)

Your brand encapsulates the entirety of your company identity. You become more accessible to your target audience because it involves a heavily visual component. It usually consists of a logo, a tagline, a specific color scheme, and distinguishable fonts, illustrations, or other graphic elements. You see this applied to your websites, social media profiles, print ads, and brochures. Why is it important to your presentations as well?

By creating PowerPoint designs that correspond to your brand, you’re helping your presentations become more distinguishable and unique. Think about how athletes would wear their country’s flag during the Olympics. Your presentations work the same way.  The content you’re delivering is a representation of your company.

Incorporating your brand to PowerPoint designs: Quick case studies

It doesn’t take an expert to incorporate your brand to your PowerPoint designs. All you need is creativity and imagination. Of course, it won’t hurt to consult with professionals, especially if you’re pressed for time. However, as long as you’re familiar with the visual components of your brand, you can definitely create slides that are adjacent to your company story.

To explain further, let’s look at some examples from the SlideGenius portfolio:

PowerPoint designs by SlideGenius 01

Logo Inspiration: This title slide is decorated with the distinguishable “X” from the Nintex logo. The blown-up “X” is also enhanced by the addition of pictures. The images chosen work well with the tagline, “Workflow for Everyone.”

PowerPoint designs by SlideGenius 02

PowerPoint designs by SlideGenius 03

Color scheme and graphic design: These slides show a color scheme that is consistent with Jubaloo’s logo.The color red is used in the second slide as a “highlight” color, which allows key points to stand out. Also, notice how the geometric effect of the box in the company logo is translated in the background of the title slide.

PowerPoint designs by SlideGenius 04 PowerPoint designs by SlideGenius 05

Overall theme: These slides for HomeClick follow the overall theme represented by the brand. Since the company is mainly concerned with home decor and improvement, the slides were designed to give it that same ‘homey’ feel. Notice how the green background is actually a pattern that looks like wallpaper, and how the title slide shows a computer on a wooden desk.

Your presentation has the power to become your best marketing tool. As long as your PowerPoint designs are on point, you can effectively spread your message to your target audience. For more inspiration, read up on how we improved our clients’ slides to give them the best foot forward.