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Business Presentation Tips for Hosting a Webinar Event

Innovations in internet technology have made day-to-day business communication fast and efficient. Besides email and other networking tools, there’s also another medium that can expand any business’ market and sales: webinars.

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A webinar is an online seminar that allows a speaker to share PowerPoint presentations, videos, and other multimedia content with an audience in real-time, anywhere they are. If you’re looking to build deeper connections with customers and prospects, hosting this live event is good for you.

We’ve discussed in our previous post some tips on creating a webinar PowerPoint presentation. Now, we’ll be listing specific tips for enhancing your public speaking skills when presenting to a webinar audience:

Make It Personal

Speaking to a computer screen won’t engage your virtual audience. Talk through the slides to present and persuade people as if they were there in person.

Don’t let your monitor hinder you from successfully delivering your webinar. Instead, make your talk personal as if doing a one-on-one conversation with a close friend or colleague.

Be Creative

Virtual audiences are more likely to wander off and multi-task while listening to your online conference. No matter how good your speaking skills are, they can still get bored with your discussion.

Keep them engaged by incorporating creative visuals in your deck. Use a combination of interactive images, questions, and short video clips to catch their focus and heighten their interest in your business presentation.

Use Effective Pauses

Hosting a webinar is much like public speaking – it requires appropriate pauses and pacing.

Effective, short pauses allow you to steadily control the discussion’s flow. You can use noticeable silences to give your listeners a chance to think about what you’ve just said.

Choose a healthy pace so you don’t look like you’re rushing through your entire presentation.

Avoid Filler Words

Most speakers use filler words “uh,” “um,” and “you know” to make everything they say one long sentence.This presentation habit is also a big taboo when delivering a webinar.

Keep these words to a minimum to not alienate your audience from you and your message. This can cause a big dent in your credibility, and should definitely be avoided.

Conclusion

Webinars offer the perfect platform for attracting new leads and nurturing existing client relationships to a more responsive level.

Follow these presentation tips to facilitate effective learning and engagement across varied online audiences, and give your business a higher profile.

Need assistance on your webinar PowerPoint presentation? SlideGenius is here to help, whether on planning, content creation, or designing!

 

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References

The art of the webinar… how to speak to an audience that you can’t see.” Ginger Public Speaking. n.d. Accessed May 22, 2015.
Webinar PowerPoint Tips: Creating a Presentation.” SlideGenius, Inc. June 29, 2014. Accessed May 22, 2015.

Are Your Online Presentations Working For You?

There are many advantages to reaching out and connecting with your audience online. Consider integrating online content marketing as part of your strategy for optimal audience engagement.

What better way to pique your target audience’s interests than providing them with content that’s both useful and relevant to their interests?

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That said, online presentations can significantly improve your brand’s visibility online.

As you know, a presentation is both a visual and informative medium. Take note of the ways you can cut back lengthy PowerPoint presentations and turn them to more SEO-friendly slides. In the process, don’t forget to check if the end product lines up with your objectives.

Ask yourself these questions to make sure your online presentations are working for you:

How relevant are your online presentations? 

According to NN Group co-founder Jakob Nielsen, majority of online users spend only about 10 to 20 seconds browsing through a web page to find what they’re looking for. If the page doesn’t have that information, they’ll skip over to the next link.

Don’t let the same thing happen to your online presentations. If the audience skips past the thumbnail of your online presentation, they might never scroll back to have a second look.

Make sure you’re relevant to what they might be searching for.

Create a presentation offering to give them tips or advice, but don’t make it too generic.

Business consultant, Mark Evans, stresses the importance of fitting the needs and interests of your target audience by learning as much as you can about them.

From that knowledge, create a headline and title slide that will surely catch people’s attention.

Can your content sustain interest? 

Now that you’ve caught your audience’s attention, the next step is figuring out how to engage and keep them interested.

Keep them on your page by highlighting your core message and key takeaways.

Don’t present your online pitch in a roundabout way. Define your presentation’s premise from the get go and put your main points forward.

This lets your target audience tell that your ideas are in line with what they’re looking for.

They’ll keep clicking to see what’s on the next slide.

Do you have a clear Call-to-Action?

After making a compelling argument, leave your audience with one last powerful statement. Before they move on to find something else to read, don’t forget to make your pitch.

That’s what a Call-to-Action is for. Should they contact you for inquiries? Should they follow you on social media?

End with a clear-cut statement that lets the audience know what you want them to do next.

We can’t emphasize enough how much online presentations can help your brand in the long run. Engage your target audience and gain the leads you need by keeping these 3 things in mind. If you want help with designing an online presentation audiences will never forget, contact us to schedule a conversation with our PowerPoint experts.

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References:

5 Steps To An Integrated Approach To SEO-Friendly Content Marketing.” Marketing Land. March 11, 2014. Accessed February 27, 2015.
Evans, Mark. “The Importance of Really Knowing Your Target Audiences.” Forbes. March 20, 2013. Accessed February 27, 2015.
How Long Do Users Stay on Web Pages?Nielsen Norman Group. Accessed February 27, 2015.
Perfecting Your Presentation Title Slide.” SlideGenius, Inc. October 16, 2014. Accessed February 27, 2015.
Why Your Presentations Need Better Slide Headlines.” SlideGenius, Inc. November 3, 2014. Accessed February 27, 2015.

5 PowerPoint Pitch Deck Tips For SEO-Friendly Slides

There are plenty of great benefits in creating a solid content marketing strategy.

As we’ve discussed before, we found that it’s an easy way to connect and engage with consumers. By sharing content that is relevant to them, you help them create an emotional connection with your brand.

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Of course, gaining leads through this method isn’t always easy. Sure, sharing your PowerPoint slides on the Internet does introduce your brand to a wider audience. The problem is that it might take them a while to find your content, even if you’ve created slides that are relevant and useful for them.

To nudge these potential consumers in your direction, let your slides stand out. The way to do that is by making your PowerPoint and pitch deck presentations SEO-friendly.

BrightEdge CEO Jim Yu stresses that unlike its earlier stages, SEO content no longer means stuffing your work with random keywords, but incorporating them into meaningful and well-researched content.

So how can you optimize your PowerPoint’s searchability? Follow our five tips:

Optimize your title slide

The title slide is an important part of your presentation, especially if you’re sharing it online. It’s the first thing that people will see when they’re browsing and come across your PowerPoint deck on SlideShare or any other site.

It’s also the title slide that will help them decide if your content is relevant to their interests. As such, optimize your title slide.

Take the time to craft the perfect title for your presentation, which needs to contain the keyword you’re optimizing for. The keyword should flow naturally with the single phrase you come up with.

Also have visuals that match your creative and SEO-friendly title. While the keyword helps search engines decide that your content is a match, it’s the visuals that will capture your target audience’s attention.

Use long tail keywords in the content

Using keywords shouldn’t stop at the title slide. The long tail keywords you choose should also be incorporated to the content of your slides.

For SEO beginners, that means you should incorporate keywords that are quite specific to the topic you’re discussing and optimizing for. This way, your content doesn’t get buried under millions of results for a general search term.

HubSpot contributor, Corey Wainwright, explains the use of long tail keywords. Such keywords flow naturally with the rest of your writing. Doing otherwise might end up alienating your audience.

Provide an accurate description

Aside from content, you also have to provide an accurate and thought-provoking meta description of your presentation.

Focus on the core message of your presentation and make sure that stands out in what you write.

A good description isn’t too long. A few, quick sentences will do. This will serve as the space where you can include information about your company, like links to your website and social media profiles.

Carefully tag your pitch deck presentation

Another crucial step to SEO-friendly slides are the tags. Sites like SlideShare allows up to 20 for your presentation.

Tags are keywords that will make it easier to categorize and find your content. Make sure you use those that are relevant to your content and your brand.

Tagging random keywords might damage you in the long run by marking you as spam. Always relate your tags to what your presentation is actually about.

Share presentation on social media

Finally, it’s time to share your presentation on social media platforms. When you upload your PowerPoint deck, you don’t have to sit around and wait for the audience to appear.

Do the heavy lifting and take your presentation to them. Share links to your newly-uploaded PowerPoint pitch deck presentation on your social media profiles. This will give your followers a heads up.

In turn, they can share it on their own profiles or websites. Search engines prioritize results that have plenty of back links. The more you share your pitch deck presentation, the larger your reach will become.

Sharing your presentations online can help you reach out to a wider audience. Do it right by making sure your PowerPoint slides have SEO advantage. Take note of these tips and do your best to connect and engage with consumers through the large world of the Internet.

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References:

Content Marketing Lesson: Presentations Create More Impact.” SlideGenius, Inc. July 13, 2014. Accessed January 29, 2015.
Wainwright, Corey. “The Ultimate Guide for Mastering Long Tail SearchHubSpot. Accessed January 29, 2015.
Perfecting Your Presentation Title Slide.” SlideGenius, Inc.. October 16, 2014. Accessed January 29, 2015.
Yu, Jim. “5 Steps To An Integrated Approach To SEO-Friendly Content Marketing.” Marketing Land. March 11, 2014. Accessed January 29, 2015.

 

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Designing PowerPoint Decks for the Smartphone

Millions of Americans are glued to their smartphones. According to data gathered by Statista Dossier, there are currently around 163 million smartphone users in the US. The numbers are also expected to rise to 220 million by 2018. This comes as no surprise, considering that industry giants like Apple and Samsung release innovative new designs almost every year. In fact, Apple just released the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

Luckily, it doesn’t take a lot of work to make sure that your PowerPoint decks are compatible for viewing on smartphones. All you have to do is follow these four basic rules:

1. Big and bold text

sample slide for smartphones 01
Matthew Smith / Note&Point

Even if the iPhone 6 Plus has a screen size of 5.5 inches, that’s still a lot less room than where you’d commonly show a PowerPoint deck.  Make sure that the font type and size that you use is extremely readable. Go for 30 points or higher. Stylized fonts should always be larger than your usual sans serif text. You don’t want the audience to squint just to read what you’re trying to say.

2. High-contrast colors

sample slide for smartphones 02
Idan Gazit / Note&Point

Another way to increase the readability of your PowerPoint designs is through high-contrast colors. Use either a dark background with light-colored text or vice versa. Similarly, avoid using colors that are too bright. Try for a more muted palette with only a few vibrant pops of color every so often.

3. Powerful images over bullet points and paragraphs

sample slide for smartphones 03
Stephen P. Anderson / Note&Point

Don’t overwhelm your target audience with too much text. Visualize your key points with powerful images instead. This will help keep your PowerPoint deck simple and straightforward. Don’t try to discuss too much concepts at one go. Explaining complicated concepts will require more sentences and paragraphs. If you feel like there’s something in your content that needs further explanation, simply link to other resources instead. You can also try to make a flowchart or an infographic using free online tools like Piktochart.

4. Simplicity

sample slide for smartphones 04
Stephen P. Anderson / Note&Point

Despite the need for visuals, it’s also important that you don’t complicate your PowerPoint designs. Remember, you don’t have much space to work with. Always be mindful of white space and maintain balance in your design. You can still add some animations and transitions, but keep them to a minimum. Aim for a seamless viewing experience. Having too many elements will cause your presentation to lag.

The Takeaway

Smartphone users love the flexibility and convenience it offers. From your phone, you have access to a host of information. If you want to settle a silly argument, you can simply ask Siri for the answer. If you want to keep your work on track, there are plenty of apps that help you organize your ideas and to-do-list.

Among the other things you can do on a smartphone is deliver and view a presentation. You can share your PowerPoint deck through SlideShare or Brainshark.

In the boardroom, you won’t have to set-up a laptop and projector. With interactive apps like SlideShark and SlideKlowd, you can share your presentation directly to your audience’s devices.

 

Reference

Smartphone Users in the US 2010-2019.” Statista. Accessed September 24, 2014.

Your 5-Step Plan to Prepare for an Online Meeting

What do you do when you have to plan projects with collaborators from all over the country? Thankfully, you won’t have to hop in and out of planes to meet in person.

All you have to do is set up an online meeting. With today’s technology, you can easily set up a platform where you and your contacts can communicate on the same page regardless of geography and time differences.

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Here’s a 5-step plan to help you prepare:

Find the perfect platform for your meeting.

There’s more to online meetings than just asking people to jump in on a Skype call. The first step is to choose the perfect platform to conduct your online meeting. There are plenty of websites that offer software optimized for a hassle-free way to connect with a large group. You can go to sites like ON24, AnyMeeting, join.me, and GoToMeeting.

Explore the merits of each program before making a decision. You can also ask your contacts for their input. A few of them might already have an online meeting software installed.

Send out invitations right away.

Send out invitations as soon as possible, even if the date you’re eyeing is still weeks away. This will give everyone enough time to sort out their schedules.

In your invitation, include details about the online meeting platform you chose to use. This will allow first-time users the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the program.

Let everyone know the agenda before the scheduled date.

Plenty of factors can impede the success of online meetings, such as slow Internet connection or one of you may be experiencing problems with the software you all agreed to use.

To minimize distractions, make sure everyone is on the same page about what your discussion will be about. As the person leading the meeting, it’s your responsibility to send out the agenda a week before the scheduled date.

Plan how you’ll use the time you have.

As with the nature of business, it’s possible that the people in your group only somehow managed to squeeze in your presentation into their schedules. Respect their time by strictly following the schedule you agreed on.

If you can, try to wrap up your presentation 20 minutes before the time limit. This will give you and your collaborators enough time to have a meaningful conversation about the points you raised.

Create PowerPoint slides that are simple and concise.

Simple PowerPoint slides are important to any presentations. But for online meetings, they are practically a requirement. There is a strong possibility that some of your contacts might not have a steady connection.

PowerPoint files that are too large can easily weigh down Internet speed, so make sure you include only the most important points. Visuals are vital but try to compress your images before sharing your slides. If you want to incorporate a video, it’s best if you could just provide a link. Avoid any animations and slide transitions.

Follow these pointers to create ideal webinar PowerPoint slides, or contact our PowerPoint design experts.

You can also click here to learn more about using PowerPoint for online meetings.

These days, the boardroom isn’t the only venue for a meeting. With these tips, you can prepare an online meeting that will allow you and your collaborators to come up with fresh ideas. Don’t let distance stifle the flow of creativity and productivity.

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Featured Image: William Hook via Flickr

3 Questions Your Online Presentations Need to Answer

There are plenty of reasons you should include presentations in your content marketing strategy.

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Online presentations have the potential to become exactly the type of content users are gravitating towards today. If you re-purpose your slides properly, you can create a highly visual, dynamic, and engaging experience for a wider audience.

But there’s more to great online presentations than adding more visual elements and animations. Without a speaker to explain the finer points, your online presentations need to speak through the screen. Before you upload your deck to SlideShare, Brainshark, and other presentation sharing websites, make sure your online presentation can answer the following questions:

Are you addressing your target audience?

Online users spend about 10 to 20 seconds browsing through a web page. They practice the “screen and glean” method, skimming fast to make sure it has what they’re looking for. If they skip over your online presentation, it’s likely they’re not coming back to it again. You need to make an impression right then and there. How do you capture attention in a matter of seconds?

Make sure you’re clear on who you want to address. Fashion your headline and title slide in a way that lets your target audience know that you’re speaking to them. Avoid anything generic. Instead, lure viewers in with unique images and witty headlines.

There’s plenty of “Top Ten Tips” type of content out there, but few that are specifically meant for your clientele. According to startup guru Mark Evans, if you’re familiar with and have properly defined your target market, this part won’t be difficult at all.

Are you giving them what they’re looking for?

Getting users to view your online presentations is just the first step. You also have to maintain their interest until the very end. If your slides can’t answer their questions, they can easily click “X” and move on to another page. To make sure they don’t stray, you need to immediately establish that you have the answer they’re looking for.

Make sure the goal of your presentation is clearly defined before you delve into the main body. That way, your target audience knows that the presentation they’re viewing holds exactly what they’re looking for.

Are you clear on a Call to Action?

A Call to Action is important to any presentation, regardless of its medium of delivery. Your online presentations must have a proper CTA to let your target audience know what you want them to do next. By reaching the end of your presentation, you’ve successfully enticed and engaged their interest. Don’t let that impact go to waste without properly defining an action you want them to take.

Online presentations are an effective way to address your target audience. Make sure your slides can speak through the screen by following these tips.

You can also try turning your presentation deck into a scrolling web pitch to give it a more interactive dimension. Contact us to schedule a free consultation today.

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Featured Image: Lali Masriera via Flickr

Content Marketing Lesson: Presentations Create More Impact

Consumers these days are quick to avoid any form of marketing that disrupts their fast-paced lifestyles.

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You can always watch your favorite shows online uninterrupted by commercials. And all those pesky pop-up banners that you have to close while browsing for news? A thing of the past with ad filtering software.

So how do you reach out to consumers now that they can easily curate what they see?

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a technique where you create and distribute materials that are valuable and relevant to your target audience.

You don’t give them an outright sales pitch. Instead, you provide them with useful and meaningful materials. These could be in the form of blog posts, instructional videos, how-to articles, memes, infographics, and many other creative methods.

Content Marketing Creation Ideas Infographic
Infographic by Michele Smorgon (click for full view)

While content marketing has been around as early as 1885, it’s been gaining more and more traction recently—thanks to the advent of search engine optimization and social media.

Consumers can easily search the Internet for the content they want in mere seconds, and then share it with their friends through their social networking profiles.

Majority of consumers trust recommendations from friends and online strangers more than traditional forms of advertising.

Integrate Presentations in Your Strategy

Presentations can be a great addition to your content marketing strategy. Ever heard of the old saying, “a picture paints a thousand words”? Because of its highly visual nature, a presentation can have more impact than a blog post of about 750 words. The animations you use can also add to its entertainment value.

Sites like SlideShare and SlideBoom help you turn your presentations into shareable content. You also have the option to turn your slides into videos and upload them through Brainshark or YouTube.

Before you upload your PowerPoint files and hit “publish,” there are several other things you have to remember. Keep these things in mind when re-purposing your presentations for online content marketing:

1. Edit your presentation to speak for itself

When you’re giving a presentation to a live audience, you’re there to explain the general points raised in your PowerPoint slides. Minimal text won’t make much sense for Internet sharing, though.

SlideShare doesn’t allow for voice overs or animations but has a really strong following. If you decide to use it, provide a bit more context to your audience.

Expand the ideas presented in your slides by adding a bit more text than you usually would. And as always, balance it out with interesting PowerPoint design choices.

Presentations for content marketing - SlideShare
The title slide from a presentation on our SlideShare profile.

For YouTube or Brainshark, you can keep the text to a minimum and instead add a voiceover to your slides. You don’t even need to install some fancy new software to do it. PowerPoint allows you the ability to add voiceovers and then export your slides as a video.

(This is all assuming that you’re following our PowerPoint design lessons and not boring people to death with too many bullet points.)

2. Add interesting transitions and animations

You can also make your presentations seem more “alive” by adding transitions and animations. This is especially effective if you’re planning to turn your slides into a video.

Presentations for content marketing - PowerPoint animation

PowerPoint’s Animation tool allows you to create interesting effects and transition, plus have them rehearsed and recorded. You can learn more about this function in a tutorial we wrote a while back.

3. Keep your SEO strategy in mind

An SEO strategy is crucial to content marketing. Remember to integrate your SEO keywords in the descriptions and tags of your uploaded presentation.

Make sure your keywords are also reflected in your headline. Having a smart SEO strategy will give your content great rankings, which leads to more views and visitors. If you’re clueless about which keyword to use, read this in-depth tutorial by Moz.

4. Make your slides a full online experience

You can also consider turning your slides into a full online experience. We can help you turn your PowerPoint slides into scrolling web presentations. This way, people can navigate through your presentations at their own pace and jump back and forth to different parts.

They can basically enjoy the full functionality of a website, and also have the visual element of a presentation. You can embed videos and interactive elements like polls and contact forms.

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