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Leave Your Mark: Apply Personal Branding in Presentations

Attracting audience attention is one of the most difficult tasks in a presentation. It’s likely that they’ve already heard what you have to say from other speakers, and in different media. You might think your pitch is unique, but its general thought may be similar to what others have thought of before.

So how do you apply personal branding in presentations? And how do you make sure you look better than the competition? Setting yourself apart is important in making and leaving a good impression.

Don’t pass by unnoticed. Market yourself and your pitch in three ways:

Keep Your Friends Close, and Your Competition Closer

Studying your audience is a necessary prerequisite to effective communication. Aligning your own vision with your target market’s interests guarantees their attention. To do that, you’ll have to do a bit of research on your part and look up your audience’s preferences.

But getting people’s to stay tuned isn’t enough. Reel them further in and assure them that you’re the best by searching for your competitors as well. We don’t mean backbiting and sabotage, though. We’re talking about looking at premises similar to yours and seeing how you can spin it into something novel and unique. One way of achieving that is taking on the idea from a different angle than those already used before.

Influence & Co. CEO and co-founder, John Hall, cites ways on how to take a unique approach to your brand. These include looking at your company strengths, qualifications, and insight. Another is by looking at your competition’s weaknesses and framing it as your strength. These give you and your presentation a distinct image and a memorable characteristic.

Create a Relatable Narrative

Once you’re sure of your strategy, the next step is figuring out how to deliver your message. Among the most successful methods is framing your presentation in a narrative, preferably one your audience can relate to. People can follow the flow of your speech better when it has a beginning, middle, and end. Incorporating familiar tropes and images also keeps them interested.

However, remember that in relating a story, you have to apply the conversational tone. This establishes rapport and eases built up tension before and during a presentation. Avoid using too much jargon or foreign words, and explain each point thoroughly without talking down to your audience.

Talk to your audience as you would an esteemed friend. They’ll return the favor by responding in the same way.

Gain Believers through Quality

The final and best option to distinguish your presentation over everyone else’s is to be on top of your game. This is a foolproof technique to appear credible and relevant before, during, and after your presentation.

Make a good first impression by maintaining your confidence and composure. Come in prepared and ready to present. Acquaint yourself with the venue and the audience so you know how to set the mood. Don’t get lax with your exposition, though.

An audience will be impressed with consistency in how you handle yourself, especially when you encounter unexpected hurdles mid-speech. Keep your energy up until the end of your presentation. It’s also good to reserve some extra energy in case your audience has further clarifications for you.

No one wants to listen to a drained speaker. Project as much of your liveliness as you can to best engage your listeners.

Conclusion

People are always on the lookout for originality. It may seem tough when plenty of people have had the chance to make their mark. However, it’s not entirely impossible, either. You have to strategically organize your content to be different from your competitors’, converse with your audience, and improve the quality of your performance.

Distinguishing yourself from other presenters isn’t so hard when you know where to start. Strong personal branding also needs to be backed up by a professional PowerPoint presentation. Contact our SlideGenius experts today for a free quote!

 

References

“4 Ad Agency Secrets for Better Brand Building.” Women on Business. October 11, 2015. Accessed October 14, 2015. www.womenonbusiness.com/4-ad-agency-secrets-for-better-brand-building
Hall, John. “Setting Yourself Apart in a Competitive Industry.” Forbes. October 18, 2012. Accessed October 14, 2015. www.forbes.com/sites/johnhall/2012/10/18/setting-yourself-apart-in-a-competitive-industry

 

Featured Image: “Personal Branding: Revision 2 / 20080115.10D.47540 / SML” by See-ming Lee on flickr.com

3 Reasons for Expanding Your Personal Brand in Presentations

Advertisers use brand marketing to make their products stand out from those of their competitors, building awareness among their consumers.

Branding plays a vital role in any company, helping business professionals achieve a memorable mark on their intended customers.

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Defining “You” as a Brand

Selling yourself is the most important thing to do in a business pitch. Build a personal connection with your audience to make them feel involved in your presentation.

Since you’re aiming to keep them engaged throughout your presentation, projecting yourself in front of the crowd reinforces that you are the presenter, and you have something to offer them that others can’t.

More than your sales pitch, product and service offering, or brand strategies, how you market yourself still matters the most. Personal branding is what sets you apart from the competition.

While there are other benefits that you and your audience can get from branding yourself, here are some of the advantages you can gain:

Banks on Your Strengths

You can’t be deemed an expert without being knowledgeable about your topic. According to branding experts Nick Nanton and JW Dicks, public speaking is a great plus on establishing your brand as an expert in your specific field.

Once your audience perceives you as a professional, be careful not to lose that good impression.

At the same time, don’t try to change yourself drastically. Your personal brand needs to be true to your own actual strengths, not what you think your strengths should be. 

Being authentic and genuine will make prospects realize that you’re not afraid to show who you really are. It makes them understand that you, too, are human.

Makes You Memorable

Marketing communications expert Susan Payton suggests that the best way to show your expertise in your personal brand is to be yourself.

Building a credible relationship with your audience makes them trust you.

How you speak, deliver your message, and appeal to their emotions makes them see that you’re a speaker who’s worth listening to, and a speaker who’s worth remembering.

Once they feel that you value their needs more than yours, they’ll respect you.

Introduces You to New Opportunities

In any pitch, you’ll meet people who can be your potential partners or clients.

Your performance doesn’t end when you walk down from the podium.

After you’re done with your pitch, network with your audience.

You can get prospects who are willing and able to do business with you, increasing your chances of getting into other business presentations.

Summing It Up

Improving your personal brand heightens your expertise, credibility, and networking during your presentation, giving you a competitive edge.

Figure out what makes you unique from other speakers. This should include a thorough knowledge of your offering or industry in order to convince your audience that you are as professional as you present yourself.

After building a relationship with your audience to boost your credibility, make sure to reach out to them even after your presentation is over.

Maintain this connection, and you’re sure to make your mark and seal the deal with your clients now and in the future. To craft an effective PowerPoint presentation, let SlideGenius experts help you out!

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References

How to Make Your First Impression Count in the Business World.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2013. Accessed June 15, 2015.
Nanton, Nick and JW Dicks. “Personal Branding: Why You Need To Start Giving Speeches.” Fast Company. 2011. Accessed June 15, 2015.
Payton, Susan. “4 Easy Ways to Brand Yourself as an Industry Expert.” All Business. Accessed June 15, 2015.
Presentation Tips: 5 Quick Steps to Audience Engagement.” SlideGenius, Inc. December 16, 2014. Accessed June 15, 2015.
Why Is Branding Important?Strategy New Media, Web Design & Marketing. Accessed June 15, 2015.

Highlight Your Personal Brand with Eye-Catching Visual Resumes

Visual resumes can help boost your online presence. The Internet is a powerful tool for marketers, and dozens of potential clients can be sourced through social media engagement. However, you could be missing out on plenty of opportunities because of boring text and cliched graphics. According to statistics from VFM Leonardo below, there has been a huge shift in the way people utilize and engage over social networks.

visual-centric social networls
(Source)

Through this infographic, you can easily see that users prefer visual-centric content. In order to keep up, you need to come up with more creative ways to introduce your personal brand to prospects. This is where visual resumes come in. In this day and age, a good first impression is created by those who aren’t afraid to think outside the box. By creating a visual resume, you can reach out to potential clients in a medium that they’re more inclined to browse and engage with.

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What are visual resumes?

A visual resume is a creative spin on the traditional resumes you’d usually submit when applying for a job. However, while traditional versions are typically rigid and text-centric, visual resumes focus on making use of design elements to tell a story.

Using a slide show, you basically introduce yourself to potential clients and tell them why you’re the best person for the job. The most important thing to remember about visual resumes is that you have to make use of powerful imagery. Think of it as your personal pitch deck. Instead of pitching a product or service, you’re pitching your personal brand.

More on personal branding

how to define your personal brand
(Source)

Before you start creating your visual resume, make sure that your personal brand is clearly defined. It’s important that it’s consistent with all the different online platforms you use. Otherwise, you might end up sending mixed messages that confuse potential clients. To avoid this scenario, you should make sure that your story is clear and definite.

According to Zoe Sentirmai of BRANDIAM, a brand is a result of “a set of associations and perceptions in people’s minds, based on the content they come across that relates to you.” She also notes that these associations can be both intentional or out of your control. In order to keep your image positive and helpful to your business, you need to define how you want others to see you.

Your personality, core values, abilities, and goals are all part of what makes your brand. Sentirmai suggests you ask yourself these questions:

  • What do I stand for?
  • What makes me awesome?
  • Who do I want to help?
  • What do I want to be known for?
  • What do I call success?

With these questions answered, you’re one step closer to defining your personal brand and creating visual resumes that will help engage your target market.

Stories and Visuals

Story is the foundation of any presentation. Once you have your personal brand story defined, you can begin working on visual resumes that will engage and impress potential clients. Before you open PowerPoint, create a quick outline of your content. Here’s a sample from a SlideShare presentation by Intelligent.ly:

personal branding outline

How to Make a Visual Resume

Tip 1: The first slide is everything

As we’ve mentioned earlier, Internet users prefer to engage with content that are visually appealing. The first slide is important because it will serve as the thumbnail once you upload your slides to presentation-sharing websites like SlideShare. If your first slide is neither interesting nor creative, expect that potential clients will pass over it as they browse.

If you’re totally clueless about how to make your first slide engaging, you can check out some of our PowerPoint design tips. You can also read up on the presentation design trends we observed this year for inspiration.

Tip 2: Don’t ignore your other branded materials

Again, it’s important that your online presence remains consistent—not only for your content, but also for the aesthetics you use. Make sure that the color schemes and fonts you use in your visual resume are consistent with all the other materials you have online. Take note of the visual elements of your website and social media profiles, and keep your visual resume coherent with them.

Tip 3: Don’t just list down your experience

Visual resumes are an opportunity to show prospects that you can think outside the box. This isn’t the time to follow formats and rules. Don’t just list down your experience and be done with it. Use your visual resume as an opportunity to tell your story. Just make sure this story is relevant to your business. There’s a fine line between creating a connection with your audience and over-sharing. Don’t cross it!

Tip 4: Be specific with your call to action

In visual resumes, the ending is as crucial as the beginning. Don’t let yours end by simmering down to oblivion. Leave your prospect with something they can remember. Give them a specific call to action. Without it, your visual resume might end up looking like superficial fluff. Stunning and visually engaging, but with no real meat to it.

Let your audience know that you want them to reach out and start a conversation with you. Provide them with ways to contact you, like links to your social media profiles.

You can also provide them with free resources if you offer that in your website. To learn more about creating powerful Call-to-Action slides, click here and read one of our previous blog entries.

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Featured Image: Nina Matthews via Flickr