Slidegenius, Inc.

Pitch Deck Necessities: The 3 Things Your Presentation Should Always Have

What makes a successful pitch deck?

Is it the speaker that makes it more effective? The way they speak and present themselves in front of a crowd? Or is it the PowerPoint that is sure to leave your audience in awe?

The short, definitive answer is that for a sales presentation to be successful, you need to devote time and effort to get both right.

Here at SlideGenius, we specialize in presentation design. Since 2012, we’ve helped more than 3,000 clients. In fact, we’re the world’s leading presentation design firm.

We know what it takes to make a pitch deck that works.

If you want to know the three things that make a killer pitch deck, here are the fundamentals that should never be left out:

Address the Problem

Ideas for new products and services stem from issues that need to be addressed. With a sales pitch, you can present this new concept and see if it piques the interest of potential investors and customers. But to be successful, you need to really understand the problem you’re looking to solve.

Not everyone you’re pitching to will understand the problem. Many investors may not know anything about it. You need to make it clear to them, help them feel the pain of those dealing with this problem.

Show situations where your product could help in a significant way. If you’re using bullet points, make sure you’re not filling the slide with it. After all, context can help with the bigger picture. When using images, remember that it must be relevant to what you’re talking about.

Pitch Your Solution

Once you’ve made your audience realize how your product or service can help them, the next challenge would be illustrating why it’s worth investing in and why they should choose you over other companies. Your potential investor knows there’s a problem. So why would they trust your brand to solve it?

Point out the unique aspects of what you’re doing make you stand out. Talk about the facets that you are most excited about. Genuine emotion inspires confidence. You know this opportunity better than they do. If you’re not jumping out of your socks, they’ll look for investment opportunities elsewhere.

Address these things early in the pitch and build on them throughout the middle portion of your pitch deck.

Statistics provide clear, quantifiable evidence of the benefits you’re offering. A study can establish legitimacy. Surveys or testimonials demonstrate social authority, the idea that it’s a safe investment based on the reception of others.

Customers want to know how your offering will help make their lives easier. This will tell them that you’re offering a solid investment opportunity.

End Your Pitch Deck with Dollar Signs

The first two parts of any good pitch deck can be very visceral, emotional, even abstract dependent upon what you’re doing. But by the end you need to be ready to talk about finances. Every potential investor or customer needs to know the value.

For investment decks, this will look like your predicted revenue, timelines, and use of funds. The more they believe you know what you’re doing and that you’ve done it before, the easier it will be for them to make that decision.

For sales decks, discuss your pricing structure, guarantees or delivery fees, cost versus savings. If they can see the money they will have in the long run and not the money they are parting with now, it will be easier for your presentation to drive sales.

Your Presentation Must Be Perfect

Just because you’ve filled all your slides with the necessary information doesn’t mean it’ll fly with your audience the first time. Practice—unless the design and words are stellar, your delivery will struggle.

The content of your pitch deck must be clear, concise, and coherent for it to be considered a success. Combine that with tasteful design and a confident speaker, and you’re ready to go.

At SlideGenius, we help you do exactly that.

We provide copywriting and presentation design services to clients worldwide. We’ve helped more than 3,000 brands tell their stories and raise hundreds of millions of dollars in investments and sales.

If you need help perfecting your pitch deck, we’re only a call away!

For more information about our services, don’t hesitate to contact us today!

The 10 Most Important Slides in Every Presentation

Pitch decks are important if you’re looking to introduce a new product or service to the Board or a group of potential investors. This should excite them about your idea and engage them in a conversation that, hopefully, leads to an investment or approval.

If you’re looking for investors, you could start by customizing a PowerPoint presentation that has all the necessary information that potential stockholders may ask from you.

SlideGenius Blog Module One

We redesign PowerPoint presentations.

Get your free quote now.

get a free quote

Elevator Pitch

This section should contain the main idea of your presentation. State the key takeaways that your audience can expect by the end of your pitch. If you can, try explaining it in one or two sentences.

Problem

Why do stockholders need to invest in the product or service that you’re pitching? Address the issues that customers face—tell a story and make it relatable. State why these need to be solved—consider this a prelude to the solution that you’re about to introduce.

Value Proposition

Identify your target market—demonstrate its size and if it’s niche, much better. State how you hope to position yourself within it and use the data to scope the problem you’ll be solving.

Product/Service

Introduce the product or service that should solve the issues you’ve suggested earlier. Go through its specifications and how it differs from what the competition offers. Here’s where you prove its uniqueness and value for necessity.

Business Model

Explain how the product or service will generate revenue. Clarify whether this is a premium or budgeted offering and how its pricing fits into the existing landscape.

Roadmap

If you already have early adopters of the product, then talk about that. Your investors will want to hear about their feedback and see tangible proof validating that your solutions work to solve the problems addressed earlier.

You can also talk about your milestones on this slide. State some goals that you have achieved so far and identify the next steps you plan on taking.

Marketing & Sales Strategy

Outline the marketing and sales plan. Identify key tactics to get the product to prospective customers.

Gaining customers can be difficult, especially if you’re an emerging company in an already-existing market. Because of this, it’s vital that you show that you have a solid grasp of how you’ll reach your target market and have a clear understanding of which sales channels you’ll be using.

People behind the Product

Introduce your team—everyone who had lent a hand in the research, development, and manufacturing process of the product you’re presenting. Talk about the management team’s experience and expertise as well.

Competition

Whether you’re operating in existing or niche markets, give potential investors a rundown of the qualities and other attributes that set you apart from the competition. Show them why they should pick you instead of the other players on the market.

Financials

Your audience needs to see sales and cash flow forecasts in your presentation.

When you show these to the panel, don’t overwhelm them by providing spreadsheets that are difficult to read. Instead, use graphs, diagrams, and charts that will show financial information vital to the discussion.

The goal of your presentation deck is to pique your investor’s interest. It has to provide the necessary information about your company, as well as the products and services you offer. You want them to ask for more details, which is why a solid custom deck is vital for your sales pitch.

SlideGenius Blog Module One

Download free PowerPoint templates now.

Get professionally designed PowerPoint slides weekly.

Sign Up Now

References:

Lavinsky, Dave. “Marketing Plan Template: Exactly What To Include.” Forbes. September 30, 2013. www.forbes.com/sites/davelavinsky/2013/09/30/marketing-plan-template-exactly-what-to-include/#4c9610a33503

Ashe-Edmunds, Sam. “How to Introduce Teammates During a Presentation.” azcentral. April 13, 2018. yourbusiness.azcentral.com/introduce-teammates-during-presentation-10553.html

James, Geoffrey. “How to Give a Flawless Elevator Pitch.” Inc. July 2, 2014. www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/how-to-give-a-flawless-elevator-pitch.html

The 6 Presentation Design Trends of 2017

Presentation design has come a long way since PowerPoint first launched in 1990. Clip art and bullet points are a thing of the past. For 2014, trends point toward eye-catching visuals, digestible content, and audience participation.

The following are the six presentation design trends we’ve observed during the first half of the year.

Trend #1: Simplifying content with one-liners and illustrations

There’s no denying it: attention spans have become shorter in the postmodern age. We’ve all gotten used to ‘instant gratification and quick fixes‘. Google can pull up the information you need in mere seconds. Your smartphone can quickly give you directions when you’re lost on the road. The same ease should be applied when you’re sharing information through slides.

Presentation Design Trend #1: This 'Who We Are' slide contains only a short sentence and a diagram

Simplify slides by using one-liners and illustrations that emphasize your key points. Also, limit yourself to discussing only one concept per slide. We’ve seen Steve Jobs do it, but some people still make the mistake of including too much information.

Audiences are easily distracted if they can read every word you say on your slides. They’ll skip right ahead of you and zone out while waiting for you to finish talking.

Trend #2: Using full images as backgrounds

Visuals are a great way to capture wandering attention. The Internet is a great source for pictures that can help enhance your presentation design. And because the technology for photography has improved, you can make use of full images as backgrounds.

If you know where to look, the Internet can provide you with pictures that are coherent with the core of your presentation.

Take these slides as an example, and observe how the background images are balanced by the text and color choices.

The other colors in the slide goes well with the background image

The white font contrasts with the dark background image

Trend #3: Filtering images through photo-editing programs

Stock photography is a great option for presenters looking to enhance their slides with professional-looking images. However, a lot of it looks distant, staged or cheesy. The same is true for most photos available for free use on the Internet.

According to The New York Times’ Jena Wortham, thanks to the popularity of Instagram, editing photos to create a more authentic and nostalgic feel has become the norm.

Run the images you want to use through filters so your slides can have a personal but polished touch.

There's a stark difference between the original and the filtered image
Original image from Flickr

If you’d like to try this trend, there are plenty of photo-editing programs available aside from Instagram.

You can try web-based editors like PicMonkey, Fotor, or Pixlr. Photoshop is a classic, but it can be quite complicated for a first-timer. Whatever program you decide to use, just keep in mind that the photos in your slides should look unified. As much as possible, edit your images using the same filters and techniques.

Trend #4: ‘Flat Design’

The 'flat design' in the iOS7 interface

Apple’s release of iOS7 made “flat design” a mainstream concept. Before iOS7, the icons in your devices had a more texture and “real” look to them. Now, designers are opting for a more minimalist aesthetic that focuses on simple shapes and vibrant colors.

With the impending release of iOS8, you can expect this trend to continue in presentation design.

Trend #5: ‘Geometric Design’

We’ve seen geometric design dominate the fashion industry last year. Now, we’re seeing the same trend in presentation design. Because of its clean lines and sharp edges, geometric shapes and patterns allow for interesting accents that still look professional.

Presentation Design Trend #5: Geometric shapes add interest to a slide

Trend #6: Technology integration for audience interaction

Screenshot from presentain.com

Audiences these days are clamoring to be part of the presentation process. Audiences prefer to converse with the presenter, instead of being spoken at. Technology allows you to integrate audience participation in your presentation design. Apps like Presentain and SlideKlowd allows the audience to get involved with your presentation through their mobile devices.

With a swipe of a finger, they can ask questions, answer polls, and send follow-up requests.

 

References

GEOMETRIC FASHION 2013: Shape It Up!.” Runway Style Media. July 28, 2013. Accessed June 18, 2014.
Weatherhead, Rob. “Say It Quick, Say It Well – the Attention Span of a Modern Internet Consumer.” The Guardian. February 28, 2014. Accessed June 18, 2014.
Wortham, Jenna. “A Stream of Postcards, Shot by Phone.” The New York Times. June 03, 2011. Accessed June 18, 2014.

 

Featured Image by Steve Snodgrass via Flickr. Sample slides from the SlideGenius portfolio.

Product Demo 101: Learning the Basics

What’s one of the best ways to convert potential clients into paying customers? Aside from presentations where you get to wow your audience, there’s another scenario where you can achieve the same results. Imagine it: You already have a prototype of the product you’re trying to market, and you’re looking for people who will gladly take your offer; you think an amazing deck won’t be enough, so you decide to take things up a notch and do a demo.

High Quality, Fast, Ashburn PowerPoint Design
Get a FREE Design Quote Today!

However, you don’t know the first thing about product demos. Sure, you’re a rock star when it comes to presentations and public speaking, but demonstrations can be different. For one, instead of handling two important elements—yourself and your deck—you add one more: your product. And balancing that act can be stressful, especially when you’ve got hundreds of eyes staring at you and you know that a lot is at stake. Another is that there’s a new dynamic in audience engagement, a level that places you closer to them—and them to you and your product.

Look at the bright side, though. If you do remarkably well, then you’re sure that your audience will take a good, long, hard look at your product. And when they like what they see, they might just want to have your offer. Then, you’re on your way to closing deals left and right. But that is if you do remarkably well.

So, how do you go from A to Z of a product demo? What can you expect from showing off your product in front of a live audience? Are there even benefits to doing so? How do you even begin preparing and how do you start off a demo? Let the following infographic tutor you on the basics of a product demo, and the dos and don’ts during the proverbial curveballs during your time onstage.

Resources:

Kokemuller, Neil. “The Purpose & Benefits of a Product Demonstration.” Chron. n.d. www.smallbusiness.chron.com/purpose-benefits-product-demonstration-55113.html

Presenting Your Business Pitch with Confidence

Not everyone has what it takes to be an entrepreneur. There’s a wide set of skills and traits you have to possess in order to become an effective business leader. Among those traits is self-confidence, a natural magnet that can draw people to you and make them want to listen to what you have to say. As such, it’s an invaluable skill during a business pitch.

High Quality, Fast, Ashburn PowerPoint Design
Get a FREE Design Quote Today!

To entice potential investors, you need to appear and sound confident while pitching your idea. Investors are naturally drawn to leaders with high self-esteem because it signifies strength of character, another trait necessary to lead a business venture forward. As Larina Kase, a psychologist and author, said, “True confidence is not thinking that you’ll get a great result. It’s knowing that you can handle any result.” When the path towards success is dark and murky, confidence can carry a strong business leader through.

Self-Confidence: The Top Trait You Need for a Business Pitch

How to Boost Your Confidence for a Business Pitch

There are things you can do to pump up your spirits before facing investors and presenting them your business model. Here are seven of them:

1. Look and sound the part

The thing about confidence is that you don’t need to have it to look the part. You can carry yourself with poise even if you’re feeling intimidated or scared inside. There are a few things you can do to package yourself for success: dressing well, correcting your posture, minding the pacing of your speech, using precise language, and smiling. In other words, by making a conscious effort to look confident, you can make a good impression.

2. Exude conviction from every pore

To sell a business idea, you should be able to show investors how passionate and committed you are. They’ll try to gauge whether you really know what you’re doing, so make sure that you remain composed but enthusiastic throughout your business pitch. Make the investors believe in your potential to succeed. To achieve this effect, you have to communicate a certain aura that tells investors how confident you are about your product. This means avoiding uptalk and articulating a statement with a declarative—not an inquisitive—tone.

Self-Confidence: The Top Trait You Need for a Business Pitch

3. Know your key differentiator

To identify your business’s primary selling point, ask yourself what your edge is as opposed to competitors. Why should investors choose you over businesses similar to yours? You must have something unique to offer to make your business pitch stand out. Apart from this, you should also be able to explain what your worth is to investors. How can they benefit from your business? What gains can they expect, and when?

4. Find an external manifestation of success

Perhaps the best way to gain self-confidence is to find an external manifestation of your business’s capability to survive and succeed. It’s easier to sell a business idea if you have something tangible to back it up. An example of an external validation of success is a solid customer base that raves about your product. A sizable social media following that has positive things to say about your company is also a good proof that you’re breaking ground. Determining your niche is crucial during the first stages of business development because if you sell to the wrong customers, your business is bound to flop. On the other hand, with the right audience, you can improve your revenue and boost your credibility, which will ultimately attract investors towards your business.

5. Solve problems before they appear

Amateur entrepreneurs who only want to impress investors often make the mistake of acting like they’re immune to disasters. They’re hiding behind the assumption that their business model is so perfect, it can’t possibly be taken down by any future problem. As a general rule, before you present your business pitch to an investor, you should think through the possible challenges that you may encounter along the way. If possible, look for various solutions for each issue so that if one fails, you’ll have a backup to fall on. Set up contingency plans for when things don’t go as planned. By making sure that you’re prepared for the ugly as well as the good, you’ll be able to present yourself as a competent leader who can weather the storm when the worse comes to the worst.

Self-Confidence: The Top Trait You Need for a Business Pitch

6. Rehearse and refine your business pitch

Preparation is key to any speech. As with any other field, achieving a certain level of self-confidence takes time and an immense amount of effort. Research also plays a major role on how competent and confident you will appear in front of a panel. Make sure that your presentation has no loopholes and that everything goes as planned.

7. Worry less and just do your part

Fussing over the aspects of your business pitch that you can’t control will only stress you out. Instead of worrying over the negative aspects of your situation, just focus on the positive. Don’t zero in on your weaknesses as that will only distract and discourage you. Instead, strive to turn your weak spots around and let go of the things you can’t change. Optimism can go a long way in boosting your self-confidence, so try to appreciate the good parts as much as you can.

Above all else, smile even if you don’t feel like it. As Christine Clapp, a public speaking expert at George Washington University, said, “Smiling not only makes your voice more pleasant to listen to; it also conveys confidence…. You will appear friendly, approachable, and composed.” That reason alone should be enough for you to flash a smile during a business pitch.

If you follow the aforementioned tips, you’ll be closer to improving your self-esteem. Just be patient and remember that confidence is built over time. With determination, you can stand in front of a panel of investors and present your business in the best light possible.

 

 

 

Resources:

Connick, Wendy. “How to Find Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP).” The Balance. June 19, 2017. www.thebalance.com/how-to-find-your-unique-selling-proposition-usp-2917402

Landrum, Sarah. “10 Secrets to Sounding Confident.” Fast Company. July 20, 2015. www.fastcompany.com/3048748/10-secrets-to-sounding-confident

Lobb, Jennifer. “How to Pitch Your Business Like the Pros on Shark Tank.” Nav. December 28, 2016. www.nav.com/blog/how-to-pitch-your-business-like-the-shark-tank-pros-15102

Whitmore, Jacqueline. “9 Ways to Show More Confidence in Business.” Entrepreneur. September 30, 2014. www.entrepreneur.com/article/237634

“How to Give Investors Confidence in Your Business Idea.” Virgin Startup. n.d. www.virginstartup.org/how-to/how-give-investors-confidence-your-business-idea

Looking for creative presentations that can leverage your business? Enjoy free PowerPoint templates from SlideStore! Sign up today.

Are Mind Games Still the Secret to an Effective Sales Talk?

If you’ve been in direct sales, then you know what it’s like to: 1) get the initial attention of a potential buyer, 2) maintain said attention on you, 3) promote your product, 4) keep the customer from walking away, 5) end your spiel, 6) somehow manage to induce your prospect to purchase your offer, and 7) thank your buyer and end the transaction. Rinse and repeat. Of course, this may be a gross, basic oversimplification of the whole process, but the main steps are there.

Let’s face it: even if trained salespeople have gone through the cycle hundreds of times, it’s statistically impossible that they have a 100 percent success rate. The next best thing is to reduce the number of naysayers. But how does that work when people are turned off by sales talk? By playing on their psyche.

Let’s be clear: this isn’t manipulating their minds into buying what you’re offering but rather talking to them and making them see the benefits of having your product. For that, you must know what you’re about to go up against.

Sales Talk 101: Talking to Your Customers with Sales Conversation

Types of Customers

Depending on who you talk to, there are generally four types of customers. Retail expert Rick Segel segregates them as The Director (likes to take charge), The Analytical (analyzes the finer details), The Relater (knows someone from everywhere), and The Socializer (loves to build relationships).

In a HubSpot article, Leslie Ye classifies customers as Assertive, Amiable, Expressive, and Analytic. While there are obvious similarities between Segel’s and Ye’s lists, i.e., Assertive and The Director and Amiable and The Socializer, the difference is that Ye has the Expressive that lean more on how a purchase affects customers and those around them.

With those laid down, how do you sell to them? The following are the bottom lines.

Sales Talk 101: Talking to Your Customers with Sales Conversation

Appeal to Emotions

Knowing how to deal with diverse customers is the basic of sealing a deal. By pleasing them despite their very different natures, you satisfy a golden rule in sales: making them happier. And that leads to better experiences. Basically, good customer service equals great customer experience.

For your part, flexibility is always welcome. With the multitude of people coming through the door, you’re bound to find yourself in a conversation with your potential client, and you’re expected to be able to cater to their personalities. Got an Assertive type? Cut to the chase, lay the down the facts, and don’t waste their time. Got the Socializer? Then by all means, socialize with them. Engage them in a friendly conversation and build that relationship.

In those ways, you can show them that you’re not taking a one-track-mind approach and considering only the profit of a sale. Make them feel that their trust and loyalty are the best things you can have.

Sales Talk 101: Talking to Your Customers with Sales Conversation

Appeal to Aspirations

There are people who buy because of impulse, while there are those who carefully plan their expenses. Despite these—or perhaps because of these—sellers often don’t consider the far future and are only concentrated on the moment.

Rather than doing that, though, when you’re having a conversation with your potential buyer, cater to their present needs and show how your product can provide a “better” future. After that, maybe they can present an easier manner of how people around them work or a more efficient way of doing things just because of their simple purchase. By meeting that expectation, you enrich how people view themselves and give them the opportunity to do something good.

This subconscious aspiration to be respected—that sense and level of self-esteem—is always good to enrich because this is one way you get your clients to trust you.

Conclusion

Over the years and after many refinements in the art and techniques of selling, most people have their defenses up. They turn a deaf ear to blatant sales talks and a blind eye to obvious schemes. In short, don’t underestimate your potential clients.

People are more aware of the mind games, so these don’t work anymore. So, what do you do? Be human when you do your sales talk. Instead of putting up a wall between seller and buyer, do your best to connect with your customer. Being honest and genuine are traits most people look for in a relationship, so why don’t you start that chain? You’ve nothing to lose and much more to gain.

 

Resources:

Corbett, Barr. “The Best Sales Pitch Ever.” Fizzle. November 16. www.fizzle.co/sparkline/the-best-sales-pitch-ever

Dachis, Adam. “How to Plant Ideas in Someone’s Mind.” Lifehacker. October 21, 2014. www.lifehacker.com/5715912/how-to-plant-ideas-in-someones-mind

Segel, Rick. “4 Types of Customers and How to Sell to Each of Them.” Business Know-How. n.d. www.businessknowhow.com/marketing/personalities.htm

Ye, Leslie. “How to Sell to 4 Different Personality Types.” HubSpot. December 13, 2016. blog.hubspot.com/sales/how-to-sell-to-different-personality-types

“Mind Games: Can We Use Psychology to Grow Sales?” Pharmacy Magazine. July 31, 2015. www.frontshop.co.za/mind-games-can-we-use-psychology-to-grow-sales

“The Rule of Esteem – How Praise Releases Energy.” Westside Toastmasters. n.d. www.westsidetoastmasters.com/resources/laws_persuasion/chap12.html

Looking for creative presentations that can leverage your business? Enjoy free PowerPoint templates from SlideStore! Sign up today.

4 Ways to Promote Your Business in a Trade Show

If you’ve been to the more mainstream conventions of recent years, like Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Mobile World Congress, and The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), then you know what the experience is like. Right off the gate, you have long lines of participants waiting to get in. Upon entering, you’re greeted with any of the following: booths filled to the brim with products and memorabilia, guests carrying freebies and whatnot from other exhibits, etc. You can hear multiple voices and gimmicks coming from everywhere. There are too many sights ahead and overhead.

Mind you, these are major events, with conglomerates from all over the world sending their representatives for the chance to present in one the industry’s biggest stages. If you’re in a relatively smaller fair, though, do you need to be well-advertised?

SlideGenius Blog Module One

We redesign PowerPoint presentations.

Get your free quote now.

get a free quote

Yes—or at least emulate how the big names draw people to their booths. A primary benefit of this type of gathering is that you can interact with your potential customers face to face—arguably the best way to engage them—instead of through different schemes, screens, and means.

Before that, however, you must get their attention. How? By employing the following.

Grabbing Attention for Your Booth in a Trade Show | Demo vs Actual Games

Demos

When you have a working model of your product or service, you’re in a prime position to show potential consumers a demonstration of how it works: its strengths and unique traits that make it different from competitors’ offers. The best thing is that they get to see it firsthand and up close, if not outright experience the quality-of-life improvement.

Alternatively, you could let them try it themselves. A free trial can give potential customers a taste of how to handle your item and immediately experience the help you’re offering. When you leave them wanting for more, you’ve got them hooked.

Games

Small activities that get the blood pumping and let participants win are good icebreakers for you. The point is enjoying their presence. The more you let them feel that they’re important to your booth—and by extension your company—the more you pique their interest and start and deepen bonds. Even new relationships can go deeper than usual when customers have fun with you.

That’s the main point of this activity. You seek to leave a very good first impression upon your booth visitors. When that release of dopamine, serotonin, and possibly adrenaline hits them, that triggers a connection that they remember from your exhibit and your brand.

Grabbing Attention for Your Booth in a Trade Show | Desktop Presentation vs Projector Presentation

Photo Opportunities

When people visit your booth and have fun, you want to have a record of that. And they will too. Taking photographs is a good way of providing yourself with a good reminder of each customer, but you can take it one step further. Share those pictures on your social media platforms (don’t forget your hashtags) and tag them.

Better yet, ask if they can upload it on their own pages. And lucky you if they do. It’s like a visual representation of word of mouth: the more their personal connections see your stuff and how the poster enjoyed your booth, the more curious they become. They can also become leads given time and the proper attention.

Live Social Media Updates

People usually tweet and post updates about everything, especially when in a state of euphoria. What follows is a long series of statements about how great the event is and how nice the people are, which are often accompanied by pictures to hype everything up.

You could do the same. By giving your online audience a sneak peek, you not only update those who couldn’t come but also give an idea, or at least some level of expectation, on what future participants can experience the next time you’re going to a trade show.

Grabbing Attention for Your Booth in a Trade Show | Trade Show Presentation

Your Afterparty

At the end of the day, you’re going to look back on how and why those people went up to your booth and listened to what you have said. If you’re wondering why so many visited your spot, then think no more. Your attention grabbers worked beautifully. You may soon see more visitors because other attendees saw how fun your booth is. Isn’t that your end goal? To have people know about your venture?

Will traditional means of promotion cut it? Don’t expect your competitors to skimp on the basics—since they don’t expect you to cut corners on the same. When you’re all on equal footing, the deciding factor becomes the extra mile you’re willing to take to hook people in, to show them and let them experience something memorable, and to make them come back.

Are you willing to do it?

 

Resources:

Biala, Susan. “How to Boost Your ‘Happy Hormones’.” Best Health Magazine. October 2014. www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/mental-health/how-to-boost-your-happy-hormones

Fusion, Jennn. “Trade Show Promotional Ideas.” Chron. n.d. smallbusiness.chron.com/trade-show-promotional-ideas-1444.html

Hovde, Kristin. “5 Trade Show Promotion Ideas for More Engagement.” TSNN. August 24, 2014. www.tsnn.com/news-blogs/5-trade-show-promotion-ideas-more-engagement

James, Geoffrey. “Give a Great Product Demo: 5 Rules.” Inc. May 24, 2012. www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/give-a-great-product-demo-5-rules.html

Kaufenberg, Jackie. “19 Ways to Integrate Social Media into Your Next Tradeshow or Event.” Vivid Image. August 13, 2014. www.vimm.com/social-media-tradeshow

Thimmesch, Mike. “10 Top Tips for Trade Show Promotions.” Skyline. November 16, 2011. www.skylinetradeshowtips.com/10-top-tips-for-trade-show-promotions

Wyse, Susan E. “7 Tips to Market Your Business Effectively at Trade Shows.” Snap Surveys. April 10, 2012. www.snapsurveys.com/blog/7-tips-market-business-effectively-trade-shows

“12 Trade Show and Event Promotion Mistakes to Avoid.” Skyline E3. February 7, 2017. www.skylinee3.com/blog/12-trade-show-and-event-promotion-mistakes-to-avoid

Looking for creative presentations that can leverage your business? Enjoy free PowerPoint templates from SlideStore! Sign up today.

The Real Cost of a Poor Presentation

The truth may be more prevalent than you would like to admit, but it’s unhealthy to ignore the fact that there are good presentations, and there are also bad ones. If you could give an estimate, how many from the total number of existing presentations are poorly made? Around 50 percent? That’s a big number. Assume for a second that, around the world, there are over a billion PowerPoint files today. That’s 500 million at the very least.

With all the design and content tips littered all over the Internet about making the best pitch deck, you’d think that by now, everyone can create decent slides. But let’s not get too idealistic. PowerPoint is tricky to master, especially when you consider how people have different reactions to presentations in general.

Should you cater to their wants then? “Yes” would be a short answer, but it has serious implications for your succeeding attempts at presentation. For example, when you’re creating a pitch deck. You can’t make a one-fits-all since it’s practically impossible to create slides according to the preferences of every executive you’re looking to impress. It’ll be a mishmash of different styles, and that can be distracting.

Does it mean that this is a hopeless case? Of course not. The best you could do is minimize the negative effects of a bad pitch deck presentation, like death by PowerPoint. Other suggestions are doing your best to create the most visually appealing deck people will ever see or hiring a good team of presentation specialists to make awesome slides—as long as you avoid using poorly designed presentations. Why? Because you stand to lose more than just cash by crafting pitch decks or sales presentations sloppily. The infographic below will help you see that you shouldn’t be worried with just your profit margins because you put at risk something bigger than money.

[vc_raw_html]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[/vc_raw_html]

Resources:

Griffith, Eric. “17 Tricks to Master Microsoft PowerPoint.” PC Mag. October 14, 2014. www.pcmag.com/feature/328357/17-tricks-to-master-microsoft-powerpoint

Looking for creative presentations that can leverage your business? Enjoy free PowerPoint templates from SlideStore! Sign up today.

The Most Effective TED Talks and What You Can Learn from Them

Public speaking is not an innate talent that people are born with. It’s a skill that takes patience and constant practice to master. Many would agree that TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), an organization dedicated to spreading powerful ideas, is a pacesetter in producing the best presentations in the world. TED talks have been translated to more than a hundred languages, and TED events have been held in over 145 countries. Undoubtedly, the organization sets the bar higher in organized presentations.

This massive success begs the question: What does TED do differently that it manages to blow people’s minds over and over again? The answer lies in the speakers and the ideas they spread. TED speakers come onstage armed not only with powerful concepts and inspiring words but also with effective methods to get their message across. Here are eight lessons you can learn from the most successful TED talks ever held.

8 Public Speaking Lessons from the Most Viewed TED Talks

1. Hook the audience with one big idea

Everything, no matter how great, starts with a tiny spark of idea. Even the most elaborate TED talks begin with a simple concept that holds promise. As Jeremy Donovan, a TEdx organizer, said, “If you had to say there was one magical element to the best TED talks, it’s that those speakers picked one really, really big idea.” When giving a presentation, you don’t want to bombard your audience with a flurry of information. Choose one specific and interesting topic, then work around it. Attack it from a unique angle and give your audience something to think about. 

2. Start with an interesting opener

Don’t go onstage thinking that it’s the audience’s job to listen. You must earn the audience’s attention every time you take the limelight. The best TED speakers know this so they make their talks interesting from the moment they drop the first word.

  • Begin with an anecdote. Brene Brown opened her talk, “The Power of Vulnerability,” with a story that was relevant to her point. This helped the audience understand Brown and her message.
  • State an incredible fact. Dan Gilbert is no stranger to the TED stage. One of the reasons why he captivates the audience every time he speaks is that he begins with an interesting statistic that turns heads.
  • Pause for ten seconds. Seth Godin advises public speakers to pause not for two, three or five seconds but for ten whole seconds to get everyone’s attention. And Godin should know since he’s one of America’s most respected marketing gurus.

8 Public Speaking Lessons from the Most Viewed TED Talks | Group of audience

3. Share a story that resonates with the audience

Everybody loves stories, especially those that appeal to the emotions. When you tell a story, make sure to not only relay the events but also the emotions you experienced. When you share genuine feelings, you establish a connection with the audience. This is exactly what Elizabeth Gilbert did in her inspiring TED talk, “Your Elusive Creative Genius.”

4. Establish rapport using humor

To establish a connection with the audience, the speaker should lower his defenses and let the audience into his personal bubble. One of the most effective ways to do this is to use humor. In the most viewed TED talk of all time, “Do Schools Kill Creativity,” Sir Ken Robinson used self-deprecating humor to make the audience feel more comfortable around him. You can apply the same principle to endear yourself to the audience and make them want to listen to your message. 

5. Design your slides with care

Good speakers use pictures instead of texts to reinforce their message. Just look at Kelly McGonigal’s TED talk entitled, “How to Make Stress Your Friend.” Observe how she effectively used images to strengthen her claims. If you plan to accompany your talk with a PowerPoint presentation, make sure to do away with large chunks of text and instead focus on the audience’s visual experience. Remember, you’re already overwhelming your audience with words by simply talking; don’t tire them out by forcing them to read your slides.

8 Public Speaking Lessons from the Most Viewed TED Talks | the winner

6. Reinforce your point throughout the talk

Contrary to popular opinion, you should consistently repeat yourself throughout the presentation. If you establish your point over and over, your audience will eventually catch on to what you’re trying to say. This is what Richard St. John did in his short TED talk about success. He gave away the eight secrets to success while staying true to one core message: Success doesn’t come easy. You need to have the passion, the courage and the resilience to pursue it.

7. Leave your audience a gift before you go

The audience always sit in anticipation of something new to bring home. They lend their ears because they expect to be entertained or blown away by a novel idea or a fresh perspective they’ve never thought of before. Remember, although the presentation is your moment, it’s not entirely about you. You stand onstage not to bask under the spotlight but to share something that is worth your audience’s time.

The words of Robert Ballard, the explorer who discovered Titanic, are very fitting in this case. He said, “Your mission in any presentation is to inform, educate, and inspire. You can only inspire when you give people a new way of looking at the world in which they live.” Take for example Susan Cain’s “The Power of Introverts.” Cain dared to look at introversion from a different light, and the response she got was positively overwhelming. 

8. Waste no one’s time

It’s common courtesy among public speakers to end their talk before the time limit. TED talks run for an average of eighteen minutes, which TED curator Chris Anderson finds “long enough to be serious and short enough to hold people’s attention.” So if you’re given thirty minutes, prepare for a presentation that runs for twenty-five minutes or less. You can allot the extra time for unforeseen events or unsolicited questions from the audience.

Public speaking is not easy, but if you follow these tips, you’ll be a few steps closer to delivering an electrifying TED-like presentation that you’ll cherish for life. 

 

Resources:

Gallo, Carmine. “9 Public Speaking Lessons from the World’s Greatest TED Talks.” Forbes. March 4, 2014. www.forbes.com/sites/carminegallo/2014/03/04/9-public-speaking-lessons-from-the-worlds-greatest-ted-talks/#3e8ca62212ea

Haden, Jeff. “20 Public Speaking Tips of the Best TED Talks.” Inc. www.inc.com/ss/jeff-haden/20-public-speaking-tips-best-ted-talks

James, Geoffrey. “11 Public Speaking Tips from the Best TED Talks Speakers.” Inc. July 26, 2016. www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/11-public-speaking-tips-from-the-best-ted-talks-speakers.html

May, Kate Torgovnick & Ludolph, Emily. “A TED Speaker Coach Shares 11 Tips for Right Before You Go Onstage.” TED Blog. February 14, 2016. blog.ted.com/a-ted-speaker-coach-shares-11-tips-for-right-before-you-go-on-stage

Stillman, Jessica. “5 Secrets of Public Speaking from the Best TED Presenters.” Inc. November 8, 2013. www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/ted-speakers-on-presenting-public-speaking.html

 

Looking for creative presentations that can leverage your business? Enjoy free PowerPoint templates from SlideStore! Sign up today.

Key Lessons from Cliff Atkinson’s First Five Slides

In 2005, presentation pitch deck consultant Cliff Atkinson published his bestselling book, Beyond Bullet Points, which revolutionized the way people used PowerPoint. Atkinson was one of the first presentation gurus to displace the bulleted list by introducing a more viable alternative. It’s a principle called “the first five slides.”

Atkinson claimed that a presenter only needs the first five slides of a pitch deck to hook the audience. But the real question is, “What exactly do these slides contain, and what effects do they have on potential clients?” Let’s find out.

The Only Five Slides You Need in Your Pitch Deck | Cliff Atkinson

A Story Only Slides Can Tell

The premise of Atkinson’s book is the ability of the first five slides of a deck to tell a good story. Stories are easily relatable, and they’re more effective in evoking emotions compared to plain facts. A good narrative can help you create an emotional bond that will get your audience to empathize with you and see things from your perspective.

SlideGenius Blog Module One

Get hundreds of PowerPoint slides for free.

Sign up for your free account today.

Sign Up now

To lay out your deck in a narrative form, make sure that the order of your slides fall within a good story arc. You can do this by establishing the setting and the protagonist in the first two slides of your presentation. The setting should clearly define the business environment you find yourself in, and the protagonist, naturally, should point to your audience.

In the third slide, establish the imbalance that your protagonist encounters in the setting. What problem is your audience experiencing? What incident is weighing them down? You may outline an existing dilemma that your business aims to solve. Before you can present the solution, however, you need to establish a sense of balance in your fourth slide. What’s the ideal situation that your audience should aspire for? How good should the state of affairs be for them to achieve a sense of fulfillment?

The Only Five Slides You Need in Your Pitch Deck | Cliff Atkinson: Solution

Once you’ve successfully presented these four elements, it’s time for the most important part: the solution. The fifth and last slide should contain your proposal to the audience. What can you do to alleviate their discomfort? How can your business help in addressing their concerns?

Your business pitch should always focus on your audience. Customers are interested in what you can do for them, so bank on that.

The Supplemental Nature of Slides

A common misconception presenters have about PowerPoint is that it can replace their presence during a live pitch. However, because your deck’s main purpose is to serve as a visual aid, loading each slide with too much information can burn out your viewers. People aren’t wired to process information in bulk, so break things down into bite-sized pieces to help them remember your points better.

Divide your hook into five brief statements that focus on specific aspects of your pitch. Establish your credibility by forming a personal connection with your audience. Each slide should have one topic that you can expound on. In terms of design, place only keywords and powerful images related to your message, and leave the rest for your verbal explanation. After all, your audience went to hear your pitch, and not to see your deck.

Cliff Atkinson: Supplemental Slides

The Ultimate Investment

Although the first five slides might be the most important in attracting your audience’s attention, they only serve as the first act of an elaborate performance, as your fifth slide acts as the end of your opening credits. The next step is to convince your listeners to invest in you.

SlideGenius Blog Module One

Download free PowerPoint templates now.

Get professionally designed PowerPoint slides weekly.

Sign Up Now

After drawing people in, give them a good reason to stay. Walk your audience through the succeeding chapters of your pitch. Refer to your earlier slides, particularly the existing conflict in which you have a unique solution to. This is your opportunity to present your products and services, your business strategy, and your current standing in the market. While emotional appeal works in hooking your listeners, giving actual facts and data will help strengthen your pitch.

The Power of Five Slides

Every good presentation has a clear structure with an effective hook, line, and sinker. Take inspiration from Cliff Atkinson’s best-selling book and drop the bullet points. Focus on your first five slides to draw in prospects.

Your pitch deck is a story waiting to be told. Make sure it’s worth every minute of your audience’s time. Keep in mind that your job doesn’t end in hooking your audience—it’s still a long stretch from there. Your first five slides are only the beginning of your winning pitch deck.