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All Ears: How Listening Helps Assess Audience Response

As a presenter, your main goal is to engage your audience.

Just because the audience is looking at you, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re listening. They might just be hearing what you’re saying, but not digesting any of the information.

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Everybody hears, but not all of them may listen. You may be asking yourself, “What’s the difference? Both actions refer to the brain registering sound anyway.”

These two have different meanings—hearing is an effortless, passive occurrence while listening is a conscious choice, which demands your concentration and attention.

Before you hire a PowerPoint design agency to make your presentation, make sure you outline it according to the various listening styles and strategies.

Relationship Listening

Empathy, presence, and support are essential when it comes to this form of listening, as its ultimate goal is to develop a strong connection with your audience.

During presentations, this comes in the form of asking and taking questions— this type of engagement builds rapport. Eventually, this leads to a conversation with the audience where insights are shared.

Appreciative Listening

Sales pitches sell a product or service aimed to solve a problem. What better way to introduce or talk about these through telling a story about a similar experience?

When you incorporate storytelling into your presentation methods, you don’t necessarily ask for constructive criticism or feedback, but you are enforcing an area of appreciative listening as you engage your audience.

Critical Listening

Have you ever watched a debate? If you have, then you’d notice that the two opposing panels have an artillery of information backed by research, ready to rebut every point that the other brings to the table.

While you aren’t part of the debate itself, you are engaging in critical listening, which involves analyzing content and identifying the debaters’ objectives.

During your presentation, your audience will seek to weigh the pros and cons of your argument, especially when you’re trying to persuade them or change their beliefs.

Discriminative Listening

The objective of this listening technique is to focus on the sounds, which makes it the foundation of the other four. Here, the listener is encouraged to be more sensitive to the speaker’s tone, pitch, paralanguage, and speech rate.

This goes hand-in-hand with Comprehensive Listening, which is one of the primary methods of learning. It demands you to concentrate on the source and the information it gives.

The indicator of discriminative listening goes beyond words. At the beginning of your presentation, your audience will assess your body language, facial expressions, and even the outfit you chose to wear that day.

Apart from the topic itself, the way you deliver it is everything in the presentation space.

Just because you’re the speaker, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your part as a listener—you still have to, as this helps you in determining which information should be included in your commercial pitch deck.

Everyone wants to be heard and understood, this is especially true for presenters who rigorously prepare for their sales pitches and business presentations. Acknowledgement from the audience during presentations means that you have successfully built rapport and established a relationship with them.

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References:

Benna, Steven. “5 Nonverbal Communication Cues All Great Speakers Have Mastered.” Business Insider. July 23, 2015. www.businessinsider.com/nonverbal-communication-public-speaking-2015-7

Conklin, Emily. “7 Storytelling Structures to Improve Your Presentations.” Entrepreneur. December 17, 2017. www.entrepreneur.com/article/305993

Hellesvig-Gaskell, Karen. “The Difference Between Hearing & Listening Skills.” Livestrong. June 13, 2017. www.livestrong.com/article/83661-difference-between-hearing-listening/

Should You Distribute Handouts on Your Next Presentation?

After each sales pitch, speakers can only hope their audience had taken something from their presentation—to have engaged the audience enough for the speaker to be remembered.

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Distributing handouts is a great way to remind your audience of your topic’s key points. This is especially helpful if you have more information that you would like to relay, but can’t include in the presentation because of time constraint or layout/design reasons

These are especially useful for presentations with tons of details because it is impossible for your audience to take in that much information.

What does it contain?

While your PowerPoint is customized to contain the key points of your presentation, your handout provides an extensive explanation of the details bulleted in your deck and your contact information.

Handouts

Usually just a page or two—enough to thumb through, the handout’s content shouldn’t only cover the topics discussed in your presentation. You can also include related information, such as case studies and other print collateral, that supports and further explains your pitch.

Should you distribute them?

Presentations shouldn’t exhaust the audience, instead, this is where you deliver your core message in an engaging way.

Handouts

Adding the element of handouts strengthens your call-to-action, as these provide the resources they need to get in touch when they need to discuss purchasing decisions.

The advantages of handouts, however, come with downsides, including the possibility of creating a disconnect between you and the audience—serving as a distraction because the audience will be reading rather than listening.

In the end, it is up to you to whether to use print collateral during your presentation or not. After all, handouts only reinforce what you’ve already mentioned in your presentation. If you’re confident in your PowerPoint and you think it’s effective on its own, then there’s no need for them.

People can only take in so much before they experience information overload and by the time they do, they will be unable to retain half of what you’ve said.

Handing out print collateral for the first time? No need to worry. Apart from being PowerPoint experts, we also provide print services that attend to these specific needs.

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References:

“Understanding Information Overload.” infoengineering. n.d. www.infogineering.net/understanding-information-overload.htm

Lampton, Bill. “Using Handouts to Reinforce Your Training Presentations.” Business Know-How. March 26, 2015. www.businessknowhow.com/growth/handouts.htm

The Good & the Bad: Presenting to a Gen X Audience

The Pew Research Center released a study saying that millennials are dominating the U.S. labor force. That’s more than one in three people or 56 million millennials working or looking for work.

However, it’s those who were born between 1965 and 1981 (Generation X) that are changing the nature of work. Those who belong to this generation are dominating the playing field, having founded more than half of all new businesses.

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These are the people you should be presenting and marketing to.

America’s Neglected Middle Child

Despite the nickname, the appeal of Gen Xers has significantly risen due to their growing influence. People don’t hear much about them because all eyes are on the continuous rise of millennials and the slow retirement of baby boomers.

In a recent report provided by CNBC, however, it revealed that this generation is thriving, playing a critical—somewhat underappreciated—role in leadership while markets continue to grapple with digital transformation.

The Global Leadership Forecast 2018 showed that out of 25,000 leaders across 54 countries and 26 major industry sectors, Generation X accounts for 51% of leadership roles. And because they have an average of 20 years in the workforce, they are primed to quickly assume most executive roles.

The Advantages

Gen Xers have more money to spend than any other age group. Why? Because they are at the peak of their careers and income, which is why it’s no surprise that they have more cash to burn compared to the generations that preceded and succeeded them.

Apart from this, those who belong to this age group make up the majority of startup founders. This characterizes them as big thinkers who are unafraid to explore uncharted territory—always ready to absorb and try new ideas.

Lastly, they value authenticity. Be transparent with your presentation—be forward with your intentions. This age group holds strong family values, fueling their desire for safety and security. If your message reflects those values, then you’ll surely engage them.

The Drawbacks

Deemed as the “latch-key” generation, this age group doesn’t like being told what to do. They grew up in a time where they were left to their own devices while their parents were struggling to get new jobs because of a surge in nationwide layoffs.

Also, they’re not known to be the most tech-savvy, which is why you may want to keep it clean and simple on you customized PowerPoint presentation and focus on the execution of your delivery.

When marketing to a multigenerational crowd, not only will you have to tailor your topic to the appropriate audience, but your PowerPoint presentation has to be customized to suit their tastes, too.

Consider catering to Gen Xers. They may not be millennials, which make up the majority of the labor force, but they are at the peak of their careers and income. If you want to deliver an effective presentation to this age group, then make sure to look over this list of pros and cons to sell, compel, and inspire.

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References:

“Survey Report: 2015 State of the Startup.” Sage. 2015. www.sage.com/na/~/media/site/sagena/responsive/docs/startup/report

Anovick, Paul and Merrill, Theresa. “Eight Effective Elements for Engaging a Multigenerational Audience.” American Management Association. October 18, 2011. www.amanet.org/training/articles/eight-effective-elements-for-engaging-a-multi-generational-audience.aspx

Neal, Stephanie and Wellins, Richard. “Generation X—Not Millennials—Is Changing the Nature of Work.” CNBC. April 11, 2018. www.cnbc.com/2018/04/11/generation-x–not-millennials–is-changing-the-nature-of-work.html

Fry, Richard. “Millennials Are the Largest Generation in the U.S. Labor Force.” Pew Research Center. April 11, 2018. www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/04/11/millennials-largest-generation-us-labor-force/

Presentation Don’ts: Bad Presentation Habits

Most blogs would provide tips on how to successfully engage your audience through public speaking and visual aids, effectively garnering more investors and potential customers.

Surely, you’ve seen and conducted numerous presentations, but as stated on a previous blog post, spectators will always remember the bad ones. Oftentimes, even more so than the core of the discussion itself.

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Do you think there’s room for improvement in the way you conduct a presentation? Then, here are things you shouldn’t do during a sales pitch:

Starting with an apology

You’re late, missing a few of your discussion materials, your equipment malfunctions—these are just some of the things that can go wrong before you start your presentation. The usual reaction of speakers is to apologize in advance for how these mishaps may affect the presentation.

An apology sets a negative tone, which distracts your audience from what really matters—your presentation. Skip the minute-long explanation as to what the cause of the delay is and instead, handle it discreetly, take a deep breath, and start on a good note—begin how you usually would. This shows how you handle yourself under pressure.

Reading your slides/handouts

Eye contact and actively engaging with the audience is vital in making presentations effective. If your eyes are glued to either your slides or handouts, you won’t have a chance to interact with your listeners.

Glancing at your PowerPoint or notes is acceptable, but you must remember that knowing your material like the back of your hand is more favorable than relying on handouts because then, you’d be able to answer questions on top of your head.

Winging it

Stream of consciousness sometimes works on paper, but when you’re presenting in front of an audience, it isn’t recommended. If anything, this only makes you appear disorganized to your audience.

The more you stay off-topic, the less time you’ll have to focus on your presentation.

While winging it works for some, it’s better not to risk it and stick to what actually works: practicing. Instead of rambling on and on, which has the tendency to steer you away from your main point, practicing and internalizing your presentation helps you deliver information in a more concise and accurate manner.

Cluttering slides

Your slides should only contain the key points of your topic. When you present a wall of text, you’re wasting the usefulness of the tool. Remember: your slides are supposed to provide visual support to your claims.

If you don’t know which parts to retain, consulting with PowerPoint experts is the best way to go.

Forgetting to proofread the content of the presentation

Another problem is realizing that you have typos in your presentation when you’re already in front of your audience.

Once they notice these mistakes, you’re going to come across as unprepared or you’ve done your PowerPoint in a rush—both situations will not help you gain the customers you need.

Mistakes, when done repeatedly, become habits, and these are difficult to break when you’ve become accustomed to it. It’s better to take note of these tips before conducting another presentation so you can improve and be more effective.

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References:

Morgan, Nick. “Should You Prepare Your Speech or Should You Wing It?” Forbes. October 25, 2016. www.forbes.com/sites/nickmorgan/2016/10/25/should-you-prepare-or-should-you-wing-it-the-perennial-public-speaking-question/#538f61b5c4fe

Spacey, Andrew. “How James Joyce Developed His Stream of Consciousness Novels. Owlcation. June 14, 2017. owlcation.com/humanities/Edouard-Dujardin-James-Joyce-and-Stream-of-Consciousness-Writing

Stachowiak, Dave. “Don’t Start Your Presentation Like This.” Coaching for Leaders. n.d. coachingforleaders.com/dont-start-like-this/

3 Ways to Play and Present Your Own PowerPoint on TV

There are multiple mediums to show your PowerPoint presentation in. The program’s accessibility allows you to display your deck from your laptop to the Web, on mobile, on a traditional projector and screen, and even on a TV.

The latter is especially recommended for informal settings where you want to present a slideshow of your photo album. It can also work for more formal occasions like classroom or boardroom presentations if necessary.

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Here’s how you can play your PowerPoint on TV:

1. Connect from Your PC

PowerPoint on TV: Connect from Your PCThis is one of the most common methods of showing your deck on a screen. Most television sets these days come with an HDMI port where you can connect your laptop via cable. Simply locate both your TV and PC’s HDMI ports and plug in the two ends of the cable. Make sure that you’ve pressed the AV button on your television remote control to select the correct HDMI output.

Once you’ve connected the two devices, your laptop screen should automatically show on your TV.

Control the flow of your presentation from your PC like a normal PowerPoint but project it on a bigger screen. This lets you engage your audience by putting your visuals on a wide screen while having full control of your deck.

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2. Save It as a Video

PowerPoint on TV: Save as a VideoIf you want to free your hands completely as you present, save your PowerPoint as a video instead, as suggested in Microsoft Office’s guides.

This is an option available on PowerPoint 2010 onward. On the File menu, click Save & Send, then select Create a Video.

You can still play your deck on a TV in this format by saving your video to a USB flash drive or burning it on a DVD. Most flat screen televisions have USB ports where you can attach your flash drive and open video files.

On the other hand, those without a flash drive can burn their video presentation into a CD or DVD. A self-presenting deck in this form aids your presentation while letting you focus on content and delivery.

3. View It on Apple TV

PowerPoint on TV: View on Apple TVApple TV takes the form of a micro-console that makes use of a Wi-Fi connection or local network to stream media to your television screen. It was developed by Apple to bring the innovation of apps to TV. To use Apple TV for your PowerPoint, you’ll still need to save it as a video file.

Make sure that the file format is compatible with Apple TV. If you’re not sure what to save your presentation as, the usual file format is .MP4. You can also upload your video presentation on iTunes, where you can sync it with Apple TV.

From there, you can watch and present your video hands-free as well. However, since this option needs the micro-console around the television, you may need to reserve it for intimate family gatherings or occasions where there’s no pressure to set up quickly.

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Bonus Tip: Two Different Screens

PowerPoint on TV: Different ScreensAlthough PowerPoint was initially meant to be projected from a computer screen to a bigger one, the two screens don’t have to show the same thing.

For example, if you have helpful comments attached to your slides, you’ll be able to view them by using the Presenter View feature without projecting your notes to the audience. Being able to see your original screen can give you more than just a guide to follow during your pitch.

Your notes act as prompts when you encounter mental blocks. You don’t have to read directly from them, but certain keywords may help trigger a thought you were planning to expound on. However, remember to move away from behind your laptop and engage the audience as well with your body language.

If there aren’t any helpful notes on your slides, you can either have someone click to the next slide for you, or you can use a remote control to move across slides according to your pace. Either way, the purpose of having two screens is to be able to interact with the audience without being glued to your PowerPoint.

Remember that your deck is only there to support your presence, not replace you completely. No matter where you decide to project your slides, you’re still obliged to connect with the audience emotionally and physically. This ensures that you leave a memorable impression on your listeners during and after your speech.

The Wider, the Better
PowerPoint on TV: Present on TV

You can play your PowerPoint anywhere—from the small screen of a mobile device to the wide screen of a TV. If you’re aiming for the latter, connect directly from your TV to your PC through an HDMI cable. Go through your presentation slide by slide by controlling your TV deck as you would on your computer.

You can also save your presentation as a video and copy it in a USB, burn it to a DVD, or stream it through Apple TV. This leaves your hands free enough to further engage your audience with hand gestures and appropriate body language. The last option can take some time setting up, so you might not be able to use it all the time.

Television has evolved to far more uses than viewing shows. Use it to showcase your deck to family and friends in the confines of your living room, or make use of it in a corporate setting.

If you’re having trouble with your presentation needs, our SlideGenius experts are here to lend an ear. Contact us today for a free quote!
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References

“Apple – Apple TV.” Apple. www.apple.com/tv/
“Turn Your Presentation into a Video.” Office Blogs. www.support.office.com/en-us/article/Turn-your-presentation-into-a-video-c140551f-cb37-4818-b5d4-3e30815c3e83

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.

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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

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Can Hosting a Webinar Expand Your Audience?

Today’s business climate makes it more challenging to gain business leads. Competition is tight, so brands should up their game to survive. If you want to stay at the top, you should learn how to keep liabilities at the minimum and make the most of your assets.

Phone marketing was the norm before, but today, digital marketing is king. Businesses leverage online resources like social media, blogs, visual content, and what is probably the least known of all marketing channels: webinars. The rise of digital marketing has paved the way for businesses to do more without spending more. Make sure you use this advantage comprehensively.

Webinar Tips: Primary Goals and Purposes

Webinar 101: Primary Goals and Purposes

A webinar is a live meeting that takes place over the web. Obviously, it’s a portmanteau that blends the words “web” and “seminar.” According to webinar expert Marta Eichstaedt, when webinars are used as marketing tools, they typically last between thirty minutes to a full hour. This length already takes into account the spontaneous interaction between the host and the audience.

There are many reasons why marketers include webinars in their business efforts. The following are the three most important.

  • To educate customers. According to ClickMeeting, 85% of webinars are designed to educate existing and potential clients. If there’s one thing webinars should do, it’s to offer a novel perspective. They ought to satiate people’s desire to learn new things. Webinars are also a tool for businesses to solidify their credibility and establish themselves as experts in the field.
  • To promote brand awareness. The more successful your webinar is, the more people will learn about it. The louder the noise it makes, the more people will check it out. Hosting a webinar can expand your audience reach every time you bring something fresh and interesting to the table.
  • To generate new business leads. The same infographic by ClickMeeting claimed that 77% of webinars are designed to attract new leads. With a successful webinar, you can reach more business prospects and cultivate them through the sales process.

Webinar Tips: The Benefits of Hosting a Webinar

The Benefits of Hosting a Webinar

The perks of hosting a webinar abound—that’s why businesses can’t get enough of it. Here are some of the benefits you can enjoy from using this marketing tool to your advantage:

    • Save on costs. No matter how big your company is, you still need to use your resources wisely. Webinars are a good investment because they don’t cost much. All you need is a stable internet connection to hold one and a few active online platforms to promote it.
    • Maximize time. Unlike in physical events like seminars or conferences, you don’t need months or weeks to prepare for a webinar. A few days of preparation would suffice. You can also save time from traveling since you can conduct a webinar from the comforts of your home or office. 
    • Repurpose content. Webinars are versatile tools for marketing. You can turn them into webcasts once the event is over. You can also repurpose webinar content into a blog post or website copy. If you’re able to record your sessions, you can keep them in your knowledgebase for future reference.
    • Eliminate physical barriers. One of the conveniences of hosting a webinar is that anyone can participate in it, regardless of location or time zone. Speakers are also free to interact with participants through real-time polls and chat boxes.
    • Get feedback. You can immediately gauge the success of your webinar by sending out a survey to the participants. The feedback can clue you in as to the strengths and weaknesses of your event.

Webinar Tips: Preparing for a Webinar | Signup Form

Preparing for a Webinar

Before hosting a webinar, you need to find out first if there’s a demand for it. Conduct a survey in your audience circle, and find out if enough people are interested to join your session. Once you’re sure that the audience likes this format, proceed to the preparation phase.

Here’s what you’ll need:
  • Craft the content. Kick off by briefly introducing yourself, the other speakers or panelists, and the companies involved. Tell the audience about the topic you’re going to tackle, and give them a preview of what’s going to happen. You should be able to grab their attention during the first few minutes. In the body of your content, present a maximum of three ideas that you can expound on. Finally, finish off with a memorable statement, a call to action, and a courtesy message for the participants.
  • Set the time and duration. Find out what works best for your attendees. If you have foreign prospects, make sure that you find a common time that’s convenient for them and for the local participants.
  • Determine the panelists. Invite someone who can communicate the message best. You can collaborate with other brands to add greater value to your webinar. Have someone who is familiar with your content and who can help keep your presentation flowing smoothly. 
  • Prepare your tools. Obviously, you need technology to set up your event. Find a platform that can host your webinar, and make sure that your Internet connection is reliable enough to stream it. It’s also important to get a good phone headset, ideally a cordless one, so that you can stand up and move while talking. 
  • Create a landing page. Make sure it has sufficient details about the webinar to make the prospects excited about signing up. Include a registration form that requests information from your attendees. The most important fields are the name and e-mail address. You can also ask for the company they’re affiliated with. Any more than these three can make your prospects less likely to sign up.

The Takeaway

Once you’ve hosted your own webinar, you’ll understand why it’s considered by many businesses as an effective customer acquisition channel. Explore the wonders of this tool and discover how it can propel your business to success.

 

Resources:

Howes, Lewis. “8 Ways to Boost Your Business with Webinars.” Lewis Howes. n.d. lewishowes.com/webinars/webinar-marketing-tips-and-resources

Jozwiak, Agnes. “World Wide Webinars: New Infographic.” ClickMeeting. March 23, 2012. blog.clickmeeting.com/world-wide-webinars-new-infographic

MacDonald, Steven. “How to Successfully Host a Webinar and Build Your Audience.” E-Marketeer. August 19, 2014. www.emarketeer.com/blog/successfully-host-webinar-build-audience

Moreau, Elise. “What Is a Webinar?” Lifewire. April 6, 2016. www.lifewire.com/what-is-a-webinar-3486257

Russer, Michael. “Expand Your Reach with Webinars.” Realtor Mag. July 2009. realtormag.realtor.org/technology/mr-internet/article/2009/07/expand-your-reach-webinars

Slyman, Natalie. “How to Hold an Effective Webinar an Generate Leads for Your Business.” Influence & Co. December 6, 2016. blog.influenceandco.com/how-to-hold-an-effective-webinar-and-generate-leads-for-your-business

Wasielewski, Jarek. “How Webinars Expand Reach to Your Target Audience in Online Marketing.” ClickMeeting. September 12, 2014. blog.clickmeeting.com/webinars-expand-reach-target-audience-online-marketing

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Corporate Forecast: The Future of Company Presentations

Before the widespread popularity of software like PowerPoint, people relied on limited visual aids for their presentations. However, with the recent rise of technology, presentations are now branching out into more diverse possibilities. Sooner or later, some presentation factors in the boardroom will change to keep up with the demands of the modern era. There are specifically five aspects of presentation that will face the most change.

Future of Company Presentations: Digital Media

1. Digital Media

The digital world is becoming an attractive avenue for companies to keep track of their target audience’s interests. Digital media is the biggest game changer in the presentation playing field. According to business strategist Michael Wolf of Business Insider, tech and media activity will increase by 2016. Businesses will no longer have to sift through tons of hard facts to get what they need. Digital media will make it available to them.

Online references like virtual surveys and trending tags will give easy access to insights on market activities and preferences. Aside from this, the growing importance of digital media in people’s lives will push companies outside the boardroom and into the internet. With the increasing popularity and accessibility of smartphones, going mobile may just be the next big thing to watch out for.

In a constantly changing social environment, businesses should keep themselves on their toes. Stay updated by observing digital media trends closely, and adjust your presentation tactics if the need arises.

Future of Company Presentations: Audience Engagement

2. Audience Engagement

The audience has always played a crucial role in deciding the fate of a business pitch. However, in the future of company presentations, they will take on an even more active role. Far from being silent judges, your audience will vocally proclaim what they want from your business.

This is, again, due to the upsurge of digital media. According to Staging Connections Digital Event Services General Manager Tim Chapmansocial networks can break the barriers holding you back from your listeners. Knowing what people expect in your business gives companies a head start to craft presentations according to these preferences. On the other hand, trends also fade as fast as they come in, so constant vigilance is necessary in the market.

Operate your social media accounts to actively engage the audience at all times. Keep track of their needs and wants to optimize your presentation.

Future of Company Presentations: Time Limits

3. Time Limits

With people becoming more accustomed to fast-paced lifestyles and multi-tasking, presenters can’t afford to beat around the bush with their pitches anymore. The attention span of the average human being has reached its shortest at eight seconds, according to a Microsoft study cited by Leon Watson of The Telegraph.

That said, your audience members would be more likely to appreciate a compact and concise pitch that cuts to the chase.

But this doesn’t mean you have to resort to a plain deck and a bland delivery. If anything, it allows you to be more creative about how you’ll be cutting your presentation. Business guru Guy Kawasaki’s famous 10-20-30 rule is ideal for a crowd that’s constantly on-the-go.  According to Kawasaki, you should keep your presentation to 10 slides at 20 minutes, with 30-point font. These 10 slides already contain everything everyone needs to know about you—from the market situation to the summary and call to action.

This just shows that you don’t need to stretch your time limit to get the point across, but you shouldn’t just relate the details either

Future of Company Presentations: Use of Visuals

4. Use of Visuals

By the late 20th century, a large part of the population is identified as visual learners, according to Visual Teaching Alliance. This means that they’re more inclined to learn when data is presented to them visually, through diagrams, images, or illustrations. In terms of presentations, it’s better to abandon the wall of text and opt for more visuals. You might even drop the bullet points, which are seen for the longest time as the alternative to text-heavy slides.

However, your visuals should also complement your message. The point of catering to visual learning is to reduce the fatality of Death by PowerPoint. Stay focused on large, engaging images that you can relate to your pitch. Don’t clutter your deck with too many miscellaneous details, lest it defeats your point of drawing people’s attentions to what really matters. Finally, use colors that are easy on the eyes and that evoke positive emotions.

Presentations adapt to the tendencies of the target audience. In this case, the attention to visuals and the way it impacts viewers will definitely play a central role in the ability of business presentations to convince and convert leads.

Future of Company Presentations: Constant Innovation | Types of Graph

5. Constant Innovation

The development of technology steers toward innovation. While others may condemn presentation software for boring audiences, innovation improves both the audience’s and the speaker’s experiences.

Just this year, PowerPoint released its latest add-ins, Designer and Morph, which make presentation layout and design easier. The visual aspect of a presentation is enhanced in presentation tools like Prezi, which provides templates that users can customize on their own. Nonetheless, people need to remember that a good feature can backfire when misused. After all, when PowerPoint first came out, bullet points and awkward animations were accepted as designs until they were deemed passé.

The use of presentation tools should still be coupled with some guidance. This is why companies are highly encouraged to consult presentation gurus when setting up their business pitch.

The Future and Beyond

The future of company presentations holds a number of possibilities, partly due to the turn social trends have taken in recent years and will continue to take in the years to come.

People now have a wide range of software tools to choose from. Other digital avenues like social media allow them to form more intimate connections with their audience. A fast-paced society demands shorter presentations and a more concise content. At the same time, audiences are no longer impressed by slides that tell everything. To avoid boring a modern crowd, opt for relevant visuals that directly correspond to your core message.

Track the trends to avoid becoming outdated. Roll with the pitches and keep your company brand relevant.

 

Resources:

 Chapman, Tim. “The Future of Presentations: Top 3 Predictions.” Staging Connections. August 29, 2014. www.stagingconnections.com/events/the-future-of-presentations-top-three-predictions

Danielson, Tess & Nathan, McAlone. “Epic Slide Deck from Former Yahoo Board Member Lays Out the Future of Tech and Media.” Business Insider. October 21, 2015. www.businessinsider.com/michael-wolf-predicts-what-will-happen-in-the-tech-industry-in-2016-2015-10

Kawasaki, Guy. “The 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint.” Guy Kawasaki. December 30, 2005. www.guykawasaki.com/the_102030_rule

Koenigsbauer, Kirk. “The Evolution of PowerPoint: Introducing Designer and Morph.” Office Blogs. November 13, 2015. blogs.office.com/2015/11/13/the-evolution-of-powerpoint-introducing-designer-and-morph/#Jy7F8TwAkgcSCMfb.97

Watson, Leon. “Humans Have Shorter Attention Span than Goldfish, Thanks to Smartphones.” The Telegraph. May 15, 2015. www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11607315/Humans-have-shorter-attention-span-than-goldfish-thanks-to-smartphones.html

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Exporting PowerPoint to Paper: Tips for Enticing Printout Content

Every presenter has been requested the same thing at one point or another: being asked if they have—or if members of the audience can have—printouts of their PowerPoint presentations. This is not a bad thing, per se, especially if you have a great deck with a superb design and an enlightening message that people will want to go back and review everything they learned from your talk.

However, the issue is that slides were designed to be seen through a projector… unless you had the foresight to create your deck specifically for printing. Well then, good for you.

Going from digital to printout isn’t as easy as it looks. Specifically now, in the modern age, there are humongous monitors and projectors that display every pixel perfectly despite their sizes. Ah, the wonders of technology. But transitioning from the old to the new isn’t seamless, and paper sizes can’t compare to digital visual outlets.

To do that, you first need to do a bit of tinkering and adjusting to get your desired quality on paper. Here are a few pointers to consider first.

Exporting PowerPoint to Paper: Check Your Printer

Check Your Printer

As with any competition, you can expect that manufacturers follow different formats with their products. If there’s one constant as far as printers are concerned, it’s that they don’t typically reach the paper’s edge. Printouts will always have margins. However, this is not a printer limitation; it’s rather the software—the printer driver—that causes this.

To remedy this, you can manually adjust it, and this is where the tinkering comes in. You can set custom margins on your printouts and potentially include an additional slide or two. There are different customizations you can do from this screen and in the next, which is…

Exporting PowerPoint to Paper: Print Preview

Print Preview

Print Preview is your friend. Let it guide, help, and aid you. If you’re not sure about the whole format of your printout, you should check it out before you waste ink.

There, you can set and customize different options for your final product: how many slides per page, the spaces in between each slide, the margins (see previous subheading), etc. There are also other settings for whether you want to print on both sides of the paper, the printing sequence (Collated), and whether black and white or grayscale (see next subheading).

This window is basically your last chance to fix how you want your handouts to come out, so appropriating everything according to your preference will make your task easier.

Exporting PowerPoint to Paper: Check Your Design

Check Your Design

Less on the printer, more on your slides now.

The rules are basically the same when creating slides. You’ve got your design basics: colors, background, typography, etc. You’ve also got your image: powerful and meaningful. Lastly, your text as the meat of your talk. Then you’re out to print it.

The question is: “Do your slides look the same on screen and on paper?”

If you are printing your PowerPoint file out, you always have to consider how your slides will look on your handouts—plus the limitations on your printer, vis-à-vis ink levels—and prepare for it. If you’ve got too many images, either beef up your ink supply or delete some. Another option is to print in grayscale or black and white (which, as you would imagine, comes with another set of adjustments).

The bottom line here is that you should tailor your deck to be readable on both mediums. If you need to reduce elements, then do so.

Exporting PowerPoint to Paper: Convert powerpoint into .pdf file

Don’t Print Your Slides

Don’t worry. It’s not what it means; rather, it’s a small technicality that involves converting your PowerPoint file into a type that is considered more universal: PDF

One reason why PDF files are more commonly used is the general ease with printing using Acrobat or Adobe (or other software that can read this file type). There may be more or less the same options, but Acrobat is more in depth than PowerPoint, so it’ll usually take care of problems before your printouts even reach the printer. With such ease, you’re more likely choosing this same route yourself.

Another issue solved is transferring to another computer, for, say, printing purposes since you don’t have a printer. You don’t assume that your PowerPoint settings are the same as everyone’s (unless you’re not customizing your software). Therefore, you’re more likely to meet different formatting altogether when opening your file on a computer that doesn’t adhere to the same settings. This goes especially when you use many customized backgrounds, images, and fonts.

Converting to PDF makes your task—and life—easier by making the file more printable and readable on any computer.

There are multiple considerations to make when shifting from digital to print. With the almost complete independence of technology from traditional media, there’s still the wide gap between the two. Of course, with sufficient study and preparation, the divide is not as big as it seems.

Take the following options to heart. Soon, you’ll be asked to have printouts of your presentation. Take it easy and plan ahead. You’ll do yourself some good that way.

 

Resources:

Temple, Cooper. “Adjusting Paper Margins in PowerPoint.” Chron. n.d. smallbusiness.chron.com/adjusting-paper-margins-powerpoint-29281.html

Terberg, Julie. “Gain Control over PowerPoint Handouts by Exploring the Print Options.” Training Magazine. November 1, 2002. ip-50-63-221-144.ip.secureserver.net/article/gain-control-over-powerpoint-handouts-exploring-print-options

Wood, James T. “Why Does PowerPoint Print Out the Wrong Margins?” Chron. n.d. smallbusiness.chron.com/powerpoint-print-out-wrong-margins-26575.html

Woods, Paul. “Create PowerPoint Slides Designed Specifically for A4 or Letter Printing.” The New Paperclip. May 26, 2010. www.thenewpaperclip.com/2010/05/26/create-powerpoint-slides-designed-specifically-for-a4-or-letter-printing/#

“How to Create PDF Handouts in PowerPoint 2010.” Cometdocs. November 7, 2011. blog.cometdocs.com/how-to-create-pdf-handouts-in-powerpoint-2010

“Printing PowerPoint: Slide Size v. Printer Page Size.” PPTools. June 7, 2011. www.pptfaq.com/FAQ00774_Printing_PowerPoint-_Slide_size_v-_Printer_Page_size.htm

“Saving Paper and Increasing Readability of PowerPoint Handouts.” Pittsburgh Technical College. n.d. www.ptcollege.edu/uploads/HS-teachers/Saving-Paper-and-Increasing-Readability-of-PowerPoint-Handouts.pdf

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PowerPoint as a Communication Tool When Rebranding a Business

Every company experiences a rut. Perhaps it’s because of the ever-changing world, technology (and the lack of capability or desire to adapt), and/or a new management. It may even be the work of external circumstances. A strong yet underhanded competitor, maybe? Whatever the case, when your company is losing steam, there’s a fix. But it will take a lot of time and effort.

You know what it is. Rebranding. Not all companies need one since it’s very risky. But what about those that do? There have been success stories and huge failures. It’s a long campaign, and taking shortcuts may very well compromise everything: years of history, customer trust, employee loyalty, etc.

Any self-respecting entrepreneur knows that those are just as important as every ounce of effort you put into your business. That fact alone makes it risky from the get-go, but any miscalculated step you take is a potential snowball waiting to roll down. In short, disregarding a lot of considerations during a rebranding will only make things worse.

When it’s time to say goodbye to the old and say hello to the new, every person involved must be on the same page. For each process, everybody should work towards the same short- and long-term goal. Since rebranding doesn’t happen overnight, the possibility of people getting ahead—and, of course, people lacking behind—grows more or more. So letting each level of the hierarchy know what, where, and why is essential.

This, then, is corporate communication. Because you’ve got a lot of pointers, conditions, and rules you need to cover, transparency and reachability are definite musts. And what’s a better communication and presentation tool to use than Microsoft PowerPoint? Nothing, according to an awesome presentation design agency. Check this infographic on how you could leverage communication with your people in the best way possible.

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Resources:

DeMers, Jayson. “5 Examples of Rebranding Done Right.” Forbes. July 7, 2016. www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2016/07/07/5-examples-of-rebranding-done-right/#3c8c60492124

Shandrow, Kim Lachance. “The 8 Must-Follow Rules for Rebranding Your Company (Infographic).” Entrepreneur. September 10, 2014. www.entrepreneur.com/article/237296

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