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4 Types of Audience Members You Need to Present For

Your audience is filled with 4 different member types of thinkers: analytical, structural, social, and conceptual.

It’s your job to make your presentations appeal to all four. Like any other accomplishment, appealing to all four thinkers will involve research, namely research about how each thinker thinks. We, at our Presentation Agency, have looked into inc.com’s recent series of articles on leadership and compiled a rudimentary set of instructions to appeal to each thinker by analyzing the essentials that make up the foundation of each form of thought.

Analytical

Here’s how you can be sure to draw out your analytical-thinking audience:

  • Show your research.
  • Highlight important data from within the research.
  • You need to show the big picture, not just the details.
  • Provide a case study.
  • Analyze past successes to allow your team to develop new ideas.
  • Provide an overview as well as objectives.
  • Clarity about your needs is critical.
  • Quantify everything
  • Use analytical phrases like:
      • What is the cost/benefit of this project?
      • What does the research say?
      • I’ve been analyzing the situation.

Structural

So here’s how to communicate in aims to draw out your structural-thinking audience:

1. First, it’s important to understand that a structured thinker learns by doing

2. Next, provide plenty of “how-to” points

3. Hand out a step-by-step implementation plan and a guide for how things need to be done.

4. Explain through practicality.

5. Communicate in concrete terms and explain the rules.

6. Be very detailed.

Social

  • Here’s how you can be sure to draw out your socially oriented audience:
  • Don’t be afraid to refer to feelings.
  • Use questions like:
      • “How does that appeal to you?”
      • “How are you feeling about this?”
  • Or statements like:
      • “I’m concerned about how others will react.”
  • Show a personal connection.
  • Phrases that evoke this:
      • “Let’s work through this together.”
      • “Is everyone on the same page?”

Conceptual

Here’s how you can be sure you speak and interact conceptually to draw out your conceptual-thinking audience:

  • Think long-term; Where do we want to be in 5 years? You can always fill in the details and short-term afterward
  • Describe the levels or stages of your plans or ideas
  • Use abstract examples or metaphors
  • Define key terms

Thinking through this form of audience analysis will allow you to maximize the research for PowerPoint presentation, which will in turn lead more sales!

References:

Browning, Geil. “Why Being Social Makes You a Better Leader. inc.com. July 15, 2013.
Browning, Geil. “Why Steve Jobs’ Exactitude Mattered as Much as His Vision. inc.com. May 16, 2013.

Raising Capital? Consider a Scrolling Web Pitch!

Raising capital is complicated. There are a lot of pieces to put together, including selling your audience, knowing your valuation, how much capital you need, use of funds and much, much more.

The initial hurdle for countless companies comes at the intersection where entrepreneurs and investors meet. Entrepreneurs often stumble building their investment deck and effectively pitching which makes it that much harder to get people to give you the capital. Investors must believe in you and your abilities to manage and grow a company. The problem is that showing who you are and what you’re capable of can be difficult let alone doing it in a 10-15 minute window.

For that reason you need to put your heart and soul into the pitch, but not just the content, also the delivery. What does a perfect pitch look like, you ask? That is a matter of opinion and you’ll never see the “perfect pitch deck”, but recently its all about presenting your company in a unique way to stand out from the crowd.  One additional option you may consider is a scrolling web pitch. Scrolling web pitches incorporate a unique scrolling technique that allow the presenter to replace the generic professional PowerPoint click-by-click slides with an interactive, more organic and lively design.  This is not meant to be a replacement for the face to face PowerPoint pitch but a reinforcement and/or teaser to get the meeting.  Here are 4 reasons why you need to use scrolling web designs for you next investor presentation:

Keep Content Up to Date

In using a scrolling web pitch, you are making any future edits or updates to your text as easy as can be. This design simplifies the process and maximizes your use of time.

Stand Out from the Crowd and be unique

Most people email their large, boring and lifeless PowerPoint presentations to prospective investors, but it really doesn’t make sense to do that. Without context from the entrepreneur you’ll risk a misinterpreted message or worse they might not even move past the first three slides.  Treat you pitch with respect. Why be dull and lifeless when you can be unique, creative and memorable?

Monitor page analytics/views and keep consistency

Data, data, data! Being able to keep your pitch up to date online and get analytics will help you assess the effectiveness of your deck. Additionally, you’ll have created another venue to market in. A great scroll web pitch will be able to sell itself without you being there, so any viewer could potentially bite in your concept.

Create more interest and leads

Analytics and views lead to increased interest and leads. Garnering and extrapolating public interest in your concept will serve as evidence to any potential investors as quality and a great opportunity.

Think of it as PowerPoint presentation Darwinism: evolve your presentation or have it die. Though raising capital may be intimidating, challenging, and maybe seemingly impossible at times, the process starts with how you present yourself to people.

We’ve created an example of a scroll web pitch that you can see here.

If you have any questions or comments about scroll pitches just comment them on this post?

Halloween’s Takeaway Lessons for Presentations and Marketing


I say Halloween, what do you think of? Costumes, candy and cavities? Most people do.

The fact of the matter is Halloween is one of the most commercially influential holidays throughout the year. It is crucial to be able to see it as more than just a holiday for young kids to trick-or-treat. In just analyzing 2013’s Halloween’s sales and marketing activity, you’ll be able to tailor the way you present and/or market your company to increase sales for the season, and respectively apply the same tactics to any other holiday in the near future.

Here are a few facts and stats about this year’s Halloween:

1. This year, according to Bloomberg Rankings, it seems Americans are spending less Halloween costumes, candy and decorations

2. Almost 75% of Americans who celebrate Halloween said that the state of the U.S. economy had no impact on their Halloween plans

3. Nearly 33% of “Halloween celebrators” found inspiration for their costumes online

4. About 50% of adults in the western U.S. planning to wear costumes this year, which was the most out of any other part in the country

5. Despite the above fact, the overall number of people above the age of 18 who celebrated Halloween dropped from 71% percent to 65%

6. Americans spent an average of $20.99 per person on Halloween decorations

So what’s the takeaway?

Don’t be most people, do your research with plenty of time before the season hits. Use the information, and market accordingly. Marketing for this may include giving a PPC marketing, online campaigns, or maybe even a professional PowerPoint presentation to pitch. For that reason, it is crucial to prepare yourself for any avenue of marketing by having the necessary data about your potential customers.

 Whether you business runs on sale for adults, teens or children, laying out the bullet points, like we did here, will help you understand how your market reacts to any event and will consequently let you prepare your corporate presentations or pitches with a more complete and well-rounded background. 

 I’ll leave with Huffington Post’s hilarious list of 2013’s best costumes: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/29/best-halloween-costumes-o_n_4170143.html

 

Reference:

Murray, Brent. “The Scary Truth About Halloween: Oh, My!Bloomberg.com. October 31, 2013.

Remapping the Self: A TEDx Talk with Erika Casriel

How does one define themselves? Why is it that we tend to think our judgements and ideas surpass those around us; and why do our emotions play a part in this? Psychology journalist Erika Casriel discusses new developments within the neuroscience field in a describing a new concept titled, “conciocenterism”, an idea she presented with TED, an organization that broadcasts “ideas worth sharing”.

SlideGenius developed her TEDx Presentation which you can watch here.

Some of Erika’s presentation ideas about this revolutionary notion of “conciocenterism” included concepts such as, instead of thinking of ourselves as the center of the universe we must challenge ourselves and see the more rational sides of our emotions and actions. Her theory challenges us to step outside ourselves and silence the illusion of the “little man inside our mind”. She provides a great analogy stating that instead of seeing ourselves as the lead actor in our life we should place ourselves within the audience position as well; therefore not letting irrational emotions and single minded judgments get the best of ourselves but to look at the bigger picture.

This idea of drifting away from egocentrism can also be tied back into giving a presentation, as you as the presenter must see both sides of the picture in order to connect with your audience by allowing them to see your inner thoughts as well.

References:

Casriel, Erika. “Remapping the Self: Neuroscience Gets Personal.” Lecture, Navesink, January 1, 2013

Why Your Presentation Needs to Be These 3 Words.SlideGenius. January 5, 2014.

Dress to Impress : How to Deliver a Successful Presentation


Recent research concludes that all great presenters are born with a very specific mutation in their DNA that allows them to connect with their audiences every time.

Obviously false. Great presenters are simply people who have practiced enough that they are confident in themselves. A successful presentation requires constant coordination of content, delivery and audience interaction.  Proper content, delivery and audience interaction, along with confidence and passion are root from one single trait, preparation. Would you go out naked and dirty? No, you shower, dress up, and look good; same goes for your PowerPoint presentation.

Presenters commonly overlook proper preparation. The fact of the matter is, preparing powerpoint slides isn’t just making the deck look good. You need to prepare yourself, your clothes, your speaking volume and speed and even your audience. There are 3 tools to make sure you are preparing the right way for your presentation:

1. Know Yourself

Giving presentations is very similar to telling a story, and having personal anecdotes is a great way to improve your audience retention.  Audiences remember stories better than anything! Why? Because they can relate to every story in some way, so use that connection to your advantage.


“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”

-Colin Powell


2. Know Your Audience

Whether you’ve been asked to be a keynote speaker, pitch a venture, or talk to preschoolers, the first step is to research your audience. Knowing the audience provides you with information necessary to craft an effective, well received presentation. Things to focus on are: audiences’ level of sophistication in the topic you’re presenting on, holistic objectives and common topics of interest. Rick Wion, director of social media for McDonald’s once said, “If you don’t know your audience, you are pretty much guaranteed to fail. Your presentation could be too rudimentary, too advanced or completely off topic without understanding the core audience.” That is all.

3. Know Your CTA

Three words: Call-to-Action. This is what you leave your audience with. After the introductions, stories, laughs, or whatever you do, lies the most essential part of your PowerPoint presentation design, the next step. This is where you highlight the purpose of your presentation. What do you want your audience to do next? Give you CTA the time and energy it deserves, which I will say, should be A LOT! Check out our article all about Calls-to-Action.

Aftermath

It’s Not Over Yet! After you’ve finished speaking, it’s the perfect time to finalize your relationship with the audience. Giving a presentation creates a unique opportunity to build your brand, so take advantage of it. Lastly, be sure to get feedback from attendees and event organizers so that you can make your next presentation even more effective and memorable!

 

Work Cited: http://mashable.com/2012/02/03/improve-business-presentation/

What Breaking Bad Can Teach Us about Closing a Presentation *No Spoilers!*

Breaking Bad, AMC’s hit crime drama we’ve all come to know, love, and mournfully wave goodbye too, ended two weeks ago in a (without giving too much away) justified, epic climax after five seasons of watching Walter White (A.K.A. Heisenberg) turn from sheepish high school chemistry teacher to roaring meth kingpin.

For those of you who haven’t seen BrBa to its bitter-sweet end, I won’t go into details. What I will say of it is that I was thoroughly pleased with its conclusion, but not altogether satisfied, which is exactly what a great ending should be.

Ending our presentations requires the same careful planning. The show’s infamously meticulous Executive Producer Vince Gilligan put a great amount of thought and effort into the show’s final chapter, and that’s because he knows what his audience is going to remember.

There’s a famous saying in the sports world: “You’re only as good as your last game.” From this, we can take away that we’ll be remembered for our most recent victory and defeat. Our significance is who we are today. For a TV show–and for a presentation–the finale, or the closing, will be what is most remembered.

Even if the first 90 percent of your presentation is brilliant, but the last 10 percent is a total wash, guess what they’ll remember from the presentation? The horrific ending. Fair? maybe not, but definitely the reality.

So how to make sure your audience is left with the perfect ending? Here’s a few things Breaking Bad executed flawlessly that we can work into our presentations.

Leave Your Audience Wanting More

I previously stated that Breaking Bad’s ending was fantastic, yet not entirely satisfying. This is because, to me, the show ended at its peak, which I believe is precisely what Gillian planned. The series had a great story arc that resolved all issues, but we all still wanted the show to go on.

You don’t want your audience counting the minutes until you stop talking by the time you’re on the later half of your presentation. In fact, you should end the presentation saying everything you need to say, but your audience wants to keep listening. This will not only have them leaving with a favorable impression of you, but it will keep you and your presentation on their minds, ultimately leading to your information being better retained.

Don’t leave loose ends

There’s a big difference between a show ending at its peak and one that ends open-ended and often confusingly (I’m looking at you, Lost).

Just like this confusing promotional poster, Lost's conclusion left watchers scratching their heads.
Just like this confusing promotional poster, Lost’s conclusion left watchers scratching their heads.

Make sure everything in your presentation is adequately addressed and all questions answered. Many presentations leave their audience almost more confused that when the presentation started. A great way of ensuring your audience understood what you had to say is to leave time at the end for a Q&A session. At SlideGenius, we recommend to allot an equal amount of time for your Q&A session as for your presentation.

Hammer home your message

Just like Bogdan's eyebrows, our endings
Just like Bogdan’s eyebrows, our presentation’s message in our conclusion should be apparent and unavoidable.

Breaking Bad brought it all back out of the wood works for the finale. Characters we hadn’t seen in a couple seasons come back to life to be part of this modern-day western, and the episode even opens with Walter White back in his early meth-cooking days, where he still lies to his wife about having to work late at the car wash for its egotistical owner Bogdan. Don’t just end, recap. Remind them of your key points and overall message. Ending on your last point will likely reinforce the idea that the last point is the oly thing to take away, when it’s usually just one of many that you made.

10 Words to Cut From Your Presentations


Thomas Jefferson famously wrote, “Never use two words when one will do.”

Dr. Seuss, Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, and Bill Gates all had an underlying focus on simplicity in their work. Simple ideas by definition are easier to understand and are therefore more likely to be successful. Most presenters focus on shoving as much information possible in their PowerPoint presentations, but the fact of the matter is, the less you say, the more your audience will understand. That doesn’t mean cut parts out; it means simplify every part as much as possible. This process should be utilized for both the written text within the deck, and the words that you are saying. The best way to get started with simplification is to learn to avoid certain “fluff” words.

Aim to make your writing and presenting more powerful, so here are 10 words you should start avoiding:

1. Got

Using “got” wastes valuable opportunities to use specificity and effectively describe your work process. Got is a highschooler’s word that serves no purpose in a professional PowerPoint presentation.

2. Just

The word “just” is a useless filler word (unless being used in the context of something being just or unjust) that elongates your writing for no reason and wastes times. Wasting time is the same as saying decreasing focus and interest from the audience.

3. Really

Using the word “really” is very common and almost seemingly natural within verbal conversations. It’s a type of verbal emphasis that doesn’t translate well into text. Despite its popularity in conversation, it’s unnecessary, and should, therefore, be cut

4. Then

“I talked to the customer then she yelled at me then I realized what I needed to change then I told my team.” You see how annoying and wasteful the word “then” can be? Cut it!

5. Maybe

The last characteristic you want to give off to your audience is uncertainty. When you use words like “maybe” and “perhaps,” uncertainty is exactly what you’re communicating. If you lack confidence in any aspect of your service or product, why should I be confident in it?

6. Um

When someone uses “um,” he or she either immediately shows three things: uncertainty, lack of confidence, and lack of professionalism. “Um” is worse than filler words because it not only shows that you are wasting time, but it shows you’re nervous. Cut it!

7. Literally

Regardless if something is true in a literal sense, you still don’t have to add the word “literally.” Only in an attempt to explain you aren’t joking when it seems you are, is it beneficial to use this word.

8. Amazing

This word is used to describe so many levels of quality that it is now virtually useless. Use more specific words to describe the great quality of whatever you’re talking about.

9. Things

Much like “stuff” “things” is vague and useless.

10. Stuff

“Stuff” is casual, vague, and consequently a waste of time. Description and specificity are powerful when used tacitly.

All in all, I’m trying to help you cut the fillers, get rid of the “fluff”, and make your writing and presenting stronger. The best way to achieve that goal is to start with a tangible next step. That step should be to avoid these 10 words at any cost.

Why You Need Work With The Naked

Effective design is about displaying things as naked as they can be.

Effective design is about displaying things as naked as they can be. Let me explain. If two competing stores are selling orange juice, one markets the history of the store, the science behind the juice, the percentage of pulp in the juice, the work from the staff, and types of furniture in the store, and the second store uses only a picture of a juicy, ripe, and delicious-looking orange, would sell more? The second, obviously! Sales are about getting customers to get emotional about your product or service, while the former store may have its own advantages in marketing, the latter is focused solely on showing their product at its very simplest and purest form, an orange. It is almost completely pointless to describe everything about your business or product. People don’t have time for that. They want your message and pitch in the quickest, cleanest, and purest form possible.

Did Steve Jobs walk on stage and describe all the technical characteristics of the IPod? No. He walked up; stood mid stage, and said “It’s 1000 songs in your pocket.” While there is value in the details, it’s the nudity and bareness of a presentation that hold the value. Sell the core essence of whatever your selling, at the end of the day, it is what people remember, and therefore what you should maximize in your professional presentation design.

In aims to practice what I preach, Ill keep this post short. Ill finish with this; I could go on to write a book about simplicity, the art of persuasion, or even rhetoric, but there’s no need, because I’ve displayed the same message in less than 500 words.

Next time you start work on your next sales pitch, PowerPoint presentation, or really just anything, just take a minute and ask yourself, “Am I doing this in the most simple and effective way?” I guarantee it will change everything about your life.

Einstein quote

Work Cited:
Http://www.fastcodesign.com/3018872/can-flat-design-change-an-entire-culture-built-on-ornateness

What Professional Athletes Can Teach Us about Preparing for a Winning Presentation

There’s a saying in the sports world that 90 percent of performance is mental.

This isn’t to say that all the intense physical preparation, practice, and training for the big game won’t have a huge effect on an athlete’s performance, but none of that hard work will matter without being mentally prepared for the pressures of high-level competition.

Similarly, while it’s obviously vital to practice, obtain the best professional PowerPoint possible and plan all aspects of your presentation carefully, to avoid stress and pressure affecting you at the moment of your presentation. If you’re not mentally prepared then that presentation you worked so hard to perfect might never come to fruition. Look at some of today’s top athletes, like Peyton Manning and Lebron James, prepare themselves physically and mentally before any big game and have this down to an exact science.

Visualize Success

There was a study conducted by Dr. Judd Blaslotto at the University of Chicago in which the subjects were divided into three groups. At the beginning of the study, he tested each group on how many free throws they could make.

After this, he had the first group practice free throws every day for an hour, the second group just visualized making free throws successfully for an hour, and the third group didn’t do diddly squat.

After 30 days, the groups were retested. The third group didn’t improve. The first group improved by 24 percent and the second—the ones who did nothing but sit around all day thinking about shooting free throws—they improved by 23 percent.

young boy thinking
Success can look as easy as this. Simply imagining the success of your presentation can help ensure it.

Visualizing success is imperative to that success manifesting itself. If you are continually thinking about all the terrible things that could go wrong during a speech, this negative reinforcement may result in a poor performance. However, if you make it a point in your preparation to picture yourself giving a winning presentation, studies show that this will have a discernible positive impact.

Golfing and Grace Under Pressure

When pro female golfer Inbee Park won the U.S. Female Open earlier this summer, she credited her success to two things: her experience and her mental health coach.

This reiterates the two-part recipe for success in both sports and presenting to an audience. Preparation, practice, and experience are the foundation for success, but mental toughness is the final ingredient to a winning presentation.

Champion golfer Inbee Park employs a mental health coach to help keep her cool on the course.
Champion golfer Inbee Park employs a mental health coach to help keep her cool on the course.

Many golfers now use a mental coach to learn how to embrace anxiety before a tournament in order to use it to their advantage. The right amount of anxiety can heighten our awareness and sharpen our senses. The trick is to stay on top of your anxieties, controlling them rather than letting them control you.

While obviously this post can’t do what a mental coach can, some important lessons a mental coach often provides are:

Don’t carry mistakes from the previous hole through the rest of the round. When giving a presentation, don’t let past flubs haunt you. View each presentation as a unique opportunity to prove yourself.

Deep breaths can go a long way. It will lower your heart rate and allow you to think clearly and rationally about the situation.

Enjoy yourself. When you’re having fun, you won’t be weighed down by the pressure of the situation. Realize that people just want to enjoy your speech and have fun with it.

Maintain a Positive Outlook

Psychology today analyzed endurance sports such as marathon running and found that a key part of enduring these grueling races is mental outlook. While there isn’t as much crossover between presentation and endurance sports, there is a good lesson to learn about maintaining a positive attitude in the face of unexpected challenges, which is important when things don’t go as planned during our presentations.

“The key is how people respond to the stressful conditions,” writes psychologist Jim Taylor, Ph.D. “If you have two athletes of equal ability and one sees, for example, rain and wind as a threat that scares and intimidates them and the other as a challenge that they know they can overcome, the latter athlete will be more successful.”

This guy might be enjoying the rain a little too much, but he's certainly a good example of not letting misfortunes bog you down.
This guy might be enjoying the rain a little too much, but he’s certainly a good example of not letting misfortunes bog you down.

So if there’s a technology malfunction, an unruly crowd , or any of the unforeseeable flubs that tend to arise, remember to view them not as a death sentence to your presentation, but as another challenge to overcome and prove yourself with.