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Presentation Tips to Counterpunch Your Nerves

For people who are not gifted with natural eloquence, public speaking can be a daunting experience. Darlene Price, president of the award-winning coaching company, Well Said Inc., summed it up well when she said, “Though statistics vary on the exact percentages, it’s safe to say most of us get nervous before a public speaking engagement. As a speaker facing an audience, we often fear failure, criticism, judgment, embarrassment, comparison, or rejection.”

And indeed, all this fear, all this negative reaction, is only natural. Even the most experienced speakers tremble before delivering their opening salvo. This is why you should go against the general notion of tackling  fear for the purpose of eradicating it. Instead, what you should do is conquer it by controlling it to your own advantage. Managing your fear is the only way to connect with your audience.

After all, spectators don’t really see how you feel. They only see how you carry yourself onstage. So, it’s okay to be afraid, as long as you don’t show it to anyone. When all’s said and done, a presentation is not really about what you say but how you say it.

Positive Visualization

The Dramatic Pull of Positive Visualization

To turn your jitters into positive energy, you should pump yourself up before a presentation. Boost your enthusiasm by imagining a positive outcome to the speaking engagement. Mentally walk yourself through your speech, and picture yourself acting with confidence, flair, and poise. You’re a presentation guru, and the audience enjoy watching and listening to you.

Positive visualization is healthy and effective. The more you envision something in a good way, the better it will play out in reality. Just take in mind the American industrialist Henry Ford’s famous quote, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”

Above all else, smile. Smiling can help calm your nerves and lower your anxiety. It increases your body’s supply of endorphins, the chemicals responsible for lowering stress levels. When you smile, you exude confidence, which your audience will interpret as a sign of enthusiasm towards your speech.

Familiarity Breeds Confidence

How Familiarity Breeds Confidence

Don’t take chances with your presentation by delivering it once and for all. You have to practice it multiple times before the actual event. Rehearse your lines in various positions until you grow comfortable with them. If necessary, record your presentation and watch it afterwards. This will help you see which bad habits to grow out of.

Know your presentation by heart, but don’t memorize it word by word—unless, of course, you’ll be delivering your presentation at TED. Just the opening and closing lines of your talk are enough. Learn your first and last statements so they’ll come to you naturally.

Practicing will help you gain a certain amount of control over the situation. The more certain you are about your talk, the less nervous you’ll be about it. By rehearsing your presentation beforehand, you can focus your nervous energy on something more productive.

Surroundings as a Teacher

What Your Surroundings Will Teach You

Give yourself ample time to be familiar with the venue. Arrive at least a day early so you can thoroughly assess the setup. Check if there are any elements in the surroundings that may distract you from your presentation. Test the equipment you’re going to use to minimize the possibility of technical difficulties arising later on. Practice delivering your talk in the venue, too, to familiarize yourself even more with the entire affair.

If your speech is part of a series, you should listen to other talks. Do it as a courtesy to your fellow speakers, and also to learn more about the spectators. By attending the other presentations, you’ll be able to gauge the general mood of the audience. You can assess whether they’ll appreciate humor or straight facts. This will help you tailor your presentation to their needs and preferences.

On the day of your speech, make sure to attend the meet-and-greet ceremony. Speaking with representatives from the audience will help you understand them more genuinely. As public speaking coach Ian Cunliffe advised, “Arrive early and talk to a few individual audience members about their needs. That way, you’ll have insider information and friendly faces that you can focus on when you take the stage.” Darlene Price held the same opinion. She said, “Conversation helps relax your nerves, creates a bond with your audience, and sets the stage for personable speaking versus public speaking.”

Power Stance

Power Stance and Other Endorphin Boosters

Warm yourself up before taking the floor. To calm your nerves, practice deep breathing, a method that will flood your brain with oxygen. Your muscles will relax and you’ll regain composure. Moving around and assuming a power stance will also help you create a lasting sense of confidence.

Before stepping into the platform, make sure you are properly hydrated. Dry mouth can sometimes be a cause of anxiety. Drink plenty of water before going onstage, and keep a bottle of liquid within arm’s reach in case your mouth dries up in the middle of your talk. Finally, make sure to take a bathroom break before your performance.

Presentation Mantra

The Mantra You Should Adopt

Repeat some words of encouragement before heading to the spotlight. Your mantra should be: “I’m the expert in the room. The audience trust and believe in me, and they want me to succeed. I will go out there and deliver with confidence and conviction.”

As body language expert Mark Bowden said, presentations are not really about the facts and the data. “When we go live in front of an audience, it’s about the event, the personality, the relationship, and trust.” Kill it with your confidence. Bring home the gold with your poise and enthusiasm.

 

Resources:

Genard, Gary. “How to Use Positive Thinking to Speak More Successfully.” Genard Method. June 26, 2016. www.genardmethod.com/blog/bid/176604/How-to-Use-Positive-Thinking-to-Speak-More-Successfully

Heaps, Mark. “Stop that Stutter: 6 Steps to Overcome Presentation Performance Anxiety.” Duarte. December 19, 2012. www.duarte.com/blog/stop-that-stutter-6-steps-to-overcome-presentation-performance-anxiety

Kim, Larry. “15 Ways to Calm Your Nerves Before a Big Presentation.” Inc. October 20, 2014. www.inc.com/larry-kim/15-power-up-tips-to-make-you-a-better-presenter.html

Kleiman, Karen. “Try Some Smile Therapy.” Psychology Today. August 1, 2012. www.psychologytoday.com/blog/isnt-what-i-expected/201207/try-some-smile-therapy

Smith, Jacquelyn. “11 Tips for Calming Your Nerves Before a Big Presentation.” Business Insider. June 23, 2014. www.businessinsider.com/tips-for-calming-nerves-before-a-speech-2014-6

“Feeling Anxiety is Normal.” Boundless. n.d. www.boundless.com/communications/textbooks/boundless-communications-textbook/building-confidence-to-speak-4/understanding-anxiety-27/feeling-anxiety-is-normal-127-10639

“Managing Presentation Nerves: Coping with the Fear Within.” Mind Tools. n.d. www.mindtools.com/pages/article/PresentationNerves.htm

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Throw Away Slides from a Bloated PowerPoint Deck

Quantity doesn’t mean quality when it comes to a presentation.

You might think having a lot of slides in your deck is a sign of hard work.

Having too many slides could be seen as a delaying tactic and reflects poorly on your credibility as a speaker.

You have better things to do than spending a lot of time making hundreds of slides when less than half the amount will do.

Focus on the quality of your content and be free from a bloated PowerPoint presentation.

When Is Enough Enough?

Letting slides pile up is a lazy attempt at looking prepared. It also comes off as a delaying tactic that places too much attention on background information.

After all, no one will question the amount of time and effort spent at making all those slides.

It’s impressive to look at now, but audiences are going to fall asleep from your PowerPoint epic.

Don’t challenge their attentiveness and focus.

This isn’t a contest to see who can stay awake the longest.

Important clients won’t be impressed by the length of a presentation. Chances are that they’ve seen this delaying tactic being used by unprepared speakers and will avoid listening to you when you try it on them.

Save everyone’s time by being brief and to the point.

Focus on What Matters

The reason why it’s hard to let go of so much content is uncertainty.

Not knowing which information to keep as your main point and then hanging on to more and more ideas out of fear will only hold you back.

June Saruwatari’s expertise as a productivity and organizing consultant advocates organizing your physical space around the goals you want to achieve.

In the context of presentations, this means you should prepare an outline first so your slides will become easier to manage and be more cohesive.

The foundation you create will actually save you more time in the long run, even if it seems counter-intuitive to spend time on it.

A bloated PowerPoint deck will also result in a larger file size.

This will be a problem if you need to share you file with others.

Large files are more difficult to share online since they’re more likely to exceed the limit for file attachments.

Using the Right Moment

There must be a really good reason why an idea needs to be explained by a lot of slides.

It’s not impossible to engage audiences even when you use up a thousand slides in your deck.

You can speed through a lot of slides in under a few minutes as a storytelling technique.

Use only one word or image per slide and rapidly move through slides.

But not all decks can rely on this delivery style to get its message across.

A good outline will give you a more coherent and organized presentation.

Streamline Your Process

The number of slides you have on your deck won’t guarantee success.

It’s detrimental to have too many slides because it creates too much delay.

Don’t just look prepared by relying on an excess of slides, be truly prepared by mastering your content.

Drafting an outline will save you more time to focus on other areas of your presentation.

Fewer slides in your deck also means a smaller file size that will be easier to share, so think twice if you really need to use a lot of slides.

The general consensus is to throw out anything that doesn’t serve a purpose in your deck so that your main ideas can shine.

 

References

3 Small Talk Habits That Delay Professional Presentations.SlideGenius PowerPoint Design & Presentation Experts. September 17, 2015. Accessed October 21, 2015.
Porter, Jane. “The Psychology Behind All That Clutter You Can’t Get Rid Of.Fast Company. May 4, 2015. Accessed October 21, 2015.

Featured Image: “cluttered” by linus_art on flickr.com

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How to Tame the Bullet Points in Presentations

The brain is efficient at discarding useless chunks of memories, but the most embarrassing and boring ones never leave the brain. Flashbacks from a long, drawn out lecture enter the mind out of nowhere. Most of the time, the boring lectures come with a hail of bullet points. Then another flashback sets in… and it turns out you were giving that presentation riddled with bullet points.

There are no set rules for using the bullet point, which makes it difficult to know how to use it successfully. Technically, bulleted lists are only a matter of format. They should contain key points that will be discussed during the presentation.

Let’s take a look at this example:

Tame Bullet Points

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Bread

The above is a simple grocery list. It’s composed of three distinct items, which are then separated from each other through bullet points. Even without writing these items down in a list again, they’re easy to understand and recall. Now, compare it with this bullet list:

Wild Bullet Points

  • Milk
  • The eggs should be brown.
  • Bread
    • Sandwich
    • Toast
    • Banana bread

The latter looks disjointed and confusing for different reasons: inconsistent formatting, too many bullet points, and difficult recall. The first two items nested under “bread” are different ways to prepare bread, while the last item is a type of bread. Eliminate the three items under bread to maintain the general idea of the list, since the three sub-bullets are specific.

The list is more difficult to recall than the former because the general and specific ideas are mixed together. A specific list will have different kinds of bread, and other types of milk and eggs. Ideas need to be refined further and follow consistent formatting.

Troubleshooting

If a bulleted list looks too much like the latter example, there are several ways to simplify it and make it look more like the former.

1. Don’t play mind games

In the context of creating a deck, if the bullet points only make sense in the mind of the speaker, then the audience takes the burden of trying to understand the information. A presentation has new information for the audience, therefore it’s wrong to assume that they possess this information beforehand.

2. Hold their hand

The poorly made bullet list in the latter example branches off wildly in all directions, completely disregarding the audience. According to Think Outside the Slide‘s Dave Paradi, a consistent style is necessary to avoid confusion. Hold their attention by showing bullet points of the main topics, then explaining each topic.

3. Prevent a bullet point tragedy

The most boring kind of bullet list is the kind that pretends to be a bullet list. A group of sentences is called a paragraph, but a bullet list of sentences is a paragraph formatted unnecessarily. Be careful not to mislead the audience into thinking that the bullet-list-paragraph is a bullet list.

4. Maintain harmony

Ideas get along well with each other through formatting and style. Format the topics as a sentence, phrase, or a single word for a bulleted list. If the bullet point begins with the first word capitalized, then the rest of the list should follow the same format. Consistency is important since discrepancies are distracting from the flow of thought and information.

5. Use Bullet Points Sparingly

Bullet points are key points for the audience, not a series of cue cards for the speaker. Use as few bullet points as possible to break up a presentation visually and to avoid overloading the audience with information. Insert an image between slides, and make sure to break up big chunks of information down for the audience.

The Verdict

It’s important not to accidentally play a game of PowerPoint-Karaoke by reading bullet-list-paragraphs throughout the presentation. Break up information by using a bulleted list with proper formatting and just enough information for easier recall. The proper usage of the bullet list is important to successfully get a point, or several points, across.

Finally, free yourself of the flashbacks of bullet list tragedies and exercise the responsible use and control of bullet points.

References

Paradi, Dave. “How to Write Powerful Bullet Points.” ThinkOutsideTheSlide. Accessed on October 2, 2015. www.thinkoutsidetheslide.com

Featured Image: Bearpit Karaoke” by sfreimark from flickr.com

Perfecting Your Choreography for Professional Presentations

For performers, choreography combines proper body movements, positioning, and timing to elevate their act. Dancers rehearse their performance by familiarizing themselves with corresponding dance steps. Visiting the venue helps them experience the actual feeling for the live show.

Stage players also do this by matching their lines with appropriate body movements and gestures to engage the audience. They rehearse in the venue to arrange the setup, make minor adjustments, and be comfortable with the blocking and placement. Similarly, perfecting your movements can help you improve your pitch delivery, boosting your convincing ability.

Choreograph Your Pitch

Since choreography relates to physical space between the speaker and the audience, this is where the four spatial zones (intimate, personal, social, and public) take place.

  • Intimate space covers a foot and a half to zero, and is usually reserved for significant others.
  • Personal space ranges from four feet to a foot and a half – the right amount for close friends.
  • Social space spans twelve feet to four feet. This is sufficient for large gatherings and social functions.
  • Public space goes beyond twelve feet. As the name suggests, is best for public speaking.

As a presenter, you don’t have to stay within the public space all the time. Audience interest increases the closer you move to them.

Activate Your Audience’s Mirror Neurons

Interacting with a large audience is possible thanks to mirror neurons. As author Vicki Kunkel defines in her book, Instant Appeal, a mirror neuron allows people to experience the same feeling when observing others, mirroring their behavior as if they’re in the same situation.

Communications expert Nick Morgan suggests this technique when you’re in a crowd of 500 people have no room or time to engage each of them. In this case, you can connect freely with your audience by moving towards chosen audience members.

Kunkel cites Dr. Wayne Dyer, a well-known speaker, who knows this technique by heart. When telling a story, he’s able to make his audiences feel that they’re actually on the same occasion. He also uses typical stage areas when making and emphasizing a point. For example, when he describes an event or a situation, he stays in one location. He transfers to another position when he tackles another issue or topic.

This makes the performance more chronological and understandable, where audiences can easily follow. Let’s take a look at some room setups which you can best maximize to your advantage:

1. U-Shape Setup

This setting lets you engage your audience at the center, then walk towards them at some part of your speech.

Be careful not to show your back to some audience members. Eye contact shouldn’t be discarded since it contributes to your connection with the audience.

2. Classroom Setup

This style depends on the number of aisles in a classroom. If it has only one, you can walk through to move closer to some of your listeners in the middle. In this case, you interact more with the people sitting in front.

If there’s no aisle, stay in front and proceed with your pitch. Compensate with your body language to emphasize your points, and you’ll still connect with them.

3. Auditorium Setup

If you’ll be giving your speech in an auditorium, it’s advisable to practice in the actual venue more than once. This will allow you to familiarize yourself with the area, and think of best strategies to engage the audience. A venue this large gives you more chances to maximize the stage.

Let your audience know your desire to connect with them by supporting your pitch with the right body language.

In Conclusion

Choreographing your presentation helps you maximize space and grab attention. Meanwhile, activating your audience’s mirror neurons through body language provides an emphatic and emotional connection.

Lastly, familiarizing yourself with the different room styles engages audiences more effectively for impactful professional presentations. Plan your pitch like a stage performance to get the best out of any public speaking opportunity.

To help you with your presentation needs, SlideGenius experts can offer you a free quote!

 

References

Morgan, Nick. “How to Choreograph Your Presentation.” Forbes. April 11, 2013. Accessed August 12, 2015. www.forbes.com
Kunkel, Vicki. Instant Appeal: The 8 Primal Factors That Create Blockbuster Success. New York: AMACOM, 2008.

 

Featured Image: “Poly Prep – Afternoon of Student Choreography” by Steven Pisano on flickr.com.

Psychological Biases: The Bandwagon in Sales Presentations

We’ve already discussed the psychology of decision-making and examined the use of anchoring in sales presentations. In this post, we’ll focus on another psychological bias: the bandwagon effect.

If you have high regard for group thinking and conformity, then this brain quirk can help you sell more. Let’s see what makes this technique suitable for your pitch.

Defining the ‘Bandwagon’ Effect

Coined after the political term “jump on the bandwagon”, this refers to voters’ tendencies of choosing the most successful campaign to support. The bandwagon effect implies hopping onto a trend, joining a movement, or supporting something that everyone else has been doing.

According to Hubspot’s Emma Snider, social proof can be a powerfully persuasive tool. People have this natural tendency of following another’s actions regardless of their own beliefs. The likelihood of this increases when more of them begin adopting the idea or behavior.

Why Use This in Presentations?

All marketers aim to increase a product or service’s popularity, so they create marketing efforts for higher product demand at a faster rate. Using the bandwagon effect in presentations gives you the advantage in persuading your audience. It relates to your prospects’ emotions, which in turn increases the popularity of your product and consumer demand.

The idea of popularity introduces your product into the market, which makes people jump onto the bandwagon. It appeals to the human emotions of wanting what others already have, and of fitting in with the majority. Customers will take the word of their fellow consumers for it because they’re sure they aren’t out to sell them anything. Making it appear that there are more users tuned into your product or service reassures them of your quality.

How to Make The Bandwagon Effect Your Ally

You have to adapt to your audience’s needs like how chameleons adapt to their environment. With a handful of product innovations coming, the consumer society is now yearning for transparency, info-bites, and greater customer experiences with the products they use. Cater to these needs by using the bandwagon as social proof.

Introduce your product in a way that strengthens your credibility. Include testimonials from your valued clients or present a statistic that shows how many people have been using your offering.

Giving them quantifiable proof of your product standing and market value is the best way to turn them into buying customers.

Are You In or Out?

The bandwagon effect is one useful psychological bias that relates to consumer decision making.

Use the power of this phenomenon in influencing purchases and experience a breakthrough success in your business.

References

Kay, Magda. “How to Use Cognitive Biases for Effective Marketing.Psychology for Marketers. n.d. Accessed August 3, 2015.
Snider, Emma. “How to Use Psychological Biases to Sell Better and Faster.” Hubspot Blogs. January 31, 2015. Accessed August 3, 2015.

Featured Image: “Dueling Bandwagons” by Eric Kilby from flickr.com

5 Presentation Habits That Skilled Speakers Should Avoid

Professionals sometimes neglect minor factors while presenting, often thinking that they’re trivial.

However, they forget that these seemingly insignificant habits can make or break their presentation.

Though there are guidelines to remember when speaking in public, there are also negative practices that could ruin your performance.

Here are five practices that presenters should avoid:

  1. Oversmiling

Learn when to smile and when not to.

What are the advantages of smiling?

Smiling helps you build rapport and connect with your audience, while also reducing your anxiety and boosting your confidence as a speaker.

When shouldn’t you smile during your pitch?

Though almost a given, remember not to smile while telling unfortunate stories.

You can also use a neutral expression to show professionalism and respect, especially when you’re discussing sensitive issues.

Knowing your content also lets you identify what part of your pitch requires specific kinds of facial expressions.

  1. Depending on Memory

Know when to depend on your script.

For beginners, it’s advisable to use notes to help them remember their cues.

For experienced speakers, it’s better not to depend on scripts to appear more professional and prepared.

However, there are times when you have to return to your notes. You may need to refer to your references if you’re discussing a particularly complicated topic. This is acceptable, as long as you don’t do this too often.

Try recording your speech and listening to it, watching out for any lines that stand out to you. List down anything from your speech that sounds powerful. You can use these as guideposts for the best times to deliver your strongest lines.

  1. Overacting

You can add humor to your speech to lighten your audience’s mood, making them more responsive. You may use stories that require exaggerated body language that’ll definitely make your audience laugh.

However, when delivering a serious topic, be gentle when you dramatize. This’ll convince your audience to feel the deep emotions you’re portraying and emphasizing.

  1. Overusing Authority

Learn when to be enthusiastic and when to be serious.

You can entertain your audience by telling them irrelevant anecdotes and information, but this doesn’t get you anywhere closer to driving your big idea home.

Don’t use your authority to overly engage your audience with stories that have nothing to do with your main message. You might get them into a better mood, but they’ll fail to recall what you want them to learn and understand.

If you want to use stories, tell only those that support your core message.

Always get back to your presentation’s main objective.

  1. Asking Unplanned Questions

People often end up asking unplanned questions when they make a mistake or when an unexpected event arises.

This is most presenters’ last resort in regaining their audience’s attention, but this often causes them to neglect their original plan for their pitch.

Understand that you have different types of audiences; some are expressive, while others are straight-faced.

While asking questions is important, only include relevant queries to save time and avoid boring your audience.

Start by asking the right questions, that is, those that clarify important points so that your listeners can better understand you.

Conclusion

Great presenters often overlook some practices that disrupt their presentation’s success.

However, understanding these negative presentation habits lets you avoid them and develop a more effective presentation. 

Know when it’s appropriate to smile during your presentation. It’s usually fine if you’re talking about something lighthearted, but it’s better to put on a neutral expression when discussing controversial topics.

Though reciting your pitch from memory makes you look like a professional in your field, there’s no harm in referring to your notes in case you forget what to say next. It’s better to have a back-up plan than to fumble and be unable to recover at all.

Using different facial expressions can add an emotional punch to your points, but don’t overdo it or you’ll only look like you’re forcing it.

You may be tempted to tell your audiences all the interesting stories you have in your head, but only share those that actually have something to do with and support your core idea.

Finally, don’t ask unplanned questions or you’ll drive your discussion off-track. Always be prepared to ask the right questions to regain your audience’s attention.

Removing all these unproductive habits are guaranteed to make better, more engaging pitches that convert into sales.

To help you with your presentation needs, let SlideGenius experts assist you!

References

Genard, Gary. “For Public Speaking Success, Ask the Right Questions!” The Genard Method, February 24, 2013. Accessed June 9, 2015. http://www.genardmethod.com/blog-detail/view/69/for-public-speaking-success-ask-the-right-questions#.VXcdKs9Viko
Mitchell, Olivia. “The 5 Bad Habits of Experienced Speakers.” Speaking about Presenting, June 2, 2011. Accessed June 9, 2015.  http://www.speakingaboutpresenting.com/presentation-skills/bad-habits-experienced-speakers/
 

Featured Image: “Break” by Got Credit

Collaborating with a Professional PowerPoint Designer

You’ve been asked to give a presentation that is crucial to your company’s performance. The stakes are high and there’s little room for error. Your presentation needs to be clear and concise, enhanced by strong visuals that help deliver your message. To ensure success, the best way forward is to work with a professional PowerPoint designer.

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Working with a PowerPoint designer involves an extensive process of communication. After your initial conversation, you can’t just sit back and wait for magic to happen. While they’re experts at turning ideas into visuals, PowerPoint designers are no mind readers. A lot could get lost in translation if you don’t take the time to properly convey your vision. Without proper communication, you might end up with a PowerPoint deck that clashes with what you’re presenting.

Make the most out of working with a professional PowerPoint designer. Follow these tips for effective collaboration:

Provide specific instructions

The secret to a successful collaboration is open communication. When you first contact a professional PowerPoint designer, you have to provide specific details about the nature of your presentation. It’s not enough that you share what color scheme you’d want your PowerPoint deck to have. PowerPoint designers are experts at turning business stories into comprehensible visuals. They can’t do their jobs with mere superficial details.

Introduce the PowerPoint designer to the nature of your presentation by answering these specific questions:

  • What is the presentation about and what is it for?
  • Who is the audience?
  • What is the key message/main takeaway?

You should also provide the designer with materials they can use, including logos and pictures. Make sure the content is complete when you hand it over to your designer.

At SlideGenius, we have a team of copywriters who can help you come up with compelling content.

Know what you want but keep an open mind

It’s wrong to think that professional PowerPoint designers will take care of everything. As we pointed out earlier, you need to be clear about the things you’d like for your PowerPoint deck. Don’t give generalized instructions. Be decisive because you and the designer could have different interpretations of what “something amazing” could mean.

On the other hand, you should also keep an open mind. It’s important that you learn to trust the PowerPoint designer you’re collaborating with. Give them some leeway to explore their creativity and you’ll be surprised at what they can deliver.

Be specific with your feedback

There’s an awkward dance most collaborators do. After an initial draft is presented, feedback is repeatedly given in small doses. This forces the PowerPoint designer to go back and forth just to make sure all the points are covered. It’s a common situation, but it’s definitely far from the ideal. Too much back and forth in the communication process can be frustrating and time-consuming.

To streamline your collaboration, you need to be able to provide specific and substantial feedback. Examine drafts carefully and take note of all the things you’d like to have modified. Once you have all your notes compiled, turn it over to the designer. Feedback should be given through one powerful dose. For more tips, read “How to give feedback (without driving your designer insane!)” from Trigger and Sparks.com.

Remember: the key to any collaboration is clear and open communication. To ensure the success of your presentation, build a healthy working relationship with your PowerPoint designer.

At the end of the day, there’s no better way to make an impact on your audience than with visuals that tell an interesting story.

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Featured Image: Ken Teegardin via Flickr

How to Work with a Professional PowerPoint Designer

Even with a working knowledge of PowerPoint, there will be times when you’d rather hire a presentation designer than work on it on your own. Either you’re too busy and don’t have the time or the event is too important for a DIY presentation. In any case, having a professionally designed PowerPoint gives you a number of advantages.

For one, you can be sure that your slides are given a lot of tender, loving care. You know can’t go wrong once you step in front of your potential audience with your PowerPoint. Professional PowerPoint designers can certainly come up with attractive and mind-blowing designs. They don’t even need your help or input at all, right? Wrong.

There’s more to working with presentation designers than telling them your preferred design and paying for their expertise. There are still some things expected of you to ensure that your presentation would look unique and not as though it was made using a cookie cutter template. To make the most of your collaboration (and your budget), here are some tips that you may want to follow when working with a designer:

Prepare your content

Unless you want your presentation to contain generic stock photos, you’ll need to provide your designer with appropriate materials to use. You also have to make sure that the text data is complete and ready.

This way, the designer can work on your PowerPoint immediately and get it done according to your time frame.

Communicate properly

Your designer needs to understand your objectives for your presentation. If for some reason you’re going to be busy for the next couple of days, be sure to provide him or her with a description of what you want your slides to convey. This includes the general style, feel, and tone.

If there are any specific colors and typeface that you want, then say so. Avoid giving general instructions such as “make it look awesome” or telling the designer to “surprise me.” Vague instructions can be interpreted in many different ways and really “surprise” you in the end.

Trust your designer’s instinct

When in doubt, put your trust on your designer. For sure, he or she has an extensive experience and the right skills to deliver great results.

If you have some ideas that wouldn’t jive with the overall presentation design, let your designer work on a solution. After all, you’re working with an expert.

Conclusion

Working with a professional PowerPoint designer is not a one-way street. Both of you want the same thing: A well-designed PowerPoint presentation that will leave a great impression. So, as much as possible, be open to suggestions and if you’re presented with a concept, respond constructively.

Keep in mind that successful projects are generally the result of a great collaboration between two people who respect each other’s skills and capabilities.

 

Reference

Colors and Typography.” Virginia Tech. Accessed June 27, 2014.