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Why ‘Planning Analog’ is Better than ‘Going Digital?’

There are two basic steps to planning: conceptualizing, and organizing your ideas. These steps determine your presentation’s core message. After all, you won’t be able to discover what points would work and what wouldn’t without careful planning. This involves in-depth research and freewriting before you can come up with the best ideas that you can focus on.

But where do most presenters begin when planning for their pitch and deck? In some cases, most of them go digital to start the process. They use presentation software programs like PowerPoint to identify and structure their discussion points.

Alternatively, some still prefer writing down and outlining rough ideas using the analog approach. They use this method to allow their thoughts to flow naturally without the distraction of any digital devices.

You might be asking, between these two methods, where do you begin planning your business presentation? Should you think digital, or plan analog?

In this post, we’ll cover how planning analog is more effective than the digital method. But before we proceed, let’s look at how each approach varies to find out which fits your purposes.

The Downside of ‘Planning Digital’

The Downside of Planning Digital

Nothing’s wrong with going digital when you start throwing in all your presentation ideas. It actually helps you do straight edits and modifications on your slides, making your work easier.

While others may view this approach as helpful, some may not agree with putting their ideas straight to the deck. Just by doing it often might negatively affect the deck’s overall quality.

PowerPoint offers support to your performance, but it can also distract the crowd when your edits result in a cluttered slide deck. Outlining your thoughts this way limits your ideas from flowing naturally since you’re editing on the fly.

Giving in to what PowerPoint can provide makes you stay within your comfort zone. With a digital device on hand, planning won’t be smooth sailing compared to an idea generated with a pen and paper.

The Benefits of ‘Planning Analog’

The analog technique uses brainstorming as a mind-mapping strategy to dig up brilliant ideas.

It enables speakers to generate ideas on a paper, sticky note, or whiteboard, helping you to flesh out more important points for your topic.

Here are more good reasons why you should opt for this approach during the planning stage:

a. Provides Clearer Objectives

Provides clearer objectivesListing down your ideas helps you determine what you want your audience to understand, even if this list was made on a simple sticky note. This involves bringing together your key points and highlighting your presentation’s main message. Also, it gives you an idea in identifying what objectives will successfully execute your plans.

In this way, you can think of effective strategies that will not only generate audience interest, but will also guide you in creating an outline that compresses your thoughts.

Focus on your goals to develop cohesive content that emphasizes your core objective.

b. Reinforces Creativity

Reinforces creativityStructuring your pitch using a pen and a paper allows you to come up with better ideas to improve your visuals. Choosing these traditional drawing tools helps you produce different concepts relevant to your subject.

Dumping your thoughts straight to PowerPoint can make your deck’s structure look haphazard since content weren’t arranged systematically beforehand.

When planning, consider going to other places where you can discover new ideas that can build up your pitch. Squeeze out your creative juices by creating a storyboard using traditional tools. This lets you sort out and prioritize your points first.

c. Saves Time

Saves timeIt doesn’t only unleash your creative side, but it also saves you time when creating a perfectly-designed deck. Planning analog gives you more time to categorize and specify each idea that you’ve gathered and thought of.

According to sales trainer Jerson James, arranging your ideas using a computer will only distract you with other things. These distractions include email alerts and even other office tasks, which only draw attention away from your main priority.

Time yourself when organizing your thoughts. Even something as simple as taking a five to ten-minute breather to sort out your ideas can help you arrange everything afterwards.

Let’s Go Analog!

Let's Go AnalogWhether you prefer to do it on your laptop, or on a piece of paper, planning is important to deliver your message effectively. Choosing between planning digital and analog isn’t a problem. Skipping the stage can only make things worse. However, using the analog approach is more advisable since it opens a doorway of great and clearer ideas, as James wrote in his article.

Remove any barriers when planning for a visually-appealing presentation. Concentrate on drafting your pitch to produce clearer objectives that’ll help you achieve your main goal.

Use traditional tools to reinforce creativity that offers fresh, new perspectives that’ll entice the audience. Plan analog to save time and keep you from any distractions that’ll put the entire presentation at stake. Once you’re done, then you can open your PowerPoint and execute your plans to craft a winning deck.

Need a well-designed PowerPoint presentation? Contact the SlideGenius team now to get a free quote!

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Reference

James, Jerson. “Preparing for a Presentation? Think Analog.” LinkedIn. July 13, 2014. Accessed October 19, 2015. www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140713181747-35264839-preparing-for-a-presentation-think-analog

Back to Basics: Making the Most of PowerPoint Gradients

If you’re still starting out with PowerPoint, it’s important to explore the program’s different features. Before you can go to the presentation tool’s more advanced options, however, you’ll need to figure out its basic components first.

One of these primary elements is the gradient tool. You don’t need to stick to solid colors all the time. This PowerPoint tool can give a plain slide background or shape some depth and shading, making it more realistic. However, be careful not to overdo it to avoid making your deck look clunky and cluttered. Opt for a cleaner PowerPoint with just the right design.

Learn to use gradients strategically in creating effective shading techniques on a professional deck:

Choosing the Right Color Combination

A gradient is the combination of two or more colors. These colors bleed into each other and overlap, but both are always visible.

Earlier versions of PowerPoint provide built-in gradient fills with their own color combination, but PowerPoint 2010 onward has its preset gradient fills for one color with light and dark variations. You can customize these later on to your preference. This includes adding more colors to your gradient.

Choosing an appropriate color combination is necessary in making hues complement each other. For shading purposes, it’s better to use analogous color schemes or similar color temperatures. As an example, using only warm or cool colors on your gradient will give the illusion of seamless color transition.

Using Preset Gradients

Built-in gradients are the simplest to use and may be preferable for first-time users of PowerPoint. To apply this gradient to shapes, do the following steps: Select the shape you’ll be applying the gradient to. A Format tab will appear in your toolbar.

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Under the Shape Styles group, select Shape Fill > Gradient.

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Choose from any of the variations available. There are two selections for any solid color in the gradient: Light and dark.

Light variations are your original color mixed with white. On the other hand, its dark counterpart is also your original color with black.

To go to the Gradient option for your slide background, just right click the slide you want to apply the gradient to, and select Format Background.

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From there, follow the same set of instructions as applying gradients to shapes.

Customizing Gradients

If you aren’t satisfied with the available gradient choices, you’re free to customize your gradients.

Click on the More Gradients option below the gradient variations.Supporting Image 04 - More Gradients

Here you can choose the Type of gradient you want. It can be radial, rectangular, linear, or path.

You can also pick the Direction you want your colors to take.

Making use of Gradient Stops will let you control how much of each shade blends with the rest.

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To change the color of a specific shade, select a gradient stop and change it on the color picker.

Other aspects of your selected gradient stop that you can change include its Position, Transparency, and Brightness.

Experiment with these options until you achieve your desired gradient.

Conclusion

Gradients may be a basic PowerPoint feature, but using it in the right way can still transform your deck into something understandable and easy on the eyes.

Make sure you select the right color combination. This can evoke the right moods for your pitch and achieve an effect that leverages rather than detracts your design.

If you want to familiarize yourself with the basics of PowerPoint gradients, start with preset gradients. Depending on what you want to do with your shape or slide background, choose between light or dark variations of your solid color fill. Customize your gradient and play around with the amount, type, and direction of your colors to add depth and shading. Using the correct color combinations can highlight your brand to make it more distinct and memorable.

Need help with your deck design? Contact our SlideGenius experts today for a free quote!

References

“Add a Gradient Fill to a Shape.” Office Support. www.support.office.com/en-us/article/Add-a-gradient-fill-to-a-shape-11cf6392-723c-4be8-840a-b2dab4b2ba3e
“Color Harmonies.” Tiger Color. www.tigercolor.com/color-lab/color-theory/color-harmonies.htm

Featured Image: “Convergence (Explored!)” by Mohammed Moosa on flickr.com

 

Historical Alternatives: Remembering Life Before PowerPoint

PowerPoint has been around since the 90s. It may sound like recent history to us, but not many people can imagine life without PowerPoint anymore.

The program has dominated everything presentation-related in its short life—from sales pitches to classroom speeches. However, there has been a time when PowerPoint wasn’t around. What did people use before the iconic presentation program, and what can we learn from these historical PowerPoint alternatives?

Find out here:

Oratory Prowess

Before any form of visual aid, great speeches were delivered with good old-fashioned oration. It was either you memorized your speech or you went with an outline you could share impromptu. The downside to this was that people didn’t have the visual cue of a presentation like what PowerPoint does. They either missed some points, hoping it was nothing major, or stumbled through their own thoughts.

Some of the most powerful speeches of all time were simply oratory prowess. These speakers commanded attention by appealing to people’s emotions and letting them see things from their perspective.

Adapt one of these methods in your own pitch to develop your public speaking and persuasive skills. You may be backed up with a winning deck, but that doesn’t mean you should slack on your actual spiel.

Storytelling

In relation to emotional appeal, life before PowerPoint meant keeping your audience’s interest without an occasional powerful image to fix their gaze. How did presenters attract their listeners before visual presentation became a big thing?

Captivating performances were related through the power of a good narrative. These were common experiences that everybody could relate to—stories of their ancestors and their own lives that others may have also gone through before. It was through these stories that people connected to each other and expanded their connections.

Similarly, tap into storytelling by crafting your pitch around a narrative. Don’t just give your data straight to your audience. Be creative and add a human side to your presentation.

Develop a concrete beginning, middle, and end everyone can relate to.

Personal Network

Speakers who weren’t particularly persuasive counted on their personal networks to draw attention to themselves, even outside the stage. They made use of influential people during their time to endorse them.

This still happens today when businesses pitch to influencers who can give them a positive review through word of mouth among their followers. Take your pitch beyond the stage and make use of other avenues to deliver your core message to a larger audience.

Technological advancement makes it possible to reach out to people all over the world without necessarily having to move from where you are. Utilize digital media and different online social platforms to expand your circle. Bring your pitch online since it’s become easier to upload your deck to the Web for everyone to see.

Presenting live is the ideal, but if you want to penetrate your target market at once, consider options outside your actual presentation.

People were already pitching long before PowerPoint. Learn some things from these historical alternatives.

Use emotional appeal the way people used the raw power of their oration to charm large groups of people. Tell a story everybody wants to hear and captivate them with your pitch. Take your presentation outside the slide and into personal networks that will grow and expand.

When you’ve got your public speaking skills down to a T, contact a presentation expert for the perfect deck to match.

Featured Image: “IMG_3235.jpg” by Michael on flickr.com
https://www.flickr.com/photos/helloturkeytoe/4762288052/

How to Add Narration to PowerPoint 2013

Every opportunity needs to be maximized to make a sale. This includes sending a presentation file to clients outside the conference room.

Sound effects and music aren’t the only audio files you can add to your deck. By adding a narration to your PowerPoint 2013 and synchronizing your voice with your slides, you can make it feel like you’re right there discussing your idea. This connects with your audience further since you explicitly tell the story instead of them reading the deck by themselves.

To provide a comprehensive deck that’s easy to understand, add a narration as the final touch to your self-running presentation.

We’ll cover the steps on how you can lay out the narration for your deck. First, make sure that you have a microphone available so that you’ll be able to record yourself.

Set Up for Recording

With a microphone ready, open up PowerPoint 2013 and load up your prepared presentation.

1. Go to the Slide Show tab at the ribbon. In the Set Up group, click on the Record Slide Show dropdown menu.

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2. Two options will appear: Start Recording from Beginning and Start Recording from Current Slide.

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3. By clicking either of these selections, a dialog box named Record Slide Show will appear with recording options.

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4. Tick the box that says Slide and Animations Timing if you want to control slide timings with your recording further. We’ll need to check the Narrations, Ink and Laser Pointer box so we can directly record on each slide.

Checking this box also means that you can use the ink and laser pointer tools as well for your recording if your version of PowerPoint supports it and if these tools are connected.

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5. You can start recording at once by pressing the Record Slide Show icon. Alternatively, you can choose to record on a different slide by clicking the Record Slide Show dropdown menu and selecting Start Recording from Beginning or Start Recording from Current Slide.

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The Recording Menu

Your slide show will play in full screen as recording begins. On the upper left corner of the screen, you’ll see the small Recording menu.

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Drag it around the screen if you prefer it be elsewhere. You can make the menu smaller, but you won’t be able to make it stretch bigger.

There are three buttons: the straight arrow is the Next button, the pause icon is Pause Recording, and the curved arrow is Repeat. There are also two sets of timers.

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The timer in the middle displays the recording length of the current slide while the timer in the right displays the total recording time of your narration. Let’s take a look at three buttons you need to use here:

1. Next

Clicking this automatically records the audio for the next slide in your presentation. Alternately, simply clicking on the slide will stop and save your current recording. This lets you begin a new one in the next slide.

2. Pause

You can pause and come back where you left off in your current recording using this button. Instead of redoing your entire narration, you just need to refer back to your notes and continue recording.

Just exit your current recording session, manually select the slide and re-record it later with the Start Recording from Current Slide option. This can be found in the Record Slide Show dropdown menu in the Slide Show tab.

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3. Repeat

Retake your entire recording for a slide by clicking on this. The Repeat button does not play back your audio but deletes your previous recording so that you can input a new one. After recording, the slide show will close and return to the Normal View of your presentation.

A sound icon will appear on the lower right corner of every slide where you’ve recorded your audio. Preview your recorded narration by clicking these to show the playback settings. The icon won’t be visible during slide show mode.

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Bring Your Slides to Life

For the moments where you can’t be physically there to give your presentation, you won’t have the chance to answer inquires and clarify information. A narration is crucial to create a comprehensive and interactive presentation.

A narrated deck is even more important especially when you’re uploading it online, where you won’t be around to explain things. Once your deck has been uploaded, you may not always be able to go back and make changes, so don’t miss out on your last chance to make sure that your presentation gets its message across.

 

References

“Record Your Slide Show in PowerPoint.” Office Support. n.d. www.support.office.com/en-us/article/Record-your-slide-show-in-PowerPoint-9d136e4a-9717-49ad-876e-77aeca9c17eb
“Using the PowerPoint Workspace.” Office Support. n.d. www.support.office.com/en-US/article/Using-the-PowerPoint-workspace-8C6700CF-67C6-4275-A86B-AA87D31C9724

10 PowerPoint Design Tips to Revive Your Slides

Have your presentations been lackluster lately? Do you also find an impressive deck taking too much time and effort to make?

We’ve compiled a list to make it easier for you to achieve your desired deck. All you have to do is apply these simple changes to bring it back to life:

1. Keep Text to a Minimum

There’s absolutely no need to swamp your audience with text. They’ll only get ahead of you if you make all your talking points available for them to read. It also makes them tune out once they’ve read and understood everything.

Write down key points and save the details for your speech. Less text means you don’t have to keep going back to your slides to make corrections. It also means you have more room.

2. Connect with a Narrative

The most natural way of engaging in a conversation is with a story. If you’re struggling to turn your presentation into a narrative, follow a simple structure with a beginning, middle, and end.

Failing to meet one of these three conditions weakens the structure of your presentation. If you fail to reach a conclusion, the listener won’t know what to do with the information provided. The middle contains the meat of your presentation and not giving it enough attention is like skimming through your main points. Finally, because it provides context, skipping an introduction will make you hard to follow. Create a seamless pitch with a narrative structure for a powerful story format.

3. Hit Up PowerPoint Last

Prioritize content. Plan your speech outline and rehearse all your talking points. You’re the center of the presentation, and the program is only there to support you. Don’t make the mistake of becoming an accessory to your slides.

Take a break from crafting your deck to focus on rehearsing your speech. An engaging enough story and message might not need the support of an elaborate PowerPoint.

4. Storyboard Your Presentation

Before you even think of touching PowerPoint, build the structure of your story visually. Don’t jump ahead to slide creation without a plan of action. You’ll waste a lot of effort editing out slides that don’t fit your message. Lay out your ideas on paper so you can move them around freely.

5. Support Your Message Visually

Your image shouldn’t just be relatable to your topic. Since our first point emphasized text reduction, this point will emphasize balancing text with imagery. Hit two birds with one stone by choosing a high-quality stock image that looks good and visually supports your message.

For example, the stock image in the previous section, obtained freely from Kaboompics, is meant to depict the act of storyboarding ideas. This reflects the message of that section, which talks about storyboarding.

Although some sources provide images are free, always give credit where it’s due.

6. Cut Back on Animation Transitions

It’s better to stick to a simple but memorable presentation than be remembered for a convoluted one. Use simple slide transitions like cut, fade, and wipe since these are the least distracting of the bunch. These have been used for years in film editing. Your deck can benefit from these techniques as well. The cut transition is the most subtle, often over in a blink of an eye. Alternately, direct your viewer’s gaze specifically with the fade and wipe transitions.

These simple transitions are effective enough to deliver your points without becoming a distraction.

7. Limit Bullet Points

Use bullet points judiciously. They’re a simple and effective way to list down your key points.

In the example above, the list on the left is much easier to remember and understand than the one on the right since the points are kept to the essentials.

Format your list for consistency of style and content to avoid confusing your audience. Create a logical flow of ideas when using bullet points and keep each key point short.

Your audience can only remember a few key points during your presentation, so don’t add too much to the mix.

8. Choose Your Fonts Wisely

Your font choice plays a big role in PowerPoint design. Instead of plunging deep into the meaning and history behind every font type, we’ve narrowed it all down so you can choose the perfect font in five minutes or less. The fonts we recommend are already in your Microsoft or Apple computer so there’s no need to download anything.

For example, Bodoni is an elegant font that’s suitable for both headers and subheaders. Speed up the process further by plugging in your text and headline in Font Pair to view your text combination immediately.

9. Customize Templates with Slide Master

The Slide Master is your friend. It looks like a complicated feature, but if you have a clear brand identity and message, it’s simpler to use since it applies your formatting changes to your entire presentation.

Fonts and even color schemes can be standardized to give your deck a more consistent look. This makes it more comfortable for clients to view. This tool further customizes your deck. For example, you can append your company logo to all of your slides using Slide Master, and your logo will appear automatically on every slide.

10. Pick the Appropriate Chart

Complex data is difficult to translate visually. How do you know which chart to use for your presentation?

Dr. Andrew Abela, a professor of marketing and renowned presentation design consultant, developed the Chart Chooser for your convenience. Chart Chooser is a flowchart that guides you on how to present with the appropriate chart. Use your judgement to present your data appropriately and attractively.

Conclusion

These PowerPoint Design tips cover vital aspects of your presentation design with a heavy focus on keeping things clear and simple.

Draft your speech outline first before embarking on the design process of your slides. Manage the appearance of your slides later so that you won’t compromise your content by giving it the short end of the stick. Choose which elements go well in your slides. Every part of your slide must contribute to your entire message. Don’t use distracting animation, inappropriate bullet points, or the wrong chart to present your data.

 

References

Abela, Andrew. “Choosing a Good Chart.” The Extreme Presentation(tm) Method. September 6, 2006. www.extremepresentation.typepad.com/blog/2006/09/choosing_a_good.html
Reynolds, Garr. “10 Slide Design Tips for Producing Powerful and Effective Presentations.” TechRepublic. September 19, 2006. www.techrepublic.com/article/10-slide-design-tips-for-producing-powerful-and-effective-presentations/6117178
Teti, Gianluca. “Bodoni: A Typeface for (almost) Any Occasion.” Gianluca Teti – Web Graphic Designer. July 30, 2014. www.gianlucateti.com/bodoni-a-typeface-for-almost-any-occasion

 

Featured Image: by Jeremy Goldberg on unsplash.com

Protect Your Slides in PowerPoint 2013

Today, anybody can easily access and share millions of presentations online, whether for personal or commercial use. This is great if you want your file to be shared everywhere, but this isn’t so great when you’re aiming to keep your deck confidential. If you want to keep your PowerPoint presentation solely your intellectual property, you need to set your file’s privacy and viewing permissions properly.

Did you know that anyone can just copy or edit your content whenever they have access to your file? Luckily, this can be avoided with PowerPoint 2013’s file security options, allowing you to protect your slides for good. Here are several ways to protect your presentation from unauthorized access and unwanted changes:

1. Click on the File tab on the ribbon. This leads you to the Backstage View window.

powerpoint privacy

2. While in the Backstage View, click on Info in the menu.

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3. Choose Protect Presentation. This will reveal three options you can choose from:

protect presentation

a. Mark as Final: Marking a presentation as final gives you a read-only copy of your PowerPoint. A dialog box will prompt you to accept the changes.

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When you try to open a PowerPoint file marked as final, a thin yellow ribbon will appear with a warning. Next to this is a button that says Edit Anyway. Clicking on this button will make the file editable again.

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b. Encrypt with Password: Click this if you want to set a secure password for your presentation. A dialog box will prompt you to set a password for your file. Take note that the program cannot recover lost passwords.

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c. Digital Signature: Adding a digital signature establishes your identity and assures people viewing the file that the presentation is your own. To create a digital signature, you need to send the following to Microsoft:

a. Signing certificate and a public key
b. Certificate Authority

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In Short: It’s Easy to Protect Your PowerPoint

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Protecting your PowerPoint file keeps your presentation from being edited or viewed by random individuals. If your deck contains confidential or sensitive information, don’t take any risks. Use any of the three options to give yourself some peace of mind and maintain your creative ownership.

Just one thing: Remember your passwords when you choose to encrypt your PowerPoint files. The program cannot retrieve the password when you lose or forget the password you set for it.

A digital signature makes your work appear more authentic and is an excellent way for you to leave your stamp of ownership on your file. The requirements for a digital signature will take more time and effort on your part, but it will be worth it for the extra security it gives.

 

References

Bajaj, Geetesh. “PowerPoint 2013 Tutorials – File Menu and Backstage View.” Indezine. January 9, 2013. www.indezine.com/products/powerpoint/learn/interface/file-menu-backstage-view-ppt2013.html
“Add or Remove Protection in Your Document, Workbook, or Presentation.” n.d. Office Support. www.support.office.com/en-us/article/Add-or-remove-protection-in-your-document-workbook-or-presentation-05084cc3-300d-4c1a-8416-38d3e37d6826#__toc311701333
“Digital Signatures and Certificates.” Office Support. n.d. www.support.office.com/en-us/article/Digital-signatures-and-certificates-8186cd15-e7ac-4a16-8597-22bd163e8e96
“Protecting Your Presentation.” GCF LearnFree. n.d. www.gcflearnfree.org/powerpoint2013/28.2

We’re in Strong Defense of PowerPoint and So Should You

Let’s put a lid on Death by PowerPoint once and for all.

One program can’t be responsible for the millions of boring presentations being delivered out there, yet the blame always goes to PowerPoint. Learning a craft takes a lot of time and dedication. The lack of time invested in learning the program and designing visual content are the roadblocks that most users can’t overcome in order to create a deck.

It’s too often that people blame PowerPoint for poor presentations, but the program can only make do with what the user puts into it. After all, it’s still only a visual aid. The rest of the presentation’s development rests on your shoulders.

Plan Out and Plot Your Points

The power to do anything with PowerPoint might be what puts off people from the program. Everyone starts with an empty slide, which can understandably be intimidating to stare at and fill with text. Avoid the pressure it places on you by preparing your outline now and creating a PowerPoint later.

Research your topic first. You’ll be ending up with a lot of information. Narrow it all down and create an outline next to trim down data that’s not supporting your message. Facilitate the flow of information for your audience by providing a structure and outlining your ideas before creating a deck.

Familiarize Yourself with PowerPoint

Lack of technical PowerPoint know-how will make it difficult for you to embody your vision on the slide. Familiarize yourself with the basic functions of the program and empower yourself with creation.

Invest time in learning PowerPoint. Look up a tutorial in a search engine, and the results are right there for your convenience. However, here’s another problem: design isn’t something we can come up with on the fly.

Your brand identity depends on your chosen design. The color scheme you pick determines the character of your brand, so pick one that best suits your needs. For example, blue is often seen as a professional color. Try to give it a bit of contrast by pairing it with orange and balance these colors by deciding which color you want to give more prominence.

Learning both the program and design is a multidisciplinary task that you can’t rush yourself into.

Practice, Practice, Practice

PowerPoint can be your ally or your enemy, but you can always count on yourself first.

Invest in your own abilities and hone your speaking skills. Record yourself and point out areas in your speech that gave you trouble and make sure to get it right on the next take. Keep doing so until you can get your entire pitch right in one take. Practice your delivery so that you know your pitch like the back of your hand.

You’re the center of the presentation, and PowerPoint is just there to aid you. Don’t pour all your effort and resources on your deck. Make sure to spend the same amount on yourself.

PowerPoint, Your Partner for the Perfect Pitch

As with most things in life, you can only get out what you put in when it comes to PowerPoint. Resist the temptation to cram your entire research in a few slides. Structure your slides in a way that will make it easier for your audience to follow what you’re saying.

Miscommunication down the line can be avoided if we make the effort to learn the language that machines speak: they wait for us to input a command, then they execute it.

In defense of PowerPoint, it has clear limitations. For one, it can’t customize your pitch according to your vision. You have to provide the input that the program can work with.

Maximize its potential before dismissing the capabilities of this presentation tool. Ask a team of experts to help you get the most out of your pitch.

 

Reference

Kaptereve, Alexei. “Death by PowerPoint.” SlideShare, July 31, 2007. www.slideshare.net/thecroaker/death-by-powerpoint

Displaying Slide Presentations Using Large Screens

Big events like trade shows, conferences, and seminars are intimidating at first for many different reasons. After all, hundreds, if not thousands, of people could be listening to what you have say, meaning your audience could come from different industries across the globe just to hear your insights.

However, the opportunities you could gain from a public speaking event far outweigh the risks involved. If you’re going to present and showcase your brand to a multitude of participants, you might need more than a small screen or a projection. You’ll be needing a big screen so that large audiences can see your visuals from across a huge venue.

As discussed in a previous post, crossing the projector’s beam is one of the biggest no-nos in presentations. It can block your audience’s view of your own deck, distracting them in the process. However, if you are using a large screen behind you instead, you won’t have to avoid projections to your front, freeing you up for more nonverbal communication.

So how do we maximize slide presentations with a large screen?

Presenting with Large Screens

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Reading off projected slides is a normal experience for a smaller audience, but big events might push you towards huge screens because you have several more eyes on you. Sometimes the venue will be so large that people might not even see you since they are seated so far from where you’ll be standing. What should you do in cases like this? It might sound like you shouldn’t do anything different, but you need to utilize the space much more wisely this time around.

Here are three things to consider when presenting in front of a large crowd:

1. Having the Right Positioning

Displaying Slide Presentations Using Large Screens: Bar graph

Speaking in a large venue with hundreds of people is no joke. That’s why you often have to mind where you stand to avoid obstructing anyone’s view. However, if you’re working with large screens—like LED screens—ignoring this rule can sometimes be forgivable because of the difference between a projected screen and an LED screen.

Since the light comes from the screen, rather than being projected onto the screen, you can walk across the screen with less distraction. You’ll simply block small parts of the screen, which is better than having facts and figures covering your entire body. With nothing being projected on you, you won’t look like a hiding chameleon, even at center stage, giving you more leeway to engage and interact with your audience.

2. Maximizing Your Equipment

Displaying Slide Presentations Using Large Screens: Pie Graph

If you won’t be playing videos onscreen, having even a simple visual aid is necessary for retaining attention. After all, audio-visual presentations improve your chances of reaching out to your potential clients. At their best, you can engage and persuade them with what you can offer.

Large venues where cameras are placed in different locations can even enable people to watch you from different angles. That might mean they would be looking at the screens rather than on you, especially if you look too tiny from their vantage point. Take advantage of the extra exposure by maximizing body movements to draw audiences’ attention to you. Getting the best out of your available tools equally brings the best out of how you communicate your message.

3. Handling Your Fear

Slide Presentations Using Large Screens: Bar GraphPresenting to a huge crowd may be overwhelming, but doing it with a gigantic LED screen behind you presents extra challenges. For instance, the smallest errors that usually go unnoticed on a normal-sized screen could get blown up and more obvious for people to see on a large screen. These kinds of mistakes could include a typo or even an element in your presentation that was nudged a few pixels off from its intended position. Despite this possibility, don’t let the extra pressure scare you away from making a good impression.

What is the best way to overcome this extra anxiety? Push fear aside with preparation and use large screens to your advantage. Double check your slides before you present to reduce tension and to assure yourself that your deck is error-free. With enough confidence, you can freely impart your message while boosting your credibility and professionalism. A calm and measured performance tells people that you’re knowledgeable and prepared, and in case you do miss a tiny error in your deck, your confidence can help make up for it, putting people’s focus on you rather than on any unpolished bits of your presentation.

Go Big or Go Bigger

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If you’ve found yourself about to present in a place with screens much larger than those that you’re used to, don’t be discouraged. Instead, think of it as a huge opportunity whenever you find yourself in a large venue. Make your pitch work with the proper positioning, effective use of equipment, and a poised performance. Here are a few reminders on how to maximize the use of large screens for your next pitch:

First, avoid disappointing your audience with a lack of preparedness. Try not to let your audience catch on if you are feeling overwhelmed by the vastness of the screen you’ve been equipped with. Even if you may feel small onstage, with a sea of eyes watching your every move, don’t forget to focus on your speech to ground yourself back to reality. A big screen is indeed overwhelming, but conquering your anxiety helps you present with credibility. That’s why you should always rehearse and double check your slides to control your nerves and feel comfortable with your visuals.

A large screen doesn’t just showcase a well-designed deck, but it also convinces a greater number of viewers with more ease and impact. In addition, participating in huge events involves time, effort, and motivation. Don’t waste that chance to attract more clients while maximizing the large screen.

Our PowerPoint professionals can assist and offer you a free quote to produce well-crafted PowerPoint decks.

 

Reference

“Presenting to Large Groups and Conferences.” Skills You Need. n.d. www.skillsyouneed.com/present/presenting-to-large-groups.html

How You Might Be Missing the Point in PowerPoint

PowerPoint’s a must in the field of presentation. However, critics have raised several points against it, one of the most notorious being “Death by PowerPoint.”

Under its premise, this phenomenon is when a presenter bores a reader with their lengthy and rather clunky slide deck. However, is it really the presentation tool’s fault, or does the speaker have a hand in the mishap?

Find out how you might be misusing your slides:

It’s Not Your Crutch

Don’t fall into the trap of using your slide deck as a safety blanket.

It’s still necessary to practice your public speaking skills even if you have a winning deck. Reading from your slides will only cut off the personal connection you need to establish between yourself and your audience. Be more natural in your presentation and drop the script. Rehearse your pitch in front of a mirror and try to incorporate things that will further engage the audience, like your body language and posture. Make sure to maintain eye contact as you speak to people so that you appear both conversational and professional in your delivery.

You Have Too Many Slides

This well-known phenomenon, “Death by PowerPoint,” occurs when an inexperienced presenter drowns the audience with a barrage of slides and innumerable bullet points.

Remember that people can only process so much information at once, so it’s important to keep your presentation as short as possible. Leave out things from your slide that aren’t direct key points. Covering too many topics means you’ll be adding more slides to list them in. Business expert Guy Kawasaki formulated the 10-20-30 rule as a guide for presenters. Stick to 10 slides in 20 minutes, and don’t go below a 30-point font size. Your audience will only remember the highlights of your presentation, so don’t bombard them with too many slides that can distract their memory.

Your Design Might Need Tweaking

Some design choices can be detrimental to your overall slide deck. Since PowerPoint is primarily a visual tool, the way its aesthetics contribute to your core message affect people’s reception of it.

Take a step back and reconsider your deck’s design. Tap into its different aspects, like color and layout. Different colors evoke different emotions in people, so use the appropriate hues for your deck to get the right attention. Make use of white space to draw attention to important elements on your slides and let your audience’s eyes relax at the same time.

Conclusion

As the presenter, make sure that it’s not your own design choices that are holding you back from delivering a good pitch and presenting a well-made deck.

A deck isn’t an excuse to slack on your speech, so make sure to treat it only as a visual aid reserved for your key points. Cut back on the amount of slides you have and leave room for you to expound and explain each part of your presentation. Tweak your design to evoke the right response from people.

If you want a deck ready for your brand to use without the added hassle, contact our SlideGenius experts today for a free quote!

 

References

Hedges, Kristi. “Six Ways to Avoid Death by PowerPoint.” Forbes. November 14, 2014. www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2014/11/14/six-ways-to-avoid-death-by-powerpoint
Kawasaki, Guy. “The 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint.” Guy Kawasaki. December 30, 2005. http://guykawasaki.com/the_102030_rule
“Understanding Information Overload.” Infogineering. www.infogineering.net/understanding-information-overload.htm

 

Featured Image: “Confused” by CollegeDegrees360 on flickr.com

The Best Presentations Use PowerPoint for Business

It’s a bold claim to make, but with our growing list of happy clients, it’s safe to say that our professional presentations have made them satisfied partners indeed.

To get your pitch off the ground, you’ll most likely need maybe one or two investors to help you. Chances are, they’re going to see your pitch through PowerPoint.

Hire Experts to Maximize Your Pitch

The program was developed to give speakers control over their design decisions. These days, however, no one has that kind of time on their hands. This is why hiring professional presentation designers can save you time and money. Excellent visuals and layouts will give your slides a more professional look, maximizing audience engagement.

PowerPoint experts specialize in crafting a customized pitch, allowing you to have more time to focus on your delivery instead. You can dedicate your time rehearsing for your speech to help you prepare for your presentation.

With so much time and effort spent in making sure you and your PowerPoint are in top condition, the program itself is a vital part of maximizing your pitch.

PowerPoint with Personality

You’re not just there to read off a bunch of slides whenever you pitch. You stand before the audience to tell your story in an engaging and effective manner so that they know why they should invest their time and money on you.

Jack Morton’s team, a global marketing agency, noted that people responded to work that appeals to basic human emotions like fun and excitement. Depending on your branding strategy, you can combine this with a more conversational tone in delivering your pitch to communicate your brand as authentic and trustworthy.

Instead of just listing out the figures and facts, simplify your pitch to show what this information means for your audience. Then highlight the core values of your brand, be it providing quality products or building relationships with its customers.

Standard Compatibility Reaches More Prospects

Other presentation programs are available, such as Prezi and Keynote, but you can reach out to more people with PowerPoint simply because more people use it. To cite another figure, PowerPoint’s share of the presentation software market is a whopping 95% according to a 2012 Bloomberg report. You might end up inconveniencing someone when your file format requires the addition of a different program to view your file.

Don’t stand out the wrong way by not following the standard. Stand out the right way by conducting your business professionally with PowerPoint. It’s a matter of refining design and content to get your brand’s identity and values across.

You Deserve Only the Best

The biggest, most widely used professional software for creating presentations has been, and still is, PowerPoint. Any business will benefit from creating their pitch in this program tested by time. You can get more done by having a team of PowerPoint experts create your deck for you. Invest time in yourself and your PowerPoint to reap the full benefits of an excellent pitch.

Business is all about collaboration. We make professional decks using the standard software practices, so you can devote more time to yourself and your business.

Consult with a team that will understand your brand to develop your pitch. A professionally made deck will help you find your brand’s voice. Your story deserves to be heard.

 

References

Morton, Jack. “Cannes Guide to Buzzwords.” Jack Morton. July 15, 2015. www.jackmorton.com/blog/cannes-guide-to-buzzwords-8-newbies-on-whats-real-and-what-matters-to-brand-experience
Parker, Ian. “Absolute PowerPoint.” The New Yorker. May 28, 2001. www.newyorker.com/magazine/2001/05/28/absolute-powerpoint
Parks, Bob. “Death to PowerPoint!” Bloomberg. August 30, 2012. www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2012-08-30/death-to-powerpoint
Vellanikaran, Jojo Joseph. “PowerPoint.” JO3 STUDY NOTES. March 6, 2009. jo3studynotes.blogspot.com/2009/03/final-yr-zool-students.html
“Are We Wasting $250 Million per Day Due to Bad PowerPoint?” Think Outside The Slide. September 11, 2012. www.thinkoutsidetheslide.com/are-we-wasting-250-million-per-day-due-to-bad-powerpoint
Computer Application in Management. 1st ed. Erzincan: Ersincan University, 2015. Web. 15 Dec. 2015. www.erzincan.edu.tr/userfiles/bkurt/duyuru/files/computer-application-in-management(1).pdf

 

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