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3 Ways a Blue Ocean Strategy Applies to a Sales Presentation

In a highly competitive environment, only the best businesses survive. You’ll have a harder time establishing your own brand in an already crowded market. But what if you create your own niche, a place that only you have total control over?

The blue ocean strategy, or the creation of an uncontested market, aims to do just that. This business strategy was derived from W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne’s book of the same name. However, the danger of innovation is in the high risk you’ll be taking. There’s a possibility that people may or may not take the bait, leaving you with a failed project. When you introduce your product or service to the market, it still needs to appeal to people.

Fortunately, we’ve listed down three steps to effectively drawing prospects into your blue ocean during a sales presentation:

Blue Ocean Strategy

1. Specify

The key to any successful sales presentation is to map out a concrete plan.

Although a blue ocean strategy aims to disrupt the industry with a new product, you can’t just jump in blindly without considering a few important things. These include your business objectives and your target market’s needs and wants. You can’t leave any loopholes or be vague about your offered features.

Have a clear vision of what you want to do. Doing this helps your audience better grasp your main point because you’re introducing something that these people haven’t heard of before.

If you’re still working on a general idea, Katherine Arline’s article on Business News Daily elaborates on Blue Ocean Strategy’s concepts. This includes the book’s four-action framework to help you flesh it out. There are four key objectives in this framework, namely:

  1. Raise the industry’s standard
  2. Eliminate outdated factors
  3. Reduce those factors
  4. Create a new space in the market

Answering each consideration, in turn, gives you a better view on the logistics and feasibility of your overall plan.

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2. Strategize

Now that you have your content in place, it’s time to strategize how you plan to sell it. Even the most revolutionary product will go to waste if you can’t convince anyone to invest in it.

One way to get people’s attention is to align your objectives with theirs. Researching your audience will go a long way towards determining prospects’ needs and wants. This may mean you’ll have to tweak your initial plan for better marketability.

Another possibility is to observe and follow current trends in the existing market. This makes your product target specific people with existing biases that make them ideal prospects. Knowing their interests is important for successfully convincing them of your product’s benefits.

As a guideline, you can follow the AIDA method. With this, your main goal is to attract the audience, interest them in your offer, convert that interest into desire, and eventually lead them into action.

3. Act

After strategizing, you’re ready to present your product. Similar to other styles, presenting a blue ocean is convincing people of its benefits compared to existing products. On the other hand, its advantage is that it can cater to something that has never been tackled before.

Apply your research in real life by crafting your speech around it. An audience will be drawn in by something that benefits them and piques their interest.

Make sure you have good visuals to back you up. A good slide deck is needed to complement your enthusiasm and creativity. A boring PowerPoint with too much text and unappealing graphics might turn off your prospects. Get inspiration from color psychology and other graphic design principles that can elevate your content’s appearance.

Considering these three measures can make your pitch engaging and keep people’s attention much longer.

Summing It Up

Reaching out to a specific target market can be difficult, but making one for yourself is even more challenging. Here’s a review of how to prepare a powerful sales presentation and make your own niche market:

  1. Make your product as specific as possible by having set goals and an outline on achieving it.
  2. Align your product with your prospects’ interests to strategize your plan of action.
  3. Prepare a speech backed up by extensive research and let your slide deck support your content.

If done well, pulling off a blue ocean is a gratifying experience for any business that can bring you a lot of profit.

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References:

Arline, Katherine. “Blue Ocean Strategy: Creating Your Own Market.” Business News Daily. April 1, 2015. www.businessnewsdaily.com/5647-blue-ocean-strategy.html
“What Is Blue Ocean Strategy?” The Wall Street Journal. n.d. guides.wsj.com/management/strategy/what-is-blue-ocean-strategy

 

Featured Image: “Blue Ocean” by Andrea on flickr.com

How Show and Tell Sells: When to Cut Your PowerPoint Content

Some of the best PowerPoint presentations reject text-heavy slides and make use of visual prompts instead. According to Think Outside the Slide‘s Dave Paradi, using PowerPoint as a recall tool for your main points maximizes its original purpose as a visual aid.

In her article on The Herald, Jenni Sebora explains that people are more responsive to images and pictures. That said, using graphics strategically can give you better audience reactions.

However, people still struggle with deciding when to leave out information from slides. In some cases, a deck becomes a band-aid solution for bad public speaking skills and lack of planning. Poorly designed slide decks are often padded with unnecessary content and tend to do more harm than good.

Here are some instances when showing is telling:

Presenting Data

In this case, it’s alright to display the numbers on your slides. Once you get to the hard facts, your listeners might start losing interest. People’s attention spans don’t last very long, and if you start rambling about statistics not everyone will pay attention.

You could make use of a number of rhetorical techniques to keep people focused on what you’re saying. Or, you can also creatively explain statistical data. This is information that should leave an impression on your audience. Let them process it by adding it in your PowerPoint, but always make sure that it’s easy to understand.

Visual Prompts

People need to feel a connection with their presenter for them to invest in the speech. Creating a narrative for your presentation is an effective way of relating to your audience. If you’re planning to go off on a tangent and tell an anecdote, or provide a brief explanation, use a related visual prompt to start off your speech.

Using a prompt is a good combination of utilizing the audience’s visual memory while keeping the focus on yourself. People will be able to associate your story with images on the slide with minimal distractions. However, you still have to choose your graphics wisely.

Remember that your visual prompt should represent what you’re trying to say. If you’re having a hard time deciding on how to arrange your visual prompts, asking for the opinion of a presentation guru will help you plan your slides.

The Text Stigma

Text is the waterloo of presenters using PowerPoint. People tend to crowd chunks of written information in their slides, not realizing that audiences aren’t supposed to read an essay onscreen. But text isn’t always a bad thing. Used wisely, it can be just as useful as an image.

It’s the way you use the text that matters. Instead of copy-pasting from your original PowerPoint content, replace the block of text on your slide with a sentence or phrase.

Maintaining a healthy balance between image and text in your PowerPoint can still create a powerful and engaging deck.

In Conclusion

One of the difficult decisions presenters face when planning their PowerPoint is when to cut text and when to use images. Make sure to allot time to ponder over your presentation. It’s alright to create informative graphics when presenting data, but make sure to expound on the information you provide

Decide which points you want your listeners to remember, and create strong but simple visual prompts to complement your speech. Don’t be afraid of text, but don’t overdo it either. Moderate your use of words in your slides and, if needed, pair it up with an image.

Creating a good PowerPoint can get tricky, but pulling it off right has numerous benefits for your presentation.

 

References

Sebora, Jenny. “What type of Learner are You?.” Herald Journal. September 15, 2008. Accessed October 7, 2015. www.herald-journal.com/archives/2008/columns/js091508.html
“When Should You Use PowerPoint?” Think Outside The Slide. September 10, 2012. Accessed October 7, 2015. www.thinkoutsidetheslide.com/when-should-you-use-powerpoint

 

Featured Image: Imagine Cup 2012” by Imagine Cup on flickr.com

Perfect Presentation Myths and Formulas, Debunked

In trying to perfect their speech, people apply what seem to be tried and tested methods. However, these methods can sometimes do more harm than good. One size doesn’t always fit all, and with changing times, conventional knowledge is also bound for an update.

Not even experts agree on the shoulds and shouldn’ts of public speaking and slide design. But we’ve decided to compile their common observations and debunk a few presentation myths.

On Repeating Your Points

One of the most discredited old adages is, “Tell ‘em what you’re going to say, say it, and then tell ‘em what you said.” However, a modern audience relates better to a message if it’s introduced early on, with a powerful introduction. On top of people’s shortened attention span, nobody likes being hammered with the same idea over and over again.

People’s attentions are at their peak during the first and last parts of a speech, so repeating a key point somewhere in the middle won’t make as much of an impact. State your intentions once in the beginning, and reiterate it only towards your conclusion.

PowerPoint: To Use or Not to Use?

There are already enough myths about how to use PowerPoint. Before even crafting their slide deck, presenters mull over the decision of whether or not to use PowerPoint at all. There are those who argue that having a PowerPoint distracts the audience from giving the speaker their full attention. But studies show that a visual approach increases communication effectiveness and speaker confidence.

This makes PowerPoint important in helping both speakers and their listeners keep track of your train of thought. If you don’t have enough time to devote on your visuals, consult with PowerPoint design service professionals. This will boost your chances of creating an impact.

Content vs. Delivery

One of the more difficult decisions is choosing between form and content. Depending on who you subscribe to, a flashy performance is enough to count as a good presentation. People often believe that because there is public speaking involved, all you have to focus on is how well you can entertain your audience. On the other end of the spectrum, there are others who side with the idea that what you say is all that matters.

In some respect, both ideas are misguided. A good presentation is defined by a balance between both content and delivery.

While relying on delivery defeats the purpose of having a refined message, depending on your content without thinking about how to deliver it will only bore your audience. Allot time to each aspect of your speech. Organize your content well, but also think about how you can deliver it to respond to your audience’s interests.

Conclusion

There are many ways to execute a presentation. There is no one set way to do it, but people often fall into the trap of assuming a formula to a good performance. Debunking some of these myths is actually one step to crafting better output.

Impress your audience without relying too much on outdated formulas. Reiterate your points as many times as needed without being too repetitive. Use PowerPoint properly, and treat it as a helpful ally, not as an adversary to resist. Finally, pay attention to both form and content and keep a reasonable balance of both.

Leave those long-standing presentation myths behind and embrace creativity and innovation.

References

Watson, Leon. “Humans Have Shorter Attention Span than Goldfish, Thanks to Smartphones.” The Telegraph. Accessed October 5, 2015. www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11607315/Humans-have-shorter-attention-span-than-goldfish-thanks-to-smartphones.html
“Visual Aids.” University of Alabama. Accessed October 5, 2015. www.uab.edu/uasomume/fd2/visuals/page2.htm

Featured Image: “Mosaico Trabajos Hércules” by Luis García on flickr.com