Slidegenius, Inc.

4 Factors for Creating Info-Heavy PowerPoint Slide Designs

Making arguments without providing evidence to back up your stand is a bad move in presentations. It is useless, however, to bombard your slides with unnecessary information. Designing your deck haphazardly only muddles the information-sharing process and confuses your audience.

To improve your deck for your next pitch, here are four important things to keep in mind when creating info-heavy PowerPoint slide designs:

Accuracy

Facts, data, and other information presented in your slides should be correct, current, and relevant. When citing from the internet, make sure to properly fact-check and source your information. Avoid directly citing Wikipedia. Follow the citations if you want to refer to something you find interesting in wikis. Maintaining accuracy is important not only for the sake of your slides, but for your credibility as well.

You want to present data to inform and convince—not to misinform and deceive.

Clarity

It’s not enough to have accurate information. Your content should be displayed in a clear and organized manner that makes all the facts and numbers easier to understand. Cut down all the content to the bare minimum that you need to get your point across. Reducing them to the most pertinent and logical manner allows for easier transfer of information.

According to presentation trainer, Nancy Duarte, there are a number of ways to arrange your slides so they pass the glance test, or the audience’s first scan through your deck. Among these are keeping your layout simple, maximizing white space, using proper fonts, and emphasizing the important points structure your deck into something that’s easily digestible.

Meaningful

Correct and well-ordered figures aren’t enough. An important key is to inject some significance that relates to your audience. To best connect with your audience, it’s vital to do some advanced research and determine their interests, needs, and concerns. Knowing these will assist you in adjusting to optimize your presentation to their needs.

Presenting your slides as a story or in a narrative structure best engages your listeners. This is due to how we’ve come to recall memories and enjoy our entertainment: as a series of episodes with a chronological structure and thematic background.

Memorable

The best presentations are those that remain with the audience. Executing a memorable presentation requires getting on your listeners’ good will. It’s important to improve your credibility by looking enthusiastic, genuine, and creative.

Effectively communicating your own excitement regarding your topic also adds to your power to persuade. This assures your listeners that your topic is worth their time. Inserting a slice of yourself through a personal anecdote also increases your audience’s perception of you as a genuine person.

Lastly, a creative approach using a funny or poignant beginning and/or ending, or through a unique execution of your presentation, also makes your slides more memorable.

Conclusion

Being new at presenting or not having enough time is never an excuse to show up with lazily-made slides.

Always design your PowerPoint slides like a professional to get the best out of your message, and maximize the impact on your audience.

 

References

3 Secrets to Make Numbers Interesting in Sales Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. May 13, 2015. Accessed August 20, 2015.
Duarte, Nancy. “Do Your Slides Pass the Glance Test?Harvard Business Review. October 22, 2012. Accessed August 20, 2015.
Five Ways to Transform Your Overloaded Text Slides.Think Outside The Slide. September 14, 2012. Accessed August 20, 2015.

3 Ways Altruism Impacts Your Sales Presentation Skills

Chances are, you’ve been brought up to value altruistic behavior. This might have even turned you into the successful person you are now (or hopefully, will become). It may also have highly positive ramifications for your sales presentation skills.

First, let’s define our word of the day.

Altruism is a desire to help other people. Characterized by a lack of selfishness, anthropologists claim that civilized societies came about because altruism incentivizes cooperation. It is unfortunately not a universal trait, with several difficulties preventing people from practicing self-sacrifice for the greater good. The frequent barriers to showing selflessness include laziness, compounded by a feeling that the benefits are minimal.

Showing concern for others inspires other people to care for your welfare in kind. Here are specific ways that altruism can improve your speaking skills for your next sales presentation:

Altruism Makes You Relatable

Audiences are more likely to listen to speakers they relate with. Showing them that you care for their well-being promotes social connection. According to psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky, this “fosters a heightened sense of interdependence and cooperation in your social community.”

You can increase their involvement by using words that convey a collaborative theme in your presentation. You want to say sentences such as: “We want to start a partnership where we both profit greatly through cooperation.” or “This proposal hopes to begin a mutually beneficial partnership that yields income for all parties.”

Tell your audience that what benefits you, which, in turn, benefits everyone.

Altruism Makes You Happier

Neuroscientist Emiliana Simon-Thomas cites a report that shows how altruism has positive effects on an individual’s health and happiness. This doesn’t mean that people only feel good because they think they’re supposed to. In fact, the effects of unselfish acts are reflected in neural studies on the brain.

These studies have also shown that charitable actions activate the same areas of the brain that are related to receiving gifts. It’s clear that doing good does good for you, too.

As opposed to egoists, who think more selfishly, altruists put the wellbeing of others before their own. Projecting this positive aura has the added benefit of putting people in a good mood. Related to our earlier point, this also makes it more likely for them to pay attention.

Altruism is Contagious

In addition to how selflessness can make you happier, it also triggers an area of your brain linked with the processing of moral behavior. This rewards your brain, making it more likely that practicing altruism will feel good in the future.

This creates a positive feedback loop (or as Sonja Lyubomirsky puts it, “a cascade of positive social consequences”) which hopefully leaves an impression on your listeners to inspire them as speakers. Being good to others makes them try to be better towards everyone else.

Conclusion

Altruism is a key trait that has helped our ancestors survive the harshest conditions – enduring the hardest challenges through greater cooperation. It takes a little step to show the smallest amount of care for the welfare of others. The benefits could snowball into something greater – to the benefit of you and your pitch.

Unsurprisingly, being kind to your fellow human beings is unambiguously good for humanity. Being kind to others makes you appear more relatable, which makes your audience reach out to you more. Doing good deeds doesn’t only make other people happier – it also makes you, yourself, feel better.

Even better, doing good for one person will cause a chain reaction, wherein people will pass the good deed on to other people. This is especially advantageous for you if you started it, as people will be able to trace the initial seed of goodwill back to you.

What’s good for humanity is also good for your sales presentation skills.

 

References

Lyubomirsky, Sonja. “Happiness for a Lifetime.” Greater Good. July 15, 2010. Accessed August 20, 2015.
Simon-Thomson, Emiliana R. “Is Kindness Really Its Own Reward?Greater Good. June 1, 2008. Accessed August 20, 2015.
Using Common Values in PowerPoint Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. April 21, 2015. Accessed August 20, 2015.

3 Reasons to Single-Task: Learning the Art of Mindfulness

While multitasking helps your productivity in some aspects, it does more harm than good for presenters. Though always being prepared for the unexpected lets you stay on top of any situation, being mindful of your audience makes you an effective presenter, increasing your chances of successfully engaging them and delivering your message.

Public speaking trainer, Gary Genard, presents mindfulness as a key skill in crafting an effective pitch. Mindfulness means paying attention to what happens in the present. For Genard, this skill lets you achieve total audience engagement in your professional presentations, letting you focus on connecting with them and meeting their needs.

Here’s our own take on the benefits of single-tasking:

1. Single-Tasking Lets You Focus

Some people believe that single-tasking isn’t as productive. However, focusing on one thing at a time allows the speaker to concentrate on a particular task at hand, improving your stage presence and connecting you with your audience. Aside from your interactive PowerPoint slides or speech, single-tasking enables you to speak to the crowd without being distracted.

While distractions are unavoidable, remaining focused strengthens your message’s impact. It also boosts your confidence and reduces your anxiety, knowing that you’re in full control of the situation. Consider these ways to help you attain mindfulness and become a more effective presenter:

2. Single-Tasking Keeps You Mentally Present

Multitasking won’t be helpful especially when you begin worrying about what your audience thinks of you on the stage. Allowing yourself to be distracted might lose your audience’s attention and prevent them from getting interested.

Since your audience is your main priority, your mind should be set on achieving their needs and wants to show that you care about them. Being mentally present also allows you to convey your topic’s most significant points as you involve your audience in your presentation.

3. Single-Tasking Helps You Develop a Single Objective

Knowing your main purpose lets you limit your ideas to an amount you can control, and lets you organize your thoughts for crafting your pitch. Once you have your topic, list down all the information you’ll include and come up with a simple objective for your pitch.

Do you want them to take action? Do you want them to form small groups to discuss your topic with each other? This lets you fulfill your main goal, preventing clients from being overwhelmed with complex details.

Conclusion

Learning this discipline helps you to set your mind on what you’re presently doing. Instead of overthinking things that might negatively affect your performance, focus on the most important element of your presentation – your audience.

Focus on one thing at a time without trying to juggle multiple tasks at once. Being focused means you’re more directly engaged with your audience, not distracted by a million little things you feel like you have to address all at the same time. Single-tasking also means you can condense your presentation with a single objective in mind. With less to worry about, you can direct all your resources to achieving that one goal in the most effective way.

Stay focused and see how your audience does the same thing for you.

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

 

References

Genard, Gary. “Mindfulness: A Key Skill in Effective Public Speaking.The Genard Method. October 13, 2013. Accessed August 19, 2015.
Presentation Tips: 5 Quick Steps to Audience Engagement.” SlideGenius, Inc. December 16, 2014. Accessed August 19, 2015.

 

Featured Image: “Intel Engineers Meditating” by Intel Free Press on flickr.com

5 Sales Presentation Tricks from Advertising Agency Gurus

Advertising agencies and presenters both sell products and services using effective messages, be it in the conference room, a lecture hall, a television, or a webinar.

The problem is that the regular customer or client is subjected to several messages from different companies, each trying to get their products ahead of the competition.

You have to go beyond offering what your competition can’t, because almost all competing companies employ the same strategy.

The Challenge

People construct several standards before making purchase-related decisions. This is what renowned author, Jim Aitchison, calls a personal cage.

A personal cage is composed of all the experiences, knowledge, morals, and ethics we gain as we grow.

These standards affect how we see and interpret every message we encounter, especially advertisements and sales pitches.

Building your personal cage happens throughout your whole life.

If the bars of the cage act as filters, find relevant messages that pass through these and sell your sales presentation ideas.

The Five Tricks

The Signpost

Signpost messages signify changes in certain kinds of behavior.

As Aitchison cites in his book, Cutting Edge Advertising, the Pepsi vs. Coca-Cola story is a classic marketing example.

When Michael Jackson became Pepsi’s new icon, they positioned themselves as the drink of the next generation. This led to many Coke drinkers permitting themselves to change those standards.

When Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone’s third quarter market share in 2008, he signified that times were changing for the US smartphone market.

Within the first 90 days of its shipment, he showed the iPhone as a potential investment for customers and business partners alike.

A Newsflash

Introducing a new product or service in an ad pitch is challenging for any startup company, especially product launch advertisements.

Position your message as a piece of news, like how Jobs introduced the iPhone in 2007.

First, he built interest by announcing that Apple reinvented a new product type.

Then, he briefly explained the current competition’s weaknesses: fixed keypads and limited functions.

It was only after all this that he introduced what made the iPhone different and showed the actual product with its full touchscreen capabilities.

This generates strong interest in your offer and highlights what makes you different and more appealing from other brands.

A Message of Support

People always look for something to rationalize an emotional need.

Will people buy an expensive sports car to enhance their personal image?

Will a company invest in a health insurance program to let employees feel that their well-being matters?

Make clients feel that they’re understood. This matches their behavior (in this case, investing in your proposal) with their desires and attitudes.

An Existing Standard of the Client

Since your message is consistent with what your audience already believes in, they’re more likely to respond if you give something that reinforces their beliefs.

Citing CreditUnion’s correspondence with Kraft CEO, Robert K. Deromedi, Demand Media’s Vanessa Cross discusses the mechanics of values-based marketing, particularly its customer-centric nature.

Kraft wanted to reach out to parents who believed in giving their kids a proper meal, so the company pulled out their junk food advertising to establish credibility with their intended customers.

Shared Experiences

Like the way TED Talk speakers relate their presentations to personal experiences, offering another person’s perspective sells your message.

Some experiences mirror your own, even at a conceptual level. This includes being plagued with restrictive problems then solving it intuitively.

Look into your company’s product or service history. Did someone have a eureka moment after a long observation? Did someone experience something that led to developing what you sell?

Everything has an interesting story behind it. Your sales pitch is no exception.

Everyone has something to dream about: a new house, a better car, a more luxurious lifestyle, etc.

Everyone wants something, especially your clients. Make your sales pitch interesting enough to pass through your clients’ standards.

Want to know more about using these five tricks more effectively? Hire SlideGenius, your presentation partner, to help you out.

References

5 TED Talk Secrets for Persuasive PowerPoint Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2015. Accessed June 5, 2015.
Aitchison, Jim. Cutting Edge Advertising: How to Create the World’s Best Print for Brands in the 21st Century. Singapore; New York: Prentice Hall, 2004.
Cross, Vanessa. “The Goals of Values-Based Marketing.” Chron. Accessed June 5, 2015.