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Ad Agency PowerPoint Visual Design Tips: Making Your Point

Visual designs contribute the most benefits in PowerPoint presentations, letting audiences visualize exactly what you want them to imagine, be it the client’s current problem, the seriousness of a situation, or a different perspective.

Once you paint a clear picture in your audience’s minds, support that with facts and guide them to the outcome you want: investing in your idea.

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While deck designs don’t only impose mental images, they help clients remember enough of your pitch to take a second look at it after you’re done presenting.

Many TED Talks or three-subject pitches rely on simplicity for catchy PowerPoint visuals. But how do you emulate these works?

Advertising agencies make their ads focus on one main idea and show it in an interesting way.

Here are three PowerPoint visual design tips on simplicity:

Make Your Idea Straightforward Enough to Be Flexible

There’s only room for one main idea in your visuals.

According to ad veteran Luke Sullivan, if you know what your pitch is about and make it straightforward, you’ll have a number of great ways to visually represent your ideas.

In the MINI Cooper ambient ads, the ad agency highlighted one main feature of a small yet spacious car.

Some of the MINI Cooper ambient ads focused on how spacious the small vehicle was, while others went the opposite route and focused on a small vehicle’s benefits. An example of the latter: a billboard that had the tagline “cops hide here,” complete with an arrow pointing to a bush under it.

Whatever the execution, the idea in each was clear. All that was left was to come up with interesting ways to show it.

Focus on One Consistent Style

The early Volkswagen print ads showed a big or small vehicle, then focused the text on a main idea. Renowned author Jim Aitchison cites these ads and taglines as those which highlight the main theme of practicality:

“How to save up for a Porsche.”
A picture of a moon-landing craft with the caption “It’s ugly but it gets you there”
A small Volkswagen beetle with the tagline “Think small”

There’ll always be a consistent style of showing the vehicle, a headline and the body text, all centered on a straightforward idea.

Show a Common Message with Different Elements

Combining your images and text to illustrate a situation is effective, but even more so when you disrupt normal perspectives and present familiar things in a new and interesting way.

The award-winning French anti-illiteracy ads’ visual elements posed as advertisements for different things: cars, computers, even resorts and makeup.

These ads focused on one main message: there’ll always be people who’ll misinterpret the advertisement because they can’t read.

All these three tips rely on one thing: strategy, a single effective path to bringing your message out in the image.

Do you want to highlight how much space your Cooper can have? Do you want to show that your product does what it’s made for? Do you want to show how serious a problem is?

The key to simplicity is making your viewers focus on one dominant element in your visuals. Make your main message clear in both the text and the image, then find interesting ways to consistently prove your point.

It takes an award-winning visual design method to make an award-winning PowerPoint Presentation. To help you get that edge, get in touch with a presentation designer from SlideGenius today!

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References

Aitchison, J. (2004). Cutting Edge Advertising: How to Create the World’s Best Print for Brands in the 21st Century. Singapore; New York: Prentice Hall.
Great V AdsAccessed June 19, 2015.
Maximize the Rule of Three: Brand-Building for Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2015. Accessed June 18, 2015.
Sullivan, L. (2008). Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: A Guide to Creating Great Ads (3rd Ed.). Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons.
The World’s Best Print Ads, 2012-13.” AdWeek. Accessed June 19, 2015.

4 Sales Presentation Ideas from Radio Advertisement Writers

According to ad veteran, Luke Sullivan, presenters and radio ad writers come up with ways to get customers to listen and buy what they advertise.

While presenters have the advantage of more time (ten to twenty minutes of presentation time vs. a thirty-second radio ad) and a PowerPoint deck to provide visuals, the majority of the pitch depends on how the presenter talks.

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Voice tones, hand gestures, and even body language contribute to how effectively you deliver your sales presentation.

Brand communications expert, Carmine Gallo, suggests that you can either give a listless presentation with notecards, or you can study your product long enough to come up with an interesting idea that sells itself.

Because radio ad writers and presenters share a common problem, there are solutions that are applicable to both parties:

Use words to paint images.

Telling a story is one effective way to make a compelling presentation, but using words to describe a picture can effectively engage your audience, letting them visualize what you have in mind.

Your sales PowerPoint is there to provide a visual image for your audience when you give your speech.

This becomes even more effective when the deck applies the right design methods to enhance your core message.

Use speech ideas you can describe in a sentence.

Simplifying your topic gives your clients a clearer picture of what you have to offer.

The same thing applies when you craft your presentation speech. The first question you need to ask is: “What is my pitch all about?”

Once you answer this, start writing your script and practice it.

Whether you want to present a car that gets you to where you want to go, or an impressive quarterly sales result for your brand, boil down your topic into one simple idea.

You’ll have more freedom to write your script.

Use the right tone for your pitch.

While using a conversational tone works for most professional presentations, there are times where you need to bring your passion into your pitch, particularly when building hype for a new product or celebrating a new sales record and making new recommendations.

The key is to know your client’s expectations.

Once you do, stay relevant to those expectations in order to connect with your clients.

You may want to use humor in your speech, but that won’t work if the client expects you to be serious and professional.

You can be funny, but you need to be interesting.

While some presenters like to poke fun during their presentations, remember to be professional and take your clients seriously so you can sell.

If the situation calls for you to poke fun at your product, then it’s fine. Sullivan reiterates that every presenter needs to be “interesting.”

Being interesting means having an idea.

Fortunately, as renowned author Jim Aitchison suggests, every product has a story to tell.

Maybe it has something that no other competitor has, the way it was made puts it above others, or maybe it has benefits that no other product has.

Whatever your speech idea, always go back to what you want to talk about. Chances are, there’s an interesting story to tell your clients.

That story might be your ticket to selling your pitch.

As with every story, getting someone to look it over gives you room for improvement, increasing your chances of selling.

Just as radio ad writers need editors, every presenter needs the help of a professional presentation specialist to give them that selling advantage.

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References

Aitchison, J. (2004). Cutting Edge Advertising: How to Create the World’s Best Print for Brands in the 21st Century. Singapore ; New York: Prentice Hall.
Gallo, C. (2010). The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Sales Presentation Skills: Stay Relevant to Pitch Ideas.” SlideGenius, Inc. May 11, 2015. Accessed June 9, 2015.
Sullivan, L. (2008). Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This! A Guide to Creating Great Ads. Hoboken, NJ – J. Wiley & Sons.
Why Conversational Tones Work for Corporate Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2015. Accessed June 9, 2015.

 

Featured Image: “Radio ZRK Eroica cropped background” by Tomek Goździewicz on Wikimedia Commons

Advertisers’ PowerPoint Visual Design Tips: Calls to Action

Apart from using PowerPoint visuals to prove your point, you can also use them to make a compelling call-to-action (CTA) at the end of your pitch. After all, people are more compelled to buy what they can see.

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According to ad veteran Luke Sullivan, CTAs work so well because they rely on metaphors, a quick and powerful selling tool.

More than showing what the product is and what benefits it can offer, advertising agencies have used this as a quick and powerful way to communicate to customers.

How It Works

Most people learn by associating images with concepts, which is why we equate dogs to loyalty and red colors to extreme emotions.

Concepts convey your message in one picture so you don’t have to rely on copying and pasting text.

The Harvey Nichols clothing sale print ad showed an image of pelicans crowding around a piece of fish as a metaphor for how people flock to a sale.

This approach, as opposed to showing actual people crowding over one outfit, was a more creative way of emphasizing the kind of customer demand that their brand had.

Presenters can apply metaphors to PowerPoint visual design in the same way.

Once again citing Sullivan, is there a way to graphically represent your own product? Or can you offer a different perspective on a familiar concept, similar to how Volkswagen used a picture of King Kong in pain to describe their car’s durability?

A Compelling Truth

By using a metaphor to present familiar things in an unfamiliar way, problems can be presented to clients by paving the way for your solution.

UNICEF’s print ads presented the gravity of Chile’s education problem.

Three of these ads had criminals pose as teachers, with children as their students, a parody of the regular class picture setup.

Combined with the tagline “a child who learns is an adult who teaches,” the ads showed that children were brought up by criminals and needed proper education to break them out of that life.

An Invitation to Participate

Cleverly crafted visuals encourage reader involvement.

In his book, Cutting Edge Advertising, Jim Aitchison explains that since they rely on images and stereotypes that people have built up over the years, advertising agencies twist that message so the customer can make the connection for themselves.

For example, the Comedy Central ad let customers fold a page to create funny scenarios, giving them a sense of how funny the show really was, and that if they wanted more, all they had to do was find it.

A Presenter’s Advantage

This process continues as people grow. Building your own standards extends to choices and purchase decisions.

Using visual metaphors in your sales presentations aren’t limited to dated pop culture references, but also include visible archetypes, as with the Harvey Nichols ad, or police cars hiding in bushes, similar to the MINI Cooper ad.

Use relevant images and present them with a fresh perspective to get clients to invest in your proposal.

To get the best advantage for the visuals in your presentation deck, take some time to talk to the right presentation partners!

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References:

Aitchison, J. (2004). Cutting Edge Advertising: How to Create the World’s Best Print for Brands in the 21st Century. Singapore; New York: Prentice Hall.
Always End Your Business Presentation with a Call-to-Action.” SlideGenius, Inc. May 27, 2015. Accessed May 28, 2015.
Sullivan, L. (2008). Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: A Guide to Creating Great Ads (3rd Ed.). Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons.
Where to Find Unique Images for Your Presentation Design.” SlideGenius, Inc. December 18, 2014. Accessed May 28, 2015.
Improve Your Presentations with the Power of the Metaphor.” SlideGenius, Inc.. November 17, 2014. Accessed. May 28, 2015.

 

Featured Image: “James Whitcomb Riley” from Wikimedia Commons

Use AIDA for Persuasive PowerPoint Presentations

It doesn’t matter whether you’re walking down the street or surfing the web, you just can’t escape advertising.

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Have you noticed that certain ads stick to you, while the rest just falls into obscurity? You can thank AIDA for that.

Now, you, too, can use this time-tested method to streamline your flow, to maximize, and sustain audience engagement with persuasive PowerPoint presentations.

AIDA is a helpful acronym and method that advertisers use to get the most of their campaigns and marketing materials. It breaks down the stages of a viewer’s stages of comprehension: Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. It’s a highly versatile advertising method, helping copywriters find the most effective words and helping designers create the most suitable images.

Attention

Start by explaining who you are and what you do. Then, make the crowd lean forward and listen intently by:

  • Presenting a thought-provoking scenario the crowd can relate with
  • Initiating the lecture with a thought-provoking statistic or question
  • Incorporating humor into a short anecdote

Interest

Once you have their eyes and ears, explain what you can specifically do for your audience.

State your FAB—Features, Advantages, and Benefits—to differentiate your product or service from your competitors’. Highlight the niche you want to occupy and emphasize how you’ll fill it.

Desire

Build on your listeners’ interest and develop a craving for what you’re offering by appealing to their emotions. Explain what they will gain from what you’re offering them. Make them feel that what you have is essential for improving their lives, or that it results in greater sales.

Action

Now it’s time for your hard work to pay off.

Create a simple yet memorable call to action that persuades your listeners to come to your way of thinking. Include how they should proceed next. Remind them how they can contact you for more information, or how they can search for you if they have yet to decide.

Effectively communicating your message is the key to convincing your audience. However, putting all the information you have may not be enough to achieve this.

AIDA is a great method to maximize your time onstage and streamline your flow and delivery.

Next time you have an important opportunity, use this method to create a persuasive PowerPoint presentation that delivers optimal results.

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References

AIDA: Attention-Interest-Desire-Action: Inspiring Action with Your Writing.” Mind Tools. Accessed May 27, 2015.
AIDA.” Changing Minds. Accessed May 27, 2015.
Presentation Ideas from Ancient Greece: Pitching With Pathos.” SlideGenius, Inc. September 4, 2015.

Reduce and Simplify Like a PowerPoint Professional

Simplify and convince your clients that your idea, product, or service is worth investing in like a PowerPoint professional. Similar to how companies market and advertise their goods to their customers, you need a strategy that is both creative and effective enough to profit.

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You Main Advantage as a Presenter

Unlike a regular 30-second TV ad, you have more time to present your topic in front of your audience. While TV viewers switch channels the second an ad comes in, your clients are in the boardroom because they want to hear what you have to say.

The Catch

Even with a willing audience and a longer presentation window, you must convince them that they invested their time well by listening to you. At most, you have fifteen minutes to impress everyone in the room. Within that time frame, you need to show, not tell them why they should care about you and why they need to buy your offering.

The secret is reduction, a crucial principle of Bartle Bogle Hegarty, one of the world’s top advertising agencies.

Reducing your slide content means more space to define your topic by eliminating self-serving buzzwords, technical jargon, and verbal clutter to get straight to the point.

Reducing and Simplifying

Describe your topic in one word

This gives a more accurate picture of what you intend to present.

What does it do? What does it offer? What is it?

If you can describe it in one word, you’ve already started to sell it. This is why great brands can be summed up in one word for easy recall. This can last long after their 30-second TV ads have stopped airing. A few examples given by ad veteran, Luke Sullivan, are Coke refreshes, BMWs are performers, Volvos are safe, etc.

Imagine what would happen if these brands did the exact opposite. If Coke described itself as a carbonated drink with a fizzy flavor, would it have the same effect? Probably not. This also allows your audience to easily recall your topic even after the presentation is over.

Avoid lengthy descriptions

A wall of text and a long list of bullet points will kill your PowerPoint.

In his book, Aitchison notes that most effective ads, such as the Castlemaine XXXX Beer ad, kept their copy short and focused on visuals. This ad emphasized how much Australians loved Castlemaine XXXX, showing that this beer was the go-to brand.

You can only hold attention for so long, even with ten or twenty minutes at your disposal. Make your topics short and concise to make them more understandable.

Know Your Role

Once you reduce your topic down to the essentials, you can then describe its features and benefits. Is it a money-saving fuel variant? Is it a more comprehensive health insurance package? Is it a sweeter juice drink?

What does it do? More importantly, why should your audience care about it?

Steve Jobs described the iPod Nano in 2005 as the new device that offered the convenience of a thousand songs in your pocket, but with additional features.

Before building your pitch, answer three primary questions.

  • How can I summarize my topic in one word or sentence?
  • What can it offer for the audience?
  • Is there a visually appealing way to present it?

Simplifying is often harder than expounding, but according to Aitchison, the end result is more beneficial.

In the same way that brands use it for effective advertising, presenters can also use it for pitching their topics through PowerPoint.

You need your client to invest in your proposal, the same way brands like Coke, Apple, and BMW need customers to buy their products.

To do that, make sure that your clients remember enough of what you say. Keep it simple, all the way from your words, your speech, and to your slides.

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References

4 Tips to Make Your Presentation Clear and Concise.” SlideGenius, Inc. May 22, 2015. Accessed May 25, 2015.
Aitchison, Jim. Cutting Edge Advertising: How to Create the World’s Best Print For Brands in the 21st Century. Singapore: Prentice Hall. 2004
Gallo, C. The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience. New York. McGraw-Hill, 2010
Make Your Point: 5 Tips for Editing Presentation Content.” SlideGenius, Inc. November 09, 2014. Accessed May 25, 2015.