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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.

Why Sales Presentations Turn Into Failures of Epic Proportions

After countless cold calls and follow-ups, you’re finally given an opportunity to visit a prospect and do a sales presentation in person.

But as luck would have it, you flubbed and the presentation was unsuccessful. When sales presentations fail, it’s likely that the presenter committed one of these mistakes:

Sharing too much information

Why it’s a mistake: We now live in a society where almost everyone is compelled to share what’s on their mind (through tweets and status updates). In spite of that, it still pays to show some restraint. When doing a presentation, sales people tend to share so much information in hopes of creating rapport with the audience.

That’s a valid point, sure. Prospective customers, however, are more interested in learning about the benefit of using your product than its history or the materials used to assemble it. This means that your solution slide should clearly how you intend to solve your market’s particular problem.

What you should do: List three value propositions that appeal to your prospects and relevant to your solution. Emphasize the unique value of your solution.

From your slides, your audience should be able to understand that your company alone can deliver the best (perhaps, only) solution. Remember to use simple texts and visual examples.

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Failing to set yourself apart from the competition

Why it’s a mistake: Choosing between brands can be hard. If you fail to differentiate yourself from your competitors, you are missing the opportunity to make things easier for your prospects. The goal of your presentation is to make people decide in your favor – not to confuse them even further.

What you should do: Design a slide that summarizes the things that you do better than your rivals. Point out the problems that only you can solve. You may support your claim by using testimonials that focus on how your solution works.

Using the wrong point of view

Why it’s a mistake: By WRONG point of view, we mean YOURS. Don’t make the presentation all about you or your business. No matter how long you’ve been in business or how many office locations you have around the world, the only thing that your prospects have in mind is, “What’s in it for ME?

What you should do: Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Present from their point of view by being aware of their needs and wants.

This would involve doing a bit of research about their background and interests, which, we assume, you’ve already done during the planning stage.

Making a sales presentation can be very challenging. Not a few stories have been told about presentation disasters and dejected presenters. Mistakes could happen, but this doesn’t mean they are impossible to overcome. Knowing these mistakes is half the battle.

 

Reference

Conducting Market Research.” Entrepreneur. 2010. Accessed June 02, 2014.

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Featured image by Steve Snodgrass from flickr.com

Create a Captivating Presentation with Bright PowerPoint Backgrounds

Creating an impact as you get your message across is the ultimate goal of your PowerPoint presentation. To achieve this, your slides have to be planned and designed carefully. One of the things that can contribute to this is a bright background.

Ideally, PowerPoint backgrounds should be simple and clear as the main focus should be on the message and not on than the slide. With just the right brightness, the background can improve your presentations and ‘wow’ your audience.

Below are some ways a bright background can enhance your slides. Just one important reminder: Anything that is way too much can be bad. Having said that, what we’re going to talk about here is tolerable brightness for your PowerPoint backgrounds.

Allows the visuals to stand out

Apart from making the slides easy on the eyes, the contrast between them makes the texts readable. Graphic designer Matt Cronin explains that readability is one way in attracting your audience visually.

A bright background and a darker font color create a great combination. Some graphics will also stand out when placed on a bright-colored background. Using any one of these techniques may be beneficial to you in the long run.

After all, people don’t want to look at something they can’t understand.

Focuses the audience’s attention

If you don’t want to use a plain background but still want something bright, then you may want to use radial gradient with a rather bright center. The depth this adds to your chosen image or slide background not only makes it interesting, this also engages the viewer’s gaze more.

This background creates a highlight effect, which looks like a glow. When you use this effect, make sure to create the right balance to keep the glow from hindering readability.

Evokes positive emotion

Bright colors such as yellow and orange evoke a bright and sunny day. They seem to create a lot of positive energy. As bright colors generate feelings of joy and vitality, your audience are sure to feel quite comfortable and at ease throughout your presentation.

Indeed, a bright PowerPoint background has its benefits. It can enhance slides more than what dark backgrounds can do. When used with white texts, dark slide backgrounds can be hard on the eyes. Dark backgrounds just don’t have the same effect that you get from brighter ones.

Final Words

Bright backgrounds are appealing and eye-catching, but at the same time, don’t overdo them. This word of caution stems from the fact that bad combinations can lead to worse results.

Out-of-place neon colors can hurt the eyes and disrupt the senses, rather than draw viewers to your presentation. Use bright colors wisely and attract people to your deck in no time!

 

References

Cronin, Matt. “10 Principles For Readable Web Typography.” Smashing Magazine. March 18, 2009. Accessed May 23, 2014.
How Color Impacts Emotions and Behaviors.” 99Designs. 2011. Accessed May 23, 2014.

 

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