When delivering presentations, nothing is more important than connecting with your audience.
It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to close in on a deal or proposing a new project to the higher-ups. You can’t say that your ideas have been well-received if the audience can’t engage with your pitch. It’s not enough to pique their interest with a few video clips or anecdotes.
Before focusing on the spectacle, you must ensure your presentation is perfectly executed. Your ability to present with clarity and certainty is essential to audience engagement.
Here are quick presentation tips to make sure your audience has an engaging experience:
Learn your presentation inside and out
I’m sure you’ve sat through a presentation where the speaker constantly stammered through their speech, trying hard to remember what to say next. No matter how attractive their material was, the uncertainty in their delivery probably proved to be distracting. To avoid being in a similar situation, you must learn every detail of your presentation.
Audience engagement rests in your ability to command attention. You can’t do that if you’re reading from your slides or fidgeting with note cards. The audience needs to see that you know what you’re saying. Take the time to rehearse your presentation as much as you can. You can also try the memory palace technique to memorize your key points.
Condense your PowerPoint deck
By now, we’re all familiar with “death by PowerPoint.” There’s no easier way to disengage an audience than by presenting them with slides loaded with too much information. If your slides are complete with indecipherable charts and text, take a step back and focus on your visuals.
Instead of filling your PowerPoint deck with bullet points and text, try to illustrate your points. Use images and other multimedia elements to articulate your ideas.
When dealing with data, you must decide which ones are the most relevant to your core message. Several online tools can help you with data visualization.
Tailor your presentation to the audience
Very few presenters consider the perspective of their audience. Their presentations often sound like generic spiels because of this.
How do you connect with something you’ve heard a million times before? To stand out, you need to remember that the audience isn’t a homogeneous group. The people sitting in your audience are individuals with unique perspectives and opinions. In other words, audience engagement relies on your ability to personalize your message.
To get inside their heads, you need to ponder four important questions. Answering these will give you the necessary context to create a presentation that will pull your audience in:
Who are they?
Why are they coming?
What action do you want them to take?
Why might they resist your message?
Keep everyone interested by creating soft breaks.
Audience engagement would be much easier if it weren’t for our short attention spans. With so many tasks begging for attention these days, it’s no surprise the average adult’s attention span is only a few minutes short.
As hard as you try to simplify your message and learn more about the audience, it’s hard to contend with everyone’s shifting attention.
That’s why presentation expert Carmine Gallo emphasized the importance of the 10-minute rule. If you lose the attention of your audience, you can re-engage them by creating “soft breaks” after every 10 minutes or so. Give them a chance to pause and digest new information by incorporating videos, demonstrations, and other activities.
Try to create an interactive environment by posing questions they can answer through polls or a show of hands. If you want to, you can also call up other people from your team to share a new perspective with the audience.
Deliver your presentation with passion and enthusiasm
Finally, lead by example. If your presentation delivery falls flat, your audience will quickly pick up on that. You can’t expect them to feel enthusiastic about the ideas you’re sharing if you’re mumbling through your presentation.
You need to show how passionate you are about your subject matter. That’s the only way to deliver a message that will make others feel the same way.
It isn’t hard to deliver a presentation that engages and connects with an audience. In five easy steps, you can easily ensure that your message sticks and stays with everybody.
Are big changes happening in your company? How will you spread that information to every employee?
The success of your business depends on your effective communication skills as a leader. Simple emails and memos don’t inspire. The challenge lies in engaging your employees.
Effective internal communication creates a more unified front throughout your company. With everyone on the same page, you can guarantee you are all working toward the same goals.
At SlideGenius, we specialize in professionally designed PowerPoint presentations. We fully believe in the power and capabilities of visual storytelling.
Our expertise with PowerPoint has helped over 3,000 clients worldwide, boosting their communication internally and externally.
We design every presentation with the intent of creating engaging material to generates positive results for you.
The following are some tips on how you can boost the effectiveness of your internal presentations:
Disseminate Presentations to Each Department
Tailor versions of your presentation for the context of each department. It will consume more time and effort, but ultimately, this hard work maximizes the relevance of your presentation in the audience’s eyes.
Broad presentations may save time, but they sacrifice delivering a focused message for something quick and easy. Don’t set a bad example. Do it right the first time.
Tell a Story
Even within the context of seemingly mundane businesses or industries, injecting storytelling into your presentations can make them more compelling and engaging. It’s the difference between your audience staring at their feet and watching your every move.
The goal of storytelling is to get your audience to relate with the information being presented. The more people can grasp what’s being told to them, the more they are able to follow the flow of your discussion until the end.
Provide Concrete Examples
People latch onto information more easily when it’s clear-cut and definitive. Vague statements regarding your company’s improvement or decline fosters disinterest. After all, how can anyone improve a situation they can hardly imagine?
Case studies are great examples of concrete information. Don’t be afraid to bare the nitty-gritty with your employees. It’s this data that will prove you are the authority on the subject.
Boost Company Morale
Your presentation isn’t only meant to update your employees on things happening in the company and the market. Treat these meetings as opportunities to express your gratitude to those who made the goals achievable. Connect to people broadly, but also individually. Feeling seen not only makes them more inclined to tune into what you’re saying, it will put them on their best behavior afterwards.
When you boost a person’s confidence in their work, it will increase their motivation to improve.
Use Professionally Designed Infographics
Make the most out of your data by presenting them with a unique visual twist. People are more likely to process and retain visual information better than simple text and numbers. A well-made infographic has the power to transform even ordinary bits of data into engaging materials.
Encourage Audience Participation
You may be the lead presenter, but the presentation does not need to be a one-way street. Invite your employees to ask questions or provide feedback during your presentation to include them in the discussion.
This involvement helps promote a feeling of inclusivity and transparency that will be appreciated by your employees. It’s also a great way to remind them that there is an opportunity to practice teamwork in every setting.
Handouts will help your audience keep track of everything that’s being talked about, especially for heftier presentations. Employees will be able to take those handouts with them as accessible resources of information.
Most people will not absorb all the relevant information the first time around. Allowing people to hold onto this info will give them more time to process it, absorb it and increase your chances of making a longer lasting impression.
Make Your Presentation Available Online
There will be cases when some members of your organization will not be available for your presentation. Having an online version of your deck ensures everyone will get to see it when they can, and even review it if need be.
As you continue this practice, you will be building an increasingly invaluable source of knowledge and value as well as increasing your own profile.
SlideGenius Prepares Presentations for You
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A likeable image has nothing to do with physical beauty. Looking the part might give you a charismatic appeal, your characteristics as a speaker are what actually attract interest, and engage your listeners.
Make a winning impression and boost your business relationships by working on what keynote speaker Tim Sanders calls the likeability factor. Presentation trainer, Cath Daley presents a list of questions that can help you determine your scale of likability. This involves aspects of your personality such as friendliness, relevance, empathy, and realness.
Here’s how you can enhance your innate traits to become a more likeable individual and more effective speaker:
Show Genuine Friendliness
The simple acts of smiling and disclosing some personal information make you look approachable and interesting. While a neutral face may sometimes be more appropriate in formal occasions, showing some emotion where needed connects your audience further to you. Communicate appreciation with small courtesies such as saying “thank you.”
Maintaining a professional reaction towards negative feedback also adds a more congenial feel to your business presentations.
Make Yourself Relatable
“Listening is an art that requires attention over talent, spirit over ego, others over self. “ – Dean Jackson
The skills to listen and to engage are not only essential in achieving life success, but also in attaining business growth. Demonstrating responsiveness during your pitch creates room for audience participation.
Express your willingness to understand their comments and observations about your presentation.
Express Passion and Compassion
If there’s one thing that Steve Jobs taught us about doing great work, it’s to love what you do. Business deals are closed when potential clients feel that you can offer them benefits. This is why your passion to inform your audience makes you a more likeable presenter.
Signify your intent by acknowledging your audiences’ needs and providing information that is designed to help them without difficulty.
Combine humility and positive vulnerability with your expertise to create authenticity. Show your listeners that you’re a human being with a sincere message. Share a personal experience that’s directly related to your pitch to add a human touch to the hard data you may be presenting.
Being confident without being arrogant makes you closer to your audience.
Become a likeable presenter to attract and engage your audience effectively. Increase your likeability factor to create meaningful connections that boost your business success.
Looking for pitch perfect slide presentations? Give us a call at 1-858-217-5144 or request a free quote from Slide Genius today.
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In today’s technological age, it’s impractical and unwise to confine a presentation to the four corners of a room. Whether you like it or not, the majority of your audience can now be found in digital nooks, where their attention is constantly being fought over by brands. If you haven’t explored this platform yet, chances are your competitors have already beat you to it. But not to worry, it’s not too late to set things right and keep abreast of the latest developments in the presentation industry.
Before you close the door to the digital option, hear this out first. Moving your presentation online presents a number of benefits, which ultimately enable you to become more productive, more practical, and more popular. Specifically, the following are the top three gains you can expect by simply going digital.
1. Maximize your audience reach
As a beginner, perhaps the most pressing issue you have in mind is, “Where do I start?” The good thing about the online platform is that it has many entry points. You can start by promoting your presentation on social media or by building a website that showcases your content. There is no one starting point. Instead, you have to find what works for you. The key here is to build trust among your audience and familiarity among your colleagues. Once you have considerable experience, you can begin participating in trend shows and attending global conferences, but until then, you have to start somewhere.
Assuming that you’re still a budding speaker exploring the digital field for the first time, the easiest and most practical route for you is through social media. After all, more than half of internet users nowadays have five social media accounts on average. Facebook alone has more than 1.7 billion monthly active users, according to Statista. This social media giant is a market leader not only in terms of reach but in scope as well.
There are many ways to share PowerPoint presentations on social media, including turning a deck into a video presentation or a gallery of slides. As long as you do it right, you can’t possibly fail. Indeed, it pays to know what works and what doesn’t. When choosing platforms, make sure to consider the number of users, reach, scope, and compatibility with presentation documents.
2. Make your content accessible
If you want your presentation to stand the test of time and survive your audience’s memory, there’s only one way to go: DIGITAL. After every presentation, make it a point to upload your main ideas online so that your audience and other business prospects can have better access to your content.
Also, when uploading a copy of your presentation, make sure to leave notes where they’re warranted so that readers can better understand the hard parts. As much as possible, include additional sections like Notes and Appendices, where you can clarify and expound on important points. By going the extra mile with your online presentation, you’re showing your target audience and potential clients that you’re serious in promulgating your message. This will draw them closer to you and take you more seriously.
3. Connect with more audience prospects
Expanding to the digital platform is not only a way for you to reach your target audience but also expand your market and widen your reach. Since a good number of your audience are already online, your chances of forging new connections are higher. As long as you have good and accessible content, you’ll have no problem gathering a loyal following.
Indeed, it pays to be open to different methods of reaching out to people, regardless if they are your target audience or not. Going online welcomes new opportunities to grow your brand as a presenter.
Establishing an online presence can go a long way to making your brand known to the world. The online realm makes it more possible to reach your target audience as well as other business prospects. The business industry is getting more competitive day by day. This is why it would only be wise for you to explore every possible opportunity to expand your reach. It would certainly take time for you to get used to new changes, but with dedication, you’ll be able to see your hard work pay off.
Finkelstein, Ellen. “Why You Need to Get Your Presentations on the Internet—And How.” Ellen Finkelstein. June 19, 2011. www.ellenfinkelstein.com/pptblog/why-you-need-to-get-your-presentations-on-the-internet-and-how
Knight, Stormy. “20 Reasons to Put Your Business on the Web.” Net 101. n.d. www.net101.com/20-reasons-to-put-your-business-on-the-web
Mander, Jason. “Internet Users Have Average of 5.54 Social Media Accounts.” Global Web Index. January 23, 2015. blog.globalwebindex.net/chart-of-the-day/internet-users-have-average-of-5-54-social-media-accounts
“How to Share a PowerPoint Presentation Online.” iSpring. June 5, 2015. www.ispringsolutions.com/blog/how-to-share-a-powerpoint-presentation-online
“Most Famous Social Network Sites Worldwide as of April 2017, Ranked by Number of Active Users.” Statista. n.d. www.statista.com/statistics/272014/global-social-networks-ranked-by-number-of-users
“Number of Internet Users Worldwide from 2005 to 2016.” Statista. n.d. www.statista.com/statistics/273018/number-of-internet-users-worldwide
“Number of Social Media Users Worldwide from 2010 to 2020.” Statista. n.d. www.statista.com/statistics/278414/number-of-worldwide-social-network-users
We can no longer ignore the growing hype around videos. These electronic media are gaining traction, and it wouldn’t be surprising if they soon become the most popular type of content, since more social media channels are popping up to underline their importance. Today, the effectiveness of videos in capturing people’s attention is apparent. In YouTube, for example, 400 hours of videos are uploaded every minute and almost 5 billion are viewed every day. These staggering statistics show that we create and consume video content in a rapidly increasing rate.
Still, while all this hype around videos is nice, we can’t really claim that it’s something new. Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple Inc., included this medium in his presentations as early as 1984. The potential of videos as the trendiest type of content will continue to grow, so if you haven’t explored the possibilities of video marketing, now is the time.
The Purposes of Using Videos in Presentations
Isn’t it ironic that although most marketers recognize video content as a powerful tool, only four percent use it religiously in presentations? That leaves a glaring 96 percent in the dark, stuck in traditional methods that are only half as effective as video marketing. This isn’t to say that you should add a video in every presentation—of course, if it isn’t appropriate, do away with it. But if you find an opportunity to use this type of content to support or highlight your message, why not grab it?
Here are the four main purposes of adding videos in your presentation:
To explain a complex idea. It’s hard to explain a technical idea to a group of people who know nothing about it. Sure, you can put that idea into words, but you can’t guarantee that your equally perplexing explanation will translate into something cohesive in the audience’s mind. If it’s too complicated to grasp, why not find another means of expressing it? Perhaps a video could render it more comprehensible?
To engage the audience in discussion. Videos have a certain pull that makes them effective in grabbing people’s attention. A relevant video presented at the right moment can keep the audience bolted to the screen. Make sure that the video you use can establish an emotional connection with your audience and can generate a meaningful discussion that will fire up their energy.
To break the monotony. You can’t expect the audience to listen to you for hours on end. Their attention is bound to wane at some point, and one way to recapture their interest is by giving them a break in the form of a video to watch. If possible, inject humor in your presentation to lighten up the mood and make room for a seamless transition.
To help in memory retention. An experiment conducted by Dr. Richard Mayer from the University of California, Santa Barbara revealed that people immersed in “multi-sensory environments” had better recall even years after a presentation. This is because when the human brain builds two mental representations of something (i.e. a verbal and a visual model), it typically results to better memory retention.
Things to Remember When Adding Videos to Your Slides
You’d think that adding a video to a presentation is a piece of cake, but some people still seem to miss the basics. To make sure that you do things right, take these pointers:
1. Embed the video in the presentation itself
Think of how unprofessional it would look to show the audience a video separate from the original presentation. You’d look like an amateur who didn’t bother to assemble your knowledgebase in one place. Plus, it would be inconvenient on your part when switching from one to the other, so it’s only practical and professional to insert the video in the presentation itself. In PowerPoint, you can embed a video directly in the slides to make for a smoother transition.
2. Keep it short and simple
Videos are meant to enhance your presentation, not replace it. That’s why you should only designate a short chunk of time for this type of content. Otherwise, you’ll lose your connection with the audience and destroy your momentum. An effective video presentation shouldn’t make the audience forget that you’re the main source and “relayer” of information.
3. Lean towards the authentic
People are more interested in realistic videos that reflect genuine experiences than in corporate ones that are too alien to relate with. To add a dab of authenticity in your videos, you can use testimonials that feature real customers who truly value and uphold your brand. Testimonials, especially when unsolicited, are a persuasive tool for inviting more people to consider your message.
4. Check its relevance to the topic
Relevance is the number one criteria when adding video clips in a presentation. You can’t just throw in anything that doesn’t relate to the points you’re trying to make. Every video clip must have a purpose—and that purpose should have something to do with underlining your core message.
5. Use narratives to draw emotional responses
Everyone responds to narratives. Stories have a certain quality that evokes emotional responses from people. A video content structure that follows a narrative can make for a more compelling presentation that will allow the audience to make sense of abstract ideas that would otherwise be lost in translation.
Now you know the secret to making your next pitch stand out. Use videos more wisely in your next presentation, and see the difference in your audience’s level of energy and engagement.
Bell, Steven J. “Using Video in Your Next Presentation: A Baker’s Dozen of Ideas and Tips.” Info Today. n.d. www.infotoday.com/cilmag/jul10/Bell.shtml
Blodget, Henry. “The Lost 1984 Video: Steve Jobs Introduces the Mac.” Business Insider. August 25, 2011. www.businessinsider.com/video-steve-jobs-introduces-mac-2011-8
Boone, Rob. “How and Why You Should Use Video in Your Next Presentation.” Live Slides. January 22, 2016. www.liveslides.com/blog/how-to-use-video-in-presentations
Gallo, Carmine. “Four Easy Tips on Using Video to Make Your Presentation Stand Out.” Forbes. January 31, 2017. www.forbes.com/sites/carminegallo/2017/01/31/four-easy-tips-on-using-video-to-make-your-presentation-stand-out/#2ed99f26e3a0
Marshall, Lisa B. “How to Use Video in a Presentation.” Quick and Dirty Tips. August 9, 2012. www.quickanddirtytips.com/business-career/public-speaking/how-to-use-video-in-a-presentation
“3 Reasons to Add Video to Your Presentation.” Meetings Imagined. n.d. www.meetingsimagined.com/tips-trends/3-reasons-add-video-your-presentation
“36 Mind-blowing YouTube Facts, Figures, and Statistics 2017.” Fortunelords. March 23, 2017.
Imagine looking intently at your audience ten minutes into your hour-long presentation. Imagine seeing, instead of eager faces, a sea of spectators wearing I-don’t-want-to-be-here looks. Some of them are yawning; others are glancing at the time. You also spot a few snoozing in plain view, as though daring for you to call them out. Any speaker facing this situation would undoubtedly be unnerved. After all, no one wants to feel like they’re imposing themselves to others.
The scenario you’ve just played out in your mind is a proof that presentations aren’t just about content. The way you say something is just as important as what you have to say, if not more so. No matter how unique and valuable your content is, it’s useless until you present it in an interesting manner.
The thing about presentation delivery is that it’s not a “one time, big time” deal. It’s not something you can apply only at the start and end of your speech. Building momentum isn’t enough; you need to be able to sustain it throughout the presentation. Since this is harder than it seems, we’re giving away some tips to help you with this ordeal.
Keeping Your Audience Hooked from Start to Finish
There’s a certain stigma that pervades presentations: boredom. Many people perceive speeches as nothing but a waste of resources. The time is ripe for you to join the few great presenters who aim to eradicate this stigma by delivering presentations that are interesting from start to finish.
1. Tell them outright why they should listen.
Your chosen topic should be something that the audience is interested in. If you want them to listen, give them a reason to lend you their ears. Unless you make the talk about them, it’s unlikely that they’ll care at all about what you have to say.
2. Give them enough mental challenge.
Presentations are neither about spoon-feeding your audience with information nor baffling them with incomprehensible data. To keep them hooked, you should provide them with enough mental challenges that will keep them occupied without straining their mental faculties. Dispose of anything that will either underchallenge (e.g. bullet points) or overchallenge (e.g. complicated graphs) them.
3. Turn your speech into a two-way discourse.
An effective way to engage your audience is to include them in the presentation. Cook up some strategies to switch the limelight from them to you. Audience interaction doesn’t come by accident; as the speaker, you need to be the ringleader of the action. By framing the presentation in a way that encourages participation, you’ll be able to keep your audience’s minds from wandering off.
One way to elicit engagement is to embolden people to ask questions. Getting their opinions will not only bring variety to the table but also deepen the conversation. You can also post interesting questions that will get them thinking from beginning to end. Also, leveraging social media by inviting your audience to tweet or blog about your presentation can go a long way in achieving interaction. If you only want minimal engagement, however, you can just poll your audience as a group. Ask them to raise hands or stand to show agreement or dissent.
4. Grab their attention with any kind of change.
Uniformity fosters boredom, so you should veer away from any predictable patterns of speech. Add any kind of nuance, however small, to draw your audience’s minds back to the presentation. There are a lot of aspects that you can modify in a speech. For example, you can change your style of delivery depending on the type of content you share. State facts with a deliberate tone and tell stories in an animated manner. You can also change the inflection of your voice to emphasize the differences between strong and trivial statements. By varying your vocal inflections, you can add emotional layers to your words.
Another thing you can modify is the type of media you use. For instance, you can shift from a PowerPoint slide deck to a whiteboard presentation. By incorporating these small changes in your presentation, you can recapture the audience’s attention every time their minds drift away.
5. Vary the types of content you share.
Don’t limit yourself to one type of content. While it’s true that facts and data are essential in business presentations, you shouldn’t let your speech turn into a lecture just because you can’t find creative ways to present your content. As much as possible, blend in some stories into your presentation. People are hard-wired to love narratives, so they’ll be more interested to hear what you have to say when you package your content that way. You can also use metaphors to illustrate a point, or draw from a personal experience to make an example.
There are other types of content you can add to your speech. For instance, a mind map can work for organizing your thoughts. Visual elements are also good for spicing up your presentation. If you can apply humor prudently, it can also be useful in lifting the boredom and energizing your audience.
6. Schedule breaks between sections.
Don’t underestimate the rejuvenating effects of a short break. Give your audience ample time to walk around, refill their drinks, take a breath of fresh air, and get the blood flowing through their legs once again with a quick stretch. These small activities will revive your audience and keep them from dozing off halfway through your speech. Schedule breaks where they apply and see an immediate improvement in the mood of your spectators.
When you feel inclined to settle for a mediocre presentation that will no doubt bore your listeners, just remember that having a ready audience to listen to you is a privilege. It’s an honor you can earn by devoting enough resources to make your presentation worth everyone’s time and effort. Apply the tips we’ve provided, and you’ll be taking a step in the right direction. Good luck!
Belknap, Leslie. “How to Find a Story to Enhance Your Public Speaking Presentations.” Ethos 3. November 6, 2015. www.ethos3.com/2015/11/how-to-find-a-story-to-enhance-your-public-speaking-presentations
Brownlow, Hannah. “10 Ways to Keep Your Audience’s Attention.” Bright Carbon. June 18, 2015. www.brightcarbon.com/blog/10-ways-to-keep-your-audiences-attention
DeMers, Jayson. “10 Presentation Tricks to Keep Your Audience Awake.” Inc. August 11, 2015. www.inc.com/jayson-demers/10-presentation-tricks-to-keep-your-audience-awake.html
Grissom, Twila. “How to Make a Presentation: The Importance of Delivery.” CustomShow. November 27, 2014. www.customshow.com/giving-great-presentation-importance-delivery
Hedges, Kristi. “Five Easy Tricks to Make Your Presentation Interactive.” Forbes. January 28, 2014. www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2014/01/28/five-easy-tricks-to-make-your-presentation-interactive/#223ff6ae2586
Martinuzzi, Bruna. “How to Keep Your Audience Focused on Your Presentation.” American Express. September 14, 2012. www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/how-to-keep-your-audience-focused-on-your-presentation
Mitchell, Olivia. “7 Ways to Keep Audience Attention During Your Presentation.” Speaking About Presenting. n.d. www.speakingaboutpresenting.com/content/7-ways-audience-attention-presentation
Patel, Neil. “When, How, and How Often to Take a Break.” Inc. December 11, 2014. www.inc.com/neil-patel/when-how-and-how-often-to-take-a-break.html
Infographics are a popular medium of data presentation. While they don’t necessarily replace research, it’s become a go-to medium for quick information sharing.
In her article on Piktochart, digital strategist Nevyana Karakasheva explains how infographics compress your content into easily digestible visuals that can go viral online, depending on how much social shares you generate. The potential for sharing makes it an effective marketing tool, both for sharing relevant content to your prospects and subtly promoting yourself.
What exactly influences the infographic’s overall appeal? When reading infographics, people ask these three common questions:
Why are infographics the current trend?
What’s an infographic’s selling point?
Will using these visual aids attract your target audience?
Here are some answers that could help:
Q: Why are infographics the current trend?
Visual learning is in. With 65% of the population identifying as visual learners, according to professor Patricia Vakos of Pearson Prentice Hall, it’s no wonder why infographics are an attractive option to the majority.
An infographic’s strategic use of color, layout, image, and text appeal to the visual learner’s desire for creative knowledge. Even for the not-so visually-inclined, infographics help break down the data overload many of us experience in today’s world.
In a world bogged down by too much information, having something to summarize data into appealing and easily digestible points is like a breath of fresh air. Because of its all-around charm, an infographic can attract the interest of most audiences, making it perfect for presenting facts and statistics.
Q: What’s an infographic’s selling point?
It helps explore your creativity when planning its design and layout. You can opt to place content to an existing infographic template or play around with design elements.
Challenge your creativity while dishing out valuable information. After all, the sky’s the limit when it comes to creating an infographic.
You can make use visuals to point and connect to facts or illustrate them. This makes your material engaging and more attractive than plain textual overload.
Q: How will using these attract your target audience?
It’s accessible to users, mostly online. Because they are being shared over social media, infographics are more appealing and accessible. Their various layouts and visual designs also make plain data more interesting to look at.
An infographic turns difficult statistics into discernible information. It also makes your brand easier to share and understand. The added exposure and clarification help expand your network, boost your page views, and introduce you to prospective clients.
Although nothing beats a face-to-face presentation, having infographics on your site or your slide deck saves you time explaining facts.
Infographics are striking sources of information.
Contrary to popular belief, they don’t just cater to visual learners; they also attract all types of people. The visual aspect leaves you free to explore the infographic’s creative possibilities.
At the same time, they also break down difficult data into easily readable information. This lets viewers easily process them and share it with their friends. If you want to get yourself out there, consider putting up your own infographic.
Need advice for your infographic design? Let our SlideGenius experts assist you. Contact us today for a free quote!
Karakasheva, Nevyana. “Why Infographics Are An Inseparable Part of a Successful SEO Campaign.” Piktochart Infographics. June 1, 2015. www.piktochart.com/why-infographics-are-an-inseparable-part-of-a-successful-seo-campaign
Vakos, Patricia. “Why the Blank Stare? Strategies for Visual Learners.” Pearson Education, Inc. 2003. www.phschool.com/eteach/social_studies/2003_05/essay.html
“The Visual (Spatial) Learning Style.” Learning Styles Online. n.d. www.learning-styles-online.com/style/visual-spatial
With all of the functions available to PowerPoint, the one main challenge of showing original content to your audience becomes more and more difficult. At a time when it’s become possible for any presenter to embed live Web sites and real-time social media feeds to illustrate their points clearly, what exactly will surprise your audience enough to help your own presentation stand out and move people to action?
The good news is innovation doesn’t always equate to originality. Instead of going for the avant-garde, why not make your pitch resonate with your listeners? If your audience has heard it all, go the other way and work with classic presentation techniques that still prove to be effective to their tastes.
Creating a universal PowerPoint everyone can relate to guarantees a more attentive audience. Here’s how you can produce an attractive and interesting presentation:
Stick to the Time Limit
Corporate pitches are notorious for boring people after a certain number of slides. Preventing this depends on how well you can memorize your pitch and keep the audience interested. However, for those following business guru Guy Kawasaki’s famous 10-20-30 rule, this limit falls on the 20-minute mark.
Aside from the fact that people’s attention spans have notably grown shorter, they’ve probably heard hundreds of pitches before. Yours is no different from all the others, but you have a chance to make an impression by condensing the meat of your presentation into a short but sweet delivery.
Keeping a set time limit in mind prevents you from going off tangent with your discussion. It helps you develop an awareness to organize your content in such a way that delivers all the important points without exhausting your audience. Remember that you don’t have to overwhelm your listeners with all the details you’ve gathered from your research. If you have anything that you can’t include in your pitch, distribute handouts or other materials during or after your pitch as supplements.
Tell a Story
Eliminate the difficulty of attracting listeners by crafting a story around your brand. Think of it as a way to give your pitch a solid structure with a beginning, middle, and end. Stories can draw more attention than hard facts and difficult data. Make your slide deck more palatable by supplementing it with a story everyone can relate to.
Don’t saturate your slides with text. Add relevant images that illustrate your words, coupled with brief phrases or words to further expound on them. Straightforwardly handing all the heavy data to people might result in information overload after a while, so making use of speech metaphors is a good break for them. It’s been observed that because metaphors, like narratives, activate the creative right side of the brain, it puts people more at ease and lowers their skepticism towards sales pitches and other marketing efforts.
For instance, you can show a baseball player how to hit a home run as a metaphor to illustrate hitting the so-called sweet spot. At the same time, keep your story simple. It’s important to hook your audience’s interest, but exaggeration makes you lose your credibility as a speaker.
Use Relatable Themes
A good story only works if it uses relatable themes at its very core. Use topics your audience are familiar with. One of the most effective examples incorporated in a brand’s story is Steve Jobs’ pitch for Mac. In this instance, Jobs’ use of well-known tropes such as heroes and villains impressed itself on people’s minds and got Mac out into the market successfully.
Leverage your brand in the same way by citing something that’s relevant to everyone. This can include current trends. Better yet, research what timeless concepts still ring true with people’s sensibilities at present. Tropes like providing for your family or even excelling in sports contain the underlying themes of love and teamwork, which are just two of the positive messages that people appreciate hearing.
Utilizing these keeps your story from being too obscure for your audience to understand and retains an entertaining structure to base your pitch on. Even the most complex topics can be broken down into digestible and interesting narratives that everyone, or mostly everyone, can get.
Appeal to Emotions
There are different ways to subtly appeal to your audience’s emotions. You can do this in your speech by using Pathos, one of the public speaking pillars established by the ancient Greeks. This involves getting people to sympathize with your points until they’re eventually convinced of their validity.
Generate the reactions you want by applying the same principle on your deck. Consider experimenting with color to complement your story. Certain colors can also evoke emotional response from people when used at the right time. Warm colors like red and yellow elicit alertness, while cool colors like blue and green ease tension. Incorporating your brand’s colors in your deck will help viewers associate your business with your presentation.
But don’t just make your pitch about emotional appeal. Having too little actual substance in your presentation will tune out the more scrutinizing audiences and leave everyone else confused about your points. Use the emotional hook to reel in the crowd, and once they’ve invested their interest in what you have to say, bring out the facts and data to support your claims.
Content, delivery, and design should always work hand in hand for an overall satisfying presentation. This means that while you sharpen your public speaking skills, you should also apply the same tips on your PowerPoint or any other visual aid you have at hand.
Don’t be deceived by the presentation tool’s user-friendliness. Plenty of presenters have fallen into the trap of either overly embellished or sparse decks that have failed to pique audience interest despite the speaker’s enthusiastic pitch.
The key to effective visuals is to find a balance between text and images. Saturating your slides with an entire script will invalidate your physical presence since viewers will assume they can just read everything on the screen. Similarly, using inappropriate images that have only the vaguest relation to your pitch will confuse them. That doesn’t mean that you don’t have leeway to use visual metaphors. Just make sure you can establish a clear connection between your point and your picture of choice.
Support your images with text, but use only keywords. Long sentences and paragraphs should be used sparingly and only if necessary.
You don’t need a flashy pitch and deck to get people to listen. Here’s a quick review of how to make your PowerPoint more interesting to audiences:
1. Stick to the time limit. Condense your points to fit people’s attentions without compromising quality by organizing and preparing your content effectively.
2. Deliver your message with a simple but universal presentation. Tell a story everyone can relate to with your speech and your visuals.
3. Use images that convey your story while keeping your text minimal to leave room for elaboration. Appeal to people’s emotions with the right color combination and a pitch that gets people’s sympathy.
4. A distracting deck can only get you attention for so long. Bank on slides that people will remember for a longer time.
5. Craft a PowerPoint to complement your winning pitch. Put only the necessary images and text that will support your ideas to drive your points home.
Need help creating a memorable deck? Contact our SlideGenius experts today for a free quote!
Henneke. “How to Use the Persuasive Power of Metaphors.” Enchanting Marketing. 2013. n.d. www.enchantingmarketing.com/how-to-use-metaphors
Kawasaki, Guy. “The 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint.” Guy Kawasaki. December 30, 2005. www.guykawasaki.com/the_102030_rule
Watson, Leon. “Humans have shorter attention span than goldfish, thanks to smartphones.” The Telegraph. May 15, 2015. www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11607315/Humans-have-shorter-attention-span-than-goldfish-thanks-to-smartphones.html
It’s the most romantic time of the year, with Valentine’s Day personified by Cupid, who has long played a role in the celebrations of love. It was believed that if Cupid’s arrow struck your heart, you would fall in love with the next person you meet.
What if there was a way you could make people fall in love with you and your presentation without having to shoot any love arrows at anybody’s heart?
In present times, you don’t have to learn archery to aim at and win someone’s heart, but there are countless ways to make the person you love notice you. Most of them are based on desirable characteristics, such as physical appearance, perceived behavior, and social skills, a lot of which have to do with being kind and charming.
After all, Valentines is that time of the year when everyone expresses their love and appreciation for the special people in their lives by gifting them with flowers, greeting cards, chocolates, and other sweet surprises. Does this mean that you have to shower your existing and prospective clients with gifts, printed collaterals, and other merchandise?
Well, not exactly.
What Makes People Fall in Love with Presenters?
The variables that influence the feeling of attraction aren’t limited to love per se. They’re also essential to making fruitful relationships that go beyond intimacy. This means you can use the same tactics to get professionals to fall in love with you and agree to start a business partnership with you.
So the question is: What sort of gifts would you give as a presenter?
Instead of focusing on the material aspects of gifts, we recommend delving deep and bringing out the best parts of your personality instead. In this post, we’ll discuss how to make people fall in love with you on a professional level by making the most out of your body language, communication skills, and your personality. Check out these specific tips to grab your audience’s attention and make them want more:
1. Seduce Them with Gestures
As a presenter, you may feel a lot of pressure to offer some grand and amazing benefits to woo the audience over to your side. While having a strong brand and offering always helps in convincing your listeners to close a business deal with you, sometimes all you need are sweet romantic gestures to show deep affection for the love of your life.
As what many people would say, “Actions are incomparably more attractive, effective, and valuable than words.”
The same thing can be said for presentations. Your speech isn’t enough to get someone’s eye on you—after all, they aren’t just listening to you through a phone or speaker. They’re engaging all of their senses as they watch you, especially their sense of sight. That’s why you need to take all aspects of public speaking seriously and do it as if you’re wooing the person you like or, in this case, a person you want to convert into a lead.
Spice up your talking points with enticing yet subtle gestures and body language to win people over. In fact, research by Toastmaster International has found that purposeful body movements can benefit you in three ways: support what you say, attract audience’s attention, and relieve physical tension. In particular, smiling at your listeners makes you look more appealing and engaging. This friendly physical cue ensures good rapport and improves your chances of sealing a business partnership.
According to a study by researchers Kellerman, Lewis, and Laird, you can also make a person fall in love with you by looking into their eyes. This comes in handy during presentations when you want to build a fruitful relationship with your audience. Make sure to hold your viewer’s gaze, but you don’t have to look at them 100% of the time. It’s okay to take a quick peek at your notes or pick up a prop to make your speech more natural.
Express these body movements as naturally as possible so that you can stand out and win over the competition.
2. Communicate with Kindness
Whether they’re of the personal or professional sort, all relationships can benefit from clear communication. It allows people to voice out their interests, share their concerns, and influence others’ decisions. On the other hand, not having clear communication lines can lead to misunderstandings, split-ups, poor sales, and lost deals.
In the same way that you wouldn’t be able to read your love interest’s mind, you can’t exactly use special powers to figure out exactly what’s going on inside your audience’s head. That’s why you should work on improving your communication skills to foster a healthier and stronger business relationship.
As a presenter, you need to communicate with gentleness to keep people listening because addressing them aggressively will result in unwanted confrontation that might turn them off. Consider your audience’s needs to get everyone on the same page. Ask questions to get a better grasp of what they really want. When you’re more aware of their needs, you’ll be able to map out a more specific strategy that will appeal to their interests. You’ll have more control of your overall presentation flow.
Active listening also makes people feel more loved and appreciated. Respond with neutral phrases like “I see” and “Yes” to show that you’re taking an interest in them. These responses express your high level of respect for your audience’s ideas, encouraging them to participate more in the discussion.
Make sure not to look away from the person who’s speaking, or else, you might make them feel like you’re not paying attention to them at all. At the same time, staring too long at them might make them feel uncomfortable. To combat this, try nodding occasionally at certain points to show that you’re still listening and that you understand what they’re trying to say.
Besides asking questions and listening to their side of things, telling funny yet appropriate jokes is another way to boost your likability. Make some witty and humorous remarks to hook them in more with your pitch. Just make sure your jokes are appropriate and relevant to the discussion; having too many jokes makes you seem like you’re not taking the discussion seriously, while offensive jokes can stain your professional image.
All it takes is a little act of kindness to make people feel like they’re floating on air.
3. Charm Them with Your Personality
Acceptance and love must come from within. It’s hard to build loving relations with others if you don’t start with loving yourself. The same idea goes for presentations. With that in mind, work on maintaining a positive attitude and let your personality shine through to nurture fruitful business relationships.
Don’t point out your weak skills when courting someone. It’s usually not the right time or venue for it and may even permanently change people’s perspective of how capable you are. Instead, focus on further improving your strengths and consider your weaknesses as points for improvement. Building upon your strong points and working around your weak points are about seeing these things as opportunities rather than problems. Manage them both to improve your overall performance and charm the crowd.
If the odds aren’t in your favor, maintain your composure and face presentation errors with confidence. Instead of apologizing excessively, recover quickly without showing that you’re physically bothered by the mishaps. Be mindful of your facial expression and body language; looking angry can make the audience feel like you don’t want to accept criticism, while looking sad makes you look like you’re not ready to hear negative feedback.
Apologize only when necessary—just once is enough. More importantly, take full accountability for the mistake and act quickly to fix it. Unexpected moments like this show your vulnerability and communicate your humanness, giving your audience the authentic you. At the same time, you also display your ability to troubleshoot and resolve issues in a short period of time.
Adding a personal touch to your pitch also hypes up the discussion. Share experiences and stories related to the subject matter to impress your audience more. Be honest with them to get the credit that you deserve.
It’s Time to Make Your Move!
You won’t get anything done by just staring at your audience like you’re lovestruck, but there’s a lot you can do to appear more relatable and appealing. Here’s a quick review of the tips we’ve shared to make the audience gaze in awe at you instead:
1. Seduce them with subtle gestures like smiling and making eye contact to exude friendliness.
2. Try communicating effectively by asking questions, actively listening, and telling jokes to keep the flame of an effective pitch burning, as well as keep the engaging conversation going.
3. Take accountability for any mistakes. Be genuine and express your true self to create a positive impression on you and your pitch.
There’s no standard formula for making people fall in love you. Some tips work for others but don’t work for the rest. This idea also applies to public speaking, so you need to be willing and able to put yourself out there for guaranteed audience attention.
With this advice in mind, put on your best business attire, get out, and woo the audience over to your side!
Kellerman, J., Lewis, J., & Laird, J. D. (1989). Looking and loving: The effect of mutual gaze on feelings of romantic love. Journal of Research in Personality, 23, 145-161.
“Gestures: Your Body Speaks.” Toastmasters International, 2011.
DiResta, Diane. “How to Make Your Audience Fall in Love With You.” DiResta Communications Inc. February 14, 2014. www.diresta.com/how-to-make-your-audience-fall-in-love-with-you
Nicholson, Jeremy. “Loving Eye Contact: How Mutual Staring Can Create Passion.” Psychology Today. March 31, 2015. www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-attraction-doctor/201503/loving-eye-contact-how-mutual-staring-can-create-passion
Schumm, Laura. “Who is Cupid?” HISTORY.com. February 14, 2014. www.history.com/news/ask-history/who-is-cupid
In the Chinese lunar calendar, each year is represented by a Chinese zodiac animal sign. It’s believed that people born under each sign possess certain personal characteristics. This is a cycle that takes twelve years to repeat itself.
This 2016, we enter the Year of the Fire Monkey. According to San Francisco astrologist Susan Levitt, it’s the ninth animal sign in the Chinese zodiac. Characterized by traits such as curiosity, mischievousness, and cleverness, the monkey is a lively animal that’s known as a smart trickster.
At first, these may not sound like positive traits for an experienced and composed presenter. After all, monkeys may seem too hyperactive and troublesome for their own good. If we dig beneath the surface, however, there are quite a few things to learn from our roguish simian friends.
Let’s look at some Year of the Monkey tips that can help you dominate the presentation stage.
People born in the Year of the Monkey are said to be curious and ambitious. They’re seen to have a great thirst for knowledge and often feel the need to try everything at once. However, this doesn’t mean you should start asking your audience personal questions, crossing the line from being professional to poking your nose into other people’s private lives.
Simply expressing curiosity towards your listeners can improve audience connection for business people and casual listeners alike. This can come in the form of challenging possibilities, displaying interest, and offering opinions. Give your audience the impression that you’re eager to know what problems are currently affecting them. Words like “I’d be very interested to know,” “How do you feel about,” and “From my point of view” are a few of the magic phrases that can put you and your audience on the same page.
Persuade them by showing them how curious and welcoming you are about taking their sides into consideration. By sharing your client’s concerns related to things like costs and implementation dates, you show that you’re willing to work with them as partners.
Expressing interest in your audience’s wants and needs makes them feel more valued. This makes it easier to connect with them for a more persuasive and engaging pitch.
Our simian friends are also known for being mischievous. They love to play around and enjoy practical jokes, traits that are reflected in people born during the Year of the Monkey. However, said traits can be both good and bad, depending on how you approach them.
A little mischief can add a dose of fun to your presentation as long as you don’t overdo it. With people born under this sign, high energy can be a key to success but can likewise distract from main ideas during a presentation. It can be easy to enjoy yourself so much and accidentally go overboard with your delivery, causing your audience to forget about your main points.
Like with our previous tip, however, a restrained approach to playfulness can make for a more powerful delivery.
Sprinkling some humor onto your speech effectively engages and entertains people. It can also bring people back from the clutches of boredom, especially during highly technical discussions. With so much information consumed every day, an icebreaker can definitely make everyone chuckle or at least smile, giving them a quick breather from an otherwise straightforward and serious discussion.
One way to create a more cheerful atmosphere is to tell them a simple joke that can connect to your topic. Another way to break the ice is to quote a comical but appropriate line from a movie that fits your subject to lighten up the discussion and break the monotony. Just be wary of potentially offensive material that could undermine your credibility and tune out your listeners.
Play around with your use of language to vary up your speech and sound more interesting, such as by using metaphors, exaggerations, puns, and other figures of speech. A controlled approach to humor can help counterbalance the dull moments while still properly communicating your message, making your pitch even more memorable.
Aside from being charismatic and energetic, people born during the Year of the Monkey are also seen as inherently intellectual and creative. This isn’t all that surprising given that apes are our closest genetic relative in the animal kingdom, according to scientists.
To astrologers, people born under this zodiac are the most likely to be eccentric geniuses among the 12 animal signs. Their sparkling wit and sharp minds are the key qualities that make them a good leader. They know how to listen closely and work out solutions at the same time.
These attributes are hallmarks of successful people but also make for an effective speaker.
Be strong-willed, quick-witted, and opportunistic. Never make a move without an established plan. Instead, always come in prepared with a strategy to conquer. Prepare for your speech with the right amount of practice in front of close friends and confidants.
Don’t forget to double check your presentation deck for possible errors that may undermine your credibility. Also, be ready to spot and take advantage of opportunities that may come your way. Don’t rely too much on a preplanned structure and stay on your feet to improvise when needed.
Monkey Marketing Magic
People born during the Year of the Monkey are believed to be curious, playful, and intelligent, but these positive traits aren’t exclusively theirs for acing that next speech. Here’s a quick wrap-up of the tips and tricks we’ve enumerated in this post:
1. Make your discussion open for everyone so you can gauge their expectations by expressing interest in their wants or needs. Share what you have in store for them and predict what they have in mind.
2. Sprinkle a little bit of fun in your speech. Using a lighthearted approach can equally increase engagement while complementing your message. Recite a funny line or a short joke to help with entertaining your audience.
3. A clever approach to all aspects of your presentation can increase your credibility, making you sound more knowledgeable and convincing in your field. Remain focused and prepared to be able to pounce on any opportunity that can arise from your speech.
Monkeys get a bad reputation, mostly seen by the public as badly behaved creatures, but some of their qualities can be harnessed into positive and productive skills that can bring success in the boardroom. It’s time to take some astrological cues and take this year by the reins with our matching presentation tips.
This 2016, use these monkey-inspired cues to imbue some extra marketing magic for your next pitch.
Clark, Eugene. “Lessons for business in the Year of the Monkey.” China.org.cn. December 31, 2015. www.china.org.cn/opinion/2015-12/31/content_37424803.htm
Febrilian, Dio. “Asking about Possibilities, Expressing Curiosity and Desire, Expressing Views.” Dio Febrilian. n.d. www.diofebrilian.info/2012/12/asking-about-possibilities-expressing.html
Levitt, Susan. “2016 Fire Monkey Year.” Susan Levitt. October 1, 2013. www.susanlevitt.com/astrology/monkey-year-2016/
“Chinese Horoscope: The Monkey Sign (猴).” Scientific Psychic. n.d. www.scientificpsychic.com/fun/monkey-astrology.html