How slide libraries helped investment banks build better proposals more efficiently

Slide libraries used by investment banks

Over the last few months we’ve worked with several boutique investment banks that were looking for better ways to manage their critical PowerPoint collateral. Specifically, they wanted a way to efficiently build proposals that, while still customized to the specific client or project, could leverage their prior work.

Investment banks compose several types of proposals, all of which have a combination of common elements and client- or project-specific pieces. For example, prior transactions, market overview, and regulations would typically be standard, while company financials, projections, and capabilities are tailored to the client and contain only certain reusable components. As such, investment banks should be able to efficiently find relevant content from prior proposals and either reuse or adapt it based on client requirements.

Prior to using a slide library solution, investment banks were relying on a manual approach that was both time consuming and prone to errors. First, the proposal author would dig through a shared hard drive to find relevant presentations and then flip through them to find the key slides that he/she wanted. If a slide was missing or seemed old, the author would have to email colleagues and describe the slide needed. At times, slides would be recreated if colleagues took too long to respond or if content couldn’t be found. For example, if the proposal author found a market overview slide from 2013 but couldn’t find the latest version, they may re-do the analysis and update it for 2016. Beyond slides, the process would generally be repeated for visuals like company logos, industry diagrams, and charts. This process was inefficient and often led to poor output quality when out-of-date content was used, pieces were missing, and slides were hastily assembled.

After implementing a slide management or library solution, these firms were able to drastically improve efficiency and the quality of their proposals. First, they were able to easily build a secure shared repository of PowerPoint content where they could control exactly who within the firm had access to each specific slide. Then when putting a proposal together, authors could search the repository, get slide image previews, and quickly select the slides they needed. If they had a question about a slide, they could use the slide library solution to check who last uploaded the slide and instantly email them to ask any questions. Further, the slide library could be extended to visuals, allowing authors to find the very specific pieces of content they needed. Slide libraries also allowed authors to check their proposal to verify they had the latest content. And so, if that market overview slide was updated by a colleague since the author last downloaded it, he/she could be notified before sharing the proposal with others.

As exemplified by the implementation of a content management solution by the investment banking industry, a structured approach to managing PowerPoint content can yield significant gains.  As your knowledge repository grows and/or if you have employee turnover, consider using a slide library so that you have the content you need at your fingertips.

 

Your Business Presentation Isn’t About You (It’s About Your Audience’s Question)

Your Business Presentation Isn’t About You

Your presentation is days away, but already you’re feeling panicky and sick to your stomach. You hate public speaking, always have, and even though it’s just a hand-full of your colleagues, you feel like it might as well be the entire company.

So you read up on business presentations and learn how to get over your fear of public speaking. You learn techniques for projecting your voice, for appearing confident, for what to do with your hands. You practice over and over until every tiny movement becomes second nature. Then, on the big day, you walk into the conference room without fear. You deliver the performance of a lifetime.

The only problem is… no one cared.

This may be a little blunt, but it’s not about you. You weren’t asked to give a presentation because your co-workers wanted to hear the sound of your silky smooth voice. You were selected because you understand something that your audience doesn’t. Your business presentation isn’t about you, it’s about your answer to a question important to your audience.

Most of us will never give a grand speech in an auditorium with hundreds of listeners – but we will have to give more than one “sit-down” presentation to a handful of our work colleagues.

For these smaller, more common, boardroom presentations, your message is critical. To be successful, skills to identify the critical question and to structure, articulate, design and deliver a compelling answer are needed.

Unfortunately, the presentation training market is flooded with public speaking tips (as if we’re all giving TED talks). Have a look – advice on how to create an effective presentation is drowned out by tips on how to deliver an entertaining one. While a fear of public speaking is common, what should scare you more is failing to effectively answer your audience’s question.

TeamSlide helps you organize, plan, and ultimately present your slideshow, but we can’t design it for you. The structure of your argument, the order and pacing of your topics, the visualization of data, and the other critical nuances of crafting your answer are presentation skills on a whole different level.

SlideHeroes is a course that focuses on getting the substance of your presentation across.

With 20 video lessons ranging from 5 to 20 minutes, the SlideHeroes course covers in detail the process of creating a business presentation, plus the five main elements every effective presentation needs:

  • The Process: SlideHeroes’ step-by-step who, why, what, how process for building your presentation. SlideHeroes shows you how to identify the key question of your audience and organize an answer around that question. The course also focuses on how to ensure the objective and next steps of your presentation are clear.
  • Power of Logical Structure: A chaotic and flimsy presentation is a quick way to lose the attention of your audience. This section teaches the tried-and-true structures of building a logical argument, how to apply them to business presentations, and ways to generate the right ideas to flesh out your argument.
  • Art of Storytelling: Business presentations can be stories with a more practical message. Learn how to create a narrative arc within your presentation. Learn how the same storyboarding principles used in the movies can be applied to slides.
  • Harmony of Design: Looks aren’t everything, but they’re still something. The proper visuals can improve legibility, comprehension, retention, and can even set the proper mood. This section explains the science of sight and explores principles of visual processing. It then examines how these insights can be applied to the composition of your slides.
  • The Science of Fact-based Persuasion: The most reliable method of persuasion is hard-evidence. Here you’ll learn which facts are most useful and how to display information. The course compares the pros and cons of tables and graphs, analyzes the different types of graphs, and gives direction and when to use each type.
  • Drama of Performance: Learn the techniques of delivering a presentation that go beyond mere public speaking, including the best ways to rehearse and small tips that can add life to an otherwise dull graph parade.

The video format of the course is a practical, easy to digest means of learning how to write a presentation. Their segmented video lessons let you learn at your own pace, one topic at a time, with quizzes after each video to reinforce everything you have learned. The static online manuals of other presentation training can’t capture the intricacies of giving an actual presentation – some things you can’t just read about, you have to see in action.

Try SlideHeroes by signing up for their free trial. It will give you a very good sense of the SlideHeroes platform and course. We think you will enjoy it. Let us know what you think!