Tag Archives: Presentations

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!

Importance of visuals in marketing and sales presentations

Importance of visuals in content marketing

The Internet is crawling with facts on the benefits of using visuals in social media marketing efforts:

  • Humans are able to process images more quickly and efficiently than text (source)
  • Engagement rate of social media posts with visuals is higher than those without (source)
  • Quality of visuals play a more important role in the customer purchase decision process than product descriptions and ratings (source)

Marketers are quickly realizing these benefits and we are now exposed to a variety of visuals (charts, info-graphics, pictures) on a regular basis. Mainstream media is also increasing their use of visuals (e.g. NY Times, Bloomberg) and we are becoming more and more accustomed to consuming information in this manner.

In conjunction with our content marketing efforts, our sales presentations (and other types of presentations) also need to consistently use visuals to improve customer engagement. Many times, however, these presentations tend to be a little stale with out-of-date templates and a lot of text. Here are a few suggestions on how to effectively use visuals in your presentations:

  • Between all your marketing teams build shared repository of visuals to ensure consistency across all your customer touch points
  • Invest in high-quality visuals that are relevant to your messaging
  • Keep an eye on image sizes especially if the presentations will be consumed on a mobile device

We’ve had the opportunity to speak with a few in-house expert presentation builders and they confirmed that their companies are making significant investments to improve their visuals. From their website to PowerPoint files, visuals and templates are being carefully redesigned to better improve customer interactions.


At TeamSlide we help PowerPoint users better manage their visuals and ensure that they have seamless access to them. Quickly build a shared repository of images, diagrams, templates, and charts. Save time by accessing them directly through PowerPoint – you won’t have to hunt for slides or visuals ever again.

3 tips to build better sales presentations

The sales presentation is a great opportunity to establish a relationship with the customer and align your offering with their specific needs. Whether delivered in person or using a web conferencing solution, the presentation should serve as a launching point for a collaborative working model.

Often times, however, sales presentations become a one-way conversation and a rush to flip through as many slides as possible. Here are 3 tips that can help improve your presentations:

Tailor your presentations1. Tailor the presentation to the customer: Do you have a good understanding of the customer’s needs and perspective prior to the call? What are their primary pain points? Are they using a competitive product? Why are they considering your offering?

While it may take additional effort, tailoring your slides to resonate with the customer’s expectations can significantly improve outcomes. Try splitting all your sales collateral into modules that you can pull together and edit to build a story relevant to your customer.

 

Engage the audience2. Engage the audience: Through your presentation style and the PowerPoint slides aim to establish a collaborative and engaging meeting.  Here are a few ways to achieve this:

– Pause to ask questions and ensure that your audience is following along
– Keep your slides simple and use images and charts appropriately to bring your ideas to life
– Ensure that your slides add to any knowledge the customer may have already acquired from your website or other sources

 

soccer ball3. Understand your desired outcome: The  presentation is likely an early step in the sales process and it’s unlikely the customer will immediately send you a PO. However, each presentation does have a goal even if it’s as simple as setting up another meeting.  As such, you should build the goal into the presentation and leave enough time to address it. Otherwise you may find that the customer was engaged but that the next steps were unclear.

If the presentation goal is logical and represents a small step in the sales process it may make sense to devote a slide to it. However, if the ask is large and the customer not prepared, it may make sense to more gently bring it up.