What Wins When Giving Presentations: The Slides or the Speaker?

Earlier this year, Pulse Design Studio was chosen as 1 of 12 design companies to ‘pitch’ to a group of local decision makers responsible for hiring talent for their creative business needs. The event was held at dPOP! at the Chrysler House in Detroit, sponsored by several well-known organizations including Pure Michigan Business Connect, Detroit Creative Corridor Center, Michigan Film and Digital Media Office, and the Detroit Crain Content Studio.

Each company presenting was given a total of 3:00 minutes to pitch, utilizing no more than 10 PowerPoint slides. For a presentation company like ourselves, this was the chance to put our talents to the test.

What I found interesting about the event, was the buzz amongst the audience after all the presentations were given. The universal question people were pondering was when it comes to giving a presentation, what’s more effective? Is it the slides or is it the speaker?

This honestly wasn’t the first time I had heard this dilemma. It’s a common question I get asked all the time no matter what size presentation or event I’m helping a client prepare for. It’s like tug of war, in which one side seems determined to win, but no one actually does.

My answer boils down to this- it’s neither the slides or the speaker. It’s the story. This is the primary and universal foundation that will engage and resonate with your audience far beyond anything else. But what exactly does that mean?

During our presentation, we included a slide to speak to this universal truth:

Understanding your story, and how to connect that with your audience is becoming an invaluable element for any presentation these days. Why? Here are three key reasons driving this truth:

  1. Time. Our time is getting increasingly limited (as in our 3:00-minute example) to engage with one another. Having an hour or more to pitch a product or an idea is going to be a thing of the past.
  2. Competition. The number of businesses on the landscape compared to 10 years ago has grown and will continue to grow. Digital online marketplaces and growing technologies will add more and more pressure on companies to stand out, and compete with one another.
  3. Decision Makers. Engaging with key decision makers is no longer about being together in the boardroom. Connecting with your audience across time zones and the increase of file sharing will continue to impact how engaging and stand-alone your presentation should be.

Following the event, an article got published by Daniel Duggan, a Crain’s Detroit Business editor who said, “…I asked a few people, informally, afterward about what pitches they liked best. The ones that rose to the top were those who were talking more about the big picture and making the pitch more about telling a story.”

So, next time you find yourself in the position to craft a presentation, start with what your ‘story’ is, rather than what the copy or graphics should be. You’ll find yourself delivering a much more effective presentation to your audience, and most importantly one that they’ll tend to remember the most.

About Tany Nagy:

With over 18 years of design experience and a Masters in Architecture, Tany Nagy transformed using her design skills from blueprints to presentations when she founded Pulse Design Studio in 2008. Her love for presenting stories as state-of-the-art communication materials launched Pulse into becoming a quickly recognized and sought after presentation design agency on a national and global scale. As creative director at Pulse, she has created hundreds of award-winning and dynamic presentations, from keynotes to pitches for Fortune 500 CEOs, leading healthcare organizations and funded start-ups. Her passion

With over 18 years of design experience and a Masters in Architecture, Tany Nagy transformed using her design skills from blueprints to presentations when she founded Pulse Design Studio in 2008. Her love for presenting stories as state-of-the-art communication materials launched Pulse into becoming a quickly recognized and sought after presentation design agency on a national and global scale. As creative director at Pulse, she has created hundreds of award-winning and dynamic presentations, from keynotes to pitches for Fortune 500 CEOs, leading healthcare organizations and funded start-ups. Her passion for pushing the boundaries on developing latest techniques and solutions drive her creativity to bring the very best in the industry to her clients. As an educator, she has been a featured speaker at several events in the Detroit area focusing on the evolution of presentations in today’s marketplace and digital landscape. You can reach her directly at her email: tany@pulsedesignstudio.com or by visiting her website.

[Webinar Recording] Marvelous Makeovers: Presentations Edition with Rick Altman

Fan Favorite, Marvelous Makeovers: Presentations Edition is back!

Watch Rick Altman transform ugly slides provided by our subscribers into marvelous makeovers. Did you know that makeover seminars are the most popular of all at the Presentation Summit, the annual conference for the industry, but what exactly is a makeover? Is it just the prettying up of a bad slide? In fact, there are many forms of makeovers, and they are all on display during recorded webinar. Watch it now to find out what magic Rick will pull out of his hat to make “Marvelous” slides.

If you’re a golfer, your favorite word is “mulligan.” That’s when you hit a dreadful shot, usually into a forest or a lake, and you drop the second ball at your feet and essentially proclaim, “that one didn’t count.” You then hit again and go on your merry way, a happier camper for it.

In PowerPoint parlance, our mulligan is the makeover – that fantastic and fantastical opportunity to press Pause and create an alternate reality. That horrible slide with eight long-winded bullets and a postage-stamp photo? No, you didn’t really mean to do that; that doesn’t count. Take a mulligan! Here’s a do-over.

Makeover seminars are the most popular of all at the Presentation Summit, the annual conference for the industry, but what exactly is a makeover? Is it just the prettying up of a bad slide? In fact, there are many forms of makeovers, and they are all on display in this hour:

Message: Well-intended content creators often lose sight of the story they mean to tell.

Structure: If the foundation of your presentation is flawed (like trying to create slides that serve as visuals and as handouts), you will be swimming upstream the whole time.

Slide design: The classic case of “who created this sludge and how can we fix it?”

PowerPoint technique: Most users of the software are undertrained and rarely go below the surface of PowerPoint’s feature set. That can have a profound effect on how they build their slides.

Delivery: A well-designed presentation both relies on and encourages presenters to be at the top of their games.

You can download the handout here.
About our speaker:

Rick Altman has been hired by hundreds of companies, listened to by tens of thousands of professionals, and read by millions of people, all of whom seek better results with their presentation content and delivery. He covers the whole of the industry, from message crafting, through presentation design, slide creation, software technique, and delivery. He is the host of the Presentation Summit, the preeminent learning event for the community, attended by an international audience of 200 since 2003.He would have traded it all in for a career on the professional tennis tour. He wasn’t good enough, though — all of this was his Plan B…

[Webinar Recording] Slide Diets: Before & After Design Tricks to Slim Down your Content

Are you slides “over-stuffed” with too much content? Are they readable? Or, is the type so small, you need to include a magnifying Citrix sponsorship adglass to read it? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then watch this recorded webinar from PresentationXpert with designer Bethany Auck. It is the perfect chance to learn how to slim down your slide content.

Learn how to take those over-stuffed slides and transform them into bite-size snacks – easier for your audience to digest and enjoy. Bethany uses real-life before & after examples to explain how to reduce content without losing data and meaning. The focus is on producing clearer visual communication to be a better and more effective presenter. Discover how to produce better slides, how to reduce content to the essentials, and how to streamline your presentation design, better communicating the important content.

Handouts:   Slide Diets Webinar Handout

Aboutbethany_square_300dpi (1) our Presenter, Bethany Auck:

Bethany has been working in the presentation design industry for nine years. She cut her teeth at small litigation consultancy where she consulted on major trials helping her clients build persuasive narratives and poignant demonstratives. Bethany founded SlideRabbit in 2012 to bring high-quality design to all industries at low-cost levels.  Her email is bethany@sliderabbit.com

 

 

Pitch Perfect! How to Make Successful Sales Presentations!

BoringPresentation_WebMake winning sales presentations. Learn the tricks the pros use to get audience agreement and sell a product, solution or idea. Use the latest behavioral psychology and neuromarketing techniques. Use what you learn during this webinar to make a clear, compelling presentation that gets buy-in and improves your success rate. It’s easy—when you know how to do it.

  • Discover the three reasons people buy
  • Improve sales
  • Learn the latest behavioral psychology and neuro-marketing techniques
  • See how to get audience agreement
  • Get the recipe for persuasive presentations

This webinar with sales and presentation guru, Mike Parkinson, is recommended for those who develop or deliver sales presentations and presentations that are meant to persuade the audience to take a desired course of action.

About Mike Parkinson:

Mike2015_bigMike Parkinson is an internationally recognized visual communication and presentation expert, solution and strategy expert, award-winning author, trainer, and popular public speaker. He is a key contributor on multi-billion dollar projects and helps Fortune 500 companies improve their success rates. Mike shares his expertise through books like Billion Dollar Graphics, articles, and online tools. He is also a partner at 24 Hour Company (www.24hrco.com), a premier creative services firm.

Recorded Presentations: Add Speaker Video To Your Slides for a Personal Touch

Looking to create more of a live presentation feel on your recorded presentations? Consider using video of you speaking on one side of the slide while the other side is devoted to content to help create that effect. Here are some ideas for using these presentations:

  • For internal training, on your organization’s Intranet or LMS (Learning Module System)
  • On YouTube (or another video sharing site) for marketing or for clients
  • On your website to highlight you as a speaker or present your topic in a more engaging way

I call it a hybrid presentation because it puts speaker video next to typical slide content.

This is easy to do with a wide-screen slide size. The wide screen gives you more room to put both pieces side-by-side.

Here’s an example of how it looks:

How Do You Play Video Across the Slides?

You can play a video without interruption across slides. (I explain how to play a sound file across slides in my post “Play music or narration throughout a presentation.”)

First, insert the presentation on the first slide where you want it by choosing Insert tab, then clicking Movie or Video.

Choose the video file of you speaking to place it on the slide. Keep the video selected.

In PowerPoint 2007, click the Movie Tools Options tab. In the Movie Options group, click the Play Movie drop-down list (it will probably show the Automatically option) and choose Play Across Slides, as you see here.

powerpoint-tips-side-by-side-speaker-video-slide-content-1

powerpoint-tips-side-by-side-speaker-video-slide-content-2Strangely enough, this is harder to do in PowerPoint 2010 and 2013. It’s similar to the procedure for playing a sound across files. Here are the steps:

  1. Click the Video Tools Playback tab and set the Start option to Automatically.
  2. Click the Animations tab and then click Animation Pane to open it.
  3. You’ll see 2 items, one that plays the video and a trigger that pauses it, as you see here. Click the Play item, click the drop-down arrow, and choose Effect Options to open the Play Video dialog box.
  4. In the Stop Playing section, click After and enter 999 (the max allowed, just to ensure that it plays throughout the presentation) or the number of slides during which you want the video to play.
  5. Click OK to close the dialog box. The video will now continue to play across your slides.powerpoint-tips-side-by-side-speaker-video-slide-content-3

How to Turn Your Presentation into a Video

 

Unfortunately, when I tried to export the presentation as a video, it didn’t work. I saw the video on Slide 1 but it was gone for the rest of the slides. Even on Slide 1, it didn’t play–it was frozen. But the audio worked fine throughout. In the end, I used Techsmith Camtasia’s recorder to record the presentation in Slide Show view and edited out some white space at the beginning and end.

Other techniques for side-by-side video

You could do this another way. You could put all of your content on 1 slide and animate it to appear when you want it to. Of course, this would work only for presentations that have just a few slides, like the one I showed at the beginning of this blog post. Then you can sync the animation to bookmarks that you create on the video timeline. I explain this technique in “Sync animation with a video or audio.”

Or, you could divide up the video into segments and put a separate video on each slide. You would need to use video-editing software to do this. You wouldn’t need to animate or set transition timing and people could click through the slides as each video ended.

About the Author:

Ellen Finkelstein is a PowerPoint MVP who can train you or the presenters in your organization to create high-impact, engaging, professional presentations for training, sales, business, or education. For more information visit www.ellenfinkelstein.com

 

Why PowerPoint’s Critics Have it Wrong

I have a lot of designer buddies who think that PowerPoint is the most cumbersome, clunky piece-of-junk software that’s ever been written. When their clients come to them wanting a new PowerPoint theme or a redesigned presentation, they say “No problem!” Then bust their humps learning how to use PowerPoint so they can get through the project and keep on pretending they provide a full range of graphic design services.

Not me.

I’ve always liked PowerPoint. When I worked in an ad agency, I got all of the PowerPoint jobs because nobody else wanted them. Now that I have my own company,  I specialize in PowerPoint. Not “presentation design,” not Keynote and not Prezi. Plain old PowerPoint. And business has never been better.

Whether you’re an in-house designer, work in a design agency or run your own business, specializing in PowerPoint is a smart move. Here’s why:

#1 Other designers hate PowerPoint

PowerPoint is the world’s number-one presentation design software. Millions of people with no design background whatsoever create presentations every day. That means that there are potentially millions of opportunities to redesign these presentations or help people create new ones. Yet many designers turn PowerPoint business away because they never wanted to learn how to use the software. “Ew, Microsoft!”

Two words: job security. If you become a PowerPoint specialist then you get all the PowerPoint work that other designers don’t want. They don’t know what they’re missing, because…

#2 PowerPoint lets you be creative

PowerPoint has a lot going on. How many other tools allow you to manipulate photos; play with audio and video; draw complex shapes; create interactive, clickable files; and build sophisticated animation?

Not only can you create slides in PowerPoint, you can make movies and even do page layout. When you’re designing a slide, you’re solving the same kinds of problems designers have always tackled: How can you simplify complicated subjects? How do you effectively tell a story? What is the best composition for this particular layout? How can typography be used to get the message across? The only difference is that the medium is primarily onscreen.

#3 Your work can make a big difference for your clients

People use PowerPoint to score new sales, close deals, get investors interested in their new businesses, introduce new products, influence public opinion, teach, build membership etc. Great presentations can help organizations prosper.

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to give your clients an advantage over their competitors? Professionally written and designed presentations can be so much more effective than those done by people with no formal training.

I hear it from my own clients all the time that after we’ve worked together their presentations are more effective, they’re seeing better results from their sales calls, their audiences have an easier time understanding complicated subjects and so on. I derive a lot of satisfaction knowing that I’m giving my clients a competitive edge.

There are a lot of opportunities to do creative, exciting work using PowerPoint. So I have come to love it when designers complain about clients who have PowerPoint projects they don’t want to do.

“Send them my way,” I always tell them. “Send them my way.”

About the Author:

Laura Foley helps people become more fluent in PowerPoint through workshops, consulting, and presentation design services. She has developed presentations and provided training for clients such as Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, Juniper Networks and the Harvard Business School. Her Cheating Death by PowerPoint training has been featured at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Simmons College and the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst.  For more information, visit www.lauramfoley.com

The 5-Point Formula for Powerful Presentations with Author, Simon Morton

brainshark - sponsor logo webinar with play button

 

watch now on Brainshark

The presentations that are the most critical to the success of your organization today are not the ones delivered on stage in front of hundreds of rapt listeners.  They are the ones you and your colleagues deliver every day, looking to connect with an audience – of a few, or many – and drive action.  This webinar will challenge everything you thought you knew about creating and delivering engaging business presentations.

Based on Simon Morton’s critically-acclaimed book, The Presentation Lab: Learn the Formula behind Powerful Presentations”, this webinar is a great resource for the everyday presenter looking to drive results.  book framedHis consultancy, Eyeful Presentations has perfected their methodology and created a formula for the success of their clients. Watch this webinar and Simon will teach you how to successfully:

        • Assess the needs of your audience
        • Structure an effective story
        • Be prepared for informal, interactive presentations
        • Use visuals with real meaning
        • Master nuances for blended presenting – live or on demand, in person or online, or a combination

PXP_WatchNowIcon

About Simon Morton, Eyeful PresentationsSimon_morton with frame

Simon Morton’s early career as an executive for an international technology company exposed him to more PowerPoint presentations than was good for him.  With his firm, Eyeful Presentations, based in the UK and with 6 international offices, Simon has been ridding the world of ‘Death by PowerPoint’ for over 10 years.  In his new book, The Presentation Lab: Learn The Formula Behind Powerful Presentations, Simon shares the methodology and approach that has driven Eyeful’s success and that of its world-class clients.

The Location of Your Presentation Screen Sends a Message

The presenter is the most important element of any presentation, but where the presentation screen is located can send a different message.

Most presenters place the projection screen in the center-middle of the room, forcing the presenter into a corner and setting up competition for the audience’s attention. Whenever you can, move the screen into the upper-right front corner of the room to send a message that you’re the principal focus of the presentation, not your PowerPoint slides or Prezi visuals.

That added space you create up front will also allow you to move around more easily and better engage with your audience. All of which helps to humanize your approach and put the spotlight where it belongs, on you the speaker.

Smart Talk: Making Powerfully Persuasive Presentations

In this talk, you’ll learn Dr. Robert Cialdini’s principles of influence and how to practically apply these principles to persuasive presentations. Ultimately, facts are not the way to best lead, motivate, and inspire. Powerful persuasive presentations instead, rely on effective audience analysis, solid storytelling, and figurative language.

PowerPoint – Turn it on and then turn it off

PM-mic-image-180

The most common scenario with presenters with PowerPoint is on before they start speaking and never off until they are done. The projection area is always filled with an image or text that competes with the presenter. Try this technique. Do not show your first slide until several minutes into your presentation. Let the focus of attention be on you and your message. Once the audience is familiar with both, then introduce your slides. The end of your presentation should get the same treatment. End your slides before finishing your presentation. Let the focus be on you and your message as you wrap thing up.

Charles Greene III
Presentation Magician
Washington, DC
CharlesGreene.com

Pin It on Pinterest