Posted on: 4th October 2016
Capturing your audience’s attention at the beginning of your presentation is critical to its overall success…and for converting a prospect to a customer. It’s imperative that you’re able to drive interest right from the start so those listening are switched on and engaged with what you’re saying… and selling.
Doing so means using powerful presentation openers that help you hit the ground running. So what makes a good presentation opener?
Good presentation openers set the tone and agenda for what is to follow. They get your prospects prepared for what’s next and help make them more receptive to the presentation messaging you’ll subsequently build and your sales proposition.
But exactly what’s the best way to open your presentation? Well, there’s no simple answer to this. Choosing the right opening for your presentation will depend on its objective, tone and content. Consider the 5 types of presentation openers below and choose one most appropriate for your message:-
1.) Share a Statistic
You might not think it at first, but numbers can have real dramatic power when they’re delivered well. This is why Infographics are so popular these days online.
Of course, you don’t want to splurge all your most important data on your prospects from the start. You’ll want to build a crescendo of messaging towards those reveals later. But a surprising or impressive statistic can help hook the prospect’s attention. The more shocking or mind-blowing it is, the better.
To avoid confused stares from your audience, it’s important you position any statistic in the proper context. Don’t just deliver the number on its own: frame it in a way that demonstrates to your audience why it matters.
2.) Ask a Question
Starting off with a question: an oldie but a goodie in the public speaking toolkit, you can use it to heighten prospect engagement by addressing them directly. There are a few ways you can go about opening your presentation with a question. You can use an entirely rhetorical one to get your audience thinking about and reflecting on your topic, or you can seek responses to turn your conversation into a two-way conversation.
Starting with questions helps establish an element of interaction in your presentation.
3.) The Opinion
Does the message running through your presentation point to a conclusion that goes against or refutes the currently accepted school of thinking fro your product or service? Great, then you probably have some prime content for grabbing your prospect’s attention. Lead off with a statement right from the start to arouse curiosity. People will naturally want to find out why you think that way, so you’re in a great position to explain your position using your presentation slides.
4.) The Value Proposition
A good way of hooking your prospects is to think of them already as your customers. They only care about their own needs and priorities, and the whole reason that they agreed to listen to you is because they want to derive value from your presentation and make an informed decision about purchasing your products or services.
You can get them listening closely by acknowledging this fact and letting them know from the beginning exactly what they’ll get out of it. Obviously, don’t promise anything that you can’t deliver on, as this risks damaging your credibility.
5.) The Problem Solver
If your presentation is focused around selling them a product or service then the subject of your presentation is probably aimed at solving some sort of problem for them. So why not open by describing their issues in depth?
Really dig into the pain points that the problem causes – amplify how bad the current situation is and why it needs to be solved by your organisation.
Once your prospects recognise the breadth and depth of their issues you’re in a prime position to solve it with the rest of your presentation, positioning your product or approach as the ‘hero’. Remember that the problem can be one that your prospect directly faces, but can also be one that creates issues for their end customers.
Once you’ve decided on a brilliant opener, check out our tips on how to plan and structure the rest of your presentation.
Posted on: 15th August 2016
Visual storytelling for business presentations is a technique most sales people ignore when they create huge presentation decks of bulleted slides. The following recommendations by our Presentation Design Crew will help you create more effective sales presentations.
What should the first steps be when creating a sales presentation?
Always start with a high-level outline of what you want to cover in a Word doc or using Post-it notes on a wall. You need to build a good structure first that you are happy with before worrying about the design details, layouts and transitions etc.
Think about your close. What do you want the presentation to achieve? What do you want your prospect to take away from this meeting? What are the key points you want them to remember? If you begin with the end slide you can build everything towards those key points…. Oh and don’t leave them with more than three to think about if you want them to remember you and your sales pitch!
What’s a great way to open a presentation?
Start with a question! Start with the focus on them not you. They want to know what is in it for them right from the outset… not the history of your company….not how big you are!
How do I grab their attention?
Create a hook for your presentations. What’s your main point? Your big idea? Try to boil it down to one catchy sentence and position it right at the top of your sales presentations and keep repeating it throughout so it hammers home without being too obvious. Refer back to it to reinforce various points throughout your presentation.
What is the best structure for my presentation?
Build a structure, like a roadmap, and then tell them where you are going “In the next 15 minutes, we’re going to cover XYZ.”
As a good rule of thumb presentations should consist of three sections. Make sure in the middle section you cover the meat on the bones ie key points, case studies, research data. This section needs to lead your prospect from awareness to activation.
Create variety throughout such as market statistics backed up with case studies, photos with text and video stings to add interest.
It’s very important to close your presentation on a high note. Ensure you summarise your offer/proposition for your prospective client and include a specific call to action. Be specific and they should be interested enough to want to know what’s next.
When you are happy with your structure and only then you can consider building the visuals to bring the talking points alive throughout.
Presentations are as much about what you say as what you show. Clarifying a good structure in writing will help inform the visuals to support what you say. Make sure each slide works for you, supplementing what you are saying rather than just duplicating your talking points.
Most sales people must adhere to their company’s brand guidelines and templates. In reality that isn’t always the case! However consistency is key in the way presentations are delivered so there is merit in sticking to you company guidelines as this ensures familiarity with you brand when they look at other collateral such as brochures, websites, proposal documents etc.
How do I creatively work within our brand constraints when creating a presentation?
Sometimes consistency is a good thing. Company fonts, colours, and the templates are set. This gives you the opportunity to focus on the story and less on the design. Nobody bought a product or service purely on the look of the sales persons Powerpoint slides afterall!
Newspapers and magazines have a consistent template each month so what makes each issue different? They add engagement through a really catchy headline, dramatic photos and great relevant content.
Within a corporate presentation template, your creativity comes from your content. The case study stories you tell, the business language you use, and the impact of the images you choose. Look at how simple you can make your bullet points – less is more honestly. How catchy can you make the headings and hook? Grab attention with surprising relevant statistics and data sharing. Shake things up a bit!
Keep it simple. Use big, full-frame images and keep text to a minimum for the best impact. In terms of composition, try to limit the elements on the page to between 3 and 5. Sometimes just a big headline is enough to convey your point.
Don’t be tempted to fill the page with data to show how what experts you are in your field – this approach turns off prospects very quickly. Think hard about the idea you’re trying to convey with that particular slide. Use a simple chart that has some visual element to it – not just the numbers.
Sometimes, the exact numbers aren’t important and the more important point is the story, the trends, the sentiment.
Simple icons and infographics illustrate a point effectively. Use a smaller icon for the smaller stat, followed by a larger icon to illustrate growth. That tells your story visually without spelling it out over lots of bullets!
In summary if you can tell your story simply, with less information, that’s often the most effective way to go for your sales presentations.
Two great books on presentation structure and storytelling are As We Speak: How to Make Your Point and Have It Stick, by Peter Meyers and Shann Nix, and Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences by Nancy Duarte.
Posted on: 31st March 2016
For many businesses and organisations, one of the key challenges is aligning sales and marketing teams, while for some, these departments remain completely separate.
But for companies growing fastest these two disciplines are moving closer together, creating a huge opportunity for business development and growth. When marketing and sales teams unite around a single revenue cycle, there presents a huge opportunity to improve marketing ROI, sales productivity, and ultimately, top-line growth.
Despite both working towards the same end goal, there are a number of key reasons why sales and marketing teams often aren’t aligned:
Here is our top advice for aligning your sales and marketing departments for success.
While marketers are used to organising and managing their own channels, sales people are often lone rangers focused on meeting their targets for each month. With this approach, prospects and clients often receive an abundance of information, and occasionally inconsistent messaging, leading to confusion and mixed feelings towards the organisation.
One major step towards uniting the sales and marketing teams is to develop a master company overview that contains everything a prospect or customer may need to know about your services, and circulate this to both teams. By then containing this within both sales and marketing processes, both will be aligned with their communication.
While this may seem like a daunting task to gather all of this information, a well-designed and straightforward presentation is easy to create and can prove invaluable in ensuring that all teams are on the same page when it comes to business communication.
Defining and unifying content will allow both sales and marketing teams to draw from the same pool of information, and using this to tell the company’s story. With this information made easily accessible, both sales and marketing can tell relevant stories to customers and prospects.
Making storytelling a focus of your business narrative builds a natural union between sales and marketing teams, as each will need to draw from the other to build a complete picture.
Educate your teams
In large sales and marketing teams there is often a lot of existing information and assets that could be utilised, although it may not always be easily discoverable.
Teams not knowing what information is available to them is a common problem in organisations where sales and marketing aren’t aligned. Promoting and sharing this information and content is vital in uniting both departments.
With Presentia, content and presentations can be easily shared and updates pushed out to whole teams or individual users. This means that marketing can ensure that all content is on-brand, and up-to-date, whilst sales can be confident that they’re always working with the most recent, relevant content.
Considering that sales and marketing have such a reciprocal relationship and share the same goals by nature, it makes perfect sense that both teams should be aligned.
Using a presentation tool such as Presentia makes this union much simpler, allowing you to work seamlessly to create and share content that supports all needs and goals.
Approaching your communication in this way creates a stronger, more aligned team that are working together to achieve the overall business goals.
Posted on: 5th February 2016
Creating templates is the ideal way to save time and maintain brand control when creating your presentations. Presentia is perfectly designed to allow you to lock positioning, colours, fonts, and other elements on your templates to ensure sales users are able to create slides quickly and easily, whilst staying on brand.
Check out our video on how to create templates within Presentia.
Need some help with creating templates? Our friendly, pixel perfect design team are on hand to get you set up. Please contact us for more details…
Posted on: 20th January 2016
We’re often asked to demonstrate how presentations can be improved after our design team have created them in Presentia.
To give you an idea of what our design team can do, here is an example of some un-animated Powerpoint slides provided by Europcar, followed by a video of the slides, repurposed for Presentia.
Please get in touch, if you would like our design team to work some magic on your presentations.
Posted on: 15th January 2016
We asked our clients which features they feel make Presentia presentation software superior to Powerpoint and here are the top 5 responses:
The presenter is not limited to linear navigation. Jumping between presentations and individual slides is made easy with the 3D wall, which comes with a customizable background image too! You can even search for keywords and tags across your whole Presentia library to pull up relevant content e.g. Case Studies to respond to specific areas of interest a prospective client has in a meeting, as and when they arise.
Different levels of access rights allow more senior team members/designers to lock key brand elements (logo positioning, colours, fonts etc.) so that individual users cannot present off brand. Ensure all your sales team are presenting consistently without any out of date templates etc.
There is a login area so you can see which presentations have been played (offline in meetings or online presentation links your team have sent out), how frequently they are viewed, in what order, and by whom. This helps you measure your return on investment (ROI) and keeps a check on what your sales team are using most often in sales meetings.
Presentia allows you to create a centralised presentation library across the business, meaning no duplication, no more questions like ‘who has the latest XYZ Powerpoint slides?’, and no out of date content being used. Sending updates to users is very simple, and their own libraries on their laptops/ipads with then be automatically updated with new content… and you can retire out of date slides too!
These are crafty zones that give you a window into an area of content, such as images, videos and text. This gives you the power to create some unique transition effects and there is an additional option to create custom shaped masks which can be great for logos.
Posted on: 12th January 2016
In our latest release of Presentia (v6.20) you can now see when your clients/prospects view your presentations online. On the web dashboard you can see how many times the presentation has been viewed, when they come back to look at it and how long they spend on each slide!
Imagine this scenario:
You go to meet a prospective new client and show them your Presentia sales presentation face to face. They ask to have a copy of the slides after the meeting so you ‘export to web’ and send them a unique web url to view the presentation online.
Your prospect clicks on the link (inputs the password if you have included this as a requirement) and then clicks through the slides in their web browser. A few days later they revisit the presentation and look at the slides that interest them the most.
You can log-in to the web dashboard in our Admin panel and see which date and time they viewed your presentation link, when they came back again and which slides were on their screen for the longest.
Then when you follow-up them up on the phone or face to face in a meeting you have valuable insight on which products/services to focus on. This latest v6.20 release goes live this month (January 2016).
Posted on: 4th December 2015
Here at Presentia Towers we realise your presentations don’t mean to be bad… they’re just designed that way!
We get to see a lot of presentations every month, and let’s face it 90% are shockers! If they weren’t then they wouldn’t be coming to us in the first place to design more effective, engaging and persuasive slides.
Our Presentation Design Team have therefore put together some simple guidelines to help you improve your presentations …. and reduce the needless boredom of sales prospects across the globe. They call this the 10-20-30 Rule.
It’s quite straightforward. Ideally a presentation will have 10 slides, last no more than 20 minutes, and contain no font smaller than size 30.
This 10-20-30 rule applies to any type of presentation e.g. credentials presentations, closing a sale, raising investment, forming a partnership, etc
TEN: This is the optimum number of slides a presentation should contain. This may not cover all eventualities, for example a pitch presentation that is detailed to a particular client requirement. However a normal mortal human being cannot comprehend more than 10 concepts in a meeting.
TWENTY: You should present your 10 slides within 20 minutes. You may well have an hour for the meeting but people turn up late and it’s good to have healthy discussion and question time at the end.
THIRTY: The majority of the presentations sent to our design team have the text at font size 12. As much text as possible is crammed onto each slide… and then the presenter reads it to their prospective customer anyway! As soon as your audience realises you are reading from the slides they start reading ahead as they can read faster than you can speak.
The reason people use a small font is twofold: firstly they don’t know their material well enough so have it all up on the screen as a prompt, and secondly, they think that more text is more convincing.
Force yourself to use no font size smaller than 30 point. Our Presentation Team guarantee it will make your slides better because it requires you to find the most important points and to learn how to convey them well.
If you observe our 10-20-30 Rule for your presentations your audience will definitely thank you for it!
Need help designing the best presentations in the world? Find out more about our Presentation Design Services here
Posted on: 3rd December 2015
When the iPad first launched in 2010 we immediately realised this could be a game changer for the way businesses present their products and services.
The immediacy of accessing a presentation on an iPad means you can very quickly pull up slides on your iPad and have a quick sales meeting / presentation informally.
When the iPad launched there weren’t any presentation apps available for it. You couldn’t get Powerpoint on to an iPad and even Apple’s Keynote was very limited. Brands commissioned agencies to make them apps and often the content was static or in PDF format to flick through. Whilst this approach is fine, you lose the impact and engagement of dynamic presentations.
Once the first generation iPad hit the shops in 2010 we immediately started redeveloping our Presentia presentation app to run on the iPad. Consequently we were the first independent presentation product to have an iPad presentation app in the App Store.
Today there are many presentation apps out there including Haiku Deck, Prezi, and SlideShark. You can finally now get Powerpoint on there too and it performs OK.
iPad Business Presentations – who does this?
We speak to many large corporate organisations when we demonstrate Presentia, and the take-up of iPads being deployed to sales teams has been slow over the last 5 years but is steadily on the increase. Many companies adopted the approach to run trials with small numbers of sales people. Others took the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) approach but then had the headache of accessing all their internal systems and the associated security headaches that brings.
Some sectors were very early adopters. We found the Medical/Pharmaceutical sector to be first to adopt iPads for presentations, closely followed by the Investment Banking community. The latter use them for pitchbook presentations getting away from huge stacks of paper handouts. In fact that’s exactly the demand that made us develop our hosting (or master/slave) functionality in our Presentia iPad presentation app.
Today most corporate clients use a mixture of iPads and laptops to deliver presentations.
What About Presenting on Android Tablets?
When the first Android tablets emerged we waited to see what the corporate world would think of them. We did publish our Android Tablet presentation app to ensure we have full cross platform coverage for Presentia. However today our user base for Android presentations versus iPad presentations is 86% iPad against 14% Android for our Corporate Presentation Users. Android tablets seems to be most popular in the Small Business / SME market for adhoc presentations.
Top 3 Tips for giving a presentation on an iPad
With these few simple tips you can leave the laptop at the office and go and present on an iPad. Ensure you have a good iPad presentation app like Presentia or Keynote/Prezi/Haiku.
The first thing you should do before presenting with your iPad is disable notifications. You definitely don’t want push notifications to interrupt your presentation! The easiest way to do this is to tap on Settings, Do Not Disturb, and then switch the Manual slider ON.
Turning on the Manual Do Not Disturb mode will stop all notifications from appearing on the iPad whilst you present. A small moon icon will appear next to the battery indicator to let you know that Do Not Disturb mode is enabled. Once you’ve finished your presentation, you can switch the Manual mode to OFF.
With an iPad there are a few ways to connect your device to a projector. The main two ways are through AirPlay or a Dock/Lightning port adapter. With your iPad connected to a projector, you can easily present to an audience.
Connecting with AirPlay:
AirPlay is the easiest way to get your device’s screen appearing on a projector or TV. To use AirPlay, you need an AirPlay device plugged into the screen that you’ll be using for your presentation. The best AirPlay-capable device is the Apple TV, but you can also use a Mac or PC with AirServer installed.
Once your AirPlay device is connected and running, follow these steps:
Connect your iPad to the same wireless network that the AirPlay device is connected to
Navigate to Control Center, tap AirPlay, select your AirPlay device, enable the Mirroring option
AirPlay mirroring is a great option for displaying your screen in a presentation.
Connecting with VGA or HDMI:
Apple offers both HDMI and VGA adapters for iPads with a 30-pin Dock connector, and newer iPads utilize the Lightning port. Once you’ve established a connection with one of these cables, your presentation on your iPad will instantly show up on the screen.
You can easily exit your presentation temporarily by tapping the device’s home button. If you wanted to give a demo in the web browser, you could tap the home button, open Safari, give the demo, then re-open your presentation.
Posted on: 19th November 2015
Here is a video tutorial on how to use rulers, guides and grids, which are new tools for version 6.19 to help with positioning, aligning and resizing elements on the slide.
Posted on: 16th November 2015
We’ve put together this review of the Top 10 Presentation Software Products 2016 that are out there to help inform you when looking for an alternative to Powerpoint.
PowerPoint has been the ‘go to’ product for presentations for over 25 years. Most people can build a deck of slides in PowerPoint and it is used by millions of people every day. It does however have a reputation for being tired and boring which has coined the familiar phrase “Death by Powerpoint”!
At Presentia, we have been developing alternative presentation software products since 2002 and can talk with real firsthand experience about the myriad of presentation products on the market today.
Nearly all alternatives to PowerPoint are built for the masses to use. So if you are looking to make a presentation for your own use at a conference etc then you are well catered for with many products offering a free model for single users.
Let’s look at the presentation products currently on the market:-
Starting with our own, Presentia has been developed specifically for business users. We have built the product based on over a decade’s feedback from corporate users. If you want to control the quality of the presentations your sales people use and ensure they always have the latest and greatest slides then this is the product for you. Marketing teams like it as they can lock brand elements within templates. Sales teams like it as you can have high impact, interactive slides – even on iPad and Android Tablets.
Prezi takes a different approach to the traditional PowerPoint slide layout. It has a zoom effect where you move in and out through your presentation. This effect is not to everyone’s taste but is definitely cool for lectures and when presenting findings from brainstorms etc. If you are a financial client with a lot of data that is sensitive then you need to consider where this is hosted from a security aspect. Creating the content in the product takes little time to work out so it is probably not the easiest tool to provide to a corporate sales team who build presentations last minute.
Free public account version for the single user.
The Slideshark product was born out of the Brainshark stable and helps you get PowerPoint on to an iPad. Now that PowerPoint is supported on iPads this may not be a necessary product although it does have nice features around tracking activity. Users cannot custiomise Powerpoint slides once they are on the tablet.
Free limited feature version for the single user/casual user
A template based presentation software tool for single users who need a hand creating a presentation – the product ships with standard slide templates and access to stock photography. It is a cloud based product only at time of writing so not the best choice for the mobile worker. Great for students.
Free limited feature version for the single user/casual user
A launch menu application that compiles PowerPoint slides, word documents, photos etc into one presentation that you can move around. Not explicitly billed as a presentation product but features including live polling make it potentially a tool for conferences.
Free version for the single user/casual user
Another presentation product designed for getting slides on to iPads. It has got good traction on the corporate world. The product combines elements of SlideDog and Haiku to make a menu for launching multiple file types including Powerpoint presentations.
Free version for the single user/casual user
The Powtoon product uses stock cartoon animations to help you communicate your message visually. More suited to a designer or an agency to compile slides. The product is a good choice for the casual user of presentation software.
Free version available for single users.
The Apple alternative to Powerpoint for Macs/Macbooks/iPads. Has similar features to Powerpoint but incorporates much nicer slide transitions. To see what is possible look at old Steve Jobs presentations on youtube! Compatibility between Mac and PC users lets it down as a product for large corporate organisations who need to leave copies of their presentations with clients. Hugely popular in the agency pitching world.
No free version for the single user/casual user
A template driven presentation tool which can be shared on multiple devices. The product has access to many different stylish templates making it a good choice for the individual user who has the freedom to create slides without being governed by a corporate brand identity. Nice auto translation feature too.
No free version for the single user/casual user
A content management app for displaying different file types including presentations on the iPad. Showpad is a good alternative product for hosting a webconference meeting. Offers good online analytics information.
No free version for the single use
Posted on: 11th November 2015
Delivering a presentation as a salesperson requires a unique and specific approach. Unlike traditional presentations, you’re requesting more than just time and consideration from your audience. The goal of a sales meeting is to convert your prospect into a customer or client, which can be a lot more challenging that simply informing or entertaining your audience.
With the many challenges involved in delivering a sales presentation, it’s important to learn the basics of delivering presentations that are persuasive and successful.
When trying to persuade people to make a purchase, it’s important that you are able to maintain the audience’s interest and attention for the duration of your presentation. To do this, try and deliver your pitch in as short a time as possible.
The average adult attention span is just five minutes, and so if possible try and keep your presentation as close to this time as you can.
If delivering your presentation in less than five minutes is not an option, try to be as concise and succinct as possible to avoid losing the attention of your audience.
When delivering your presentation, try to focus on one clear message that your audience will remember. This will also allow you to make the overall sales pitch more succinct, and ensure that your audience remain engaged.
To summarise your presentation in one sentence, ask yourself what message you want to leave with your audience as a key takeaway. Using your summary sentence you can then craft your presentation so you have a maximum of three points supporting your overarching message.
Most people can only remember three key points from any presentation, so use statistics and stories to develop your key message along with three main supporting ideas.
Identifying a core message will allow you to more effectively deliver a concise pitch.
Once you have delivered your concise and engaging presentation, the next step in your sales pitch is to close the deal.
If you’re not able to close the sale there and then, end your presentation by asking your audience to commit to a next step that will move forward with the sale. People are more likely to follow through with an action if they have previously agreed to do so.
To enhance your next sales presentation remember to keep your content concise, have a clear message and close the sale with a commitment.
Presentia sales presentation software provides an innovative solution that engages and excites your audience. Presentia can help you deliver clear and persuasive sales presentations to win new business.
Posted on: 21st October 2015
There is much advice for delivering a great presentation and how to capture your audience’s attention, but what you do at the end could make all the difference to your presentation’s impact and success.
An effective finale to a presentation can inspire your audience and leave them with a positive and memorable message.
We’ve taken a look at the best ways to close your next presentation to make sure you leave your audience with a memorable takeaway.
1. Tell them “One More Thing”
An acclaimed public speaker, Steve Jobs was renowned for finishing his presentations with the phrase “one more thing”, to announce a crucial point of his talk. By using this tactic of saving the most surprising or valuable information until the end, you will leave your audience with a memorable finale. And capture the attention of your audience whose minds may have strayed.
2. End with a story
A relatable and relevant story that circles back to the central theme of your talk will help tie up the presentation effectively. Your audience are also more likely to remember genuine stories that add a personal touch to your speech.
3. Ask a question
Provocative questions that lead your audience to contemplate the messages in your presentation are a powerful way to end your talk. Depending on the nature of your talk, you could ask your audience how they might react to a situation related to what you’ve spoken about, or how they could alter their behaviour in relation to your talk. By posing a question you will give your audience the opportunity to think more deeply about your message.
4. Use a quote
Quotes that concisely illustrate your key message can make for a compelling ending to your presentation. Choosing a quote that is attributed to someone recognizable will also add extra weight and resonate further with your audience. Display the quote clearly on screen at the end of your talk.
5. Call everyone to action
If possible, avoid ending your presentation with a Q&A session. Instead, aim to pepper questions & answers throughout your presentation and use your final slide to call your audience to action. Instruct your audience as to what they can do next, and how they can use what you’ve told them in their everyday lives.
Posted on: 13th October 2015
Most of us have experienced the two extreme ends of the business presentation spectrum, from being sent to sleep by the monotone drawl of a disinterested speaker, to being captivated by the energy and poise of a confider speaker.
We’ve taken a look at the most common pitfalls of delivering a presentation, and offer our advice on how to avoid them and deliver a professional presentation every time.
Failing to prepare
Rehearsals and preparation are vital when it comes to sounding and looking confident in a presentation situation.
Plenty of practice on a willing audience will allow you to rehearse any potential curveball questions and allow you to practice regaining your composure if you receive a difficult or unsuspected question.
Underestimating the importance of body language
While preparing and perfecting your presentation is vital, all of your hard work will be lost if you enter the room looking nervous and uncomfortable. This will only reflect on to your audience and can destabilise your offering even before you’ve started. Positive and confident body language can help to build trust with your audience and reinforce what you’re saying.
As with all presentation skills, positive body language can be practised and honed. Key areas to focus on are good eye contact, natural smiles, a good posture and open gestures.
Often, one of the most important aspects of your presentation is you. Marketing yourself, your skills and your personality during your presentation will help to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise, along with connecting you with your audience.
If done well, presentations give you the opportunity to make a positive impact on your audience and deliver your message effectively. If you fail to make the right impression on your audience you risk being forgotten and your message lost.
To make your presentation memorable try developing a theme to provide you with a thread on which your messages can hang. A theme is a great to make your presentation unique and provides a memorable structure to your talk that prevents you from going off on a tangent or bringing in irrelevant facts.
Being caught off guard in Q&A
Sometimes the most challenging part of presenting to an audience is having to deal with the Q&A portion of your talk.
Once the presentation itself is over it can be easy to lose composure, and a great pitch can quickly unravel. Difficult questions are often designed to fully understand your proposition, and so by retaining your composure and keeping calm, responding to these questions shouldn’t be a challenge. Before delivering your presentation you should already be aware of the majority of the questions likely to be posed based on your preparation and planning.
Seasoned presenters will have suffered an awkward moment on more than one occasion when something goes wrong. For the majority of instances these problems or mistakes can be reduced or prevented entirely with some forward planning and preparation.
By understanding your audience, ensuring that all of your equipment works correctly, and being clear on the content in your slides you can help to reduce to opportunities for anything to go wrong.
Last, but by no means least…
If, despite all of your preparation and planning something still goes wrong, the key is to remain calm to achieve a good recovery.
Retaining your composure and a sense of humour will help you to avoid most of the pitfalls of delivering a presentation. A good recovery can be just as influential as a great pitch.
Great presentation skills do not come naturally but with practise can be learnt. Mastering the skills required to present successfully will also serve you well in other areas of your life and by following the above advice, presentations may even become something that you enjoy rather than endure.
In addition to developing your presenting skills, Presentia presentation software provides you with the tools to create professional looking slides to support and enhance your overall presenting experience.
Posted on: 21st September 2015
For many people presentations are a central part of their working day, so it’s surprising to learn that public speaking remains a daunting task for many.
Studies suggest that 3 out of 4 individuals, or 75% of all people suffer from a fear of public speaking, making it the number one fear among society’s population.
However these skills are often called upon, whether it’s in a large-scale conference situation, pitching to potential clients or presenting to colleagues, meaning you owe it to yourself to develop a strategy to manage your nerves and concentrate on delivering an engaging presentation.
If like most people public speaking or presenting is one of your major fears, there is no need to allow this to control your life.
We’ve outlined our top tips for overcoming any anxieties over public speaking, designed to help you focus on your audience’s needs rather than your own fears.
By understanding your audience and their needs ahead of your presentation you can be more confident that you’ll be presenting them with useful material that will add value to them.
You can do this by defining who your target audience is, ask people representative of that audience what they would like to hear, and if possible consider contacting participants ahead of your talk and asking them a few questions about what they’re expecting.
Preparation is key when producing your presentation material. Standing up in front of an audience to present a topic you are not well prepared for will do little to calm your nerves.
By understanding your material inside out and ensuring it is on target to meet your audience’s needs you’ll have more confidence in what you’re saying, which in turn will help to calm any anxieties.
Another important point to remember when working on your material is that you can’t cover everything you know in one presentation. Be selective in what you chose to talk about, highlighting just the most important information. You can always answer any in-depth questions at the end, or take down contact details of your audience to provide further information.
Encouraging audience participation and asking questions can also help you to deliver your information in a more conversational way.
When preparing a presentation many people make the mistake of memorising exactly what they intend to say, meaning the delivery can come across robotic and over-rehearsed.
By structuring your presentation more effectively and using cues to prompt your next point, your talk will come across as much more natural and personable.
Having a set of key phrases on cue cards or within your slides will help to trigger your memory as to what is coming up next. This approach means you can control any anxieties over forgetting your words and make the presentation run much more smoothly.
One of the most effective and simple ways to structure your presentation is to tell you audience what you’re going to say, say it, and then recap on what you’ve told them.
Whilst you should avoid memorising your presentation word for word, you’ll want to ensure that you’re comfortable and confident in your delivery.
Familiarity with your topic and the basic structure of your slides will give you confidence, and practice will help you to deliver your talk naturally. By learning the order of your presentation instead of exactly what you’re going to say, you’ll avoid sounding like a robot and won’t risk being thrown off if you forget any of the word you rehearsed.
Being nervous causes physical reactions due to the increase of adrenaline in your system. Using a few simple techniques can help counteract these anxieties and reduce nerves ahead of your presentation.
Practice deep breathing that will deliver oxygen to your brain and trick your body into thinking you’re calmer than you are. Adrenaline can also cause a dry mouth, which in turn leads to becoming tongue-tied. Keep a bottle of water with you to ensure you remain hydrate throughout your presentation.
Finally, speak more slowly than you would in a normal conversation, and leave longer pauses between sentences. This slower pace will help to calm you down and make it easier for your audience to follow what you’re saying.
Posted on: 27th August 2015
One of the most valuable skills in business is the ability to talk to your audience about your proposition in an effective and compelling way.
Mastering public speaking and delivering presentations can also be central driver for the growth of your business and winning new business if done well.
We’ve outlined our main dos and don’ts for delivering a killer presentation every time.
Start with the problem
In a sales presentation situation your main focus should always be to clearly demonstrate how your product or service will address your audience’s pain points.
By empathising with their concerns and providing a beneficial solution you will both endear your audience and gain their trust.
Minimise word count
Your slides should enhance your presentation and act as visual cues for what you’re saying. Avoid using long streams of text and instead stick to bullet points and visually engaging imagery or video to tell your story.
Minimising the length of the text on your slide will also ensure that your audience are engaged with what you’re saying and not trying to read directly from your slides.
Relate to the audience
Use personal anecdotes and relatable stories when talking to your audience. Let them know that you understand and share any concerns they may have. Asking for their opinions and feedback is also a great way to relate to your audience and involve them in your presentation.
Not only will practice ensure that your presentation runs smoothly and flows well, it will also help to calm any nerves and give you extra confidence in your delivery.
Read directly from your slides
Reading directly from a screen will cause even the best presenters to sound dull and unengaging. Turning away from your audience and breaking eye contact is a fool proof way to lose their attention, and helps you to come across as lacking confidence in your message.
Remember to use your slides as cues, the more visual the better!
Leave your personality backstage
Showing your personality when presenting will help to create a connection with the audience, and let them know that they’re doing business with an actual person, rather than a faceless company.
By allowing your personality to come across you’ll help everyone feel more relaxed, which makes for a better experience for everyone involved.
Forget to prepare for questions
In the midst of preparing for a big presentation or whilst focusing on building a creative slide deck, it’s easy to forget to prepare for any additional questions your audience may have. A poorly planned Q+A can leave your audience with a negative feeling, overshadowing all of your hard work. Anticipate any questions that may arise and prepare your answers to avoid being caught off guard.
When delivering a sales presentation the most important ‘do’ is to appreciate your audience and focus your attention on providing value to them.
If you put them first everything else will fall into place and you’ll deliver successful presentations every time.
Posted on: 17th August 2015
Have you ever been in a hurry to locate old presentations or specific slides to create a new presentation? In Presentia you can store a whole library of all your presentations and associated assets, filed and securely backed up all in one place. This makes locating and combining content a doddle!
Customise your presentation and add links to other slides or content with the Hotspot feature. The feature allows you to create website style navigation buttons to make your presentation more dynamic and allow you to take a more fluid path through the content.
Presentia comes with a selection of custom-created transitions that you can apply to various content elements throughout the presentation. These transitions are designed to add depth to your slides and highlight important information to the audience. Transitions can easily make the difference between your audience falling asleep or engaging with your content.
Have you ever spent hours on a great presentation just to have the meeting get cancelled? You can share your presentation quickly and easily via email simply by exporting it to the web and sending a standalone link to the content. And sharing content with members of your team is just as easy. Share whole slide decks directly within the app for colleagues to download next time they log in.
The templates feature within Presentia allows you to create impressive slides, whilst ensuring consistency throughout your sales or marketing teams. Slides can be locked down to ensure Brand Guidelines are adhered to, and that only the correct font, colour and assets are available to choose from.
In addition to maintaining on-brand content, this also allows users to create amazing looking slides with no previous design experience. Even if you are a single user, templates can be set up to ensure that your presentations are quick and easy to create from slides you have already designed.
Posted on: 4th August 2015
For many of us the prospect of presenting to a room full of people is more than just a little daunting, and yet in the business world few things are more important.
Delivering a great presentation could make all the difference when it comes to winning new business, although public speaking is not a skill that comes naturally to everyone. Take a look at what we think are the top 10 habits of great public speakers.
For many of us the prospect of presenting to a room full of people is more than just a little daunting, and yet in the business world few things are more important.
Delivering a great presentation could make all the difference when it comes to winning new business, although public speaking is not a skill that comes naturally to everyone. Even the best, most seasoned speakers experience stage fright, but by working on good presenting habits you can overcome this and deliver presentations that engage, inspire and persuade your audience.
Here are our top habits to work on to become a better presenter:
Habit 1: Acknowledge nerves
Presenting in front of a room full of people is a nerve-wracking experience and accepting this is crucial to overcoming your stage fright.
Remind yourself that everyone experiences these nerves on occasion, and it’s ok to feel this way. Delivering a presentation does not need to be a grand performance – treat it more like a conversation with your audience.
Habit 2: Focus on your audience
Great presenters are always focused on their audience and not on themselves. How you make your audience feel and the messages that you leave with them are what’s important, and should be where your focus is placed.
Habit 3: Stay on topic
If you’re nervous ahead of delivering your presentation there is a danger of speaking quickly and veering off topic, worrying that you may forget something or get something wrong. Remember to take your time when presenting and only tell your audience what they need to know. Less is more!
Habit 4: Practise
Use your time ahead of your presentation wisely. Familiarise yourself with your slides and practise your delivery until it becomes second nature. Not only will this improve your presentation, it will also give you confidence and help subdue any nerves.
Habit 5: Use colourful, engaging images
When it comes to the slides themselves, images are far more compelling than rows of plain text cluttering up the screen.
Select striking, relevant imagery to compliment and support your key messages, and offer some much-needed variety to your slides. Well-chosen images are paramount in making your presentation stand out and your messages memorable.
Habit 6: Involve your audience
All of us have sat through our share of boring presentations on more than one occasion, forced to listen to dry content delivered at us, rather than discussed with us.
By interacting with your audience you make the whole experience easier on everyone. Getting them involved in the conversation can be easily achieved by asking questions, building-in audience discussion or asking for their opinion with a simple raise of hands.
Habit 7: Use compelling video content
Concise, compelling video content is always well-received by an audience. In a way that is difficult to do with just the spoken word, you can convey a message, evoke emotion and persuade an audience all with a short video clip.
Videos are also a great way of bringing to life otherwise static and unappealing slides to command more attention from your audience.
Habit 8: Demonstrate your expertise
Audiences respond best to speakers who present with confidence and credibility in what they’re saying.
Remember to demonstrate to the audience your expertise and knowledge in your particular topic, and be sure to establish the value in your message.
Habit 9: Make friends with your audience
As a presenter you should make it your business to befriend your audience. Establish the things you have in common, empathise with them, and listen to what they have to say.
By treating your audience as friends you can develop a valuable connection that will allow you to deliver your message more effectively, and leave them feeling positive about your presentation.
Habit 10: Be persuasive
Persuading your audience to agree with your message is the Holy Grail for anyone delivering a presentation.
Deliver your presentation in a way that delves into the underlying benefits for your audience, and be sure to tailor what you’re saying to them and their needs.
Habits are routine actions, many of which are performed unconsciously by us on a daily basis. When it comes to delivering presentations, by working on developing these new habits you can transform your presentation skills forever.
Posted on: 15th April 2015
Here is a list of suggestions for what makes a GREAT presentation & what makes a RUBBISH one!
|GREAT PRESENTATIONS:||RUBBISH PRESENTATIONS:|
|• Grab them with an interesting hook to start
• Good voice projection
• Smiling, friendly, natural approach
• Passionate about the theme
• Conversational in tone
• Clear points
• Good use of supporting visuals
• Use video to reinforce points
• Simple design
• Have one clear main point to get across
• Have confident body language
• Punctuate with relevant examples
• Involve your audience
• Take questions and allow time for them
• Keep to time!
• Have a clear conclusion
• Make your audience think
• Include new topical info
• Only include statistics with context
• Explain why not just what
• Change your pace periodically
|• Rambling and slow starting
• Sound like you are reading a script
• Reading lots of text on slides
• No eye contact with your audience
• Seeming unconfident
• Looking bored or disinterested
• Too long or too short!
• Too confusing
• Badly designed visuals
• No clear point to it all
• No examples to back up points
• Facing away from audience at the screen
• Repeats a point too often
• Repeats a point too often!!
• Monotone delivery
• Seeming to be unprepared
• Talking too fast
• Data shared too complex
• Charts are irrelevant to the message
• Charts impossible to read!
• Using industry jargon
• Speaking down to your audience
• Slides contain nothing new
• No flow, just lots of bullet points
• Doesn’t inspire or motivate
Posted on: 19th March 2015
Deliver interactive presentation content on the move, directly from your iPad.
Apple sold more than 1 million iPads in the first 3 months of this year. And with 4x the screen size of the iPhone and a stunning display, the iPad offers the ideal solution for delivering your content on the move.
Whether you are prepping for a board meeting or pitching your next big idea, iPads are a convenient alternative to lugging around a laptop to meetings.
The Presentia app allows you to deliver feature-rich content created on your desktop through the intuitive, simple interface.
But how do you present successfully from your iPad?
Here are my top tips to remember when you are delivering your Presentia content from the iPad:
Disable Notifications – You don’t want people to see your social media notifications whilst you are presenting.
Fonts – iPads work with a specific set of fonts. These are found on iosfonts.com. You will need to create your original presentation with one of these so that they display correctly on the iPad.
Screen Size – This varies depending on which model you are using, as the resolution differs. Your Presentia slide size should be set up to replicate this to achieve the best results.
Interactivity – The touch gestures native to any touch screen device can be used. In Presentia, hotspots can be built into the presentation as a navigation tool or to show extra information on demand.
Animation – Animated content designed in Flash originally should not contain action script, so simple timeline based animation is best and makes the presentation really engaging.
Video – Film clips are a great addition to any presentation. To work on iPad they need to use the FLV codec ONVP6. Most standard video encoding software will have these settings.
File Sizes – When designing your presentation it’s usually good practise to use optimised imagery for the final size you are using it at. Avoid importing a massive image and using it at 10% of its original size.
Package Size – The size of your package does matter! Because you can’t create content directly from the Presentia app, to view the presentation on your iPad you have to send the package from your desktop. A good stable web connection is necessary for this. If you have a small package size with optimised images and video then this should be a very quick process.
Big Screen/Little Screen – If you are in a situation where you need to show the presentation on a big LCD screen, then the app can be linked up via a VGA adapter.
Transitions – Your iPad isn’t as powerful as your computer, so it’s good practice to avoid having masses of transitions on every slide.
For more advice on presenting with Presentia on iPad, contact our team.
Create, send to iPad, present.