Blog General

  • How to create winning Bid Presentations

    sales tender presentations

    At Plus Two, the makers of Presentia, we have been developing compelling Bid Presentations for over a decade – this article shares some of our learning and advice.

    Most of us involved in selling our organisation’s products / services will be familiar with the following scenario:-

    – We receive a request for proposal (RFP) – almost always requiring a detailed response in a tight timescale – followed shortly thereafter by a Presentation.

    – We pull together a bid team.

    – The bid team works frantically to provide accurate answers to the plethora of questions asked. Hoping that many of the questions have already been answered in previous bids so they can simply cut and paste.

    – As the deadline for submission approaches the team put in increasingly long hours as they get things finalized and ready for the review / authorisation process.

    – You deliver the response to the RFP with minutes to spare.

    – The team collapse exhausted and retires for liquid refreshment!
    And only then do they turn their attention to the Presentation which is now only a few days away!  So this becomes a rush job by a team that is already jaded. So what typically happens is that the vast majority of the quality effort goes into the RFP rather than the Presentation.

    My question is this – is this the best way to win the business? I fully accept that the time has to be spent on the RFP response as if you don’t provide a comprehensive response you won’t be in the game.

    However I’ve been in many Presentations where it’s abundantly clear that many in the audience have – how shall I put it – not read or perhaps more charitably not remembered the RFP response.  Now I have some sympathy with them – these documents often run to many pages and are rather dry – so it’s very tempting to read the Executive Summary and the Costs section and leave it there!

    Generally speaking all the organizations short-listed are all capable of doing the job. Whilst you are normally required to respond to the RFP in a predefined structure this is not normally the case with the Presentation.   So the Presentation gives you the opportunity to standout  – ensure that your USP’s are clearly articulated – and start to establish relationships with the key people.

    Our key point is that the relative importance of the Presentation is often undervalued.

    We have helped many clients with Bid Presentations across a wide range of business sectors helping our clients secure multi million multi pound contracts. So we’ve gained huge amount of experience in what it takes to create compelling Presentations.

    Some time ago one of our clients was biding for a large 5-year contract worth close to £200m and along with 3 competitors was invited to present their proposal in 30 minutes (which seemed a ridiculously short time given the contract value).

    We created the Presentation for them and waited with bated breath to hear how it went.  Turns out that they were with the client for 2 hours rather than the 30 minutes allocated – in part as they were so struck by the Presentation. This gave them the opportunity to get their key messages across and to bond with the client personnel. So the Presentation had clearly hit the mark.

    And yes they won the contract!

    So in summary the generalized advice we would give is as follows:-

    1. Start the process of developing the Bid Presentation in parallel with the RFP response – don’t do it sequentially. This will certainly improve the quality of the Presentation but may well also help the RFP response.
    2. Think through early on in the process the key points you want to make which will differentiate you from the competition. Make sure that they are fully reflected in a consistent way in both the Presentation and the Proposal. In the Presentation make then very clear expressing them as a benefit to the client and don’t be afraid to repeat at the end of the Presentation as you close.
    3. At the outset determine clear responsibilities / budget for the development f the Presentation. Think through what the business is worth, the probability of winning it and consequently the level of resource you are prepared to commit.
    4. Treat the Presentation as just as important as the RFP response – make sure that someone is clearly accountable for the delivery of the Presentation
    5. Give the Presentation a real visual WOW factor – use really high quality designers and use graphics in 2 and 3D to make it visually compelling and relevant – keeping text to a minimum. We often find that this resource isn’t available in-house – one reason that clients use us to support their Bid Presentations. This shows the prospective Client that you have made a real effort and aren’t simply trotting out your standard stuff.
    6. Do not use PowerPoint. Unfortunately people’s eyes tend glaze over when confronted with a PowerPoint Presentation; there is a good reason for the ‘Death by PowerPoint’ badge. Present in something different and you will immediately grab your audience’s attention.
    7. In the same way that you ‘cut and paste aspects of the RFP response it should be possible to do the same for the Presentation. This will keep costs down and help with getting the Presentation ready in time.
    8. Make sure that you are able to leave / distribute / make available soft and hard versions. Sometimes key influencers and even decision makers may not be at the Presentation.

    If you would like some help with your next bid why not give us a call on 0203 239 2422 – you have nothing to lose but plenty to win!

    See examples of our presentation design work here

  • Business Presentations

    business presentations

    In business most of us at some point in our career ends up making presentations – for some business roles like Sales it’s a regular occurrence. Some Presentations are very formal others are more informal and interactive – closer to a structured fireside chat.

    But they are all about helping to communicate information in a way that positively informs and influences the recipients.

    At the risk of generalizing Business presentations fall into 2 main types:

    The first is principally a ‘one way’ communication. For example a presentation by the Chairman at a company AGM informing analysts / shareholders in how the business is performing. In this situation the path through the presentation is linear – starting at slide 1 and progressing through to the end slide. This form of presentation is about transmitting information and does not in itself allow for relationship building. In this particular context this would be more down to the Q/A session at the end of the presentation.

    The second is ‘two-way’ where the objective is to use the presentation as an aid to structure something closer to a conversation. Many sales situations take this form. The salesperson may have a limited understanding of the customer’s requirement, and is using the opportunity to establish what mutual areas of interest exist and is also seeking to build or consolidate the relationship.

    To facilitate this meeting (in person or virtual) the salesperson may well have put together a presentation based upon their understanding. But recognize that course of the meeting needs to define sequencing of the slides as areas of interest become apparent.

    Indeed it may well be that an area of interest isn’t even covered in the deck. So there may be a need to pull in other presentation material. PowerPoint in spite of it’s moniker ‘Death by..’  is like it or not the tool that most people use for business presentations.  However PowerPoint is hardly inspiring for ‘one way’ communications but for ‘two way’ it simply doesn’t get near the mark.

    So when we created Presentia our Presentation Management Tool – as the alternative to PowerPoint – we focused on the needs of Business Users and looked to create a tool that worked for all types of Presentations.

    The result is a tool that allows you to:

    – move in an elegant non linear way through your presentation. Simply dropping into more detail on a particular subject as required.
    – have all your Presentations at your fingertips so that  you can seamlessly switch into another presentation as the situation requires it with sophisticated keyword searching facilities  to quickly get to specific content.
    – quickly and simply build a customized deck from existing presentations adding in new slides consistently where required so that the pitch to the customer or prospect is fine tuned.

    In essence a tool that has the all flexibility that Sales people need.

     

  • Sales Presentations – Creating Visual Storytelling for Businesses

    POWERPOINTSUCKS

    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.

    Further reading:

    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.

     

  • Aligning Sales and Marketing Teams

    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:

    • Culture – sales and marketing cultures are often very different, with both teams valuing different things.
    • Targets – different incentives and targets can often be the cause of a divide between the departments.
    • Understanding – a lack of understanding of the role of each team within the organisation is often the biggest obstacle to better alignment of sales and marketing.

    Here is our top advice for aligning your sales and marketing departments for success.

    Streamline communication

    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.

    Encourage storytelling

    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.

    Conclusion

    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.

  • See when your presentations are viewed online * New Feature *

    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.

    Presentia_webstats

    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).

     

     

  • The “10-20-30” Presentation Rule for designing great presentations

    10-20-30-rule

    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

     

     

  • Presenting with an iPad… and tips for using iPad presentation apps

     

    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.

    1. Disable notifications on the iPad

    donotdisturb

    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.

    1. Connecting to a projector or Screen

    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.
    iPadconnector

    1. Giving web demos in presentations on an iPad

    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.

     

  • 5 Most Effective Ways to Close Your Presentation

    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.

    live-sound-microphone

    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.

  • Our 5 favourite Presentia features and how to use them to enhance your presentation

    5PFX_Features (1)

    Library

    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!

    Hotspots

    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.

    Transitions

    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.

    Sharing

    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.

    Templates

    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.

  • GREAT and RUBBISH presentations in business

    presentationsoftware

    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

     

  • Best presentations have less words & more visuals – fact!

    officeteam sales presentation

    We get to see a huge amount of company Powerpoint presentations each week and though they differ in terms of design quality there is nearly always one common trait – too many words on the slides!

    Often they are designed with the least knowledgeable sales person in mind to give them all the information they need on a product or service up on the screen.

    Less words and more preparation on the topic will get a better end result   ie a more engaged and enthused prospective new customer!

    Visuals work better than lines of text. We all recognise this from when we are learning to read. After all no child starts with a 400 page paperback with no illustrations do they?

    However it takes a brave Marketing department or Sales Director to equip their sales team with image led sales presentations.

    We recently worked with an office stationery and solutions provider, OfficeTeam, who did make that leap to a graphical presentation format in Presentia.

    OfficeTeam invested in the time to retrain their sales people in articulating their varied service offerings and drilled them in how to use the new visual-based presentation our Design team created for them. This presentation included lots of beautifully crafted 3D animation. Take a look here:

    The response they have had from prospective customers in presentation meetings has been phenomenal. What’s more we have had many enquiries directly from companies who have been in an OfficeTeam sales presentation and want the same high impact slides for their sales teams!  So,  highly visual sales presentations also work well for us as well as our clients!

    Do you want to chat more about improving your presentations? Want the best presentations in your sector? Give our design team a call on 0203 239 2422.

  • Tips for designing great presentations

    We are often asked what makes a great presentation by our clients. How should we structure our credentials or sales pitch presentation?

    The majority of companies really struggle with creating good, effective and engaging presentations. Often their PowerPoint slides are jam packed with words, bullet points, cheesy cartoon clipart, bad quality photos ‘borrowed’ from the web, customer logos that are stretched and blown up too big, horrendous mixture of Fonts, colours etc.

    I could go on… but let’s focus on our recommendations for making better presentations!

    Making Better Presentations.  The best presentations standout in 3 main areas:

    1. Content structure
    2. Design
    3 Delivery

    1. Content structure

    Think about the purpose of the presentation – we cannot stress this point enough! In fact I’m going to say it again….start by thinking about the purpose of your presentation!

    The most common issue we see with company presentations is the purpose. Often presentations are made from pre-existing slides in other presentations and mashed together. In our busy work lives it’s all too easy to take this approach when preparing a presentation and also to leave it until the last minute too! This is bad…very bad.

    So many presentations end up being all about you and not about your audience or their requirements/issues etc. Do you really think they want to sit through a stack of slides about your company history, financials, locations, lists of client logos, management structure diagrams etc etc. No they don’t! Think about it this way….how often do you stay in the cinema and watch all the credits to see all the names of the people who were involved in making the movie…not very often I bet.

    leaseplan

    Putting your customer central to everything you do

    So think of the purpose. Why do they want to see our company? Why are our products or services of specific interest to them? How can I make our presentation stand-out from the other Suppliers bidding for their business?

    Build the structure about them not you… and you will immediately notice a more engaged attentive audience.

    Don’t create too many slides! On average we see PowerPoint presentations from clients between 25 and 80 slides long! Again put yourself in their shoes… would 10 excellently crafted and personalised slides be better than 50 dull PowerPoint ones? YES!

    Back to the purpose for your close. What do you want to happen after your presentation meeting? An order? A follow-up meeting? An opportunity to pitch for their business? Whatever outcome you want close by asking that question! Sounds obvious but if you don’t you have missed your best opportunity of moving to stage 2 of your sales opportunity.

    2. Design

    OK now you have a great structure for your presentation. and you need it to be visually engaging.

    Most presentations are designed in the same way. Corporate template, company colours, company font, company logo in the corner.
    Again….all about us not the audience! I’m not saying that branding isn’t important, but I’m suggesting that relating the slides to your audience is more important than ramming your corporate identity in their face.

    capita1

    Very subtle company branding. Very good use of space for laying out a case study

    However, beware of styling your presentation in your audience’s branding too. Nothing turns of a potential customer more than seeing their own logo being abused!

    Important rule to remember when designing a presentation is that the slides support what you are going to say… they are not EVERYTHING you are going to say!

    Limit the words on slides. Keep it punchy as a support for you to refer to and elaborate on so the focus remains on you and your company offer. Keeping the words simple and clear is the key to making a good presentation. Elaborate jargon may make you feel clever and ‘on the ball’ but simple plain words ensure your message is understood loud and clear! Less is more!

    Punchy text – less is more!

    You should give the facts in short text points rather than in paragraphs of words simply because points are easy to read than a paragraph.

    A picture is worth a thousand words as the saying goes. Pictures aren’t right for all industries but they are one of the most effective tools in a presentation. Relate them to your topic and use the to punctuate the flow of your story structure.

    aura

    Show them what you do in a picture if you can!

    Ensure your text is big enough and a legible colour. At least 12 point size. Nothing worse than a presenter saying “I know you can’t read this at the back of the room”….why did you bother then!

    officeteam

    Clear text statements – very nice design reflecting their brand logo

    3. Delivery

    It’s all in the preparation. Even if you make a lot of presentations to clients every week you still need to prepare.

    Before each meeting I look at the client’s website for topical news relevant to them. If I can weave this news into how I relate our services I will. Making a point relevant and real to your audience is an excellent presentation technique. Explaining how your products./services can help address a need you know they have is much better than talking more generally about how great your company is.

    Rehearsal. Doesn’t matter how big the meeting is or how often you make presentations, rehearsal is a very good discipline. Rehearsal doesn’t mean do the whole presentation word for word. In can be as simple as running through the structure in your head for 10 minutes thinking through all the potential questions your audience may have.

    Oh yes… questions. Always build time for questions. Great presentations always trigger questions from your audience.

    Don’t talk too much. Easy mistake to make especially if you are nervous. Make sure what you say is aligned to what you show on the screen (but not word for word…remember slides are a backdrop and not a crutch!)

    tmobile

    Nicely balanced slide design – phone bottom right balances pink box top left

    Allow time for your audience to take in what you are saying. Let them talk amongst themselves a debate the content of your presentation if they want to….this is all good stuff.

    Nerves… don’t worry! Easy to say but everyone gets nervous doing presentations. If you have prepared well and know your topic inside out you will find you can control the nerves and channel them positively to give your best presentation.

    Body language is an important factor as is eye contact with as many of your audience as possible. This makes the presentation more successful. Try to avoid reading notes as this is distracting and breaks the connection with your audience. If you prepare and rehearse well then you don’t need any notes.

    Millions of presentations are made each day… the majority of them are dull, boring, forgettable, unbearable, irrelevant PowerPoint presentations. 

    You can be different!

    Need a bit more help designing a great presentation? Please contact our presentation team at our sister agency, Plus Two. They are experts in presentation design and can really make a big difference for your sales presentations.

     

  • The History of Presentations

    896437_f520

    Having been involved in the creation of business presentations for companies for 25 years I’ve seen a lot of changes, software innovation and trends in the way people present their sales pitch.

    In the mid-1980′s the approach consisted of handwritten OHPs/Transparencies/Acetates which were projected using Overhead Projectors.

    Read more

  • ‘Every’ Presentation Ever

    A well put together but humorous look at how ‘most’ presentations take place. The video covers off a good number of the presentation faux pas – enjoy!

  • Hosting a meeting with the iPad presentation software app that keeps everyone on the same page (erm…slide)

    Want to get away from handing out large proposal, pitchbooks, tender documents in sales meetings?

    Do your prospects always flick through to the meaty-money-bit and start questioning you whilst you’re still introducing yourself?

    Now you can host your sales pitch in the room by handing out iPads/Tablets to your prospects and connecting them up over Wi-Fi or 3G and starting the slide share hosted session.

    PFX-iPad-SlideShareHosting (blog)

    The new Presentia hosting feature allows you to control the slides everyone is viewing in front of them. When you tap your iPad or advance on your laptop all the other iPads change with you. Click here to view a demo animation of the functionality.

    There is no need to plug-in to a projector, screen or to hand out printed documents (which are bad for the environment). Your prospects share your screen – you’re in control, broadcasting presentations to multiple ipads, keeping everyone on the same slide and they’re engaged with you.

    You have full control over the content that your prospects are seeing, and can lead them through the presentation at your pace without feeling the need to rush. When you change slides, interact with rich media content, link to a website, all the connected iPads change with you… instantly.

    Now you have the power, why not unleash some presentation control over your prospects today with Presentia. One client has embraced this new hosting feature so much they have ‘affectionately’ renamed it Master/Slave!

    Give us a call if you’d like to find out more about broadcasting presentations to multiple ipads, or if you’re interested in having a demo of our alternative to PowerPoint presentation software.