Whether it’s a sales pitch or a job interview, how you present yourself and your content makes the whole difference. Since the majority of people are more visual than auditory learners (meaning that they perceive information better when they see it than when they hear it), it is a good idea to have a slide deck prepared for any occasion. And that’s where the problem starts.
In this post, we give you a few best practices that will elevate your visual presentation deck to an entirely new level.
Let’s get started.
Start with a simple plan
First, when you identify the main subject, think of how you can split it into logical sections. For example, if your subject is “How to sell cloud solutions,” your logical content sections may look like this:
- What does the cloud market look like today?
- What are the benefits of selling the cloud solutions?
- What cloud technology is available?
- What does the sales process for cloud solutions look like?
The list may be longer or shorter depending on your actual subject and how much information you want to cover.
By creating the plan, you set the structure for the presentation and identify key points you want your audience to focus on.
The next step is to identify the takeaways for each section. Think about what you want your audience to remember. This might include calls to certain actions, products you want to promote, or academic conclusions on a subject.
Once you have a plan and takeaways, start working on your talking points. It may be as simple as a list of bullet points and snippets of information.
Think of how you can enhance your bullet points by referencing analytic reports and various data sources.
Think of how you can illustrate your talking points with charts, pictures, and quotes—they will appear on the slides as you are talking through the presentation.
Design to grab attention
If you haven’t yet, I recommend you watch this TEDx Talk by David JP Phillips: Death by PowerPoint. It clearly explains the DOs and DON’Ts for slide deck design. More importantly, David Phillips emphasizes that the central figure of every presentation is the presenter, and a slide deck is just a visual aid. This means that you must create your presentation as a reference or enhancement to what YOU have to say to your audience.
Here are some design tips to make your slide deck look great and be memorable for your audience:
- Use ONE message per slide
- Use bits of text with a supporting picture, NOT multi-sentence text
- Make the content of the slide BIGGER than the title
- Play with contrast and size to drive the viewer’s eyes to the most important parts of the slide
- Give preference to dark backgrounds
- Use no more than six objects per slide (including title, logos, and other supporting objects)
- DO NOT overuse animation
Check out one of our presentations as an example.
Taking these tips into consideration will help you improve your slide deck’s overall presentation, whether it’s a sales pitch to a new customer or a report at your weekly sales meeting.