When it comes to designing slides to accompany a presentation, I'm not an expert. To put it bluntly, I don't have the skills.
And yet, I know that how information is presented makes a critical difference! That creates a huge dilemma, one I don't have to myself. There are squillions of us who have minimal design know-how wanting an answer.
To get an actionable solution, and to understand more about what goes in to creating an effective business presentation I spoke to Arte from presentation process.
Presentation experts, the husband and wife team, Arte (left) and Ram (right), have walked their talk. Both have had extensive and successful experience in senior roles for multi-national corporates during which they've seen the good, bad and very ugly of business presentation.
Their website and business, presentation process, is a natural extension and development of their skills. At its core is the essence of effective business presentation: the art of making the complex simple and accessible to an audience.
Perhaps you've had the experience of knowing your presentation didn't go over well. You prepared it as best you could but still something was missing.
Was it the powerpoint slides? Were there too many? Were they too busy? Or was it the message?
Read on. Learn, and check out the template packs. They're effective and affordable - a winning combination!
The questions I asked Arte are bolded. Her answers are below them.
What have you identified as the biggest anxiety producing area for presenters?
Many business presenters think that if their idea is strong, their audience will get it. They get frustrated when the audience is unable to understand their well researched presentation. I’ve seen that happen a lot when technical experts are invited to make a product presentation to a group of users.
They don’t realize that the skill set required to come up with great ideas is very different from the skill set required to communicate those ideas to others in an effective way.
What is the solution to the problem?
The solution is to change the way you see your audience. Instead of seeing them as recipients of your message, start seeing them as carriers of your message. This automatically changes the way you design your presentation and makes it significantly more effective than the usual way of presenting.
Can you explain the difference in a bit more detail?
From our experience, we’ve seen that most business decisions are taken long after the presentation is delivered by the presenter. Often key decision makers are too busy to attend presentations and they make their decisions based on the message passed on by those who did.
So, the real presentation is not made by you but by the carriers of your message. That’s why the change in orientation is so vital.
How specifically does this orientation change the presentation design?
When you see the audience as message carriers, you focus on making your message transferable.
You automatically make the following adjustments:
I said: You've seen hundreds of business presentations through the years.
What have made the stand-outs you remember significantly better or memorable?
In my view, the presentations that make a lasting impression on the audience have always been simple and visual.
Great business presenters relate their ideas and concepts to their audience using simple, powerful diagrams instead of relying on text based slides.
In fact, drawing diagrams forces a presenter to have thought clarity even at the preparation stage. It is impossible to draw a diagram when you are not clear about an idea. When your ideas are clear, it makes it easier to transfer the idea.
Most audiences understand a diagram faster and remember it longer. This possibly explains why most of the memorable presentations have been visual in nature.
Here is an example showing the difference:
That's great, I said, but creating professional diagrams can take a lot of time and skill.
Do you have any solution to help busy and not so graphically-skilled business presenters?
Yes! We have many simple yet effective solutions that are gaining popularity throughout the world. The illustrations above come from information about our 60 PowerPoint Elements Pack. This is the one most suitable for small business or educational presentations. It is truly just pick and stick! At $12 it's a bargain.
From choosing a professional color palette to adding slick elements, we’ve done all the hard work to save time for presenters. All they need to do is to just copy & paste diagrams to their slides to create professional quality images instantly.
Here are a few sample images from the 60 pack to show you the kind of quality we provide. Click the "60 pack" link to visit our website to see all the elements included.
But we don't just sell products! We also give them away. We've got YouTube tutorials covering all aspects of design, a course on creative presentation ideas and more. There is a huge amount on offer through our website. Visitors will find help with every aspect of creating a great presentation.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Yes, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts on giving an effective business presentation. It has been a pleasure talking with you.
PS. Use your time and energy for creating great content and leave the presentation to us. Save yourself from stress. You don't have to do it all yourself. The 60 PowerPoint Elements Pack is an affordable ($12.00) professional quality solution to lack luster design skills.
Note: If you decide to buy a pack part of the purchase price comes to me, Susan, for pointing you in the right direction. My thanks, in advance!
Many thanks to Arte for sharing her expertise. One of the stand-out ideas for me is the concept of the audience as carriers of your message. It does change things!
If you want to learn more about effective business presentation visit presentation process.com. You'll find a wealth of material all designed with you in mind.