The good news is, there are many talented graphic artists, art directors, and other creative types who can help with PowerPoint presentation design. There are even some who can do some very creative wipes, fades, and transitions to make your PowerPoint presentation look dynamic. In a professional environment, this can give you a slight edge over your competition, but here at Preston Presentations, we believe in three (3) areas of presentation design that will help you get that lead, win the order, have your employees retain information from their training, or for the attorneys – win that case!
1. Professional Presentation Design
We believe that being professional is the first of our 3 core areas of focus. The good news is, there are many people/organizations who can help you create a more professional presentation design for your PowerPoint, but there is a drawback in using just anyone to help you achieve this.
If you have ever heard the phrase regarding “putting lipstick on a pig”, this can also apply to your presentation design. While spending money to make your presentation look better aesthetically, you will actually do very little to make it more effective by doing this alone. Thus, why putting lipstick on a pig doesn’t do much – it’s still a pig (no offense to our little four legged friends).
We strive to help you look more professional in appearance, but also help you achieve a more professional perception by organizing and focusing the structure through presentation design – thus increasing your own credibility. It is through the addition of our second core principle of making your presentation design powerful, that we differentiate ourselves from our competition.
2. Powerful Presentation Design
Powerful presentation design involves the focus, messaging, structure, and utilization of psychological techniques to help engage the audience. Quite often, in our first discussions with clients, we like to ask “what is the point of your presentation/PowerPoint?”. Amazingly, many have a difficult time answering this in one sentence. We follow up with “what would you like the audience to do?” (as a result of your presentation), and again, we receive some blank and bewildered stares.
While focus and messaging are important in aspects of powerful presentation design, we have learned that the structure of your presentation can, by itself, either help or hinder the effectiveness of your presentation. How many times have you sat through a long winded PowerPoint, listening to presenters talk of their (or their company) history, experience, etc…and then going through detailed slides of things that have nothing to do with your business? Sure, when we fix the focus and message, then we must align the structure of your presentation design so that you can take advantage of the human attention span, and their innate cognitive reflexes that people use to memorize information. By focusing on these areas in the structure of your presentation design process, we bring tie together all of the areas we mentioned and deliver the 3rd characteristic of effective presentation design: persuasive presentations.
3. Persuasive Presentation Design
By becoming more professional in appearance with your presentation design in addition to utilizing focus, messaging, structure, and psychological techniques, even those who have rarely needed to present in front of an audience can become highly persuasive and effective. Persuasive presentation design is the embodiment of being both professional and powerful. It allows you to get the meaning of your presentation across to your audience, as well as assists them to act upon it in a way that you direct them.
For salespeople, it helps increases the odds of getting that purchase order 30 days later (if they remember what you have told them, that is highly persuasive). It also helps you increase the number of sales you achieve – even without increasing the number of people you are presenting to.
For marketers, it can help both in driving inbound and outbound marketing efforts, with the results being an increase in the number of leads/prospects/opportunities for your sales teams to close.
For corporate trainers and management, if you can engage your employees and help them retain information they will require, it reduced additional burdens on staff and management when future assistance might be required. Wouldn’t it be nice to have them remember even a fraction more than what they do now?
…and for attorneys, getting a jury to retain specific information can go a very long way into helping them in their deliberations, and ultimately deciding in your favor. We have even sat on a long, data intensive, jury, and seen people struggle to absorb everything, besides just struggling to stay awake! Imagine what getting that 1 or 2 additional jurors to lean your way could make for your clients, your practice, and your pocketbooks.
So remember, effective presentation design is more than just fancy graphs, charts, and visuals with large text. It needs to not only look professional, but also be powerful and focused in your message and desires, as well as structured using techniques to help them remember your message. Only through the combination of being professional and powerful can one achieve the ultimate result of having persuasive presentation design.