The essential part of your marketing toolbox.

30 September, 2015
Marketing, Digital Marketing
4 min read.

Presentations are a highly effective method when you wish to educate, engage and encourage your audience. However, there are a number of reasons why you may be unsuccessful, so here’s a few points to help make your presentation hit the mark.

1) Start with who and why

The reason why you’re creating a presentation is most likely to inform, instruct or persuade. Pinpoint what you’re aiming to achieve and create content that addresses that primary goal throughout.

If you lose sight of that, your presentation will have failed before it’s even begun.

2) Focus on delivery

You must always start with the basics – who is your target audience?

If you’re pitching to a young tech savvy audience, consider how you can spin the content of the presentation with subtle ‘new age’ touches to retain their attention. However, an older audience may be more interested in analogies they can relate to – nostalgia can play a strong role here.

Think about how you are going to keep your audience engaged and interested in what you have to say.

3) Use the right software

Today’s technological age has brought with it some fantastic innovations in presentation software. Two of our favourites are Prezi and SlideShare. However, more important than software is content. PowerPoint is still very effective when used professionally. It’s all about what you want to say.

Decide on what your story will be before committing time to a presentation.

4) Presentation, presentation!

Now for the visuals. Design is processed 60,000 times faster than copy. Make use of it.

Your presentation needs to be aesthetically pleasing. No one wants to look at tedious slides for 30 plus minutes. Visual aids should be used to help the audience follow your point of view and emphasise key points within your slides.

Remember, Key Points, not every point. A creative agency is a perfect partner in this process to maintain brand consistency and looking fab!

5) Counterproductive copy – eliminate it 

There is nothing worse than 20 bullet points at 14pt when you’re 2 metres away from the presentation screen.

The point of a presentation is for your audience to listen to you – they’re not here to read an essay. You will lose their attention and it will be achingly tedious for them to look at.

Be concise and to the point. Don’t rely on the slides to do the talking for you. Remember: More words, less impact and ALWAYS use vocabulary that is suited to your target audience.

Please, please, please – no schoolboy errors. Get the basics of spelling and grammar correct to avoid embarrassment and make the words meaningful.

6) Research

It is basic practice to have content that is not only relevant but accurate. Providing incorrect facts and figures can be one of your presentations downfalls. Therefore research is needed- you won’t get away with incorrect or made up facts, those who ask questions may know their stuff!

If needed, get someone who will have knowledge of what you’re including, to proof read it to avoid accusations.

Use case studies, identify the key companies that will help support any claims that you make.

7) Reach out

The best way to increase the reach of your presentation is to make it shareable. If your audience feels inspired by your pitch, they’ll want everyone to know about it. You can do this by:

– Using a downloadable format, whether that’s creating the presentation using software like Slide Share or simply a PDF format.

– Include your digital profiles on the first and last slides – This is great for real time conversation and sharing.

– Upload the presentation online and use QR codes to avoid giving out long, complex URLs.

8) Practice and Prepare

Now onto one of the biggest things- practice. Know the sequence of your presentation, be able to recall exactly what the point of each slide is. This will create a smooth flow and remember, don’t repeat yourself!

You’ll reduce the chance of stumbling over your words and ruining your flow and be able to deliver with confidence.

Also schedule time for a Q&A at the end and make sure you’re prepared for any question that could pop up. Consider your biggest points, what are people going to question the most?
If your answer is too complicated to fit in a short time, have a place to guide them to e.g. your website, email follow ups or dedicate time for a separate one-to-one meeting.

9) The Grand Finale- End in a meaningful way

Most presentations run on fumes towards the end, so lead towards a meaningful finish.

A few effective techniques are:

– Go full circle to your beginning slides where you highlighted a key discussion point

– Reveal what you and your organisation have learnt and how you provide value relating to the discussion point

– Make a bold statement and put the onus on your audience to go away and take a course of action. Be memorable or as we like to say ‘unforgettable’ – experiment themselves with techniques/knowledge you’ve provided, invest in a service/product or make contact with your business.

10) Have fun!

Why would your audience care about something that you’re not enthusiastic about?

Don’t be afraid to add some personality where appropriate. Projecting transparency in who you are will present yourself as approachable and open to discussion. Your audience won’t feel intimidated to engage with you.

Believe in what you’re saying!

A great presentation takes time, patience and preparation. Combine vision with creative execution and you’re well on your way to pleasing your audience.

EDGE team member

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

EDGECreative

EDGE routinely feature guest blogs written by key industry professionals covering a wide variety of topics. Their insight is crucial to our development as a marketing agency and helps us learn about and adapt to new industries, ideals, and business practices. The partnership we have with our guest authors helps us both grow side-by-side and brings a fresh perspective on topics both old and new.