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Happy New Year and welcome back! Now get to work on the dozens of new initiative projects we have scheduled for you to make up for your lost working hours during the holidays! Sound familiar?

Yes, it’s 2017 – which means companies are buzzing with excitement for the prospects of a new year while also feeling overwhelmed at all the new projects and initiatives that need to be completed: “We need to overhaul the website! Our marketing materials are out of date! We’ve ‘gotta get the new booth ready for our spring tradeshow!” The list goes on and on…

In the chaos of all the new year projects, it’s easy to forget one of your most important company resources…your presentations! Unlike the aforementioned resources, your company’s presentation opportunities represent unique situations where you can engage with a qualified audience for minutes or sometimes even hours in a row…yet too often presentations get thrown together in the eleventh hour without much planning on the overall message or consideration for the design elements.

But not anymore! As an industry thought-leader, you’ve recognized the value of presentations and are ready to WOW your audiences throughout 2017, right? And to help you along in your journey, we’d like to share 3 tips to help you engage, persuade and inspire your audiences this year. Happy presenting!

 

1. Showcase Your Brand

Like any of your other marketing materials, your slides should capture the spirit of your overall brand. And before you ask—simply creating a generic company presentation template does not fit the bill. Sure, that template might have the right font or appropriate footer. But that “paint by numbers” approach to design really only limits your visual communication options.

Your slide decks should emphasize certain characteristics of your company that you take pride in. Just take a look at this Vykin Corporation example: As an IT solutions company, Vykin competes in a very tech-savvy industry. The company’s presentation design reflects its expertise in that arena with numerous design elements that represent its high-tech, digital capabilities.

The opportunity to translate the brand into these visual pieces would’ve been completely missed had Vykin opted to stick with the structured look of traditional slide templates. So, go beyond fonts, get creative and work in design elements that are representative of your overall brand.

 

2. Showcase Your People

Everybody knows that successful business is all about relationships. People want to work and engage with other people—not faceless, nameless corporations. Yet so many companies choose to portray their organizations as detached, impersonal entities in their slide decks. They represent themselves with facts and figures rather than friendly faces.

If you want to truly connect with your audience, incorporate photos of your offices, customers with your products and even employees into your slides—like this example presentation from Tiempo Development. These should be real photos rather than generic stock options—and they should be incorporated throughout your presentation, not just on one or two introductory slides.

This strategy demonstrates your company has both a personality and friendly people behind it, leaving your audience with a stronger connection to your brand.

 

3. Showcase Your Theme

It’s important to recognize your slides should not be so generic that they serve every possible presentation purpose (ineffectively). Instead, your presentation should be designed and optimized specifically for your particular topic and audience—and that alone. The visual pieces of your presentation should support your overall purpose, like this example from Card Integrity.

For example, if your presentation is all about fundraising for your cause, it should feature photos of those who will benefit from your efforts and contributions. Yes, these steps will involve a little extra work and consideration, but they also continuously remind your audience of the topic and keep them immersed and engaged in the experience.

It’s also important to ensure that you don’t miss the forest for the trees with your presentations. When you’re so close to your business, it’s easy to become so familiar with the overall topic that you drill down and only focus on the minor checkboxes and details. If you’re talking about a fundraising initiative, you might be tempted to zone in on things like statistics, charts and projections. However, remember that your customer primarily cares about the end experience—the cause you’re fundraising for! While you might need to address details along the way, be careful to always keep the overall objective present for your customer.

 

If you really want your presentations to make an impact, you need to kiss those templates goodbye and put in some work to WOW your audience. You wouldn’t launch your website after one afternoon’s work (deep breaths web admins), so make sure you’re committing the appropriate time to the visual aid that can really help you communicate your message and leave a lasting impression!

From all of us at Puffingston, we wish you the best of luck with your presentation opportunities in 2017!

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Interested in learning more? Want us to help you create a presentation that will WOW your audiences?

Connect with us or check out our Presentation Design or Prezi Training pages!