A Tale of Two Presenters

On any random day, you will find two people, working for the same company, eagerly presenting their product updates, project reviews, and strategy pitches. They certainly look similarwith high energy and charming smilesbut there are actually huge differences between them. Just look at their audience.

One is presenting to a focused, cohesive crowd that appears to match their energy. The other is reading through page after page of jammed slides while the crowd sits (slumps), sneaking glances at their smart phones.  

So, what made the difference?

Simple. The first person is presenting a highly visual story that draws laser-focus to their key points. The design is simple, clean, and uses colors purposefully, to enhance meaning and create emphasis. They grip the audience from the beginning and don’t let go until they roll out their call to action. In contrast, the second person put up a flood of text, over-killed the data, and made design attempts that did not serve a logical purpose. Why did this happen? Because they did not have a visual slide strategy and unsurprisingly, the audience simply detached.

So how do you formulate a visual slide strategy?

Here are some quick tips: Before you do anything else: think about your audience. Who are they? What do you want them to know? What do you want them to do?

Avoid a sea of words

Where can some of the language be visually elevated with color or a graphic? And equally important – where should secondary text be subdued? Create a laser-focus on your key points (something that audiences cry out for: “please, get to the point!”).

Speaking of leaving your audience with a message, do not forget your call to action (AKA: “your BIG Idea”). This message is the first thing you should establish when developing a visual slide strategy – and the last thing you leave with your audience…

Learn to use design conventions that let color, shape, and arrangement enhance your ideas even further.

Build in visuals that will inject the right balance of emotion, data, and analysis – the keys to capturing and motivating your audience.

When it comes to presenting ideas, you have one shot at being memorable. Why do some of the largest global brands like Facebook, MetLife, HP and Nike use TPC to train their employees to make compelling, visual presentations? Because TPC teaches the skills that can transform your entire team— from HR to sales to engineering – into builders and deliverers of motivating presentations.

Our popular workshop, Influencing with Visuals, is beaming with more visual concepts, presentation design ideas, and time saving tips than ever before.