You communicate. Verbally. Visually. Written. Here are 10 tips to save you time AND to help you get significantly better results for your visual communications.
- Them. Not You
In sales presentations by virtue of being there, you’re almost ‘bought’. You’ve been vetted to be in front of them already. Therefore eliminate most of the content that is about ‘you’ – your company and all that yada, yada, yada! Differentiate yourself with your focus. Have your content 99% about the company you’re presenting to. Their problems. Their solutions. Their results.
- Set up a Master in PowerPoint or Keynote.
It’s your choice. You can do something repeatedly. Such as insert an image. A logo. Change a font. Resize something on every slide. Save yourself what could be hours of time and use slide master- which means you can put the logo on once. Set your font sizes once. Add background features once. You’ll find slide master on the View Menu>Slide Master. All the elements you set will then appear on every new slide you make. In newer versions of PowerPoint, you have the ability to hide graphics (Design ribbon> Format background>Hide Graphics).
- Word Document Template
Likewise for Word, set up a template including all the variations you’d include on a proposal/quote/memo. Then use it for a base to pick and mix for standard paragraphs instead of always starting over from scratch (or going to your sent items)
- Use Contrast
Use a dark background and light lettering or vice versa. There’s nothing worse than people not being able to read your slides because you’re using dark on dark or light on light.
- Use visuals to break up text
I stopped using bullet points in presentations back in 2010. If you have a slide with six bullet points, replace it with six separate slides each with a graphic illustrating the respective bullet point.
Google Images is an utterly superb source. When you find the image you want, be sure to click through to the image. What shows in search results are simply smaller thumbnails and won’t normally scale up to a presentation density
- Use images in documents
Images are not just for slides! Be sure to use them for your word documents too.
- Be consistent.
If you use transitions and animations – don’t have text coming in from the left on one slide, the right on another and twirling in on the third.
- Drop your logo.
Your presentation is for the audience. Logos can minimise the area available on the slide for content. Result? Crowded slides or text written smaller than it should be. Think of those poor soles sitting in the back of the room or across the table.
- Screenshot it
For speed, reliability and visibility, avoid live Internet demo’s. Instead give them the focal point you’re going to make in a screenshot.
- Save Time Editing
If you work in outline view in PowerPoint (on the left of your screen you have your slides listed along with all the text on each slide. The slides themselves show in the main screen), you can rewrite text in the left hand outline instead of on the slides, one by one.