Do you have an upcoming presentation that will have a major impact on your career?
Are you planning to tackle the presentation content and design on your own?
If so, you should consider hiring a team of presentation experts, like the ones here at Ethos3. The Ethos3 mission is to empower presenters. We eat, drink, breathe, and love presentations – presentations are our passions. We help clients all over the world deliver stunning and effective presentations, including some of the top companies in the world such as Ebay, LinkedIn, and Coca-Cola.
And we want to help you too. That is why we have created a wealth of resources to help you create a winning presentation. If you’re not familiar with our resources, we write multiple blog posts five days a week for the Ethos3 blog, as well as contribute a weekly post for The Official SlideShare blog, create tutorials and educational videos for YouTube, upload sample presentations to SlideShare, and help you stay up-to-date via our social media posts, especially on Twitter.
In addition to providing you with the best tips and tricks for presentations, we also offer professional presentation services; presentation design and presentation training our are specialties. We are not a graphic design agency that occasionally creates presentations for clients, and we are also not a group of freelancers who are casually interested in presentation design. We have dedicated our careers to creating custom presentations for our clients, and we have done so because we believe professional presentation design is extremely important.
Here are a few reason why we believe so strongly in professional presentation design for our clients, and for you as well.
Not all presentations can make or break your career. Some presentations are simple, straightforward, and relatively unimportant. For example, your weekly staff meeting presentation might be helpful for your team, but most likely it will not have a significant impact on the overall success of your business.
Other presentations however can make or break your career as well as influence the overall success of your business. For instance, presenting at a big conference is not the same as presenting to your small team of employees during a casual meeting. Presenting at a conference can lead directly to increased sales, new partnership invitations, PR opportunities, and marketing magic.
Presenting at a conference is somewhat like creating a commercial for your business or personal platform. Even if you are not overtly promoting yourself, you are still at least introducing yourself and perhaps your business to an audience of potential customers or at least potential advocates or partners. You wouldn’t try to create a television commercial with your iPhone would you? Well maybe you would, but that is not advisable unless you’re highly skilled at video production. The same goes for your presentation. You can create it yourself, but should you? Probably not unless you happen to be exceptionally skilled at creating effective presentations.
In addition, if you are pitching to investors or prospects, the quality of your presentation will directly influence whether you close the deal, as well as the value of the deal.
Presentations are also used to recruit and train new talent, educate customers, introduce new products, develop personal platforms, and so much more. In all of these various scenarios the quality of your presentation matters because the objectives of your presentation matter, and the results will directly effect the success of your business.
Every aspect of your presentation is essential to your success as a presenter, however the design of your slides is especially critical. The design of your presentation will have a major impact on whether you close the deal, win new clients, and generally succeed or fail at influencing the audience effectively.
If you doubt the power of design, I suggest reading the Fast Company article, Why Good Design Is Finally A Bottom Line Investment by Cliff Kuang. This excerpt is representative of the overall message of the article:
Apple’s rise offers a few important lessons about today’s connection between design and business. The easiest is that design allows you to stoke consumer lust—and demand higher prices as a result. Whirlpool’s VP of design, Pat Schiavone, recently told me, “We’re changing from being a manufacturing-based company to being a product company. It’s not just about cost cutting.” Schiavone was hired three years ago from Ford, where he most famously rebooted the Mustang’s design. “Why change? Because good design is very profitable.”
Three of the main takeaways of that excerpt are:
– Good design stokes desire for your products or services.
– Good design is profitable.
– Some of the top companies in the world emphasize design and invest heavily in it.
One of the challenges leaders face in this design-driven economy is the rate at which design expectations and preferences change. Innovation is an integral aspect of any design strategy for competitive businesses and leaders.
For presentations, you cannot simply design a beautiful presentation template and then use that template for all of your presentations, no questions asked. If you take this lackadaisical approach to your presentations, your presentations will quickly become stale and outdated in style, and you also run the risk of using slides that do not hook the attention of your audience.
The bottom line: design trends are constantly changing, and as a presenter you need to communicate with a design style that impresses and engages your audience. You don’t want to be seen as out-of-touch with the world, or be perceived as a behind-the-times follower who is the last to know what what is hot and what is tired and overplayed. So unless you are willing to research, study, and then put your own creative twist on emerging design trends, you probably will want to enlist the help of a presentation design expert.
For example, cutting-edge presentations currently use motion in a sophisticated fashion, as shown in the slides shown below.
In 2010, IBM conducted The Global Chief Executive Officer study, one of the largest studies of executive leaders. Consisting of more than 1,500 interviews with CEOs from 60 nations and 33 industries, the study resulted in the comprehensive report, Capitalizing on Complexity.
The Letter from the Chairman, included as part of the aforementioned IBM study, explained that, according to the global business and public sector leaders interviewed, creativity is the single most important leadership competency.
When you present with a cutting-edge presentation design style, you not only improve your chances of successfully meeting the objectives of the presentation as well as engaging the audience in a meaningful way, but you also enhance your image as a creative leader. Since creativity has been ranked as the single most important leadership competency, delivering a creative presentation is of paramount importance for serious professionals.
Creativity and design cannot typically be mastered overnight; there is a science to good design, and to be a good presentation designer you need to spend countless hours combing through the studies and research that prove what works for design and why. Professional designers understand not only how to create effective designs but they also understand why good designs work.
For example, did you know that colors influence behavior and decisions? You probably understand that concept at a surface level, but do you know how to leverage the influential power of colors to create an impactful presentation? Probably not, and that is okay. Unless you want to be a professional designer there is likely no need for you to study the psychology of colors. Professional presentation designers however do need to know what colors will work for your presentation, and that is one reason why their services are so valuable. Just for fun, here is a sneak peek into the complex physiological processes that are part of the power of colors:
Similarly, did you know that bullet points are proven to be an ineffective communication style for presenters? It’s true. Read these blog posts to learn more about the science of bullet points:
The science doesn’t stop there. Presentation experts also understand:
– The Serial Position Effect
– The Von Restorff Effect
– Cognitive Load Theory
– Proven Methods For Memorable Presentation
– The Science Of Storytelling
– The Science Of Influence
– Proven Methods Of Persuasion
– The Picture Superiority Effect
– And so much more.
Unless you want to spend your time learning the science of presentation design, you should work with professional presentation designers to ensure your presentations utilize the most effective design techniques so you can achieve or exceed your desired results.
If you create your own presentations, studying the science of presentation design is only one of the many tasks that will require an investment of your time. When you create your own slides you will invest hours, days, and potentially weeks designing, editing, and tweaking your slides. Presentation design is time intensive because there are numerous design elements that must be thoughtfully orchestrated to produce an effective presentation.
For example, once you have created a draft of your presentation content, you must then transform your ideas into a slide outline. Communicating your ideas in a presentation is different from communicating your ideas in a research paper, a newspaper article, or a casual conversation. This step alone demands significant thought and effort to complete.
After your slide outline, you should create a mood board to ensure your slides have a cohesive style. For a mood board you will need to select an overall style, as well as fonts, a color scheme, and icons. Your mood board will then lead to a storyboard so you have a roadmap to follow as you turn your ideas into actual slides.
The mood board and storyboard are just the beginning of the tasks that will cost you an investment of time, and that is because is not easy to design compelling presentation slides. For example, if your presentation design will be heavy on photographs, you can spend hours simply selecting the best images to support your message. With so many photos to peruse and consider, you can easily get overwhelmed by the numerous options, and rightfully so.
Every detail of each photograph you select will impact your audience. For example, if you need to use a photograph of a couple holding a puppy, you will probably find many options that fit this basic description. However the age, mood, and attire of the couple will influence how your ideas are perceived by the audience. In addition the composition of the photograph and the scenery will also play an important role in how your photo is received.
Once you have selected the photos for your slides, you must then decide how to place the images on the slides. You will need to work through a list of questions to compose each and every slide.
– Should the image be cropped, or presented as is?
– How will the Rule of Thirds be utilized?
– In addition, how will the typography of the slide interact with the image on the slide? You don’t want to place text just anywhere on the slide. You want the typography to fit seamlessly with the image, as well as be easy to read, and exciting to view.
– Should you use a color overlay to help the text stand out?
– Should you add a filter to the image so it fits with the overall style of your deck?
These are just a few of the questions you should consider when designing your presentation. As you can see, the challenges of presentation design require an enormous amount of time to solve. Yes, you can rush through these design riddles, but your rushed approach will be evident in the designs you produce.
Remember: Good design is profitable and stokes desire for your products or services. In addition, creativity has been ranked as the single most important leadership competency. These are some of the reasons why most of the top companies in the world emphasize design and invest heavily in it. However, since design trends are constantly changing and demand consistent monitoring, knowing the best way to design your presentations is a challenge. In addition, there is a science to good design, so winging it is never a good idea. And finally, in summary – good design requires an investment; you can either invest your time, or you can invest in a partnership with a talented presentation design team. If you want to learn more about Ethos3 presentation design services, I hope you will contact us today. We would love to put our expertise to work for you.
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