Experts estimate that 30 million PowerPoint presentations are created every day. Yet 4 out of 5 professionals said they checked out during the last presentation they attended. Meaning out of 30 million presentations, only 6 million presentations are actually listened to.
Whether you use Google Slides, Keynote, or PowerPoint to help empower your point (pun intended), one thing is for certain – you will craft and deliver many presentation decks throughout your career. Not only for that big end of the year presentation, but also for all major meetings and project-shaping discussions in between. But the question is: do you want your presentation to get lost in the echo chamber of 30 million unheard ideas… or rise as part of the 6 million movement-sparking proposals?
A strong slide deck has the power to help make you move your audience. It has the potential to make anyone say yes, whether it’s an investor, a boss, a colleague, whether you are just starting out or growing to the next level. It is a means of establishing value in a way that words cannot. Stories move audiences to action, and a good deck allows you to tell that story – to transfer your vision so the person in front of you isn’t just hearing about your vision but actually sees it themselves. It allows you to employ visuals that bring your story to life, making your ideas more graspable and accessible than ever before.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, it gets better. The work you put into a shockingly impressive deck does not go unnoticed! The evident effort you put into a deck reflects that you care about the meeting or discussion whether it is internally with your team or externally with a client. Getting those smiles, jaws dropping, or nods of approval as soon as you start your presentation is not only a great way to make a first impression but is also an empowering confidence boost as you kick off your presentation.
Now, you may be thinking, “Ok Misty, this sounds amazing and all, but I don’t know how to wow people with my deck.” Well luckily, you’re not alone! And I am here to help.
Nearly half of all presenters have a hard time designing presentations, and I don’t blame them. There is a lot to consider when building a presentation. Let’s assume you’ve already thoroughly researched, written, and learned your script with a clear message for your presentation. Well then you move on to design. Every image, text color, logo placement, every choice matters and can engage or lose your audience at any given moment.
Design matters just as much as your content; however, it is important to view your deck design as a tool, not an obstacle. If your content is your business strategy, think of your design as your creative strategy – both working in partnership to bring you success. Creative strategy allows you to make things like data visualization more engaging. It allows you to tell the story behind your content. After all, according to The Scientific American, personal stories make up 65% of our conversations, which is why stories are twice as persuasive as raw data. According to a Kelton Global Study, about 50% of people say a great story is primarily what holds their focus during a presentation… but 50% of presenters also say that’s the hardest part.
So how do we tell that story with our deck?
The best way to achieve this is by crafting a deck that is clear in identity and quick to engage.
You want your deck to be uniform and clear in the brand it represents. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. A boring, colorless deck without personality isn’t going to engage you, right? So why should it engage your audience? Like any flier, website design, or resume, your deck should powerfully depict you and your business.
Internally, this will show you truly understand the company you’re a part of while also giving you the chance to show off your own twist and contribution to the company. You want people to know it is YOUR deck and YOUR COMPANY’S deck just by looking at the opening slide. This helps establish familiarity, which prompts trust and credibility both within and outside your company.
You also want your deck to be quick to engage your audience. Don’t leave any room for people to check out. This means less text – the only text on your slides should be what is relevant to your audience. (Don’t use your PowerPoint as your script. You can have your bullet points elsewhere.)
This also means more visuals! Visuals are not only aesthetically more pleasing and an opportunity to further incorporate the brand mood and colors but are also 43% more persuasive than presentations without visuals, according to a Prezi report. Why? Because humans are wired to consume and learn through visuals. Between 80 to 90% of the information our brain processes comes in through our eyes, and almost two-thirds of the brain’s electrical activity is dedicated to vision when the eyes are open.
The final step is interaction, which about 70% say makes a presentation more memorable and easier to listen to, according to ION Interactive research. How can you involve your audience during your presentation? Is it a live poll? Is it asking questions? Any form of two-way conversation during your presentation also helps build connection, collaboration, and trust.
When you are given the responsibility to craft a presentation, don’t think of it as a daunting task. Think of it as an opportunity to share your story. You have your audience’s attention… why not maximize it? Why not create a moment?
If you want more free additional tips click here for a quick 5 minute video to show you a few of my favorite tools and tips! My secrets to finding images that create your impact!