How to Dazzle with Your Decks

Your workplace isn’t boring, and your marketing deck definitely shouldn’t be.[/caption] When you’re sending prospective clients a visual guide that outlines your services, or creating a slideshow to accompany a live presentation, it’s important to remember that the end goal isn’t just a pretty and persuasive Powerpoint. If your recipient is soliciting or even simply accepting such proposals, they’re probably receiving them from plenty of companies besides you–with a myriad of backgrounds and styles. As with most things in marketing, yours is going to need to stand out. So now your goal is compounded by not only needing to accurately represent your company and agenda, while persuasively making your case, but also being memorable at the end of the day (or week, or month). Additionally, the experience of going through your presentation the first time needs to be brief, engaging, clear–and gorgeous. After all, it’s your first impression and should be your best. If you haven’t done your best work when it comes to marketing yourself, then why would they believe you’ll do better for them? So how do you accomplish all of those things with one marketing deck? Here are a few tips: 1. Stay focused. You’ve got your clue right in the name: This is your pitch, not the whole ball game. You don’t need to add every detail of your business plan: Your goal is to get your listeners interested and leave them wanting more, so that you can start your conversation. And on that note: Be sure your deck has a slide saying Thank You that includes your Contact Info! 2. Show, don’t tell. The reason companies use decks instead of just word documents (even when you’re not presenting them live, which is quite often the case in our increasingly remote and busy business world) is precisely because you get more room for visual engagement than words alone can offer. You should take advantage by choosing templates, layouts, and images that really show off your creative side, your brand’s voice, and your design competency. The deck is an opportunity to demonstrate skills as much as it is a chance to discuss your company’s strengths. From graphics to font, continuity to color scheme, each choice is an opportunity to show instead of tell. 3. But after saying that: Don’t overdo your dazzle. A lot of flash and glamor doesn’t always aid your case. We’ve seen plenty of examples where an overloaded deck actually obscures the message the company is trying to convey–and makes it look like the presenters are covering for too little substance. You’ll want a streamlined product where those big extras are saved for when they’ll really make an impact. Plus, you won’t run the risk of graphics lagging just when you expect to have your big “wow” moment.]]>

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