Whether you’re making an important internal presentation to colleagues or external presentation to potential clients, a good set of slides can make or break you. That’s true no matter how good your pitch is or how polished your talking points might be.
And it’s even more pertinent now, when so much work is done long-distance, with meetings of every caliber conducted over Zoom, WebEx, and Teams.
Marketers have always known that it’s a combination of visual impact and good copy that closes sales or intrigues new audiences. Mix that with good storytelling and you’ll be hard to beat.
That’s why marketers have always excelled when it comes to beautiful decks. If you’re in marketing and you don’t feel like you’ve mastered decks, then it’s a skill you should improve—because people do have higher expectations from us!
But don’t worry, you’re in the right place, whether you’re here to call in Mad 4 Marketing for an assist or just want to pick up some pointers before your own next big presentation.
Here are three quick tips that can bridge the gap between a so-so and “oh wow” deck:
1) Simple and focused is better than fancy and distracting. Very few people have the talent and resources to produce trendy, competitive, elegant decks. But it’s important to have decks that are correctly branded (with your logo and fonts) and well-timed (so practice, practice, practice). You don’t need snazzy transitions and lots of stock art; you do need enough data to justify calling your meeting and taking people away from their inbox. As long as you pour your energy into conveying info that actually matters, you don’t need to burn energy trying to make those jaw-dropping, gallery-worthy slides you might have glimpsed on tutorials on YouTube.
2) Keep your text to three bullets. It’s best if you can be consistent with the same number of points on each slide, for each list. Limiting your scope for every topic will help keep people focused. They can get the big picture, but still absorb what the speaker is saying about each note. It also helps them think about each point and formulate useful questions.
3) Your visuals, copy, and speaking points should all align. Each of these facets should be distinct; they should complement, not repeat one another. For example, your speaking notes should elaborate on the bullets shown on the screen; you should never say them verbatim out loud. Then, any visuals should seal the deal. Use them sparingly to amplify your data and highlight your points (or simply to keep your audience engaged). Overall, your meeting will be more memorable if the deck presents top-level data, well-matched by interesting images, and clearly explained by a knowledgeable speaker.
Do you feel more prepared to create and present your next deck? Feel free to reach out with any questions, anytime.