If You Use PowerPoint – Read This

Last week at one of the events I keynoted the speaker before me used 65 blank white slides with bullet point paragraphs in black font that he read word for word from screen! – Seriously painful. So to make sure that doesn’t happen anymore – here are 18 tips for anyone who uses PowerPoint to present: (I have to give credit to Ruby Newell-Legner for many of the tips below)   Finish your presentation before starting to work on your Power Point slides Remember – PowerPoint is NOT your Presentation. It is a visual support to your message Use a consistent template slide for consistency and branding Keep slide design simple and clean Limit text to 6 lines (or less) per slide and 6 words (or less) per line Cover only one idea per slide Avoid Italics and vertical lettering Minimize animation – Avoid too many transition styles or a
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Three Things The Right Story Can Do For You

Gary Vaynerchuck, the Wine Library TV star and bestselling author of Crush It! said, “Storytelling is by far the most underrated skill in business.” The reason that statement is true is because stories make you, your products and your brand relatable, engaging, and multidimensional. If we are in the interview process we want to be liked and remembered. If we are in sales we want our product to be chosen over all of the competition.  And every company in the world wants their brand to be valuable in the minds of consumers. Well-told stories in the business world create three fantastic results. Stories magnify memory, causing your audience to retain your message. Stories amplify meaning, causing your audience to apply your message. Stories increase motivation, causing your audience to relate emotionally and take action. The largest franchise business in the world is Subway. With over 35,000 locations, Subway surpassed McDonald’s
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Samples Sell (Shark Tank Tip #4)

As you present a product, concept or idea – keep in mind that Samples Sell. This is the fourth presentation tip from Shark Tank. In the first post we learned to personalize your presentation. In post two we discovered that people buy you. And in post three we recognized the importance of knowing your numbers. As entrepreneurs enter the Shark Tank, they present a multitude of ideas. Their products range from food to clothing to movies. And one of the ways that the entrepreneurs seem to win over the sharks is by putting the product in their hands. When you are presenting and you can sample the product, it does something magical. It makes the abstract tangible and gives the prospect an experience with the product before they even buy. You have probably heard the saying – “The product sells itself.” Whether that is true or not, the saying is
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Know Your Numbers (Shark Tank Tips)

This is post number three in the series – Presentation Tips from Shark Tank. In post one – we discussed Personalizing Your Message. In post two – we discovered that People Buy You. Today’s post will remind us all that we need to Know Our Numbers. As hopeful entrepreneurs present to the sharks they present a valuation on their business. They say, “I’m asking for $100,000 for 10% equity in my business.” – which would be a $1,000,000 valuation. It is only logical that the sharks would want to know why the business is worth $1,000,000. So they ask about the sales (both units and revenue). They want to know what assets the company has, what margin they are operating on and what projected sales and growth will be. Many entrepreneurs enter the Shark Tank and get shot down because they can’t answer these questions. In other words they Don’t
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People Buy You (Shark Tank Tips)

In my first post on Presentation Tips from Shark Tank, we discussed how to personalize your message. The second tip from Shark Tank is that People Buy You. There is a familiar adage in sales and marketing that says, “You are not the message, you are the messenger.” I couldn’t disagree more. Have you ever been to a used car lot and been hounded by a slimy, annoying used car salesman? You can’t tell me that the salesman doesn’t affect the sale. This principle is true across the board. -The students buy the teacher first. -The audience buys the presenter first. -The shark buys the entrepreneur first. So let’s change the adage – “You are the first message people buy and you are the messenger.” On Shark Tank you will often hear the sharks say, “I love you and I would love to do business with you…” What are they
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Needs, Fears and Victories

Last Friday I had a chance to mastermind with a group of amazing speakers. I came away inspired and empowered with new ideas and strategies. One of the philosophies that was shared by Chad Hymas is something that everyone who is in business should consider. Chad asked the question – What Are The Needs, Fears & Victories of Your Clients? Think about what you do and ask yourself these three questions: 1. Am I successfully meeting the needs of my clients? 2. Do I know what my clients fear and can I help them overcome it? 3. What victories have my clients had in the last year that we can build on? It is in the needs, fears and victories of our clients that we find ways to add value. It is in the needs, fears and victories that we find ways to be relevant by providing unique solutions and
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Presentation Recovery: What To Do When You Forget Your Place

We’ve all had the experience. You are presenting, going from your first point to your second and your mind goes blank. What do you do? How do you recover? Here are five ways to recover and save your presentation. 1. Pause – remember a pause is a good thing (allows your audience to reflect on the information) and chances are the audience won’t know what is going on. 2. You can repeat the last line that you just said in order to gain momentum and find your train of thought. 3. You can laugh and ask the audience for help. – Keep in mind that the audience wants you to win and will be more than willing to help if you are genuine. 4. You can make light by saying something like, “I was thinking of a great point to share with you and I forgot where I was –
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8 Tips That Will Make Your Presentations Great

I spent one day and a half with eight executives from a national association helping them develop their presentation skills. We dissected every aspect of presenting from how you open to how you close. We worked on storytelling, creating engagement and adding humor. I had them speak in front of their peers and we filmed them, critiqued them and improved together. Here are the Top 8 Tips (according to the executives) That Will Make Your Presentations Great. 1. Focus on the audience. Forget perfection in your presentation and aim for connection with your audience. 2. Develop your presentation and then your power point. Remember your power point is meant to support your message – it is not your presentation. 3. Turn you presentation into a conversation by adding “You” focused questions. (Questions that contain the word “You” making it about the audience) 4. Craft stories that are struggle to solution.
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