The fundamental problem with sales and marketing presentations is that most companies focus on writing a PowerPoint (or other software) presentation. For a presentation to be effective and memorable, however, the focus has to be on the person presenting.
What Microsoft PowerPoint Was Created to Do
Microsoft developed PowerPoint in the computer age to replace projected film slides and transparencies. They created templates to make it easy for business people to produce charts, graphs, and hierarchical information. The templates became the norm, with as much information as possible crammed onto each slide. We’re still used to seeing presentations like these.
The Psychology of Engagement Depends on a Human Connection
Here’s the thing. Listening and reading at the same time isn’t something most human brains can do. Think about the last time someone interrupted you while you were deep into reading. I’ll bet you had to ask them to repeat what they said – and when you went back to your article, you had to reread the same section because you couldn’t remember it.
With that in mind, it’s counterproductive to put lots of words in a presentation. That gives your salesperson a disadvantage. Good salespeople tell a story, engage their audience, and create an emotional connection important to capturing new business.
Visual Cues Reinforce Your Presentation
The right idea is to give people something to look at while they’re listening.
This is something the human brain is used to. We pick up visual cues while listening to one another. We also are brain-trained across multiple media (movies, TV, video) to see and hear at the same time, retaining information as well as forming an impression from a marriage of those two senses.
When you give a marketing presentation, a good visual on the screen can reinforce what you’re saying. This allows people to stay focused on you. The visual also will serve as a memory trigger later, helping them recall their impressions when it comes time to make a decision about hiring your company.
What You Can Do to Make Your Presentations More Memorable
Watch any Ted Talk and you’ll see how top experts present. A large screen image immediately captures your attention. The presenter tells a story that is emotional and memorable, taking you to a high level of engagement and understanding.
Marstudio is a visual problem-solver and we understand the psychology of engagement. If it were up to us, we’d design only stand-alone visuals for presentations. We’d tell our clients that they are more likely to convey the right information if they learn how to connect with their audience, not how to use PowerPoint.
But because most business people still want to impart written information, we recommend a 2-step method of presentation and review.
We create strong visuals to have next to you while you’re speaking. These illustrate your main themes and are designed to elicit reactions that engage your audience. We also give you templates for information highlights so you can follow each section of your presentation with a written list, for your audience take-away.
This hybrid allows you to make that all-important human connection while providing a level of comfort that your audience got the important points.
Think About This Before Developing Your Next Presentation
If you were presenting on climate change to a non-scientific audience, would you show a bunch of charts and graphs spanning 1976 to 2017 that were difficult to read, let alone explain? Or would you show a photo of ice caps in 1976 next to ice caps melted away in 2017, perhaps with a stranded polar bear?
At the end of the day, whatever your topic, you’re there to emotionally connect with your audience and present your company as a solution to a problem. Don’t create a problem by giving a presentation that’s hard for your audience to comprehend. Get in touch to find out how Marstudio can help design your presentation to do exactly what a presentation should.
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