Make Slides that Pop Using Color Contrast – PowerPoint Video Tip #18

The secret to making slides that pop is color contrast. Watch this video showing how to select and modify colors to improve a slide’s appearance.

 

About the author: Bruce Gabrielle is author of Speaking PowerPoint: the New Language of Business, showing a 12-step method for creating clearer and more persuasive PowerPoint slides for boardroom presentations. Subscribe to this blog or join my LinkedIn group to get new posts sent to your inbox.

How to Handle Clod Questions that Take Your Presentation Sideways

There he is, smugly watching your presentation and eager to interrupt. His hand often shoots up, or he simply interjects, with questions that take your presentation sideways.

If the questions were germane to the presentation, it would be okay. You could answer the question and everyone in the room would appreciate hearing the answer.

But sometimes these miserable clods just want to show off their superior knowledge. Or maybe they have an axe to grind. Or they just like to be contrarian. Whatever the case, the question is only important to them.

How do you handle these clods?

Easy! Turn to the highest ranking officer in the meeting and ask him “Mister executive, how would you like to use this time? Would you like me to answer questions as they come, or would you like me to continue with my prepared presentation and hold questions until the end?”

It’s possible the executive is also bothered by the clod’s questions, but didn’t want to embarrass him by scolding him in public. Now, though, the executive has an opportunity to say something like “guys, let’s hold the questions until the end if we can.” Now the clod has been put on notice by the exec, not you.

If the executive AGREES with the clod (or, worse, the executive IS the clod) then you’ll have to just answer the questions. But maybe these aren’t clod questions at all. Maybe the executive is dealing with an issue and your answers are helping them, even if they aren’t germane to your presentation. You might even ask “You seem to have a lot of questions about this topic. Is there something you’re working on that I can help you with?”

Now you can stop feeling annoyed and attacked and instead focus on answering the questions as fully and helpfully as you can.

Photo (c) blakeemrys

About the author: Bruce Gabrielle is author of Speaking PowerPoint: the New Language of Business, showing a 12-step method for creating clearer and more persuasive PowerPoint slides for boardroom presentations. Subscribe to this blog or join my LinkedIn group to get new posts sent to your inbox.

Win the Audience Over by Using Reluctant Agreement

In a business presentation, you are often trying to persuade the audience to agree with your analysis, support your program or approve your budget request. Most presenters use a logically sound, but persuasively poor argument. They present the facts but don’t really know how to persuade.

For instance, they may say:

“Since our competitor dropped prices, you can see their sales have increased 4% while ours have remained flat. I suggest we match their price drop to avoid future market share losses.”

Okay, great analytic approach. But the audience is stuck in analytic mode, mulling things over and thinking of alternate explanations. Did the competitor have a promotion during this period, in addition to the price drop? Partner incentives? What is the margin of error on these numbers? And so on. Your purely analytic recommendation may get rejected.

One alternative approach is something called the “reluctant agreement”. In this approach, you state you used to hold the opposing viewpoint, but the evidence is so overwhelming that you have to reluctantly agree with the new conclusion – your recommendation. It might go like this:

“I’ve always believed we need to hold onto our premium price strategy. I’d like to think we can maintain our price premium and regain market share. But after viewing these numbers, showing our competitor’s 4% market share increase after they dropped their price, I have to say I’m beginning to change my views. I’m becoming convinced if we want to increase market share we have to reduce our price.”

 The audience may still have some of the same questions they had previously. But they also have a view of you as an objective presenter, a careful evaluator of both sides of the argument and someone who has already been persuaded – reluctantly, of course. It may give you an edge the next time you have to sway an audience.

The “reluctant agreement” is one of many rhetorical approaches discussed in the book Thank You for Arguing by Jay Heinrechs. It’s a recommended read.

About the author: Bruce Gabrielle is author of Speaking PowerPoint: the New Language of Business, showing a 12-step method for creating clearer and more persuasive PowerPoint slides for boardroom presentations. Subscribe to this blog or join my LinkedIn group to get new posts sent to your inbox.