• What to Do When the Picture Won’t Fit – PowerPoint video tip #17

  • Posted on September 6, 2012

  • What do you do when you have a picture that is tall and leaves a lot of space on your wide PowerPoint slide? Here’s an artistic solution.

    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.


  • 5 Tips for Presenting to Executives

  • Posted on August 27, 2012

  • I have a lot of clients contacting me lately interested in learning how to build SlideShare decks for marketing their business. So I jumped at the chance when Kit Seeborg at SlideShare asked me to write a blog article and include a SlideShare deck.

    And how successful was this deck? Very. It has been the most downloaded (over 1,000 downloads) and most favorited SlideShare in August 2012. So I must be doing something right.

    I’ll be writing more about developing SlideShare decks, especially for marketing your business, in future posts. Subscribe to my blog to receive blog posts in your inbox.

    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.


  • Will Prezi Dethrone PowerPoint? Survey Says…

  • Posted on August 7, 2012

  • Will Prezi overthrow PowerPoint as the King of the conference presentation? Online buzz says Prezi is hot and PowerPoint is tired.

    But a recent survey among meeting and event planners tells a different story. In fact, these industry experts said PowerPoint was a MORE satisfying presentation software to work with. Importantly, there were 10 times as many event planners who expressed an opinion on PowerPoint versus Prezi – another indication of its dominance.

    What’s missing from this is research with PRESENTERS and AUDIENCES. Does anyone know if this exists?

    I personally see value in Prezi for some types of presentations where the goal is to wow the audience, or for educators who practice whole-part-whole learning. But I don’t see Prezi as a PowerPoint killer for most business presentations which need to be shared internally, or printed and read as handouts. More likely, Microsoft will add zooming and panning features to PowerPoint and close the gap.

    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.

     


  • Clever Use of the Olympic Rings to Show World Data

  • Posted on July 30, 2012

  • Data doesn’t have to fit boring old bar charts, pie charts and line charts. If you’re creative enough, you can visualize data a lot of ways.

    Here’s a really creative approach by artist Gustavo Sousa, using the Olympic rings. It doesn’t give exact measures, but in this case the artist wants to make an emotional point by the size of the rings. There isn’t even a legend – asking you to guess which color goes with each continent. What do you think? Effective?

    I’m working on a second book – tentatively titled “Storytelling with Graphs” – to give you tips on how to present business data with more impact. Subscribe to my blog to be alerted when it’s available.

    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.


  • 3 Best Elevator Pitches

  • Posted on July 26, 2012

  • An elevator pitch is how you respond to the question “So, what do you do?” But most elevator pitches don’t work. Who wants to be answered with this 60 second infomercial:

    “I’m Regional Vice President of Sales for Puffery Manufacturing. We manufacture office furnishings, electronic casings and belt buckles out of recycled asbestos, so you know your dollars are going toward making a greener planet. And we have manufacturing partners across the United States and Asia, which means we can ship finished product to your warehouses faster than the competition. Here’s my card. Maybe we can set up a time to meet and talk about your office furniture or belt buckle needs.”

    Fortunately, I’ve found 3 elevator pitches that actually work. They are different than the boring 60 second “talking brochure” because they are:

    1. CONVERSATIONS.  The goal is not to deliver your 60 second advertisement; it’s to have a two-way conversation.  A successful pitch is where the other person relaxes and says “Interesting. Tell me more.”

    2. SHORT. 60 seconds is a long time to talk uninterrupted. An elevator pitch is NOT a sales pitch. Think 10 seconds, not 60!

    3. EVERYDAY LANGUAGE. Avoid words like “synergy”, “optimize”, “efficiency”, “ROI” and so on. These words SCREAM “sales pitch” and will have your panicked prospect looking for the exit signs.

    In fact, here’s a tip: write out your pitch, then take a red pen and cross out all the cliches and marketing-speak. Replace them with one-syllable words.

     The Three Best Elevator Pitches

    #1 Brian Walter

    www.extrememeetings.com

    Brian Walter is one of my favorite speaker coaches. And his elevator pitch method — the WOW, HOW, NOW approach — is the simplest and most fun.

    1. WOW. Say something intriguing (even puzzling) that will make the other person want to hear more. A creative summary of what you do that demands some clarification. Ideally, the prospect’s reaction will be to cock their head and ask “what does that mean?”

    2. HOW. Answer the stated (or unspoken) question and explain exactly what you do.

    3. NOW. Shift into storytelling mode, giving a concrete example of a current customer. The key phrase is “Now, for example…”

    Example

    Prospect: So, what do you do?

    Me: I help build PowerPoint muscles.

    Prospect: Huh?

    Me: I teach people how to use PowerPoint more effectively in business. Now, for instance, I’m working with a global consulting firm to train all their senior consultants to give better sales presentations so they can close more business.

     

    #2 Chris Westfall

    Chris is author of The New Elevator Pitch.

    1. Start with a story/humor/news/etc. Don’t launch into your company spiel. Instead, start with something you expect to hear in a conversation: humor, a story, referring to recent news. Choose something that highlights a problem you help customers solve.

    2. Add an emotional benefit statement. Say “That’s what I do.” Then summarize the RESULTS you achieve for customers. It should be an emotional benefit, not a hard-headed business benefit.

    3. Quantify your success. Now you add the proof of your benefit statement, using numbers if possible.

    4. Use the “velvet rope close”. The velvet rope close suggests your offer is only accessible to certain types. For example, if you’re an investment advisor you might say “I normally only talk about investing in gold with my high net worth clients. But I think it might be right in your case.” Rather than closing like a hungry dog, inappropriate for a social meeting, let the prospect come to you. In your elevator pitch, the key phrase to use is “I’m not sure if I can help you, but…”

    Example

    Do you remember about 10 years ago when the space shuttle Columbia was destroyed on re-entry? It turns out the engineers tried to warn NASA about the danger. But the PowerPoint slides they used were  a complete mess and no-one understood the danger.

    That’s what I do. I train people how to make sure their PowerPoint slides aren’t a complete disaster.

    For instance, students who attend my workshop can create slides that are 50% more clear and 50% more convincing by the end of the training, based on scores students give each other before and after the workshop.

    I’m not sure if my training could work at your company. It really depends how much you use PowerPoint and what’s at stake if your PowerPoint is unclear. But I’d be happy to talk to you about it.

     

    #3 Richard Fouts

    Fouts is a Gartner analyst who created the S.I.R. Framework based on storytelling principles: creating conflict, escalating the conflict and then resolving the conflict. It’s a bit too much of a monologue for my tastes, but it does feel more conversational than the “talking brochure” approach.

    1. Situation (conflict). Illustrate the pain current customers face.

    2. Impact (escalate conflict) – Explain the impact of that situation. How is this affecting profits, market share, customer loyalty, or anything else the prospect is concerned about losing.

    3. Resolution – Explain how you solve the problem. Focus on benefits, not products and services.

    Example

    You know how most business people use PowerPoint but most use it pretty poorly? Well, bad PowerPoint has all kinds of consequences – sales that don’t close, good ideas that get ignored, time wasted building slides that could have been used developing or executing strategies. My company shows businesses how to use PowerPoint to capture those sales, bring attention to those great ideas and use those wasted hours on more important projects.

     

    Those are my top 3 recommendations for building your own elevator pitch because they are conversational, short and use everyday language. Which methods would you add to this list?

    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.

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I have a lot of clients contacting me lately interested in learning how to build SlideShare decks for marketing their business. So I jumped at the chance when Kit Seeborg at SlideShare asked me to write a blog article and include a SlideShare deck.

And how successful was this deck? Very. It has been the most downloaded (over 1,000 downloads) and most favorited SlideShare in August 2012. So I must be doing something right.

I’ll be writing more about developing SlideShare decks, especially for marketing your business, in future posts. Subscribe to my blog to receive blog posts in your inbox.

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.

Will Prezi overthrow PowerPoint as the King of the conference presentation? Online buzz says Prezi is hot and PowerPoint is tired.

But a recent survey among meeting and event planners tells a different story. In fact, these industry experts said PowerPoint was a MORE satisfying presentation software to work with. Importantly, there were 10 times as many event planners who expressed an opinion on PowerPoint versus Prezi – another indication of its dominance.

What’s missing from this is research with PRESENTERS and AUDIENCES. Does anyone know if this exists?

I personally see value in Prezi for some types of presentations where the goal is to wow the audience, or for educators who practice whole-part-whole learning. But I don’t see Prezi as a PowerPoint killer for most business presentations which need to be shared internally, or printed and read as handouts. More likely, Microsoft will add zooming and panning features to PowerPoint and close the gap.

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.

 

Data doesn’t have to fit boring old bar charts, pie charts and line charts. If you’re creative enough, you can visualize data a lot of ways.

Here’s a really creative approach by artist Gustavo Sousa, using the Olympic rings. It doesn’t give exact measures, but in this case the artist wants to make an emotional point by the size of the rings. There isn’t even a legend – asking you to guess which color goes with each continent. What do you think? Effective?

I’m working on a second book – tentatively titled “Storytelling with Graphs” – to give you tips on how to present business data with more impact. Subscribe to my blog to be alerted when it’s available.

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.

An elevator pitch is how you respond to the question “So, what do you do?” But most elevator pitches don’t work. Who wants to be answered with this 60 second infomercial:

“I’m Regional Vice President of Sales for Puffery Manufacturing. We manufacture office furnishings, electronic casings and belt buckles out of recycled asbestos, so you know your dollars are going toward making a greener planet. And we have manufacturing partners across the United States and Asia, which means we can ship finished product to your warehouses faster than the competition. Here’s my card. Maybe we can set up a time to meet and talk about your office furniture or belt buckle needs.”

Fortunately, I’ve found 3 elevator pitches that actually work. They are different than the boring 60 second “talking brochure” because they are:

1. CONVERSATIONS.  The goal is not to deliver your 60 second advertisement; it’s to have a two-way conversation.  A successful pitch is where the other person relaxes and says “Interesting. Tell me more.”

2. SHORT. 60 seconds is a long time to talk uninterrupted. An elevator pitch is NOT a sales pitch. Think 10 seconds, not 60!

3. EVERYDAY LANGUAGE. Avoid words like “synergy”, “optimize”, “efficiency”, “ROI” and so on. These words SCREAM “sales pitch” and will have your panicked prospect looking for the exit signs.

In fact, here’s a tip: write out your pitch, then take a red pen and cross out all the cliches and marketing-speak. Replace them with one-syllable words.

 The Three Best Elevator Pitches

#1 Brian Walter

www.extrememeetings.com

Brian Walter is one of my favorite speaker coaches. And his elevator pitch method — the WOW, HOW, NOW approach — is the simplest and most fun.

1. WOW. Say something intriguing (even puzzling) that will make the other person want to hear more. A creative summary of what you do that demands some clarification. Ideally, the prospect’s reaction will be to cock their head and ask “what does that mean?”

2. HOW. Answer the stated (or unspoken) question and explain exactly what you do.

3. NOW. Shift into storytelling mode, giving a concrete example of a current customer. The key phrase is “Now, for example…”

Example

Prospect: So, what do you do?

Me: I help build PowerPoint muscles.

Prospect: Huh?

Me: I teach people how to use PowerPoint more effectively in business. Now, for instance, I’m working with a global consulting firm to train all their senior consultants to give better sales presentations so they can close more business.

 

#2 Chris Westfall

Chris is author of The New Elevator Pitch.

1. Start with a story/humor/news/etc. Don’t launch into your company spiel. Instead, start with something you expect to hear in a conversation: humor, a story, referring to recent news. Choose something that highlights a problem you help customers solve.

2. Add an emotional benefit statement. Say “That’s what I do.” Then summarize the RESULTS you achieve for customers. It should be an emotional benefit, not a hard-headed business benefit.

3. Quantify your success. Now you add the proof of your benefit statement, using numbers if possible.

4. Use the “velvet rope close”. The velvet rope close suggests your offer is only accessible to certain types. For example, if you’re an investment advisor you might say “I normally only talk about investing in gold with my high net worth clients. But I think it might be right in your case.” Rather than closing like a hungry dog, inappropriate for a social meeting, let the prospect come to you. In your elevator pitch, the key phrase to use is “I’m not sure if I can help you, but…”

Example

Do you remember about 10 years ago when the space shuttle Columbia was destroyed on re-entry? It turns out the engineers tried to warn NASA about the danger. But the PowerPoint slides they used were  a complete mess and no-one understood the danger.

That’s what I do. I train people how to make sure their PowerPoint slides aren’t a complete disaster.

For instance, students who attend my workshop can create slides that are 50% more clear and 50% more convincing by the end of the training, based on scores students give each other before and after the workshop.

I’m not sure if my training could work at your company. It really depends how much you use PowerPoint and what’s at stake if your PowerPoint is unclear. But I’d be happy to talk to you about it.

 

#3 Richard Fouts

Fouts is a Gartner analyst who created the S.I.R. Framework based on storytelling principles: creating conflict, escalating the conflict and then resolving the conflict. It’s a bit too much of a monologue for my tastes, but it does feel more conversational than the “talking brochure” approach.

1. Situation (conflict). Illustrate the pain current customers face.

2. Impact (escalate conflict) – Explain the impact of that situation. How is this affecting profits, market share, customer loyalty, or anything else the prospect is concerned about losing.

3. Resolution – Explain how you solve the problem. Focus on benefits, not products and services.

Example

You know how most business people use PowerPoint but most use it pretty poorly? Well, bad PowerPoint has all kinds of consequences – sales that don’t close, good ideas that get ignored, time wasted building slides that could have been used developing or executing strategies. My company shows businesses how to use PowerPoint to capture those sales, bring attention to those great ideas and use those wasted hours on more important projects.

 

Those are my top 3 recommendations for building your own elevator pitch because they are conversational, short and use everyday language. Which methods would you add to this list?

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.