Winning Business Presentation Design – Creation, Formatting, Illustration Techniques Discussed

Business presentations can make or break a business proposition. Understanding key design elements and setting up your presentation can go far to assure success. There are specific items techniques that will assure a quality product. While there many other approaches, permutations, sources, and skills, these will produce a very high quality product.

The first item we want to consider is the presentation theme. Microsoft PowerPoint is probably the most readily available product. Because of this, we will focus on a presentation using this product. First, Microsoft PowerPoint offers a variety of themes as part of the package. These are not very imaginative, but in general they are conservative and will not make a bad impression. Moreover, you can tailor the color pallet, font selection, and font size on the master for each of these themes. Don’t stray too far from what is expected, but keep in mind that a good impression is the objective. Since this is the case, you probably should perform a search for free downloadable PowerPoint themes from the Internet. This will expand the possibilities, increase the impact, and improve the professional feel of your presentation.

Next, ensure the text in your presentation offers correct grammar and spelling. Nothing destroys the impact of a presentation like the immediate sense that the product is sloppily prepared.

If you are making a presentation, you are selling something. You may be selling your expertise. You may be selling the conclusions you reached from research. You may be trying to close a contract or win an investor. While you may not be a sales person, you need to expect that by definition a presentation means you are selling. Therefore, you need to decide what conclusion you expect your audience to reach. Then you need to set up your presentation to deliver that conclusion. This means that your charts need to tell them what you want them to understand, explain why this is important to them, and emotionally involves them in reaching your intended conclusion.

Now for the individual charts of your presentation. Keep your audience focused. This implies that every chart should be animated. This feature will take a few minutes to master, but choose appropriate animations that bring the audience’s focus to the charts with each main bullet. Follow the main bullets with animations bringing in subsequent bullets one at a time or in groups as the presentation objectives support. Changing it up can be valuable. A single very consistent display of items may not be the best choice. Instead use a variety of animations considering what is appropriate given the intended message and the audience.

Next, apply transitions between the slides. Transitions again help bring your audience back in focus as the motion of the change helps regain their attention.

Finally, apply graphics that support emotionally the conclusions your presentation intends.

As a presenter, these hints for visual appeal, quality appearance, solid fundamental form, and impactful display go far to assure the desired presentation result.

Focus on the Present – Do You Remember What ‘Now’ Feels Like For You?

No less than Abraham Maslow said, “The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.”

Here are some words associated with the present (in case you aren’t quite sure what that means): immediate, this instant, here and now, time being, today, nowadays, moment, now, in this moment, current… I don’t want to get too philosophical (far be it from me), but this moment is over… and we’re on to the next one. Oops that one is over. Next…oh, it’s over, too. Well, here comes another.

The present really is PRESENT – right now. This minute. Today. You can certainly expand it just a bit, but the gist of this is that many of us are missing a great deal of what is happening now because we are focused beyond or around and behind what is happening now.

Let’s get a few visuals for this concept – and use these to be reminded of some of your own.

  • First, think about when you have been at a party and you are talking with someone, but that person is forever looking beyond you, over your shoulder, to the back of himself, or essentially any other place but right into your eyes. How do you feel when that happens? Not too great. Of course, if we are doing that to someone else, they aren’t feeling very important and we are missing whatever it is that he or she is saying and the entire experience of that conversation.
  • A personal one occurred for me one morning several years ago when I was driving from Tonopah, NV to Goldfield, NV. It was about 6 a.m. I was not in a good mood. I was tired because my room had been noisy. I had eaten a dreadful breakfast. I was driving about an hour to the location for the workshop I was going to do and I knew that the conditions for this workshop were not going to be ideal…and I was worried about that. So, I was just generally grousing around in my head. But, then, I came around a corner and experienced what I have since found a name for – and that is aesthetic arrest. The beauty and majesty of this valley in these early morning hours – well, I don’t have the language to describe it. But I experienced an in-the-moment, moment. I was brought right back to NOW through that experience and everything else faded away.
  • One more example…and this is back when I was a professor. Now, as many of you know, I don’t have children and that’s by choice so you don’t need to feel sad for me. Anyway, I had been presenting at a conference in Louisville, traveled to Lexington to see my family and stayed at my brother’s house. At that time, he and his wife had three young children – maybe 7, 6 and 4. I had taken a bunch of work to do with me while I was there…because of course, I always had work to do being a faculty member. Alas…it was not to be. Here’s how I went back and told my graduate classes at the university about it the next week. I told them, “I get it. Those of you who say that you are having trouble finding time to study or to get your research done – and it’s because of your children. I get it. They demand, in the most positive way, attention now and as a human being, you happily give it to them.” So that was another, NOW experience for me.

I hope these make sense and help to illustrate the ‘present’ for you. Take some time right now (in the PRESENT) to see remember some of the times when you were ‘knocked back to now’ – and really understood about the present. I have no doubt but that you can come up with several.

Three Steps To Chill Out and Be Present

There are so many things we have to… and need to do… and want to do… that it is easy to jam pack our to-do list, our schedule and our life with busy-work. BUT it is necessary to do so? You may be saying “Yes, of course it is. How else am I going to get things done?” Well, that depends on what you have to get done.

If you are a do-er and an action-taker-and dare I say ‘perfectionist’-it is very easy to get caught up in the doing of it all. But where does living your life like you want it fit in? It really doesn’t because you are so busy being in the future about what you have to get done and feel you should be doing that you forget to live in the here and now.

My dad had a saying, well he actually had two that are relevant to share with you: “One day at a time” and “One thing at a time“. He was good at saying “I’ll be with you in a moment, right now I’m finishing this.” Meanwhile my mother and I are racing around doing (and not finishing) ten things to his finished one. I know for sure, by my own experience and those of my friends and clients, that when your attention is not in one place, neither are you. You simply cannot give whatever you are doing justice if you are not fully present.

Have you ever spilled a beverage, dropped something, banged into the corner of your desk, or stubbed your toe while you were trying to do something else? That’s being in the future (or the past). And oh yes, the spilled beverage on your carpet, the shattered screen on your dropped smart phone or the stubbed toe absolutely brings you into the present in a very fast way! It’s a rude reminder that you need to slow down, take a breath and maybe take a break.

I had a client who woke up one morning, got out her cereal bowl and her juice glass, and before she realized what she was doing the bowl was full of cider. She was upset and beating herself up over this. It actually threw off her entire day and when I asked her what was going on the moment before she poured the cider, she said she was thinking about her day and all that she had to do and what she wasn’t going to finish. And so there you have it: when we are not present, we can’t fully be mindful of what we are doing.

Would you like to experience fewer mishaps and mistakes throughout your day? Do you want to accomplish things and have them done right the first time? Be with yourself and not 10 steps ahead.

Here are three quick and easy ways for you to check in with how you feel and be more mindful and present in the moment:

  • Take a breath. Do you feel frazzled? Simply stop moving. Sit or stand still and breathe in to the count of 5 (slowly), then hold for a count of 2 and let your breath out for a count of 5, pausing for another count of 2. Try it right now – don’t you feel better?
  • Look around you. Are you jumpy and anxious? Look at where you are and what’s near you. Name what comes into your vision and give it a moment’s thought. The dog, “Oh, he’s actually snoring in his sleep”; the knickknack you picked up on vacation and what a fun time you had; the clouds in the sky and the shape they appear to you. Small distractions will settle your thoughts.
  • Change your view. Do you need to get out of your office? Do you need to go outside? Sometimes stopping what you are doing and taking a break is essential to help you be more mindful. Whatever it is, do it. Just five minutes can do wonders for your focus.

Follow the above tips and you’ll be mindful and in the present moment in no time (without stubbing your toe). You’ll be happier, more productive and relaxed too