Unfortunately, the industry standard for business presentations is inadequate. (Irrelevant content, bullet-point lists, unimaginative graphics… the list goes on.)
The good news is, however, because the majority of corporate presentations are so crushingly boring and beyond useless, it is relatively easy to stand out from the crowd, engage your audience and be memorable.
Well, the first point to acknowledge is that preparation is absolutely non-negotiable. You have to really know your material in order to present it with authority. Your key sales message research should underpin a) what you want to say and b) how you want to say it. Once you have some idea of this core content (usually your customer benefits) the steps to PowerPoint success are remarkably simple.
As a presenter, you must aim to convey an integrated message. PowerPoint SmartArt is an efficient, easy-to-use system for creating impressive diagrams with concise text. SmartArt was introduced in Office2007 and further enhanced for Office2010. Used in PowerPoint, it can offer the perfect graphic support to drive your script and, consequentially, bring an element of synchronicity to your overall message.
Had SmartArt been available when PowerPoint was launched in 1990, perhaps more than 20 years of bullet-point boredom could have been avoided. Business presentations could have worked.
You can access PowerPoint SmartArt via a button on the ribbon menu. With a good range of templates for user-friendly diagrams and artistic texts, it allows your presentation to communicate a message that is simple, clear and memorable.
Perhaps the most poignant PowerPoint SmartArt feature (in terms of business presentations) is the fact that you can actually convert those beloved bullet-point lists to a much better graphic at the touch of a button:
- Select your bullet-point list
- Click on the ‘Convert to SmartArt’ button, and select your desired graphic
It couldn’t be simpler. There is literally no excuse for you to deliver the type of boring, bullet-point driven presentation which you have undoubtedly had to endure.
PowerPoint SmartArt may not be the solution to every problem presentation. It does, however, represent a giant leap forward for busy people (with a rudimentary knowledge of PowerPoint) in terms of creating something that is both accessible and easy to remember.