Inbound Marketing via the Presentation Design: Questions Matter
These easy-to-follow tips will help you to make sure, that your presentation designer is worth paying him. Even if you’re doing presentations by yourself. Especially, if you’re doing them by yourself. It will help you to understand Inbound marketing presentation reasons.
Quantify the unquantifiable
Everybody loves metrics. Why? Because numbers are music for our brains, we’re hard-wired for working with easy-to-read and easy-to-get data. We need a straw to catch while drowning in the overwhelming information noise. Metrics help us to analyze and evaluate information, to make a decision and see the trend.
If you show the C-Suite two slide options: one with the indicators and another with a swamp of words, which one do they prefer? And which one do your customers prefer?
These pics are just a quick example from my own presentation design client work. More in my portfolio.
But our life has huge unquantifiable areas, where metrics and indicators are hardly applicable. Love, happiness, power. Presentations. Ok, we humans solve puzzles of love and happiness for ages, so let’s talk presentations for now.
The value of the presentation design seems to be unquantifiable, right?
Which metric to choose?
Everyone, from a junior executive assistant to the top-level executive, creates presentations every week. But it’s sort of implicit part of their workflows, often thought of as an annoying routine task. Rarely one thinks, how to estimate the impact their presentation makes.
Well, some authors suggest a few methods to estimate, how effective your presentation was (like this one 5 Ways to Measure Your Success in Your Presentations and this one Presentation Metrics). They seem to be a bit vague: follow up the leads, see what they say.
Yet, if we have a couple of indicators to rely on while developing and assessing our presentations, we could potentially reduce the time spent on the presentation design and leverage the power of our slides.
So, where we should start, when choosing a metric for the presentation design process? Three simple steps will be the answer.
- Think of the major type of the presentations you typically use in your business. I’d suggest sticking to this classification, that helps me a lot within my presentation design practice.
- Think of one particular emotion you want people to feel during the presentation.
- Think of one particular action you want your audience to take after they see your presentation.
Trigger questions in your presentation
Let’s put aside for a minute the answers you articulated in the previous section, and take one more preparatory step.
I want to share one simple thought. I’m a firm believer, that almost always your slides should serve as a smooth entry point into the more detailed conversation about your project and your ideas. This post-presentation discussion can take place in-person in the meeting room, or on the Internet after the TED talk: this actually doesn’t matter. If the presentation encourages the audience to ask you questions – you’ve overcome the barriers, hit their attention span, got into their minds.
To make this happen you might want to intentionally trigger the conversation from your side. The overused ending slides like “Any questions?” typically work not so well, so we might include one specific question on the last slide. Maybe something like “Let’s assume, you’re still skeptical about our approach and expertise. I have time to showcase, how our training methods match your real-life problems. Which one you’d prefer to discuss?”
If the presentation is long enough (say, 30+ content-heavy slides), it’s worth including some triggers for the questions in the middle. Then those having questions, in the beginning, won’t lose the courage to ask them, as often happens.
Olivia Mitchell here gives a nice list, suggesting a few general ways to encourage questions in your presentation 8 tips for encouraging questions in your presentation. But we will get a bit further and recall the answers you have after the previous section: that stuff about your audience’s emotions, actions and the type of your presentation.
Your presentation made inbound
And here we are: let’s make your Inbound Marketing presentation work for your marketing strategy. Just follow the tips and add the question triggers into the slides, but keep in mind the following:
- You know, which one of your business problems will this particular presentation solve, and therefore you know the type of this presentation. Focus on your target audience, make their experience comfortable enough, let your presentation be almost transparent – it’s just a container for your message.
Just imagine: those, who work with large datasets, generally have an idiosyncrasy to typical business-looking presentations. These geeky analysts are on the dark side: they don’t like colorful, bright, shiny, loud stuff. So if you’re reporting to them – follow the rules of your target audience. In this case: keep calm and visualize the data.
- You know the emotion you want the audience to feel. Ask them: how do they feel about your last conclusion? Tell something personal, build the rapport (10 ways to build rapport and engage your audience), but finish with the open ending: throw the ball on their side. “…I felt miserable as hell, with no one to support me, but even then a voice deep inside was whispering, what an amazing story it will be. I wish some of you could share the opposite experience… or the similar one…”. Do they ask some questions back? Do they reveal the emotions you expect them to reveal?
- You know the action you want your audience to take. Articulate it. Talk about your own actions, taken and untaken. Make your audience write down their plans, conceptualize their last-minute impulse. Involve them in the “minimum viable action”, and do it right now! Or they become someone else’s audience.
As for me, I would truly appreciate, if you could share your best and your worst ever presentation experience. Tell me, why you designed this slide like this, and I’ll tell you, who you are. Feel free to reach out!