Presenting your results (part 2)

August 14, 2010 § Leave a comment

But you’re not in marketing if you can’t deliver an appealing presentation.

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In recent years I’ve come to understand that the looks and aesthetics of a slide presentation is as important as the contents in it, because it shows the effort invested in delivering the information and we are always more prone to like or approve appealing ideas.

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In order to beautify an idea, you must understand the audience that you’re presenting to. It’s not the same to lodge a presentation for a VIP that most likely is looking for the important facts and will overlook other not-so-important figures than to showcase a motivational pitch to sales representatives in a national convention or to host agency executives to request a marketing campaign.

Once you’ve identified your audience and understand the information that will be demanded, you must gather all information an prepare it to be digestible.

Using the right font, with the right colors (and contrasts) is very important when including tables and graphs. The size of the text, the alignment of the information is more important than most people think.

One way to achieve this is by using the IT tools available in our workplace. My case involves the use of Windows DOS and MS Office Licences. Because of this I’ve come to develop an important set of skills to manage, edit and beautify information under programs such as Excel, PowerPoint, Word and also use them combined with Outlook according to my needs. With the 2007 version of the MS Office package, lots of beautifying tools have been incorporated into the program to ease the process.

These programs although basic for some, have all the tools that marketing managers need to deliver an appealing information-rich presentation. So I would recommend anyone wanting to enter the “marketing career” to work out the MS Office skills to ease-up the transition to marketing.

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After all the information is gathered, I always start the presentation by inserting the important slides in an order that will ease the comprehension of the general idea. If it doesn’t contribute to the general idea, it’s not on the main slide show. A former teacher of mine called it “traceability” I just call it “being coherent“.

The typical Powerpoint presentation usually includes:

  • An introductory “tittle page”: I usually use lots of pictures of a pre-design template and I never include relevant information as this cover is shown when people arrive to the meeting room.
  • An agenda: this will help your audience keep the pace of the presentation. Whenever possible I estimate the time of each subject and repeat the agenda between subjects to help the audience feel progress during the meeting.
  • A “subject tittle page”: this page usually holds pictures relevant to the tittle.
  • The chapter: This is the real information to be shared. You may use two different approaches:
  1. Explaining your idea from beginning to end (almost chronically): It usually works great for research, motivational or briefing a project. I usually include a summary of important results and figures gathered during the chapter.
  2. Explaining the ideas from proposal to its motivation (backwards): I usually use this approach when delivering bad news as managers don’t like to be eased into problems. The idea of this approach is to first establish that you’re working on a solution of an important problem cause by something.
  • summary of results: This is very convenient for long presentations or when you want to emphasize on a given result.
  • Recommendation: This is the course of action recommended after the results. This is one of the most important slides and you’ll want to spend a lot of time to make sure everything is flawless and you’re approved.
  • Next steps: These will be milestones that you’re committed to in order to achieve the proposed recommendation.
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