How to develop influential presentations

I stumbled across some interesting presentations on Slideshare this weekend and thought I’d share. I really feel that if you give presentations of any kind to any audience, regardless of your experience, there is something here for everyone.

This first takes on the ‘keep it simple’ approach and after some strategic preamble, gets really interesting at the slide 43 where it melds content with design. As I’m preparing for a number of conference presentations and lectures in 2011, slides 43-71 are consequently invaluable.


Then I stumbled across PresentationZen, a very simple but very effective presentation summary.


Finally, I happened upon Peter Walker’s ‘The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs’. Quite simply awesome. So much interesting stuff in here, but for me, it’s the central messages about planning and practice that really resonate.


Best b2b social media tools: webinars

The age of the webinar – a seminar on the web for the uninitiated– is upon us and if you are selling expertise, you should be considering them. Easy to set up, all you need is a slide presentation, a headset with mic, somewhere to host it and an audience.

Why?

Webinars have exploded into use in b2b marketing because business is international, technology is now available to support online information exchange and there is a thirst amongst business professionals for information to assist them in doing their job more efficiently and effectively.

Attending a webinar does not involve any travel time or in most cases, any cost. As most businesses and homeworkers have broadband internet access, the ability to access and follow a livestream of information is available to all.

Webinars are best used in support of other activity and act as a call to action to website and blog visits, material downloads and enquiries. Why? Because a group of people have identified themselves as being interested in what you have to say.

And you benefit twice, because webinars are often recorded and hosted on demand for people to view after the event. So, even if the number of people that attend ‘live’ can be significantly down on the registration number, the likelihood is most (around 80%) will view the webinar within a few months.

How to get started?

The format of a webinar is fairly uniform. The presenter controls a screen and the material and has access to instant messaging in order to respond to messages and questions. A typical duration is thirty minutes presentation plus time for questions.

Specialist sites such as Bright Talk have channels dedicated to all sorts of business and educational sectors, whilst major sector specific media owners offer webinar services to clients.

Remember to give yourself time to promote the webinar. Add sign-up details and URLs to your email footer, website, blog, social media profiles, tweet regularly, your Linkedin status and groups and any other customer/prospect facing material.

Webinars are taking off in a wide variety of sectors including food (NutraIngredients above), packaging, professional services and chemicals to name just a few. Check out websites of leading publications in your sector and industry portals; there will be opportunities.

Summary

Webinars are a great way of reusing existing content to great effect, to build a thought leadership position and to draw customers and prospects towards you in an engaging way.

Best b2b social media tools: Slideshare

Slideshare is one of my top b2b social media tools because it has a vast 25 million strong community which views and shares 75 million presentations, PDFs and other documents every month. Slideshare as a social media tool is significant because the content is easily shared to a multitude of platforms with simple embedding code and is relatively quick and easy to use.

Slideshare provides an outlet for material that is probably sat gathering dust somewhere in your organization. Perhaps most importantly, Slideshare was added to Linkedin profiles early in 2010 meaning all your contacts can now view your material together with anything you recommend. This opens up your content to a potential audience of millions. Which means a business profile on Slideshare can also have a dramatic effect on search engine optimisation.

Why?

It really is more a case of why not when it comes to Slideshare. Think about all the material that exists within your business in Word, PDF or PowerPoint format that could be made to work harder for you online? Can hosting information about your company online aid prospect self-selection and provide warm leads?

The only challenge with Slideshare has traditionally been the need for material to be able to work on its own, without human presentation. But the recent launch of the SlideCasting function – where pre-recorded audio can be quickly added to slides – has removed this concern. Click  on the image to see it in action.


Remember the numbers: 25 million users and rising. 75 million views a month. It is now a free addition to Linkedin profiles – potentially accessing another 65 million people. Slideshare is a very high traffic, active site.

How to get started?

Simply create an account and upload a PowerPoint. A short one about your business, what you do, your key people and what drives them, your values, the three problems you solve – whatever it is, keep it simple. Remember it has to work on its own. It has to be short and snappy. Keep the copy to a minimum and use some high impact titles and images. Use keywords and quotes to deliver your messages.

Once it is uploaded, promote the fact it is available through other social media tools like Linkedin status updates and groups, Twitter, Facebook, email your customer base, add the Slideshare button to your email footer and the URL to your business cards. Direct your prospects to these presentations rather than sending them documents by email, or worse by post. It shows that you are forward thinking and embracing new technology.

Examples

Here is Espresso’s thought provoking agency credentials presentation.


Here is Velocity’s B2B Content Marketing Workbook presentation.


Summary

Everyone writes presentations and every company has a ‘standard’ credentials presentation. Put it online with Slideshare, promote it, and see where it takes you.

What do you think?

Marketing Metrics 5: Speaking up

If you have something interesting to say, or are an interesting, engaging speaker, it’s worth considering public speaking as an element of your marketing strategy.  Speaking at conferences can be a powerful way of building a profile and raising the awareness of your skill set and expertise to your target audience.

Whether you opt to start small by acting as a guest speaker at a local networking or business group, running your own industry specific seminars or headline a major industry conference with a keynote presentation or panel place, one thing is certain. Everyone remembers a great speaker and a great presentation, and often business can be won off the back of one.

Speaker opportunities have long been highly prized within the PR fraternity as a way of pushing clients up the scale of influence. How do you think those experts who always seem to be the ones talking at the major conferences and being quoted in the trade or consumer press get there? By hard work and through building strong relationships with the media who run publications and organize conferences.

As the scale of opportunities afforded by technology and the Internet broaden, it is ever more important to specialise and avoid being seen as a generalist. There is a niche in every line of business and aligning your speaking engagements to 1/ your target audience and 2/ your specialist subject areas are fast tracks to expert status.

The ability to host webinars and webcast live on the Internet using sites like Bright Talk and Event Brite, to create podcasts for uploading to sites like iTunes and create and share presentations and video using sites like You Tube, Vimeo and SlideShare have revolutionised the concept of the expert and brought it to the masses.

But how do you measure the return from time spent?

It’s surprisingly easy. In most offline and online cases, the delegate list will be captured, especially if the carrot of exclusive post event material is dangled. An opportunity to join an exclusive group or register for exclusive content is always enticing. And remember this means all these contacts are themselves opting in.

Superficial statistics like the number of delegates, requests for and downloads of information are to a degree useful, but ultimately you should be forging a measurable link between the time and cost of preparing and giving the presentation and any tangible business outcomes, like opportunities to meet, opportunities to provide a proposal or quote and the landing of business.

Using speaking opportunities at seminars, conferences and exhibitions is a long term strategy designed to build profile and elevate you as an expert in your field. It is a tool that naturally sits on the fluffier side of the return on investment equation (unless you are able to charge for attendance in which case it is a revenue spinner all on its own).

Image Offthevangirls