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Whether you're a writer, marketing professional or anyone on the frontlines of creating front-facing business communications, learning to create effective and clear marketing presentations is a crucial skill.
There are many use cases for a well-structured, clear marketing presentation. Some of the most common include:
Whatever the use case, there are four underlying strategies that are central to effective and clear marketing presentations.
When you’re ready to dive in, Visme is a tool that helps non-designers create stunning marketing presentations.
One of the benefits you get from saving time and resources that would typically go into designing the presentation is that you can spend more time on strategy and preparing impactful messages.
However, if you’re happy with your messaging and ready to start designing, that’s great! We have tons of engaging and fully customizable slides to get you started.
Head over to our template library and get started right now!
In the meantime, we’ll transition to exploring each of these strategies in depth.
Additionally, we are going to explore how you can streamline the process of creating visually stunning and profitable marketing presentations by using just the right design principles throughout your slideshow.
The first strategy that’s important when it comes to creating effective and clear marketing presentations is to make the presentation about your audience.
Ready to create slides with impact? Use the agenda slide below.
One thing you can do when preparing to make your presentation about your audience is connect with them empathically.
What is empathy? According to the design firm IDEO empathy is a “deep understanding of the problems and realities of the people you are designing for.”
In our case, we’re designing a presentation for our existing and ideal audience.
As a more general definition, empathy allows us to see the world from another's point of view. To understand, feel and experience the world from the audience's perspective.
This is useful because when we’re able to imagine the world from a different perspective we can brainstorm new, interesting and valuable messages to include in our presentation.
Once you’ve brainstormed these messages, you can showcase them with the slides in this template below.
While we can never fully experience things from the perspective of our audience, we can use strategies and tactics to get as close as possible.
Most importantly, we have to agree to put aside our own preconceived beliefs in an effort to understand the needs and ideas of others.
This is an important first step to creating your marketing presentation because it helps set the tone for your presentation.
When you’re ready to connect with your audience use the pros & cons slide from our Simple presentation theme.
The first step in connecting more emphatically with your audience is to consider the environment that they’ll experience your presentation in.
How will the average audience member be interacting with your presentation? Will they be watching at home or at work? Is attendance mandatory or did they choose to be there?
By answering these questions we are able to put ourselves in the position of the audience member and make sure we don’t have blindspots as presenters.
After spending some time connecting with the environment of your audience, translate your insights into your marketing presentation using the template below.
Another great strategy to uncover a deeper layer of understanding about your audience is to tap into their core emotional and physical needs.
As the presenter, you have a different set of expectations, desires and questions about the subject matter you’re presenting on than the audience does.
One of the best ways to connect with your audience's core emotional needs is to give them a plausible vision of a better life.
Once you’ve connected with the core emotional needs of your audience, use the process model slide in our Creative presentation theme to share your ideas.
By focusing on the audience’s side of the story you can unlock new ideas, topics and messaging opportunities.
One of the first things you can do when brainstorming content for a marketing presentation is to understand the various steps a potential customer or prospect has to pass through before reaching their goal with your company.
This is invaluable information to know when setting out to create the content that's going inside your marketing presentation.
It helps us to understand the motivations of your audience as well as some of the friction and pain points that are stopping them from reaching their goal.
Visually demonstrate how your customers are interacting with your business with this simplistic template option below.
A powerful way to empathize with your audience is to dig deep into the problems and frustrations they have.
An excellent tool content brainstorming tool to use after we’ve identified some frustrations is the 5 Whys technique.
Originally developed by Sakichi Toyoda, the founder of Toyota, the 5 Whys is also a powerful way to emphasize with your audience.
Here’s how Toyoda explained his process:
“The basis of Toyota’s scientific approach is to ask why five times whenever we find a problem … By repeating why five times, the nature of the problem as well as its solution becomes clear.”
To use this tactic for content brainstorming first identify a problem or frustration a member of your audience has.
Use the 5 Whys technique to explore some of the root problems at the core of this issue.
Not only will this help you empathize more with your audience and potential customers, but when you add this level of depth to your content you’re more likely to affect the audience on more emotional levels.
Ready to try the 5 Whys technique? Give it the right shape and structure using the slide diagram below.
Now that we’ve explored some techniques and tactics around empathy, we can start to more fully define who our target audience is. This will help us define your unique customer base and target readership.
To do so, we’ll draw on a blend of existing data and forward looking projections.
The first persona is based on existing data. It requires an analytics or CRM software that’s tracking the data and some basic analysis skills.
This is worth the investment in time and resources because of the valuable data that can be unearthed from a simple exploration of the data.
As an example, Casey Winters a former marketer at Pinterest used analytics data to create the following personas:
By way of explanation, core people came every day, casual people came every week, marginal people came every month, and dormant users had stopped using the Pinterest platform altogether.
These types of personas are useful when creating a marketing presentation because they can help us develop key messaging strategies or goals for the presentation.
As an example, Pinterest may want to help casual users do more of the activities that core users do everyday. They can make a presentation directed at these casual users with the goal of teaching them how to migrate into the core user persona.
Ready to communicate effectively with audience members? Use a product comparison slide like the one below.
Similar to the analytics persona, the product persona focuses on understanding existing users or readers.
However, instead of doing the work of crunching statistics from an analytics or CRM software you’ll collect qualitative data to figure out more about who the reader is and not the discrete actions they’re taking.
This is usually done using a back and forth of customer calls, surveys and other qualitative data sources.
The marketing persona is unlike the first two we discussed because it is projection into the future. This is the audience you want rather than the audience you have.
Developing a marketing persona helps us to define a target market to pursue and target.
Since this persona is about targeting people outside the product, one common tool created during this process is a mapping of the target customer’s typical day.
This helps us understand the right messaging and strategies to use in our presentation.
Have your personas down? Use the template below to create a presentation that serves their needs.
Now that we’ve reviewed how to make the marketing presentation about the audience we come to the second important strategy when it comes to creating effective and clear marketing presentations.
We have to create value for the audience member as quickly as possible.
We’ll first explore what value creation is, how to generate it in your marketing presentation, and how the jobs to be done framework is invaluable for this process.
“Make something people want. There’s nothing more valuable than an unmet need that is just becoming fixable. If you find something broken that you can fix for a lot of people, you’ve found a gold mine.”
This quote by the venture capitalist Paul Graham is a good illustration of how value creation is the central mechanism driving interest in content, business and marketing presentations.
To operate a successful business, you have to create something of value.
Likewise, any successful marketing presentation communicates how you plan to create value for your audience.
Our job during the presentation is to find the things or knowledge our audience needs reminded about, doesn’t have enough of or is hearing about for the first time.
The value you create can take on one of several different forms, but the purpose is always the same: to make someone else’s life a little bit better.
Ready to create value for your audience? Use the Venn diagram slide below.
A helpful framework that helps us visualize how we create value for our audience is the Jobs to be Done model.
Jobs to be Done is a theory of consumer action. It describes the underlying motivations that cause a potential audience member to pay attention to our marketing presentations.
The theory states that markets for new products, content and information emerge when potential customers have a particular Job to be Done, and they start buying products to complete that job.
The Jobs to be Done site gives a great visual example of this. While someone may purchase a skateboard that then needs to be put together, what they really want is the end product of being a good skater and performing tricks.
Charles Revson, founder of the cosmetic company Revlon, gives us another example of this principle in his quote, “In the factory we make cosmetics; in the drugstore we sell hope.”
Revson has identified a core emotional need that makes Revlon valuable to their customers.
This information is critical for marketing presentation because it helps us to understand the ultimate goal or vision an audience member will have when interacting with our presentation.
A Job to be Done is the process a consumer goes through whenever she aims to change her existing life-situation into a preferred one, but cannot because there are constraints that stop her.
One reason we can create value for our audience members is because of some of the fundamental limits we have as humans.
Typically, our audience can’t transform their personality or overcome the obstacles that hold them back without help.
Progress in these areas happens when we integrate new ideas and new tools or products into our life.
This is the exact vision that Jobs to be Done helps us articulate in our marketing presentations.
Our audience member is living the life she has come to accept. Then things change and she comes across your presentation. She is presented with an opportunity to improve her life.
Understanding the “job” this potential customer wants to fulfill is an important objective in a clear and effective marketing presentation.
Storytelling is an ancient technology designed to transmit wisdom and meanings from generation to generation.
In this strategy we’ll use 4 principles from the discipline of business communication to explore why storytelling works so well in effective marketing presentations.
However, we can start with a more simple opening question. In short, who is my audience and what is the message I want to share with them?
Know your audience? Use a template and deliver the important insights they need to during your presentation.
After the reflections we’ve done on empathy and creating value we should be able to offer a fairly nuanced response.
Nevertheless, each decision we make from here on out when it comes to the copy and messaging in our presentation.
GAME is an acronym for the following.
The first step in the game framework is to define clear goals for our marketing presentation.
Think about it from the perspective of relevant business outcomes. Do we need to increase customers? Qualify leads? Secure organizational buy in for a new software?
Defining concrete and specific goals is an important component of any marketing presentation so you can track return on investment and make sure your valuable time is being used effectively.
Set some SMART goals for your marketing presentation to set yourself up for success.
The second step in the game framework is the audience step.
While we’ve done some hard work emphasizing with your audience and understanding them on a broad level it’s time to get specific about what segment of your audience you want to target with your marketing presentation.
Is it a presentation to inform your audience of new features or ideas? Are you targeting new or existing personas with a specific message?
Understanding what segment of your audience is what you’ll accomplish in the second phase of the GAME framework.
Next, we’ll start crafting the actual words, visuals and content to present to the audience. Make sure to include key messages laid out in a clear, logical manner that is easy to understand.
These messages must include how your ideas, content or product create value for the audience. Remember the work we did during the value creation and Jobs to be Done section of this article?
Your key messages should show your audience how they get from point A to point B when it comes to solving their frustrations and challenges.
Ready to take your engaged audience from point A to point B? Try the template below to deliver your message.
Finally, we come to the expression component of the GAME framework.
This is the form that our key messages will ultimately take. Audiences typically expect a blend of visual communication via slideshow and content via bullet points for additional information.
Now that we’re reading to begin expressing the message we want to convey in our marketing report it’s useful to study the most effective way to structure our content and messaging.
One of the best concepts for structuring any marketing or business presentation is called the Minto Pyramid Principle.
This principle was first created by Barbara Minto, an ex-McKinsey marketing consultant.
Her methodology can help you both develop and structure the content and visuals for your marketing presentation in a logical fashion that creates impact.
Simply stated, when using the Minto Pyramid Principle start with the most important points and get progressively more detailed as the presentation continues.
This rule will maximize the amount of audience members who hear and integrate the message of your presentation. It can also be a hard rule to put into practice because in most academic writing we’re taught to do the exact opposite.
For that reason, it’s helpful to look at the Pyramid Principle in action.
As you can see above, the Pyramid Principle was used on a due diligence report where the key message was if the target company should be purchased. This is the focal point of the presentation and comes first.
Next, the partners give us plenty of supporting details and information if we want to dig deeper. However, the vast majority of readers will remember the key message that the suggestion is to buy the company.
Keep this principle in mind when structuring your marketing presentation. Do you have a core message that the vast majority of your audience will remember? Make sure it appears as early as possible in your marketing presentation.
Now that you’ve learned how to add some clarity and precision to your important messages use the template below to take your marketing presentation to the next level.
Now that we’ve explored your audience, how to create value for them, and how to transmit that value into the vehicle of story we’re reading to start crafting our messages.
When doing so it’s important to consider visual communication and design principles.
There are three absolutely crucial design tactics you can use right now to up the quality of your design.
They are visual hierarchy, color psychology and font pairing.
One of the best ways to design our marketing presentation in a way that’s visually appealing is to use visual hierarchy.
This is a method of identifying the design elements we want to use and then organizing them in their order of importance.
In other words, it’s a set of principles that help us understand the order in which our audience will notice the various design elements we chose.
Great designers manipulate these principles to create stunning and clear designs.
The good news is that anyone can utilize certain these principles and Visme helps non-designers create successful marketing presentations that are both efficient and effective.
We've also created a video version of this blog post to help you further understand visual hierarchy. You can watch it below:
The next design element that will take your presentation to the next level are from the field of color psychology. Color psychology in marketing and branding is an important subject.
It’s absolutely true that specific colors can influence the choices of consumers so it’s a crucial design decision in any marketing presentation. Color has the power to impact our emotions in many different ways.
It can call our attention to specific parts of the presentation, inspire emotions at an important moment, or even help our audience tap into positive memories.
The last crucial design element we’ll explore today is font pairing. Font choice is crucial for the tone, feel, and look for our presentation.
The challenge is the enormous amount of choices we have and the lack of knowledge most of us have when it comes to what font choices work best.
It’s a topic we’ve covered on the Visme in the video below.
It’s your turn! Get started with Visme and take the next step on your journey to create effective marketing presentations. Share your creation with me on Twitter and don't forget to use #MyVisme!
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