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Monday, January 9, 2012

Beyond PowerPoint - What to Bring to Your Presentation


You really can't do a presentation these days without PowerPoint, and there is no shortage of information out there about how to best employ that particular software. PP not always enough, however, so here are some suggestions for what else to bring to make your presentations really stand out.
Demos and Other Tangibles.

The more of the five senses you can appeal to, the more of your audience's attention you will retain. Photos of your product up on the screen will go a long way, but there is nothing like having the object right there for your audience to see and feel for themselves, if this is at all possible. It's even a good idea, if it's at all cost effective, to send each member home with a little something.

In a recent meeting we attended, a long-time supplier was presenting a new line of products to their stable, but left each of us with a smaller, tried and true item of theirs that we were familiar with and that we were happy to receive. If your business is more service oriented, you might consider some props, such as letters from happy customers, recent press you may have received, before and after photos, or photos of your services in action. Whatever they are, try to make them genuine and not too sales-y, and also keep them to a minimum. Two to four items should be enough to keep interest piqued, and to help illustrate your points effectively. You don't want them distracted and sifting through a bunch of items while you are up there trying to give your best pitch.

Booklets, Brochures, and Marketing Kits.

For a first meeting, you should bring any brochures that you already have, but not much more than that. For the most part, first meetings generally amount to brief introductions of your products or services and an outline of your marketing plan. This is a case in which just a couple PowerPoint slides may do the trick.

If you are fortunate enough to get to a second meeting, that is when you start to employ more props, stats, and media and marketing materials. For the second meeting, your marketing plan should be fairly detailed, including demographics, attack plans, and even details such as product specs.

Producing Printed Materials.

The key here is to make your materials stand out, and to present your business in the best possible light. Even if you are just starting out, there is no reason that you can't have the same sort of quality marketing materials as the big boys. Make your materials look like a million bucks, and your company may just be worth that in the near future.

A great way to exert some control over your materials is to do your own binding on-site. There are a lot of different styles to choose from, and of you plan on creating a lot of books and booklets in the coming years, you can save a lot of money by purchasing your own binding machine. For high-profile presentations, you may want to avoid such styles as plastic comb and spiral coil, as they are a little bit overused. Some of the better-looking more permanent styles include perfect bound and wire-o binding.

Take a look online or go to your local copy shop and see what they have to offer. Although you may want to leave the printing to the pros, doing your own binding is generally quick and easy and can save you both money and time.
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