Ah, PowerPoint. Much-maligned, oft-used and abused, widely condemned as boring and lacking in relevancy. Sound familiar? It doesn’t have to be that way! Now we talk about how to use PowerPoint for sales presentations to captivate and engage your audience with your brand story.
PowerPoint is an incredibly powerful (excuse the pun) application that can be put to a variety of uses. Sadly, the only use it generally gets is as a teleprompt for a presenter and/or as a soporific for the audience. It rather reminds one of the faithful hound curled up in its basket, out from under everyone’s feet but not getting the exercise he needs.
Well, it’s time to let Fido off the leash.
Telling your story through PowerPoint
When telling your brand story in your presentation, it's important to first consider your audience. What do they need to hear from you? What problems can you solve for them? How would you craft a compelling narrative that would help you connect with them and not only create a favourable brand impression but also convince them that you offer the best fit for their company needs?
Why is PowerPoint so good for this? Steven Pinker in an interview with the New Yorker, says of PowerPoint:
“Language is a linear medium: one damn word after another… When properly employed, PowerPoint makes the logical structure of an argument more transparent.”
PowerPoint enables you to carry your audience along on a tide of story, as you flow logically from one point to the next in a way that can’t help but bring them along for the ride.
How does that look in practice?
PowerPoint functionality has come on leaps and bounds over the years. It’s now optimized for mobile, can accommodate GIFs, video, voiceover and 3D art. How much use you make of these features will depend upon the story you are telling, but judicious use of animation as a part of overall motion design can yield impressive results. For example, the relatively new Zoom function visually mimics Prezi’s main attraction, allowing you to move between the big picture and the details. Morph and Designer are two fantastic new time-saving features which Microsoft Mechanics breaks down in this
4-minute video, allowing you to easily up your slide quality in minutes.
The Design Ideas tab, which can be found under Design in the main menu as shown, is a great way to make the most out of an image or improve the look of a chart, and Morph is an easy way for end users to seamlessly create animations. A feature that goes well with Morph is the new 3D modelling function, which allows you to insert 3D models, which are editable with Microsoft 3D Paint (see this guide for more.)
Remember, the best presentations spark conversation, rather than that dull glazed look in the audience’s eye. How can you be creative with your PowerPoints to boost audience engagement?
For more PowerPoint inspiration, check out the Presentify blog!