Posts Tagged ‘presentation makeover’

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Great Customer Service through a Great Presentation!

Speaker and business consultant Margie Seyfer transforms her PowerPoint presentation from Weak to Wow.

Margie SeyferMargie Seyfer is an acclaimed speaker and business consultant living in Colorado. For over two decades she has helped professionals to improve customer service and improve their bottom line. Her “Winning Women Customers” is a dynamic and informative program with compelling content about the differences of men and women…and what can be done to more effectively earn the business of women.. But the graphical design of the presentation was not as bold as Margie herself So Margie turned to The Presentation Team in March 2010 to transform her PowerPoint presentation from Weak to Wow.

The Enhanced Presentation Package provided an efficient and economical approach to transform Margie’s 40-page basic PowerPoint into a powerful presentation that matched the professionalism of her delivery.

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Because Margie frequently speaks to large groups at conventions, conferences and meetings, the visual design needed to be bold, graphical, and easy-to-be-read from the back of the room. Our design strategy focused on creating a look-and-feel that reflected Margie’s professionalism and her company brand and identity, while involving elements of people, speaking, a light-hearted approach to the differences of men and women. The 6 hour project involved…

  1. Development of a custom professional template (title and body masters), that reflects Margie’s professionalism and his company brand, while integrating her existing content.
  2. Re-working the overall look-and-feel of the presentation (light grey and white colors, Tahoma fonts, clean layout) for a more polished look.
  3. Clean and professional imagery/graphics (portfolio, schematics, people, concept art, etc.).
  4. Clutter-reducing techniques and presentation strategies to create a “cleaner” look with greater effectiveness.
  5. Clean and conservative slide transition effects (fades and wipe effect).
  6. Professional fonts/typography to ensure consistent playback on different computer systems.
  7. Consulting and collaboration to help Margie to refine and present new ideas.

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Statistics simply stated: Margie’s original PowerPoint slide featured a bland and boring blue background. The two statistical percentages were presented top-to-bottom, and interfered with the template’s sweeping arc. Although the yellow title supported the blue background, yellow is not a strong bold color.

The new template (inserted on the master slide as a background image) featured a light grey textured background, conveying a subtle and flowing theme of openness and modernism. The bottom arc at the bottom (inserted on the master slide as an image) was created in Photoshop to convey the message of women in business. The two percentages were moved left to right. The title color was converted to a more bold blue, and the font was converted to the more unique Calibri.
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Times New Roman is one of the most common fonts…but not the best for presentations. The “serifs” or edges of the letters often run together, creating a hard-to-read image. Margie’s original presentation lacked a consistent typeface throughout, and frequenly used this common but hard to read serif font. This slide featured an image at the bottom left of the page…separated from the core message of the slide. Our re-worked slide relocated integrated the title into the master slide, placed in the upper left in bold blue Calibri font. The photo was repositioned in the center left, and amplified with a rounded rectangle white border picture style. To help drive the key point of the differences of men and women, we changed the color of key words to 32-point in blue and red…and made the core point of the fact “not in all circumstances” in a 36-point green Calibri font.
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Statisics by bullet. These four statistics were simply presented in a line-by-line bulleted list. Again, the slide simply comes to life through integration into the template. But by taking the statistical information and integrating it into a table separated by varying shades of grey (rather than border lines), the information is cleanly presented. The percentages are amplified by larger font.
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The full-screen graphic was placed on the page as an imported graphic. Edges ran off the page, and a lack of a title left the slide without a comment or grounding. By adding a title with a transparent rectangular title block, Stan’s Automotive suddenly took on a new meaning. Additionally, the graphic was cropped, resaved as a JPG, and imported as a background image (rather than inserted as a standard image). This reduced file space and allowed for more flexibility.

After just three days and three rounds of edits, the presentation was success! Margie speaks frequently at conventions and business groups. Her style, delivery, eloquence- and now her great-looking PowerPoint slides help to captivate her audiences…while helping them to improve their customer service and bottom line!

* Margie Seyfer is a Presentation Team keynote partner.

Hawthorne

Creating Consistency across many PowerPoint files

Template and enhanced design delivers a winning series of presentations for national sales meeting

HawthorneHawthorne Power Systems is a San Diego based company that builds mobile electric generators for the military and construction industries. The company’s national sales meeting was rapidly approaching, but their PowerPoint presentation was far from ready.

HawthorneAt 280 pages, the presentation was packed with mind-numbing clutter and graphical inconsistencies. So marketing director Wes Campbell engaged The Presentation Team to create a page-for-page enhancement that would improve audience attentiveness and retention.

Our first task was to assess the time (and subsequent costs) involved in undertaking this behemoth project. Just scrolling through the presentation at the rate of one key per second would take nearly 5 minutes. Since the project was far more textual than graphical, we set a development time “window” of 10 minutes per page plus 20 minutes for designing each of the 9 sections’ templates. At that pace, it would take approximately 50 hours to complete the project. And with a deadline just 7 days away, there was little time for error.

We started the design by creating a fresh new template in Adobe Photoshop. The original template was dominated by a bulky top bar with company logos, and an unnecessary left-side navigation bar. Our new template maintained the Hawthorne brand image and featured a gracefully arcing montage on the left side in place of red menu buttons. We reclaimed some screen space by moving the two logos to the bottom and reducing their size. The top of the template was now freed up for a flat yellow title block area. In the center of each of the nine templates, we placed lightly muted company photos (relevent to the respective section) and overlayed a textured image of arcing lines to convey a feeling of technology, motion, and depth.

We continued the enhancement over multiple passes, first ensuring the typography was consistent and reformatted with Arial (from Times Roman). Then, using guides, grids, and align/distribute, we positioned all the elements to provide uniformity across pages. We relocated the title text from the page body to the top title block. Then tweaked the graphs and tables, eliminating most border lines for a cleaner look and choosing colors that complemented the overall image. To optimize presenter pacing, we used a simple wipe screen transition and eliminated all builds and animation.

Through mindful planning and a focus on efficiency, we crafted a presentation that successfully balanced creativity and quality.

 

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Engineering a Great Presentation


India-based Engineering Company transforms their PowerPoint presentations with precision and detail.

Sales and marketing team empowered by fresh new look with elegant but editable images.

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BEFORE: QuEST Engineering’s PowerPoint saturated with heavy blue and a dominating logo lacked a clean look and focus.

AFTER: A new title page featuring all five vertical markets helped define the company while providing a clean and contemporary brand.

When it comes to designing a Nuclear Power Plant, there’s no room for error. But designing a PowerPoint presentation? Creativity and chaos are often the standard; text-heavy bullet points, inconsistencies, and low resolution graphics are a worldwide epidemic. For executives at QuEST Global Engineering, their bulky old PowerPoint 2003 presentations were hardly reflective of the company’s world-class precision and engineering solutions.

So in August 2011, the Bangalore, India firm hired The Presentation Team to redesign, unify and create consistency in their sales and marketing presentations. The mission: transform over 450 pages of cluttered chaos into 18 unique presentation files supported by a clean, consistent look …within six weeks.

Client Request:  “Create Presentations that are Elegant but Editable”

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The presentation featured colorful but clean graphs and charts to convey company demographics.  One of the key requests: make the presentations elegant but editable. Many of the competing companies submitted drafts with beautiful but un-editable Photoshop graphics. The Presentation Team’s strategy was to capitalize on the functionality and features of PowerPoint 2007 while providing a graphically compelling presentation without using any 3rd party software.

Presentation Design Standards Help Forge a Consistent Look

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The presentation redesign started with a series of phone and web conferences to define the parameters of the project. The ten-and-half-hour time difference frequently posed logistical challenges. Based in Delray Beach, Florida, The Presentation Team’s Kevin Lerner initiated several web conferences at 11pm ET, with Anil Malgikar of QuEST logging in for a 9:30am local morning meeting in India. Sometimes the timetables were reversed; as Kevin started his day at 7am with a transcontinental phone call from Anil, who was wrapping up his day with a collaborative conference call of presentation edits.

Simple icon-oriented graphics helped to explain the growth of the company and its strategic relationships.

The challenge of seeing eye-to-eye in reality was equaled by the challenge of seeing eye-to-eye in design theory. Kevin’s design concept for QuEST’s presentations was a clean and contemporary look with minimal text. QuEST’s design concept was also contemporary and clean…but incorporating bullet points and images with a unified look and feel. Ultimately QuEST and The Presentation Team arrived at a presentation standard that was more of a document (or a “Slide-ument”). Body Text was standardized at 10 point black Arial, contained within rounded-edge rectangles with light blue and green gradient fill.

An “intelligent” master page with eight layouts helped to provide a standard look, as did a separate “palette file” of graphical elements that the designers could copy and paste where needed (with PowerPoint’s “Use Destination Theme.”) Copy from the old and paste into the new, and tweak the details. These techniques helped accelerate the design process and repetitious edits helped eliminate inconsistencies.

Standardization and Presentation Consistency Trump Creativity

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Standardization and consistency trumped creativity. Clean and professional was the mantra. Design standards included small black round bullets, consistency in image size and shape (rounded edges with shadow), and a focus on editing and consolidation of text.

In addition to the visuals, the presentation story, messaging, and content got a makeover too. QuEST executives worked to present their “best case studies” in each vertical industry presentation. Each of the five vertical market presentations featured several high-level projects that showcased the QuEST’s experience, agility, and competence in managing anything from airplane engines to power stations, to the latest in energy engineering solutions.

Relentless Reviews and Fine-Tuning

For over six weeks, QuEST’s executives reviewed the presentation edits with the same level of detail and precision that they provide for their finely engineered products …leaving no room for error.  After 150 hours of pixel-by-pixel editing, word-by-word wrestling, and several sleepless nights, a series of dynamic new presentations emerged.

In early October, QuEST’s account managers eagerly downloaded the new presentations from the company’s intranet, and proudly marched out to the field to showcase the company’s hot new sales tool. And today, the company that is comprised of some of the best and brightest people who are “born to engineer” are also now “born to present.”

Kevin Lerner is a presentation consultant and expert on presentation design and delivery. His firm, The Presentation Team, has helped hundreds of companies and individuals to create world-class presentations.

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  • ADB
  • ADP
  • ADT
  • Accenture
  • American-Express
  • Aramark
  • Carvel
  • Comcast
  • Costa
  • Cox
  • DAI
  • GE-Healthcare
  • GTE-Financial
  • Gtt
  • Johnson-and-Johnson
  • Markem-Imaje
  • Motorola
  • NASA
  • Office-Depot
  • Oracle
  • Polo
  • Republic-Services
  • Ryder
  • Siemens
  • Singlehop
  • Software-AG
  • TD-Waterhouse
  • UBS
  • VTiDirect
  • Venn-Strategies
  • Verizon
  • Whirlpool
  • “We engaged The Presentation Team to do a Presentation training for our team and he did a great job. He spent time understanding our requirements and the skill level of our team members and created a course which met our expectations and goals. I highly recommend The Presentation Team as a Presentation (PowerPoint) trainer.”

    Navdeep Sidhu
    Senior Director, Software AG

  • “Kevin Lerner provided best-in-class services when hired to work on promotional materials for the launch of a key product at Motorola. The expertise and quality that he brought to the project were second to none and as a result, he delivered a top-notch presentation that was quickly adopted throughout the organization. Kevin is great to work with, delivers on time, is a great team player and is always willing to go the extra mile.”

    Maria Cardoso
    Motorola

  • “Kevin has been a working with Cox Communications to deliver world-class PowerPoint presentation visuals since 2009. His ability to meet our specific needs, timeframe, and budgets has been exceptional. His professional interaction with our team reflects his deep expertise in the industry, superior presentation design skills, and commitment to superior service.”

    Jonathan Freeland
    VP, Video Marketing at Cox Communications

  • “Kevin is an enthusiastic, creative, and passionate presentation guru. Our company was impressed and felt the value of his training in 2013 that he was invited again recently to again share his knowledge. Both times he has been energetic and addressed many areas for presentation development. From planning to follow-up Kevin is personable and easygoing, motivating our teams to take their presentations to the next level.”

    Yoshimi Kawashima
    Project Coordinator, Nissin International

  • “Kevin helped me immensely improve my presentation slides development, from tips & tricks to aesthetics, all with the intent of getting the message across crisply and creatively. I’ve already received praise for decks that incorporate the skills obtained from his training. I highly recommend Kevin’s services.”

    Era Prakash
    General Electric

  • “Kevin helped me immensely improve my presentation slides development, from “The PowerPresentations seminar opened my eyes to all the limitless possibilities in presenting.”

    Leah Gordillo
    Saint Francis Medical Center

  • “Kevin helped me immensely improve my presentation slides development, from “[Kevin and The Presentation Team have] always delivered 110% in terms of meeting our objectives for finished product and budget”

    Paul Price
    Watsco Corp.

  • “I had more people come up to me after I spoke, commenting on the visuals you created, than I did on the subject matter!”

    Andy Smith
    Smith & Robb Advertising

  • “As a Fortune 1000 company, we sought to produce a classy, yet conservative presentation for our shareholders. It was evident that you and your team listened to our thoughts as you developed the presentation…”

    Will Flower
    Republic Services

  • “Your expertise in the filed of PowerPoint and general presentation techniques helped elevate us to the level necessary to beat the competition.”

    Mike Geary
    James Pirtle Construction

  • “Kevin brought a high level of creativity, enthusiasm, and deep multmedia experience to our team. He worked dillegently with the team to produce an outstanding proposal which we subsequently won.

    Jeff Keller
    Accenture/L3

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