Powerpoint presentations are here to stay. Whatever the form of the business gathering, you’ll find they are almost always accompanied by a slideshow. It’s particularly true of sales presentations, where winning over the audience is absolutely fundamental. However, Powerpoint is now treated as compulsory, which means that it’s used whether or not it’s useful – a case of the tail wagging the dog. The problem is that Powerpoint design is frequently fairly poor, and serves only to put off your listeners, not win them over to your way of thinking. Thus something that can be a great asset can all too often become a liability. How do you avoid this happening?
People communicate in various ways. There are those who want to send and receive large quantities of information; they are noticeable by their habit of going into great detail and giving you more data than you really need. There are those who tend to communicate on a more emotional basis, interpreting a situation by the way they feel about it. They tend to be more emotive in their own communication, too, using means that resonate on that level – colourful language, anecdotes and intense descriptions of their feelings. And there are those who are far more instinctive and straightforward. They tend to want to get to the heart of a matter and make a decision quickly, and are interested in only the most important details. Bear in mind that when you are communicating with a group of people, it will likely contain one or more of all of these types. Therefore you need to cater for their needs. Otherwise, you will find that you talk past two-thirds of your audience, simply because you’re not communicating in a way that they find easy to engage with.
In terms of Powerpoint presentations, that means you need to adjust your slides as well as your talk. You should make sure you cover all three areas in your Powerpoint design. For your talk, give the data you need, of course. But you should complement it with illustrations and personal stories. You should also provide a summary for those who want nothing more. For your slides, you can do the same. Charts and graphs convey large amounts of information. Photographs and pictures appeal to a different side to the audience and will register emotionally, giving them something to remember. For the last group, a short list of bullet points will give them what they need. Make sure you cater to everyone’s preferences and you’ll find your sales presentations have a higher degree of success.
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As websites and the internet have quickened the speed of communication, it seems that the ability to be in several places at once without leaving your office will be the key to succeeding in business. video conferencing allows us to do just that. Audio visual conferencing is an excellent driver for productivity, allowing us to keep in closer contact with customers. The new closeness brought by telepresence video conferencing often leads to new ideas on how to speed up the development of new products and services.
During a videoconference call, all participants can see the facial expressions and body language of all the other participants. These vital aspects of communication are lost with a basic telephone call. In addition, if this technology is used for customer service and sales, it has major implications for improving customer relations. If customers with a query or a problem can effectively meet internal employees by using telepresence video conferencing, your business relationship with customers could be significantly improved.
Furthermore, video conferencing offers a fantastic opportunity to cut travel expenses – a real winner in today’s economy. While many individuals still like to get out of the office and visit clients and associates in person, there are many situations where it is possible to save massive amounts of money on airfare and hotel costs, as well as the loss of productivity that results from being out of the office. Although shaking hands with somebody can never really be replaced, video conferencing allows us to ask ourselves whether the cost of that handshake is really justified in every instance.
With video conferencing, you can quickly put together a meeting of various people from different locations, to discuss whatever it is that unites them. Whether they are at different ends of the same county or opposite sides of the globe, communication is just as easy. Many of us feel we can express more through facial expressions than through the tired clichés of business speak, which is why a live video call is often much more effective than a telephone call. In addition, if anything technical needs to be explained, the visual element is extremely valuable in facilitating an easily understandable demonstration.
Video conferencing is not just a new technology that might be worth getting used to, it is the future of communication. With telepresence video conferencing, participants genuinely feel as if they are sharing a room with fellow conference participants. Audio visual conferencing is there to make our lives easier – we would be foolish not to take advantage of it.
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