Powerpoint. The very word sends shivers down the spine of anyone attending a business meeting. Many write off PPT presentations as outdated, uncool or painfully boring, yet the platform, or equivalents such as Keynote, remain efficient and popular — a sales collateral mainstay. With 2018 upon us, it’s time to take stock of your pitch decks and next year’s sales collateral strategy. Here, we explain the ideas behind injecting sizzle into your presentations, and emphasize the importance of backing expert design with sales collateral tools to get the most out of your slide deck investment. In 2018, businesses need to make sure each pitch deck presented is designed properly, to ensure their sales message resonates and is retained. There are countless ways Avalaunch Media helps with this but for the sake of this blog, we’ll keep it short and sharp — which, by the way, is a good way to describe how your next deck should be. Default template PPT decks have no place in business in 2018. There’s more than 500 million PPT users out there, and they are put off at the slightest whiff of a default template. Employing customization using design principles improves aesthetics but more importantly, gives you the best chance of reinforcing your sales message. Basically, if you want your message to stick, you need to employ masterful, creative pitch deck design. In business in 2018, a great presentation doesn’t just “happen.” Avalaunch Media’s pitch deck design techniques are grounded in the Duarte Academy Persuasive Presentations training that all Avalaunch designers complete. These presentation philosophies are evident in all of our client decks: it’s storytelling and visual thinking designed to shift audience beliefs and behaviors. A core principle of Duarte Academy training is that the best presentations should “show” a message using data visualization, rather than “tell” with words. In the business world, the average slide has 40 words — enough to lose your audience in an instant. In 2018, you should be presenting using icons, not bulleted lists. Think of Steve Jobs’ Apple presentations: one message per slide; purposeful; captivating and wholly supportive of the stories he told. There is no reason why your PPT design cannot be as effective at shifting your audience’s beliefs. There are countless visual design principles in presentation design. Without a professionally designed pitch deck, you stand less chance of converting sales. Practically speaking, a 2018 deck should take into account a checklist of factors —story creation and structure; presenter style; room size; screen type and resolution; color theory; type point size; deck length; transitions;; and the list goes on. It is a lot to consider and top businesses call in experts to create optimized presentations. For 2018, consider: do you consider all this for your own pitch decks? What is your audience’s true reaction to your presentation? How much extra revenue could better-designed pitch decks bring your way? Are others getting the jump on you because of your slideshow design? In 2018, you can build flexibility into your deck investments — repurpose one deck multiple times. Presentation flexibility is a smart sales collateral strategy. Sometimes in fast-paced business, there’s a need to make a detail change yourself, in a hurry — but of course, not everyone has a designer’s eye. At Avalaunch, we build versatile, foolproof decks that enable users to make changes on the fly. If your slide sales template tool could talk, here is what it might say: “I have nice hierarchy because I use text size, weight and color to define what’s most important. I look professional because I look intentional in my decisions by being consistent. I am easy to understand because I follow the rules my designer set up, so the audience knows how the slide works.” In 2018, you can save time and money by using professionally set-up decks that you can adjust yourself. And this level of professionalism gains attention and appreciation from your audience. It’s one thing to create slideshows that sizzle. But even companies with the most effective decks miss out on opportunities because of poor sales collateral management — they don’t know how to make the most of their assets. That’s why Avalaunch Media recommends and offers an app-based sales collateral solution. Their best pitch decks sit idle, get lost in a jumble of files, or the wrong file gets sent to clients. For 2018, consider a customizable mobile sales enablement platform that transforms your marketing materials into sales tools for one-to-one sales engagement. Avalaunch can help you easily manage version control between your sales and marketing teams and make content fragmentation a thing of the past. Our sales collateral app turns videos, brochures, case studies, and more into beautiful sales presentations that can be shared with customers. It also makes sure each rep gets the latest version by automatically providing the right content to the right people. The sales collateral app has tangible results. It provides valuable insight into how your content is being viewed and shared by your sales team and customers, which helps you maximize your marketing budget, optimize your content, and win more deals.
*Pitch Deck Design PreparationTo deliver a truly successful business presentations in 2018, your slide deck design needs to be much more than a default template with bullet points and pretty pictures. Don’t fall into the trap of letting your presentation-based sales collateral get stale and gather cobwebs. To be ready for 2018 and a year of pitch deck success, now is the time to invest some expert design, flexibility, strategy and overall organization into your sales collateral for maximum return.