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Newsletter

January 2013

 
Vol   Issue 1    

Welcome

Welcome to the January edition of Markets View, although it already feels that New Years day was ages ago, as this is my first newsletter of the year, I would like to wish you all the very best for 2013. 

In case you missed my Christmas newsletter, the Course dates for 2013 are now finalised,  click to check the dates for Presentation training and for Demonstration training. Alternatively you can download my training conspectus

As I mentioned in my last newsletter Train to Gain grants for leadership and management training are coming to a close, if you want the 1000 you need to ask for it by Friday 11th February. For more details call me of visit my train to gain page on my website.

 

My daily Twitter tips, or twips are still going too, follow me, @youngmarkets on Twitter.

Yours sincerely,

Graham Young
+44 1276 502257

Upcoming Courses

 

The best presentation skills course around is being run on the following dates and locations:

Effective Business Presentations:



My new Effective Demonstrations course is running as follows:

For more information or to book, click on your preferred location above. New dates for the new year will be announced in the next news letter.

Ban the Bullets 

Any of you who have already been on my presentation skills course will know I am not a big fan of slides full of bullet points. All too often they succeed in letting your audience get ahead of you which makes your presentation boring.Well I've decided to start a campaign to Ban the Bullets.

If you need convincing that presentations full of bullet points are not the best way to present information, click on the Ban the Bullet image on the right and it will take you to my "Walk the Talk" blog where I explain.

If you would prefer to receive a copy of my "Ban the Bullets" document in PDF format which contains some extra examples of how to replace bullet points with images, click here: "Ban the Bullets"


To lend your support to this campaign, please add your name to the comments section on my blog.

 

The A to Z of Effective Presentations

Now on the letter "D" this issue looks at Design and Data

D is for Design  

For main busy executives, the idea of taking time out to plan the design of their presentation slides is a foreign concept. But a little bit of thought and consistency can go a long way.

If you are one of the many who picks a PowerPoint background at random then it is time to thing again. All the backgrounds provided by Microsoft have been used time and time again. As soon as someone sees that perennial blue fade background with the wavy lines across the top, they instantly remember the last boring presentation they sat through and assume yours will be the same.

To create an original looking background to your presentation, try using a relevant photograph. The only problem is that most photographs have a combination of light and dark, which can make any text laid on top difficult to read. By making the background image a "watermark" or giving it a high level of transparency, you can create a unique a relevant background without interfering with the legibility of the slides.

One thing that I approve of in the later release of PowerPoint is the concept of themes, which include a range of colours, and fonts for each theme. To the design illiterate like me, it means that at least I can be confident that the various standard colours I use through the presentation match, and that there is a consistent use of fonts on every slide.

As for individual slides, the smallest font you should ever use is 24pt, with most text being 32pt and titles even larger. See elsewhere in this newsletter for information about why bullet points are not a good idea.

Try to have just one concept for every slide. If you have 5 points to make, rather than having 5 bullet points, have five different slides, each one with a descriptive and appropriate image.

My one final point on design concerns animation. Animation should only be used if it actively contributes towards the meaning of the slide. In particular don't use the spurious animation techniques PowerPoint provides to move from one slide to the next.

 

D is for Data

Using data to back up your arguments is common across a wide range of presentations. However, for data to be communicated in a meaningful way takes some thought and planning.

Should it be in a table or on a graph? If a graph what type of graph, histogram, bar chart, pie chart, scatter graph, or line graph. Should the axis of the graph always start at zero?

The overriding principle as with many aspects of presenting has to be KISS - Keep it simple.

Take for example this small table of data showing the relative sales volumes of 4 products over two years.

Sales

This Year

Last Year

Widget 1

63

66

Widget 2

75

72

Widget 3

61

83

Widget 4

84

60

 

This could be graphed in a variety of different ways, including:

A histogram:

Histogran of sales data

A line graph:

Line Graph                 Line Graph

This is the wrong type of graph for these 4 independent points. Line graphs are more appropriate for a series of data. The angle of the line between the points is meaningless as the points are discrete values. Purely by reordering the sequence of products we can produce a graph which implies some improvement, when of course there is no such thing.

Emphasis

A common trick if you want to emphasise the difference between values on a histogram is to change the value at which the horizontal axis is set.  As can be seen below:

histogram         Histogram

Technically speaking both of these graphs are correct, but the one on the right highlights the differences more.

 

3-D

Be careful if you use 3-D charting styles, they can be very misleading. The one on the left below is ok but the one on the right really hides the differences between the data values of the two series.

3d graph           3d graph

 

Summary

When creating graphs of your data, start with a clear idea of what you want the graph to show, include only the data that is relevant and then choose the style of graph which is consistent with the data and highlights the differences in a visually attractive manner.

 

This is the second time through the alphabet for me, you can see the previous D for Dress and D for Doing It on the A to Z of Presenting blog
 

There will be some new "E" in the next newsletter.

    Improve Your Presentations

    I hope you have found this newsletter useful and interesting. You can learn a lot more about how to structure and give an Effective Business Presentation, by:

    • Attending a Young Markets Effective Presentations Skills training course
    • Reading my ebook "The A to Z of Effective Business Presentations" which you can download from my website today.
    • Taking my on-line course which is just one of the many sales related training modules at www.salestrainingonline.com
    • Reading my blog
    • Following me on Twitter
    • Check out the Young Markets channel at www.youtube.com/youngmarkets

    Please feel free to forward this on to your friends and colleagues. If you have received this second hand and would like your own personal copy of future issues, please click here.

 


Effective Business Communication

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