A recent request from one of our architecture customers prompted a little research into creating successful presentations and proposals—and we thought we’d share what we learned in the process.
Brenda, partner in a consulting firm, is a long time customer of Cardphile’s corporate holiday cards. She gave us a call, initially just seeking a source for high quality printing of her presentation materials. After chatting about the project a bit, it turned out that she wasn’t entirely happy with the new brochure layout she had created.
One thing led to another, and we ended up working with Brenda’s marketing people on the design as well as the printing of a number of presentation materials for a project proposal. While we certainly don’t pretend to have all the answers, we came across some great resources and presentation tips during our research that we wanted to share with you.
Whatever your product or service, good design matters and sells—if you don’t think so, take another look at apple products.
- Be genuine. Avoid canned slides and use color for emphasis—not decoration.
- 3 is a big deal—in graphic design and in written and verbal presentations.
- Follow the Rule of Three – in writing & speaking
- Follow the Rule of Thirds – in design
- Be Simple, Be Clear, Be Brief!
- Engage your audience in unexpected ways: Include an element of surprise. Why not use QR codes to engage your audience at the end of the proposal, and connect them to additional content. (Not sure what a QR code is? Learn more about QR Codes here.)
- Be a boy scout: Yes, prepare for the unexpected and have options in place if the projector doesn’t work or there’s a screaming baby in the audience.
- Practice, Practice, Practice. (Note the rule of 3 applied again here!)
- End with high quality, printed presentation materials that will serve as a visual, tactile reminder for those attending the presentation—and provide the right reference information for those who did not. Product description sheets and proposal booklets are a great way to reinforce your message.
A couple of our favorite resources:
- A free eBook download from your friends at GoToMeeting: The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs
- Tips from Garr Reynolds, author of Presentation Zen and other books:
Or follow Garr Reynolds online (No, we’re not related to Garr, we just think he does a great job!): http://presentationzen.blogs.com/
Too busy to check the resources? Just subscribe to our blog via email (top right) or check back later in the week—we’ve pulled more of them together for you in free a downloadable pdf – Cardphile’s Top Ten Presentation Tips.