Tips for Creating Presentations That Really Sell Your Ideas

In your professional life – whether you are an entrepreneur trying to attract new investors and convince would-be customers, or whether you are a traditional employee, trying to convince your managers to take a particular approach to solving a given problem – it is likely that you will often find yourself needing to put together effective presentations.

Presentations can take many different forms. They can be based on showing off certain analytical trends, in order to highlight areas where greater investment of resources may be beneficial, or they can serve a somewhat more emotive function, such as in the case of driving home the importance of a particular HR policy.

Whatever the purpose of your presentation, specifically, the broad idea is often going to be the same: effectively “selling” your ideas.

Here are some tips for creating presentations that really can sell your ideas, effectively.

Understand the power of visual and aesthetic elements

It might be nice, on some level, to think that in any given presentation “the data will speak for itself”, but to believe this would be to overlook a lot of the emotional aspect of human nature.

Even in businesses where the shots are called by hard-nosed professionals, “selling” your ideas effectively is often going to require you to leverage the power of striking visual and aesthetic elements.

To this end, you should think about whatever tools are available to help you create more aesthetically appealing, and visually impressive presentations. You may, for example, be able to sell your ideas with Beautiful.AI’s powerful visuals, better than you would with a traditional PowerPoint presentation.

Go for photographs when you can, rather than tables of statistics. Use evocative images. Don’t make the presentation patronising, but make it easy to understand and “feel” without a lot of intensive reading.

Get your message clear, and aim to be concise first and foremost

Often, when people are really invested in a given idea or strategy, they will seek to explain every brilliant nuance of it to the people they are trying to convince of its benefit.

Often, this then leads to bloated presentations, with far too much barely-relevant data, and information that demands too much of the attention of the people who are engaging with it.

In their highly successful book Extreme Ownership, retired U.S. Navy SEALs Jocko Willink and Leif Babin describe some of their experiences in coaching highflying businesses on the leadership principles that make the Navy SEALs an effective fighting force.

One of the core principles they emphasise is simplicity. The simpler (although not necessarily “easier”) a plan is, and the more concisely it is communicated, the better everyone will grasp it, the more likely they will be to engage with it positively, and the better they will remember it.

Write out your ideas, long-form, before committing them to the presentation

To create a compelling presentation, you need to be able to produce punchy and relevant writing, and distill your ideas.

A great practice for doing this can be to write out your ideas long-form – as in, on a piece of paper – before committing them to the presentation.

This process will help you to organise and refine your thoughts, and pick out the key principles that you want to drive home.


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