Presentations bring brands to life
When it comes to presentations, there’s what you can be classified as routine craftsmanship and there’s rousing, passionate freestyle brand management. This includes company presentations as well as canvassing or sales appointments, results and project presentations or speeches and lectures. Of course, brand identity also plays an important role in internal communications, but we’ll talk about that later. Today we’re going to discuss how you come across in public ‒ your external image.
Good craftsmanship is the basis.
Before we get to the freestyle performance, naturally the compulsory routine has to have been first-class ‒ something that many companies manage very well by now.
- You’ve programmed the PowerPoint master and set design guidelines, from the title slide to content slides: colors, layout, fonts, types of bullet points, diagrams, tables and stylistic elements. All in corporate design.
- You have thought about formats, about file names, about storage locations, versions and staying up-to-date.
- You have a kind of basic company presentation or, better yet, you’ve made a modular ‘presentation kit’ available, which is to be used as the official template for various types of presentations.
- As a really good craftsman, you also pay attention to defined imagery, icons, headlining and corporate wording.
- And as a really, really good craftsman, you’re concerned about addressing target groups, structure and composition, having a logical narrative that takes into account the company’s objectives ‒ all the way to a conclusion that points to a desireable future outcome, which is not ‘Thanks for your time’.
All done then, right?
Brands have to be experienced.
Precisely. This brings us to the freestyle part. Bring your brand to life based on the characteristics, values and image objectives defined by you. And – if you have a marketing slogan – based on the slogan that communicates the essence of your brand.
Presentations are essential experiential contact points for your brand. They make it tangible, believable, exude its character and radiate its values. Via its styling, its wording, in the narrative and via the people who present it. They collaborate in the brand’s ability to penetrate the market and diffuse the ‘feeling’ you want to generate.
Do a brief presentation brand check.
PowerPoint isn’t just PowerPoint. It’s a vehicle for your brand management.
- List your defined brand characteristics (for example: warm hearted, passionate, simple, quick, customer-oriented, different from the others). Align all characteristics with the structure, composition and messages of your presentation. For example:
- Customer-oriented... Does your title slide grab your recipients? How can your listener relate to your presentation, how does he or she see that it’s specifically him or her you’re talking to and no one else? How is she or he made to feel that you’re customer-oriented? Or is your title slide still in the classic bureaucratic style, populated with title, date, name of the speaker or your company? Are you still thinking “I” or are you thinking “customer”?
- Different from the others… Is your presentation really different to all the other presentations? Do you perhaps have an unusual opening? Is your lateral thinking evident? What is your unusual ending? Although ‘unusualness’ is always relative to your brand’s attributes. What do the brand attributes lodged in your corporate identity mean in regard to the implementation of your presentation?
- Do you have a slogan? And how does it run through the presentation? In allusions, wording and stories? How does it become tangible?
- Have you trained everyone in the characteristics, image objectives and values that match what your presentation projects? Briefed the coach or trainer as to your brand image? Are the stories you want told clear and easily repeated? To what extent are your speakers perceived as unusual, noticeably different, customer-oriented or even human? How do you help them design their performance to be that way?
- Be honest: Is your presentation performance exciting? Does it make your audience smile at times? Are they nodding in agreement? Looking at you attentively?
- How do you prepare for a presentation? What do you do afterwards to make the brand an experience?
This is only a tiny check-up. It would be, however, the compulsory routine needed to ensure your freestyle routine is a lively performance on the presentation dancefloor. We conduct such check-ups often – in a more comprehensive manner – and have had positive experiences with it. Maybe at some point you, too, will let someone conduct such a brand check-up, to simply look at things through neutral eyes. Such feedback can be illuminating.
Most importantly: Simply be as unique as you are.