Dec 11, 2017

17 Impressive Slides from 'Google for India' Keynote 2017

Google for India Conference (GFI 2017) took place last week in New Delhi, India. There were various keynote speeches delivered at the event. The overall quality of presentations was excellent. Here are 17 slides I have handpicked for your inspiration. Read the takeaways below, after you have browsed through the slides.


Rajan Anandan, Vice President - Google 






Anuradha Aggarwal, CMO - Marico









Other Speakers








TAKEAWAYS FOR YOU

MAKE BOLD SLIDES

Write important numbers in big and bold. It will create impact and catch attention. If you are at a big venue with hundreds of people in the audience your slides will be visible to someone in the last row too. Look at this slide.


PICK ONE MAIN COLOUR

Every speaker had one colour theme. Rajan Anandan's slides had red, Anuradha's slides had pink and Ford India's slides were blue. The other colour was dark grey. The choice of main colour was in tune with their brand colours. But more importantly, the colours were used well. Look at these slides.



Since blue was chosen as the colour for Anurag Mehrotra's slides (MD - Ford India), notice how it is used in all 3 slides. The right side of slide 1, the icons and highlights in slide 2 and the background in slide 3. Read this great tip on how to use colour to design great slides: 5 Tips to use Colours in presentations [Design secret #1]

LESS TEXT ON EACH SLIDE

There are no wordy slides at all in this Google conference. That is why the slides are so good looking. The tip for us is - write very few words on the slide. They are just your cue. Rehearse well for your keynote speech and you will create a wow experience for your audience. Read this well-researched article too: How to use FONTS to design better presentations? [Design secret #2]

USE LOTS OF BIG IMAGES AND ICONS

Lots of slides have full screen images and they look fascinating. In case they could not use a large image, they have used icons. Using images and icons makes your slides beautiful and helps your audience get the message quickly. Look at these two slides.

Wondering where to get such amazing images and icons. Read this comprehensive guide: 7 Secrets of designing beautiful PowerPoint Presentations

Preparing a keynote speech? Check this article on how to structure it.

Let me know your views on these slides. Is there a slide that you like? Share it with me. Email: vivek [at] jazz factory [dot] in.

Dec 6, 2017

Design secret #3 - Everything about Text Alignment in a presentation

If you are designing a PowerPoint slide it is important to know how to align text well. Let us start with an example. Here is an ad which appeared in a local newspaper recently.

The text to the right of the model is your main text. This main text is known as body copy in advertising. The text (both at the bottom and the top) is aligned to the LEFT.


But why is the text aligned to the left? Why not right, center or justify?

Here is the same ad. What have I done? I have aligned the body copy to the RIGHT. The ad now looks slightly different. Wait till you see the next version.
In this version, the body copy has been aligned CENTER. It does look quite odd, doesn't it?

Here is a quick refresher which shows you the four types of text alignment. By default, when you type body copy in PowerPoint your text gets aligned to the LEFT.

Let us now JUSTIFY the body copy and see how the ad looks.
This does not look very different from the LEFT alignment because of less text and separate paragraphs. If we have lots of text, the justified output will be different. Here is a better example of how lots of text looks when JUSTIFIED.
Take a look at all the four variants of the IndoStar ad again. Which one do you like better? Why did the designer choose to ALIGN LEFT? In my view, left align suits the ad. It is aligned to the upright model on the left.


How do you decide about text alignment?

English, and most other languages, is written from left to right. When you write your diary, you align text to the left margin. Left align is the most natural style of writing and that is also why the default alignment in PowerPoint for body copy is left. When in doubt, align LEFT.


#1. ALIGN YOUR TEXT IN SYNC WITH THE IMAGE ON YOUR SLIDE

Take a look at this ad. The body copy will only look good when the text is aligned to the LEFT. All the body copy is aligned to the left and together they form an invisible line which runs parallel to the model's hand (the model is Kalki Koechlin).
In the next ad, the text is aligned CENTER and it looks good. Why? Because the main image of the Google Pixel phone is also in the middle of the design.
In the next ad too, the text is aligned in relation to the image. The body copy has been aligned to the RIGHT, exactly in sync with the product. Together they form an invisible line which runs from top to bottom.
Usually CENTER align does not look good. But here is an ad where it makes sense. Again, as you will see, the text has been aligned in sync with the image. The image of Dr. Kurien is in the middle and hence the entire body copy is aligned matching the image.

#2 ALIGN YOUR TEXT DEPENDING ON WHERE YOU PLACE THE TEXT

As a thumb rule, if you place your text to the extreme left of your slide, align it to the left. As you can see in the next ad. The text is on the left and left align makes sense.
Look at the next ad. The entire text is placed in the center and it aligns itself to the logo (which is centrally aligned).

Which text alignment is most common?

I have analyzed 281 ads so far and the most common form of alignments are LEFT and CENTER. It is very rare to see RIGHT alignment and JUSTIFY.

Summary

When you align your text on a slide, think about two things:

  1. What else is there on the slide?
  2. Where are you placing the text on the slide?
Let us look at one ad from the real estate sector. In this ad the headline on the top has been aligned to the LEFT. The body copy (text at the bottom) has been aligned to the LEFT too.
The headline should have been aligned to the center. That would have synced well with the large image in the middle. The body copy at the bottom has been aligned well. It has been aligned in sync with the image next to it. The aligned text forms an invisible line parallel to the rectangular image next to it.

In the end, let us see two ads from the same brand. These ads are similar in a lot of ways. Can you spot the major difference? Focus on the headline in white font.

You must have noticed that the designer has gone for center alignment in one ad and right alignment in the other. Why? Which one do you like more?

There are no easy answers in design and many a times it is the overall feel of the design that matters. When you align the text, think about where are you placing the text, what else is there on the slide and how does the overall design look.

Read more:

5 Tips to use Colours in presentations [Design secret #1]
How to use FONTS to design better presentations? [Design secret #2]

Nov 27, 2017

Subroto Bagchi's 3 secrets that will transform your sales presentation

Sales presentations are very important if you are in B2B sales. Every new prospect asks you to 'send something across' as soon as you reach them. Subroto Bagchi is a seasoned B2B salesman and a successful entrepreneur. Here are his tips on how to create a B2B sales presentation that works. These tips are from his new book, Sell: The Art, the Science, the Witchcraft, which came out just 2 months back.


1. How do you begin a sales presentation?

Most B2B sales presentations begin with 'about us'. The salesperson talks about his company and its offices across the world and his list of clients. Subroto recommends you begin with the client. He has this advice to share:
Salespeople, almost all of them; they tend to push content about themselves. Why don't they personalize and contextualize the slide deck and say: "This is what we have learnt about you, your needs, and this is why we would like to share the following information with you"?
The client is not interested in knowing too much about your company right at the start. He has a problem and you are there to solve his problem. A good way to know how to start and structure the flow of the presentation is to follow the thought process of your client. If you were the client, what would you want to know first and what later on. Subroto adds...
Forcing the client to follow your thought process rather than speaking in alignment with theirs doesn't send out a good message.


2. What is the secret of delivering a great sales presentation?

Preparation is the key, says Subroto. You need to research your audience, customize the sales deck to this particular client and rehearse your sales presentation multiple times so that you get it completely right. Subroto suggest this...
Good salespeople rehearse their presentations and seek feedback from their friends at work, even if it is the 400th time that they are making the same pitch. It's the audience you see; for the audience, it's always the first time.

3. How to make an impact in the first presentation itself?

Subroto shares a very interesting tactic. Something that I have personally felt in my life as a marketer when I used to get pitched by agencies and vendors all the time. Here is his little secret:
Even before they (salespeople) make the pitch and begin to talk about their ideas, solutions, whatever, wouldn't it be a good idea to identify a coach in the client organization? The smart thing would be to send the coach a draft presentation and get them to go over it in advance. The coach would be able to offer guidance and, in either case, will appreciate the diligence.
Interested in reading more about B2B sales presentations, check these articles out:

Nov 20, 2017

How to structure your Keynote speech to wow your audience?

You have to deliver a keynote speech at an event. Here is a simple template you can use to structure your keynote speech.
  • Decide on your 3 main messages, that you want to share with your audience
  • Then follow this structure:
  • Story 1 followed by message 1
  • Story 2 followed by message 2
  • Analogy 1 followed by message 3 and so on

Remember that your story contains your message. What we are doing is to narrate the story first and then share the message. Your analogy works the same way. Mention the analogy and then your message.

This template is modular.
  • If you have less time, reduce one story or analogy
  • If you have more time, add one story or analogy
Gaur Gopal Das is a prolific speaker and a life coach in India. I have developed this keynote speech structure inspired by his 18-minute talk where he has used this template very effectively. This is the structure Gaur Gopal Das has followed in his keynote speech.
Gaur Gopal Das has 2 stories and 2 analogies. But being a prolific speaker he knows the importance of humour. What he has done is planted various jokes in the presentation. This is how his keynote speech structure finally looks. At the end he summarises and repeats all the four main messages.
  • He starts his talk with a joke. The joke is not random but related to story 1
  • He cracks two jokes after sharing his second message. The second joke is connected to his analogy (ice-creams and candles)

Watch his excellent and humorous talk here:


You will note that he uses Hindi words frequently. His first joke is in Hindi and is a famous dialogue from Bollywood. If you know your audience and you know they understand Hindi, mixing a few Hindi words and sharing a joke in Hindi is a good idea. Nothing connects more than vernacular.


Why does this Keynote Speech Template work?


  1. Stories are not boring. They get people to pay attention.
  2. Stories are easy to understand and remember.
  3. Analogies too help your audience understand and remember.

How to implement this Keynote Speech Template?

  • Decide on 3-4 main messages. Any more and you'll overload your audience.
  • Why are those your main messages? What incident, anecdote or story led you to come to that realisation?
  • Share that story first. Share it with passion. Share concrete details. Describe the person, the place and what happened.
  • Then share your message. The takeaway from that story.
  • Repeat for all main messages
  • Summarise at the end


Following this different keynote speech template will help you stand out and connect with your audience. Your audience will like what you say, they will understand you and remember you. You cannot afford to talk like everyone else. Try this out and see how it works wonders.

Nov 16, 2017

How to use FONTS to design better presentations? [Design secret #2]

I have analyzed 170 print ads published over the last 3 years looking for design lessons for presentations. Why? Because newspaper ads are designed by professionals and it is a great place to learn about design. In the first post of this series (5 Tips to use Colours in presentations [Design secret #1]) I talked about colours. This post is about fonts.

In this post I answer the following questions:


  1. WHICH font should I use in my presentation?
  2. HOW MANY fonts should I use in my presentation?
  3. Should I write my slide title in all capitals?
  4. What is the ideal font size for a presentation?

#1 Which font should I use in my presentation?

I will answer this question at two levels. First, you need to decide the type of font you want to use. Second, you decide which specific font you want to use within that type.

Two types of fonts
  • Serif fonts
  • Sans-serif fonts
Look at this advertisement by ROLEX. The line below ROLEX logo... THE LADY-DATEJUST is written in sans-serif. Even this blog post has been written in sans-serif. The paragraph below... The classically feminine Rolex... is written in serif font.
Here is an image which explains serif and sans-serif better. The fonts on the left (serif) have a serif on the edges. Notice how the T differs.
The thumb-rule is:
  • Use serif fonts when you have lots of text and you need to print it. Because serif is easier to read.
  • Use sans-serif when you need to project on screen (computer / mobile / projector).
So for presentations, the recommended font type is sans-serif.

Interestingly, 95% ads I have analyzed have used sans-serif only. That goes against the thumb-rule. One of the reasons is that those fonts are stylish and easy to read. Moreover, using serif fonts might make your design look old. Sans-serif is more modern.

Look at the next two ads. The first one is for a premium real-estate brand. The second one is by a premium retail store selling furniture and other stuff. Which one looks modern?
The second one looks more modern. As I mentioned, 95% of the ads now-a-days use sans-serif fonts. There is one ad however where serif has looked good. That is because of the type of font used. So selecting a good font is critical.

Which font will you use in your presentation?

When in doubt, use sans-serif. Use serif only when it goes with the theme (old, classic) or the mood (too formal).

Which sans-serif font will you use?
  • Arial?
  • Calibri?
  • Verdana?
Avoid these standard fonts because they are run-of-the-mill and not exciting. Download a good free font from Google Fonts and use it in all your presentations. Try one of these fonts:
  • Roboto (recommended)
  • Open Sans (recommended)
  • Montserrat (for slide title)
  • Oswald (for slide title)
  • Work sans
  • Arimo
  • Muli
  • Catamaran
  • Archivo Narrow
Read this post to know more about how to search and download free fonts from Google Fonts: 7 Secrets of designing beautiful PowerPoint Presentations.

Stick to fonts which are easy to read and go with the mood you want to set. Trying to use fancy fonts can backfire too. The next ad has used a fancy font. Do you like it?

#2 How many fonts should I use in my presentation?

Many presenters end up using too many fonts in one presentation. Many others just use one. How many are ideal? Let us look at some print ads and learn from them.
There are two fonts in this ad. The headline on the top uses a font that is slightly different from the small line below. Both the fonts go well together. This is called 'font pairing'. Some fonts go well together and some don't. The next ad has 3 different fonts and somehow the pairing is not very great.

Most ads use just one or two fonts. If they use one font, the headline is usually in capitals. That makes the headline stand out.


How many fonts should you use in a presentation?

Use two fonts. There are two separate ways to do it.

  1. Two different font families. Say, Roboto and Open Sans. One font for the slide title and one for the body (rest of the text)
  2. Choose one font family. Say you pick Roboto. Use Roboto Black for slide title and Roboto Light for the body.
When we use fonts from the same family, we do not need to worry about font pairing. They always go well together.

If you want to go with option 1 and pick two different font families then you will have to ensure the fonts go well together. One way is trial and error. Use the fonts and see for yourself. The other option is to take the help of Google Fonts.

Click on the font's page. Say you choose Open Sans. Go down and look to your left. Here is the screenshot. Look to your left.
The suggested font pairings with Open Sans are Roboto, Lato, Oswald, Raleway and Source Sans Pro. Choose one font from this list and then do your trial and error. This way you'll save a lot of time in testing which combination appeal to you.



#3 Should I write my slide title in all capitals?

I have analyzed so many newspaper ads and found that most of them use all capitals in its headline. That is the best way to draw the attention of the reader to the most important element.

On a slide, you might want the audience to see the title first. You might have written down your most important message there.
The headline is in all capitals. Interestingly the text below the icons is in all capitals too. Now look at Google Pixel 2's ads below. The headline is big but not in all capitals. It still looks good.

As a thumb-rule, when you have too many words avoid all capitals. It is not easy to read. Now look at the next ad.
All capital at the top looks good. What matters is not just capital letters, but the size of the font, number of words and placement of the headline. It is a total package. Look at the next ad. Too much of all capitals is not good.

Should I write my slide title in all capitals?

Yes and No. Depends on what you like and how it looks on the slide. I have made some presentations with the title in all capitals and I have made many without it. When in doubt, avoid all capitals.

#4 What is the ideal font size for a presentation?

In an online poll conducted many years back I had found that 68% presenters were using fonts of size 11-20. A lot of presenters use small font sizes because they have a lot to say on one slide.

Here is a thumb-rule for font sizes:
  • Presentation delivered on a laptop: 30-40 for title and 18-24 for body
  • Presentation delivered in a small boardroom:  34-44 for title and 24-28 for body
Whenever in doubt, go for a bigger font size. If you are presenting at a venue, visiting the venue in advance is good. You can check out the font size on the screen. Ensure the last person in the audience is able to clearly read the text.

Talking about font size, there is something very interesting to learn from analyzing print ads. Look at this ad.

The fonts in the first two lines are bigger than the fonts in the next two. This creates a clear sense of order (designers call it hierarchy). The designer is deciding how the audience will view the design. You read the headline and then read the next part. This is critical in a slide too. The font size of the slide title should be a lot more than the body text.

This ad could have been more impactful if the font sizes were strikingly different. The text above and below the spoon do not differ too much in font size. The title should always be a lot bigger. Look at the next ad to see how it is done.

Summary


  1. Use sans-serif fonts in your presentation.
  2. Instead of using the standard sans-serif fonts like Arial, Calibri and Verdana try new fonts like Roboto, Open Sans and Montserrat.
  3. Download these free fonts from Google Fonts.
  4. Do not use more than 2 fonts in a presentation.
  5. Either use 2 different font families (Roboto & Open Sans) or 2 different fonts from the same font family (Roboto Black & Roboto Light).
  6. When in doubt, avoid writing your slide title in all capital letters.
  7. Use large legible fonts in a presentation. If your audience will view your slides on a laptop, use 30+ fonts for title and 18+ for body.
  8. Make your slide title a lot bigger than your body (in terms of font size)
  9. Look at newspaper ads and learn from them :)
This concludes my second post in this series. Read my first post of the Design Secret Series here: 5 Tips to use Colours in presentations [Design secret #1]

Have a question? Mention in the comments section below. Like an ad? Share it with me as well.