Jun 30, 2010

What does your company do? [Company Profile Presentation]

"What does your company do?"

If I ask you to make a small presentation to introduce your company, how will you do that? What will be your slide headings? What will you talk about and what will you leave?

What does your company's profile presentation contain. If your company does not have a presentation and I ask you to make one, how will you make it?

Last week I came across two corporate profile presentations. One presentation was by a new company into the retail business. This presentation is being used to introduce the company to business associates. The other was by a 3 year old company which is looking for a joint venture partner. They are showing this presentation to companies in the same business and looking for possible tie-ups.

Depending on the need and the audience, the company profile presentation will change (presenting to shareholders and presenting to customers). Yet most slides which introduce the company will be common.

Here are the slide headings of the first company.

  • Vision & Mission
  • About the Industry
  • The Founders
  • Divisions & Group companies
  • Business Model
  • Our Products & Services
  • Our Competition
  • Our Competitive Edge
  • Expansion Plans

Here are the slide headings of the second company.

  • Who we are?
  • What we do?
  • Our expertise (what we specialize in?)
  • Our achievements
  • Our products & services
  • Our competitive edge (what we do better than others?)

Between these two slides which one do you like and why? Which one does a better job? Share your point of view by leaving a comment.

Important update: 
I have written a detailed post on how to make a company profile presentation. 7 Steps in Making your Company Profile Presentation

Jun 28, 2010

How Google communicates with us?

As a communicator the onus is on us to make the audience understand our message. If we are selling something (an idea or a service), it becomes even more important. Confusion will only lead the buyer to go away.

While browsing through Picasa I found a simple and good example of how Google is effectively communicating.
I went to My Photos in Picasa and clicked on Upgrade Storage.This is where Google sells extra storage space to users. If you want to buy 20GB space you need to pay $5 per year and $20 for 80GB. But the question is, how much storage space do I need??

Google helps us with that. Have a look at the information below the blue button on the right.

20GB translates to 10,000 photos with a 5MP camera and 80GB 40,000 photos. This is a simple example of a good communication. Help the audience know what 20GB means to her in a manner she understands best.

I like this example because:

1. Google has not assumed that we know how much usage we need.
2. Google has not assumed we know what 20GB means. It is just too big a number.

Jun 20, 2010

Fill this survey in 45 seconds & get a Book FREE

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  • Answer 10 simple questions which will take just 45 seconds
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Last date to participate: July 4 (Sunday 11.59PM Indian Standard Time)

Jun 18, 2010

Is this message for me?

"Is this the same super market which my colleague just talked about? It does not seem so. I am on a wrong website."

This was my first reaction when I landed at the website of a new chain of super markets which has opened in the city. Just a while back my colleague told me of this new super market chain and asked me to check it out. He said it was good.

When I landed on the 'well-designed' website, the first thing which caught my eye were the images of people shopping, which they have put on the home page. The images show people buying stuff at a super market.

This was the problem in this communication by the super market guys.

If I see 'Indian' faces on this website, my brain will immediately tell me that I am on the correct website. This is my world. I understand it, I connect to it.

When I am visiting an Indian website and you show me foreign faces (nothing against foreigners here) the first reaction is: "Am I at the wrong place? Is this some foreign super market in a foreign country?" These website guys had actually bought foreign photos and were using them on their websites. That's what caused the confusion.

I consider this a 'communication crime'. These images are sending out cues to the audience which makes them feel out of place. This switches them off and they turn back on the message.

The lesson for presenters and communicators is this: The images we use, the examples we give and the stories we share should be such that our audience can relate to them. That's the only way they will understand us better. Otherwise, they will switch off.

Jun 16, 2010

3 Essentials of every Market Research Presentation

Market Research is a field where presentation skills are very important. The outcome of hours of grueling research is always a presentation. It is not enough to 'conduct' a research properly and 'analyse' the findings, it is equally important to know how to 'present' the findings to the client. Even a small mistake can seed doubts about your credibility and capability in the minds of the client.

In this post I share tips on how to make market research presentations better.

3 Essentials of every Market Research Presentation

A. Clarity

B. Credibility

C. Usability

A. Clarity of thought

Market research is conducted with a specific objective in mind. "How many housewives in Mumbai have seen our new soap ad?" or "How
many people like Coke more than Pepsi?" The aim of the research agency is to answer this question. When the presentation is being made, the presenter should have utmost clarity on the all the findings. A research can have as low as 5 questions and as many as 50 or more. For every question, the findings have to be crystal clear. There is no room for confusion or doubt.

If the presentation is being emailed and you will not be going to deliver the talk along with slides, this point becomes even more important. Every
slide should then have the research question on top and the finding in 1 or 2 sentences. You need to make the presentation self-sufficient.

Here is a small list which can help you make your presentation more clear:

1. Give a logical flow to the presentation. Start with the objective of the presentation, then methodology. Then mention the research
questions one by one and answer them. One slide for one question. Provide the final finding at the end followed by your recommendations.

2. Put the research question you had asked ("How many times do kids by Bingo chips in a month?") as the header of your slide and put the
finding at the bottom. Use one slide for one question.

3. Avoid use of technical jargon. If they are unavoidable, then explain in simple (layman) terms what they mean. NEVER make the mistake
of assuming that the client knows all the jargon.

4. Learn how to present data properly. Mention your sample size in each chart. Label your charts properly. Choose right charts for your data. Our objective is to ensure we take all the pains and making the client understand our work.

5. Take your presentation through a 'layman test'. Because you (the presenter) is so close to your content you assume of lot of things and
end up confusing the audience. To see if your presentation is clear or not, show it to a person not connected with this research and ask him whether he understands all your slides.

6. Do not try to present too much information to prove that you have worked very hard on the project. The skill lies in analysing loads of data
and presenting in a simple manner.

B. Credibility of Information

Whenever you present information the question of credibility always comes up. More so in market research. The client should have the
confidence that the research and analysis has been done well. They are going to take decisions in the light of your research. What can shake your presentation's credibility are simple things like mismatch of data across slides, percentages not adding upto 100% (due to some mathematical error), etc.

So check your data three times before you present. Even a small error in 1 chart can create doubt in the mind of the client. "If there is a
mistake in one chart, there can be more such 'small' mistakes." There is nothing called a silly mistake in a market research presentation. Check thrice and present 100% correct information.

C. Usability of Information

The ultimate objective of research is to help the client make a decision. Understand the overall business scenario and spend time and
effort in making a recommendation which helps the management. Just presenting the information is what your role is. Go beyond the role and provide insights into the research which helps management make a definite decision which will lead to business gains.

If you have ever made or attended a market research presentation, I would like to invite you to share your thoughts on the presentation.

Jun 12, 2010

Where have I been off late? [An Update]

Dear all

I have been on a holiday for the complete last week (May 29 to June 6). While I joined work from June 7 I have been keeping unwell. Mild fever for most of this week has kept me away from writing anything on the blog. I have been going to office and crashing once I am back at home.

The good news is... I saw a doc today and all should be well now. See you soon.

Jun 3, 2010

Best of the Month: May 2010

I am on a holiday for this entire week. I am writing this post from my home in Kolkata (Calcutta).

One more month has gone by. The month of May saw a lot of 'guest posts'. Noteworthy is a special 3 part post by Rangarajan V, a consultant at AT Kearney. The two month running series 'World's Best Presentation Series' also concluded in May.

The most read post of the month was the TED talk by Sebastian Wernicke. You can read the post here. Sebastian has analysed 525 TED talks and presents an interesting analysis of what works and does not work at TED. A good read for every presenter.

For readers who have joined in in the last few months, I would like to share the most read posts of the blog in the past year.

The most read post in the last...

6 months is: Top 10 Presentation Tips

The most read post since the inception of the blog is: How to make a sponsorship proposal presentation?

Enjoy reading these extremely popular posts which my other readers have liked.