You’d be surprised by how many professionals will be required to create a presentation at any given time in their career. While more senior level employees may be more well versed in presentation best practices, not everyone feels comfortable designing and presenting decks.
We’ve talked about how your team can be better presenters before. But rather than talk about features that help your team, like content control and corporate branding, we’re peeling back a layer. In this blog we’re sharing how you (as a leader) can encourage your team and set them up for success to be better presenters.
Give them the right tools
The first step to a successful presentation? The right tools to get you there. You can’t expect your entire team to be PowerPoint experts if they don’t have the design skills to back it up. It’s likely that they’ll need software that can help take on the burden of design for them so that they can focus on the content within the slides. Luckily, there are various types of presentation software— like Beautiful.ai— that offer intelligent alternatives to the outdated PowerPoint platform. If you give your team the resources they need to design professional presentations, they’ll feel more confident presenting said deck to an audience. We’ll chalk that up as an easy win, and money well spent.
Work better, together
Sometimes different departments need to collaborate on a presentation to ensure that all of the information included in the deck is accurate and up to date. For example, someone from finance may need to add or update a specific metric in a presentation for an upcoming board meeting that the marketing team is preparing. Unlocking better collaboration makes teams more efficient in the presentation creation process, making the end result more effective. Teams can work better together, and increase output quality and quantity. Similarly, working together may help them feel less alone and make it more engaging. Collaborating on presentations can inspire new creative ideas and storytelling that will ultimately make your employees better presenters.
Create presentations more frequently
The only way you’re going to learn is by doing. And by creating more presentations, you’re bound to get better at designing them. Even in advanced presentation software, the more you can get in there and explore different variations, elements, and nuances, the better. The frequency in which you’re creating presentations has a direct impact on your familiarity with them. Upper-management or team leaders can facilitate this by encouraging employees to create decks for all-hands meetings, departmental updates, or even happy hour ice-breakers. Creating presentations doesn’t have to be a chore. Team leaders can make it fun while requiring decks for even the smallest of meetings to help their colleagues get the hang of it. Creating a company culture around high-quality presentations will yield better results.
Make company assets more accessible
One of the worst parts of presentation design is trying to wrangle all the right assets and content. In fact, the lack of assets is how many teams will end up with infamous frankendecks. And it can be extremely frustrating and discouraging. To help your team be more successful in their efforts, make sure they have access to all the most recent company assets, slide templates, and information. Afterall, preparation is the key to success and locking in the right content is half the battle.
Company assets will include things like logo, colors, fonts, company-approved imagery, and any pre-built slides that can be recycled to ensure their presentations are professional and on-brand. Creating a custom Team Theme or a Shared Library in Beautiful.ai is an easy solution to guarantee that every deck is consistent and branded appropriately across each department and team. This also gives individuals more freedom to create their own presentations— knowing that they’ll be aligned with company standards— which can increase their faith in their own skills.
Encourage public speaking in the office
Of course, having a beautifully designed deck isn’t enough. It’s no secret that many people fear public speaking more than death. A way to help ease the nerves of your team is to encourage more public speaking in internal office settings— or on video calls— so that they’re more comfortable when they have to present to outside audiences. Whether that be round-robin updates during company wide meetings or having one person share a highlight from their week with a corresponding deck— practice makes perfect. Upper-management should follow up with feedback, advice or words of encouragement to make team members feel more comfortable and confident in their presentation abilities.
Lead by example
If you want your team to be better presenters, lead by example. This means as a manager or executive, you too are creating decks and presenting them when necessary instead of delegating. By getting your hands dirty (so to speak) and showing your team how it’s done you’re establishing the right expectations. They will also feel more comfortable going to you for advice or feedback knowing that you’ve been in the weeds of presentation design before, too.