It’s not only sales people who need to persuade. Perhaps you need to get approval for a proposal. Recently, a subscriber used principles I taught to get approval from a State Legislature committee for an important proposal that will help children in that state.
But trainers have told me that they need to persuade too — persuade their audience to listen and finally to implement the training.
Here are 3 simple tips to make your slides support the persuasive component of your presentation.
Make images big
The Picture Superiority principle says that people remember concepts when portrayed as pictures as opposed to words. And when you make a picture big — taking up most of the slide — people will remember it even more.
A corollary is to make images bold. If they surprise, people will remember them. If they make people think, all the better.
Be careful not to use images as mere decoration. They should always help the audience understand and remember the point you’re making.
Emotion is necessary to persuade people to make a decision. That doesn’t mean you need to get sappy, but ignoring emotion won’t help your cause. First, you should express your passion for your subject. Then, let your slides follow suit.
For example, if you are making a proposal to try to get management to provide employees with tablets, show happy people using tablets rather than just the tablets themselves. Your point is that the employees will be happy if they have tablets — probably more productive as well. The audience knows what a tablet looks like, so a simple photo of a tablet isn’t as effective.
Put 1 point on a slide
It’s counter-intuitive, but the more text you put on a slide, the less people remember. The reason is the limitation of short-term memory. So give people content in small chunks. You can put the same content on multiple slides and it won’t take longer to explain, but presenting the content in small chunks will help people digest it more effectively.
The Tell ‘n’ ShowSM method
I teach the Tell ‘n’ ShowSM method, which incorporates these 3 tips.
You use a heading that tells your point. Think of it like a newspaper headline — it should actually say something. Then you use a photo, chart, map, data — whatever is necessary to show your point. This concept is based on research done by Michael Alley at Penn State’s School of Engineering, but it just makes sense to me.
What slide design principles have worked for you when you needed to persuade? Leave a comment.
And if you find this post useful, use the social media buttons to share it with others!