Simplify Your Technology Marketing Presentations

These tips can help you present your Technology solutions with clarity and conviction.

I have spent the last ten years watching executives and engineers in the technology industry present their ideas with PowerPoint slides loaded with technical data and complicated diagrams that left everyone confused and exhausted.

Here are several steps you can take to avoid the pitfalls of PowerPoint overload.

  1. Plan your presentation with pen and paper
  2. Remove the Complications from the Complex
  3. Follow the 10-20-30 rule

1. Plan your presentation with pen and paper

Begin by storyboarding your presentation. Steve Jobs spent his preparation time brainstorming, sketching and white-boarding before he created his presentation. All of the elements of the story that he wants to tell are thought through, elements are planned and collected before any slides are created.

BusinessWeek.com columnist Carmine Gallo reveals the techniques that have turned Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, into one of the world’s corporate presenters. If you want some helpful tips that will add punch to your next presentation, download a copy of Carmine Gallo’s, “How to Sell Your Ideas the Steve Jobs Way.”

2. Remove the Complications from the Complex

Technology is complex but it doesn’t have to be complicated, especially in your presentations. Diagrams and flowcharts often dominate technology presentations but they are usually created from product photography, clip art and existing diagrams.

If your company doesn’t have an established style for diagrams, consider using simple geometric shapes instead of a hodge-podge of elements that look unprofessional and will, in fact, reflect poorly on you and your brand.

Watch Dave Gray’s, founder of XPLANE, interview with Jason Fried, from 37 Signals, “Jason Fried on Simplicity.”

Spend some time reviewing your current diagrams and look for ways to simplify your diagrams. Your audience will follow up with you if they need more details.

3. Follow the 10-20-30 rule

This is probably the most difficult rule to follow because it requires discipline and practice. Guy Kawasaki, well-known blogger, author, managing director of a venture capital firm and an Apple Fellow, promotes a technique that can help technology marketers with their presentations, the 10-20-30 Rule:

  • Show no more than 10 slides
  • Speak for no more than 20 minutes
  • Use no font smaller than 30 points

If you spend the time to learn the material you are presenting, you won’t have to rely on PowerPoint for every detail. Presentations are about connecting with your audience. Your slides should reinforce your main ideas, leave the details to handouts and follow up meetings.

Use these best practices to create presentations that are dynamic and effective.

Carmine Gallo: How to Sell Your Ideas the Steve Jobs Way

Dave Gray’s Interview: Jason Fried on Simplicity

The 10-20-30 Rule of PowerPoint

  • How else can you conduct a clear and precise presentation to an audience? 

Photo Credit: HikingArtist.com via photo pin cc

Chris Fuller
About Chris Fuller

For over 20 years, as a partner of thinkdm2, a digital branding and marketing agency, I have helped simplify marketing for many clients. Intelligent Systems can be quite complicated, and marketing them even more so. I enjoy making the complex simple. My blog, Simplexity, is an attempt to put my experience to use for Intelligent Systems Marketers.

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