Increasing sales with Brainshark slideshows/documents

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Convert your boring, outdated slideshows into engaging and powerful audio presentations using BrainShark with this book and ebook

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by Daniel Li | September 2013 | e-Commerce

In this article by Daniel Li, author of the book Instant Brainshark, we'll be looking at how to take full advantage of Brainshark's narrated slideshow functionality by following best practices in the presentation design. This will be covered using a list of tips, followed by why these best practices are followed in industry. Lastly, we will look into ways to aesthetically improve existing and future presentations.

(For more resources related to this topic, see here.)

How to do it...

The following are best practices that may be used in your own presentations:

  1. You should follow Guy Kawasaki's 10/20/30 rule. There shouldn't be more than 10 slides/page, an average presentation should last for roughly 20 minutes, and the font size shouldn't be smaller than 30.

  2. If it makes sense, try to customize the layout of your information from the boring, default point form in order to communicate the message in a better way.

  3. Include figures instead of statistics when illustrating data, such as a graph or table.

  4. Keep your audience in mind at all times. Do not clutter your presentation with facts that will not interest them.

  5. Modify your existing presentations to be Brainshark-friendly, matching slide animations and audio cues properly. There are more tips on how to do this properly in the Synchronizing slide animations to audio recipe.

  6. When applicable, present the initial sale as a gift rather than a purchase. For instance, "The First Month Is On Us!" as opposed to "Try Us Free For 30 Days".

  7. If various slides/pages overlap in material or are related, aim to condense them into one. This will retain the focus of your audience by reducing scope.

  8. If your product has already been tested, aim to include social proof (quotes, references, or statistics based on past customers' usage; typically include real names and occupational positions for reinforced integrity) from past customers.

  9. Sell benefits to pain points (the pain that your audience is experiencing that your product can help solve), not features. For instance, instead of stating "You can File Your Taxes With Our Software", say "Tired of Filing Your Taxes After an Exhausting Workday? Our Software Does It So You Don't have to!".

  10. Where content exclusively describes benefits, include a call-to-action (some button or text meant to prompt a user to click it, leading to a sales conversion) link to purchase on every slide/page.

  11. If there are multiple products/plans, make sure to recommend only one to your audience (but have the others available for those who want them).

  12. Except for the call-to-action links, aim to minimize website links wherever possible.

  13. Whenever possible, try to emphasize how/where the product is made, if it can be used to your advantage. For instance, emphasizing that your manufacturing process is environment-friendly to green customers or that your product was made in Canada for a Canadian audience will aid in sales conversions.

How it works...

This section will show why the steps illustrated in the preceding How to do it section are important:

  • The 10/20/30 rule ensures that you keep the presentation concise and informative, enforcing information constraints. In addition, the 30 font-size rule ensures that all members of your audiences can deal with the visual display of content.

  • Sometimes, boring and default layouts can be changed to communicate the topic at hand in a better way. For instance, when information is strictly hierarchical, a flowchart might present the content in a better manner.

  • Statistics are best communicated through visualizations. Figures such as tables and graphs allow audiences to parse information faster and with better comprehension of the issues at hand.

    Remember that you should always be selling a product to a particular audience. For instance, if you are selling software to two different audience groups but find that their pain points are different, you should ideally split the presentation into two; one for each group.

  • Keep in mind that you will not be presenting personally, so ensure that any audio and visual cues present are properly explained to the audience.

  • When presented as a gift, the audience views the initial sale as a window of opportunity instead of a purchase. People are wired to jump at opportunities, leading to impulse purchasing and higher sales.

  • There is no need to reiterate information from slide-to-slide. If there is related material across different slides, readers may need to look back at the previous slides to understand the current one.

  • Social proof has been proven to be much more effective than self-promotion. Knowing that a user of a similar demographic used the product successfully aids confidence in the buying decision.

  • Pain points communicate much easier to buyers than features. Knowing what a product can do is not as powerful as knowing what a product can do to solve their problems.

  • By consistently reminding the audience about the call-to-action, you will keep them engaged throughout the sales process. In addition, this ensures that the user does not have to go backwards in the presentation to go through the call-to-action prompt.

  • People are often indecisive and do not know what is best for them. By recommending a product to begin with, you eliminate this problem, leading to faster decision-making on impulse and sales.

  • Your focus is to sell the product, not distract the audience by directing them away from the presentation. By adding miscellaneous links throughout the presentation, people may leave the slideshow to view them, staying on those sites as a result.

  • If people realize that the product aligns with their own personal interests, they will be more willing to support it through a purchase.

There's more...

This section will cover details regarding the basic aesthetic appeal tips:

  • Outside images, do not use more than three main colors per presentation.

  • Select your animations wisely. Many are tacky and unnecessary.

  • Avoid sharp colors.

  • Avoid dark backgrounds and distracting objects.

  • Ensure that there is sufficient contrast in the text color against the background.

  • There shouldn't be more than three font sizes per presentation.

  • Any charts, graphs, or tables used must be simple enough for your audience to interpret. On Brainshark, viewers have no one to turn to for their questions in real-time.

  • Any call-to-action buttons should aim to have significant contrast and depth differences in comparison to the background for emphasis.

  • Ensure that you use sans-serif fonts for readability. Examples include Arial, Calibri, Verdana, or Gill Sans MT.

    Font to the left is a typical serif font whereas the one to the right is considered sans-serif.

  • Apply the 6/6 rule. There shouldn't be more than 6 words per point and 6 points per slide.

  • Avoid using clipart.

Summary

In this article you saw how to ergonomically design presentations for sales conversions and also covered details regarding basic aesthetic appeal tips.

Resources for Article :


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Instant Brainshark [Instant] Convert your boring, outdated slideshows into engaging and powerful audio presentations using BrainShark with this book and ebook
Published: September 2013
eBook Price: $14.99
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About the Author :


Daniel Li

Daniel Li is currently an independent consultant for small- and medium-sized businesses, currently residing in Waterloo, Ontario. Having placed first in the international NEO Coding Competition while spending three years contributing to the open source community, he earned a placement as a “Canada's Top 20 Under 20 2013” finalist. He also occasionally answers questions on the collaborative Q&A website, Stackoverflow.com, as a top 4 percent user.

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