Archive | September 2011

How would you spend your $50 dollars on Facebook?

Own a small business in search of more awareness, influence, profits, or all three? If the answer is “yes,” you’re in luck…  The social media powerhouse Facebook has announced it’s plans to implement a program to enrich all small businesses with their pages and ads to effectively target customers. Small businesses grow exponentially with the use of web technology, and Facebook wants to lend a hand.

The small business education program consists of a three-step process. The first step will be to diffuse webinars, case studies, and tips around the web, a prime initial step to introduce all the opportunities available to business owners. Secondly,
they plan to hit the road and sponsor shows in cities across the country starting in October. This will provide owners who want to learn more a first hand look into the benefits. The best we saved until last.

The Mark Zuckerberg production will give a $50 ad credit to 200,000 small businesses in the first month of 2012. That’s right, free advertising on Facebook. After the math, that is amounting into $10 million free advertising dollars!

They are envisioning this giveaway coupled with the teaching sessions and demonstrations will boost the small and medium sized business sector. In these economic times, any free advertising should be welcomed.

Now what does all this mean to a business owner?
It can create several positive pieces of feedback to the company. If a business can utilize Facebook’s tools, like the self-serve platforms and sponsored stories, it could boost the company’s engagement with the customer. In this day and age, your company needs to be in front of the right audience, and Facebook has the power to make that possible.

After hearing about this program in a recent article on Advertising Age, the return for your company could be lucrative. Two different examples for car dealerships have returned great sums. One has “generated $20,000 in profits off $300 in ads and another that reported a $500,000 return on a $5,000 ad spend.” Along with a possible increase in revenue, your company gains exposure, builds brand reputation, and search engine traffic would invariably enhance.

David Fischer, Facebook’s VP-Advertising and Global Operations has gone on record to say “small businesses who use web technology grow more than twice as quickly, bring in twice the revenue, and create twice the jobs that small businesses that don’t.”

Let’s be real, in this modern day and age audience’s swarm around Facebook.

Not only will they deliver presentations, useful knowledge, and a free ad space, Facebook will put those ads in front of the right people. Analyzing likes and check-ins will provide the right advertisement for the right viewer, a very potent factor while considering whether this program will benefit your company.

Even if you’re not strong in the social medium right now, it doesn’t mean it’s too late. Facebook hopes to help small-medium business owners with the transition, and help put your company on the map. So, this leads to one last question…How would you spend your $50 dollars?

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Utilizing PowerPoint the Right Way

Throughout all walks of life, there arises several instances where a need for a vehicle to showcase and amplify information presents itself, and in our modern day society PowerPoint takes the cake.

For over 20 years, PowerPoint stands as the staple of presentations for all facets. Whether in classrooms, meetings, or any other organized setting, PowerPoint helps as the visual medium to convey a message for the speakers.

In today’s world, a presentation must be utilized effectively to reach the audience and enrich them with the idea, approach, or direction of the material at hand. To do so efficiently, one must engrain these simple tricks of the trade to ensure a quality performance. Let’s take a look at several techniques to remind us of creating a sound presentation.

  1. Less is More– The number of words per slide hallmarks our top of the list of techniques. The audience needs to focus on the words of the presenters and not on the slides. An audience needs simple, short and sweet bullet points to have their message reached. The goal is for our information to mean something to the audience, not to bore them.
  2. Stay the Course– The audience will notice if there are flaws in the presentation, so we must be consistent. All slides should have a flow of meaning, with the most important information guiding the discussion. Inconsistency can often leave the audience with the wrong impression.
  3. Paint a Picture– In essence, most people are visual learners and pictures create a mental image for the audience. Stick with no more than two images per slide to keep the story clear and moving. In reading Dr. Joseph Somerville’s “The Seven Deadly Sins of PowerPoint” he points out that slide transitions and sound effects are the leading factors in the attention shift of the audience, which can distract them from the message.
  4. Opposites Attract– Contrast creates importance of words on the slide. White background and black text is a great start, but also can be the most boring. Set yourself up for success with basic color contrast so your words and convey meaning. Warning: Avoid RED when possible.
  5. – The speaker must be engaging. If you sound unsure or shaky, they audience will recognize it. Eye contact is important, and controlling the energy of the presentation correlates with a lasting impression. Ellen Finkelstein, a coach in PowerPoint supports the “Tell n Show” technique, the audience first becomes aware of the visual material, and then has an aid to reimburse it. This gives support and back up to the presentation as well as the message you are conveying.

These are 5 helpful techniques to creating a successful presentation.

In the grand scheme of things, these are merely stepping stones in, but all very effective and legitimate improvements to PowerPoint presentations. We hope these nuggets will enrich your next PowerPoint and garner a lasting impression from your audience.  Remember- YOU are the Presentation!