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Writing a presentation

"Getting the most from your website"

4:21 pm on Oct 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Hi Folks

I have been talked into putting together a presentation for a niche group of merchants and manufacturers. Not many of them will know the first thing about website design and promotion, or so I've been led to believe.

As we all know, it's one hell of a broad topic and I'm stuttering over where I should begin... What to get them started with? How to keep their attention? How to make a lasting impact? And what to leave out for the risk of bamboozling them...

Public speaking has never been my strong point although a recent best man speech has at least given me a bit more confidence.

So I'm looking for general presentation tips and also ideas for what to include/omit/underline.

Cheers, Liam

5:36 pm on Oct 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I did one of these, it was for a service based industry, not retail or product based. Some of the things I covered:

  • the basics of Search (who's who, market share, pretty graphs)

  • Search marketing (very general overview)

  • why they should be paying attention to their site: low cost of acquisition when compared to other sources (another nice graph)

  • touched on SEO, usability, keywords, basic site elements, explained SERPS (more pretty pictures), conversions/roi then wrapped up, putting it all together, with a few tips.

Hope that helps you get started. :)


5:48 pm on Oct 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Brett has a good post on the conference blog that covers a lot of the presentation basics [pubcon.com].
5:53 pm on Oct 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Public speaking and presentation is a huge area. Many books have been written on this.

Here are a few general rules i use

Know your audience. You should customise your presentation to pitch to the level of your audience.

what image do you want to project? Do you want to be seen as an authority, then be formal. Do you want to be remembered, then entertain. Do you want to educate, then lecture and give out notes. Note that these do not have to be mutually exclusive.

Making some assumptions about your audience and content:

Try starting out with what not to do. Pick some exaggerated examples of the worst website and get a laugh. Then work backwards to show what exactly is wrong and what you would do to get their message out. Know what their problems are and give them solutions.

Refer to their experience. for example, many of the interactions on a website are paralleled in a brick and mortar store. Use that to clue them in.

Bring handouts that summarize your points that are clearly branded and with your number if you want business. Do not give out the handouts until after your presentation otherwise they will be paying attention to the handouts and not to you.

Freebies work too. Branded freebies are great. In fact many groups expect it these days. I remember at one presentation on certain electronic items, there was a display stand with a sales rep at the back so these very respectible businessmen could see the products. The sales rep was called away and when he got back, there wasnt a single product left on his sales stand! The "freebies" had left with the audience and over $5000 worth of goods.

Try to finish with a flourish. I usually use a cartoon to end.

Practise, practise practise. Try it out on friends and family. If they are not entertained or understand it within reason, then modify.

12:43 pm on Oct 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for your advice folks - some very good tips there.

I have almost completed the overview skeleton - will post it when I am done (tomorrow) to see what you think.

1:30 pm on Oct 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Presentation as in marketing material - let's see... if you want to be different, then the truth in a language which everybody can understand. If you know somebody who only talks about the evolution of gold fish and how they finally got to the top of the chain by ending in their little bowl - they'll be great to try out the presentation on.

Talk to your audience - and listen to them. Ask them a question about how they would search for their product and the market they cover - if they were on the internet - for instance if they were actually selling goldfish - what would they search for if they were looking for a store in their area "Goldfish (store, buy)(country, location)

Let's further assume it's a company which sells goldfish, and they have a local area where they sell and deliver. The frontpage title should simply state the obvious.

(Name of Company) - A Goldfish Store in (Country, location) - Buy it here!

A Paragraph on their front page could be to introduce general people and visitors to their main goldfish product could be:

The goldfish, known under its latin name Carassius Auratus, was one of the first fish to be put in aquariums - and is quite common as both an aquarium fish and as a water garden fish. The goldfish is also a member of the carp family and has its roots in ... blah blah .... "

Just a short paragraph to tell something about their product to their users and potential customers - like they would do it if somebody came into their store and asked a question. Doesn't have to be an elaboration on the evolution of goldfish - just a paragraph about what goldfish are in general terms.

Then their other webpages could begin elaborating on the different kinds of goldfish and species and variations and so on - and reflect that in their headlines... just to mention a few other species and variants your customers might have in stock: The Black Moor Goldfish,
The Bubble Eye Goldfish, The Celestial Eye Goldfish and so on..

Tell them about what it can do for them to supply some information and pictures and presentations on these variants of their main product - and how the online presence of it can do in terms of customers not coming to the store but looking it up on the internet instead of coming to them and asking - but most importantly - what it can do for them and their business and that they can get customers from it - if they do it right - which you can help them with. You have to make them trust you.

3:00 pm on Oct 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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1. Knowing your audience is key
a) Their knowledge of the area
b) What problems will they be bringing to the table
c) Why do they want to listen to you
d) Dress according to the audience expectations (e.g. gaming companies and many young starter companies in the UK do not expect you to wear business wear - in fact it would go against you)

2. Set their expectations before hand (content of presentation) as well as at the presentation

3. Practise fundamentals of presentation skills
a) Posture
b) Depending on country - in the UK/US broad/big gestures
c) Vocal skills
d) Movement

4. Materials - what ever you use practise it with it. Remember to also check all equipment the day before and also before. Preparation side is big (like Chinese cooking)

5. Think of an opener (quote/imaginary/antedoct) and a closure (call for action, etc)

6. Involve the audience / make an interactive presentation

7. Have fun - remember you're in charge and at the end of the day - you make the presentation

Good luck

1:00 pm on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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How to make a lasting impact?

Instead of a presentation you need VIDEO presentation! That will be far more interesting than a speech delivered to the audience.
1:01 pm on Oct 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I appreciate all your time folks. Presentation went down very well indeed. I hadn't expected to get asked so many questions around the topics I discussed - A testament to WebmasterWorld that I could answer them all without too much bluff.

Ta, Liam

1:15 pm on Oct 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Instead of a presentation you need VIDEO presentation! That will be far more interesting than a speech delivered to the audience.

This sounds really interesting! Does anybody know of place where I can watch a particular example of a video presentation?

[edited by: Frida at 1:16 pm (utc) on Oct. 9, 2007]


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