Rethink Your Web Conferences Slideshow

I've talked quite a bit before about web conference presentations, PowerPoint presentations, and even PowerPoint presentations for your web conferences.  We've looked at "Zen” presentations, using black slides, telling stories, and of course, the "Less is More” rule.

Bad Powerpoint

Well, I'd like to add to that illustrious list today with the help of a .pdf "ReThink!” PowerPoint presentation by Oliver Adria.  The link puts you at the beginning of his slideshow that demonstrates as it explains a newer, more interesting kind of presentation.  And following the eternal, Less is More, there are 76 .pdf pages, but they comprise at most 30 "slides.”

Adria breaks his presentation into three sections, Old Habits, One Message, and One Story.  For this post, we're going to concentrate on what he suggests to do with Old Habits… namely, dump them.

What does it mean to get rid of old PowerPoint habits?  It means abandoning rules like, 7 words for each line, 7 lines for each slide, and only display each slide for 40 seconds each.”  (Now, if you've been following this blog, you're allowed to feel smug that these rules haven't been your rules for a while.)

My favorite part is .pdf page 20 where it shows a PowerPoint slide template, then tells you to forget it.  I am not ashamed to admit that there was a time when I was a slave to that template.  So seeing a blank page as the suggested starting point felt good.  The trick now is what to do with that empty canvas.

One idea of course is to use Adria's theme which is to not have a theme.  His slides contain large fonts and small.  His words appear in the right corner, left, bottom, top, and basically anyplace but where they're expected.  Pictures are used, but only occasionally and sporadically, and I think this increases their impact.

Abandoning old habits is difficult, but at least with PowerPoint habits, starting with a blank slate is already exactly what you have to do.

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AccuConference | Why a Follow-Up Email Works

Why a Follow-Up Email Works

I have done business with a particular insurance company for about seven years now. I’ve never shopped around and I know that there are probably other companies out there who could give me similar coverage for a better rate. With two vehicles and a renter’s policy, our insurance each month is probably on the higher end of average, but I write them a check with a smile on my face.

The other day I was reminded why I stay with that company. I checked my email, just to see this note:

Subj:Hey Girl:

Hey Miss Maranda, {A recent referral to them} name just popped up on my screen and it made me think of you. I hope all is well with you!! We just don’t email and talk like we used to when you were {with another company} so I’m just stopping in to make sure everything is going okay.

Quick, simple, to the point, and it made me smile. She didn’t ask me for additional business, nor did she try to include any additional services or sell me products through this email. She simply asked me how I was doing. This is an excellent follow up email simply because there was no reason for it except that she was reminded of me.

Are you doing that? We all have memorable customers (I know I have) and the human brain will remind us of these people on occasion. When a customer pops into your brain, are you doing anything about it or simply asking yourself Hey, I wonder how they are doing up there? It’s not to sell anything; it’s to establish a relationship with your customer because it’s important to do so. I know that I’m not the only customer my insurance agent deals with, but with this wonderful member of the agents team thinking of me, it makes me feel like I really have made the best choice in my auto and renters insurance.

What does work for them is that the email reminded me I need to get my homeowners insurance quotes from them. So even though she didn’t mean to, she just generated some more business for her company. Are you sending your customers follow up emails when they cross your mind? Do you use them as an opportunity to pitch new ideas or simply as a way to reach out to them and see how they are?

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