Your visual brand consists of the design elements that communicate your company’s values and personality. The design of every piece of content you produce conveys something about your brand at first glance, before a prospect reads a single word.
Your visual brand can consist of deep, poignant colors, or it can have a light, airy feel. The former immediately conveys an emotional connection and the latter, a clear, crisp conversation.
Sales teams often give presentations, ideally to prospects who have engaged with content on your site and are increasingly interested in your company. The content they encountered on your site was likely planned and designed with much thought. Now, they’re about to interact with your brand for 30 minutes in the form of your sales team and pitch deck. Hopefully, the content for these slides is compelling to begin with, but it’s also often necessary for sales to tweak slides depending on the audience, and these slides can become laborious with content, images and diagrams.
A detail here,
A detail there.
All of a sudden, you’ve lost any sense of a visual brand. There is information all over the slide, your audience doesn’t know where to look, and your slides don’t convey what it’s like to work with you, in the least bit.
Testek's slide deck represents their brand by using circle elements that match the design elements of their logo.
Is your pitch deck working for you? Are your sales slides a true representation of your visual brand? Here are some best practices to create a visually stunning slide deck:
1. Choose the Right Format
I’ll make this easy. PowerPoint is the likely the right format for 98 percent of you. There are great alternate platforms, like Prezi, Canva and Keynote, but if you need something that will suffice for a larger sales force, PowerPoint will likely work for everyone. Prezi allows you to zoom in and out of a large, infographic-type image, drilling into specific data – but requires an internet connection for the web-based platform. Keynote offers enhanced animations and themes, but is specific to Apple’s iWork platform. Canva is an online platform that offers stunning templates, but you can only export your presentation as a PDF or video. PowerPoint will work on any computer, and presentations can be easily emailed as a follow-up or leave-behind.
2. Make Your Deck Match the Tone of Your Presentation
What is it like to work with your company? Are you casual and conversational, or didactic and technical? Do you need to position yourself as a peer and partner, or as a deep, expert resource?
Your visual brand should help the audience feel what it’s like to work with you. Do you want to convey a clear, conversational tone? Use a clean white background and clean, uncomplicated lines.
Silex Technology uses this slide to show prospects what it's like to work with them and how they're different from competitors.
Are you a storyteller, who wants prospects to focus on your words and story? If so, use simple words on your slide, or consider even just an image or quote so that attention draws to your story.
Ball Systems uses a customer testimonial slide to show prospects what it's like to work with them.
Do you need to communicate technical expertise and detail? Use bullets and infographic-style diagrams to break down deeply technical information.
Mechanical Solutions, Inc. has this graphic slide to show prospects what they do.
3. Make Your Deck Flexible With Pre-Designed Slides
You risk losing your visual brand when make on-the-fly additions to slides or add new material and don’t have time to design slides to the style of your brand. To help, create pre-designed templates for case studies, industry data, and product applications. These pre-built templates allow you to drop in new information quickly, while preserving your visual brand.
TREW created a Powerpoint template with many different content options so it's easy to create new slides while maintaining the existing look and feel.
4. Use Builds to Overcome Technical Data
Are you showing technical depth and expertise? Are specs important to your prospects? If so, consider slides with builds or animations to gradually populate information and help viewers grasp which information to focus on first.
5. Consider a Recording
If you have a large sales force or are training new staff to give your corporate presentation, consider recording one of your experts giving the presentation. This will help new staff understand where you focus and how you talk to each slide. With a recording, you can ensure a consistent training resource across your company.
Download our ebook, Smart Messaging for Engineers, to discover how to differentiate your B2B company and stand out to technical buyers.