How to get buy in from other stakeholders.

6 minute read

Struggling to get other stakeholders to see the importance of investing in a presentation redesign? Don’t worry, we’ve got years of experience in promoting the endless benefits of beautifully-designed slides.

PowerPoint is often overlooked

The human brain processes imagery 60,000 times faster than text, and 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual.

The human brain processes imagery 60,000 times faster than text, and 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual.

Due to this, we in the modern world prioritise good design in every aspect of our daily lives. Everything we look at, from the programs on TV to the adverts on the sides of buses, are designed to be absorbed quickly to influence our thinking. We are getting better at reading visual information every day, so the information we’re consuming needs to evolve with us.

Why is it, then, that most company’s presentations look like they were made in 1987? It seems to be universally recognised that logos, websites and brochures bring a higher return value when they’re professionally designed, but applying the same expertise to a PowerPoint is a seen as a luxury.

Eighties computer

We know that you, our brilliant readers, are on the same page as us. We’re preaching to the converted. But how do you get other stakeholders or your boss on board, and get them to sign off on paying for a presentation redesign?

Pitching this project is the same as any other pitch, with the added luxury of knowing your audience. Just like any successful pitch, you need to identify your audience’s pain points and clearly make a connection to your proposed solution. This should be a breeze, it’s just a matter of adjusting your angle to align with your boss’ external pressures.

Your boss has a boss, and targets to meet. Once you’ve identified their concerns, simply show them how a redesigned PowerPoint will help them to achieve the bigger picture.

Be prepared

You wouldn’t go unprepared into a meeting with a new client (I hope), so why wouldn’t you take time to prepare your internal presentation redesign pitch?

Think about their potential concerns, and the questions your boss might ask. Make sure you have an answer prepared for each possible avenue the meeting could go down. Not only will this look as though you have everything under control and are sure to see this project through to successful completion, your boss is even more likely to call you out on any oversight than a complete stranger would be.

Let’s take a look at the most common road blocks that we see from our clients’ managers every day.

“It will cost too much.”

Increasing company revenue is a key target at the top of every boss’ list of priorities. Seeing a quote for PowerPoint might scare them into saying no, without proper consideration. They could be tempted to push the project to the end of the list, thinking that the money could be put to better use elsewhere. Your role is help them to see the value that will come out of the project.

No matter the audience that you present your company slides to, the aim is always to make a change. Sometimes you’re presenting internally, to suggest a change to company process. Or you’re speaking in front of potential new clients, helping them to change their thinking about your services or products.

Whoever your audience is, good design will only enhance your message and add credibility to your reasoning. Great design goes unnoticed, but bad design can be distracting and give your audience a headache.

Great design goes unnoticed, but bad design can be distracting and give your audience a headache.

Well-designed slides will put you ahead of the competition. Your presentation will stand out, no matter the size of the crowd. Your audience will go away not being able to get those slides out of their heads, and your message will be crystal clear.

Innovative slides suggest an innovative company, and when you’re pitching against other businesses, innovation is a key differentiator. Use your forward-thinking presentation to highlight the ways in which your company’s expertise will push your prospective client into the future.

Redesigning your slides will increase the impact of all your future presentations, ultimately building instant credibility and trust, and landing you more clients, overall.

“It will take too long to retrain staff.”

The comfort zone is a dangerous place for businesses. People get too comfortable presenting the same, ancient slides and pitches become stale and lacking in enthusiasm.

By refreshing your presentations, you’ll inject a new lease of life into your team. They’ll be proud to present the beautiful new slides and their pitches will be all the better for it.

This pride will be increased if you involve them in the project process. Allowing your team to contribute to the redesign and have their say in how the new presentation should be structured, how it looks and its functionality, will give them ownership of their new slides, make them feel valued and reinforce the message that their voices are being heard.

What’s more, supplying your sales team with a well-designed deck will allow them to focus on building client relationships, as slides created by presentation design experts will be more intuitive and take the stress out of presenting. Let the slides do the work, while your team shift their focus back to the client’s needs and how they can help.

“Design is a nice to have, not a necessity.”

We need to move away from the misconception that design is not integral to a successful business.

Does your company have a logo? A website? A brochure? Why is the design of all other marketing assets deemed a necessity, but PowerPoint design is surplus to requirement? Your slides are a part of your corporate identity, they should be representative of your brand.

If you blow them away with your message, you want to make sure your audience remembers who it was that had such an impact on them. It’s just as important that your slides are on brand as it is that they are well designed.

What’s more, you can be sure that your competitors are developing their story and creating slick, intuitive slides to make the biggest impact in every meeting. Do you want to be left behind?

“Don’t we have bigger marketing initiatives to focus on?”

I’m sure you’re completely aware of all the targets you’re currently juggling, but this comment could simply mean that your boss doesn’t see how PowerPoint can fit into the bigger picture. PowerPoint has so many great features, meaning incredible presentations are just the start of what you can do with it.

With an estimated 50% of adults regularly using YouTube, it’s no surprise that many marketing initiatives are turning their attention to the video-hosting site.

You can easily export your PowerPoint presentations to video, without having to leave the software, meaning you can use your redesigned slides for more than just pitches. Having an on-brand template in place will mean you can create consistent videos that show off your identity across all social media platforms.

Pull out the stops for the meeting

Now you’re thoroughly prepared for any objection your boss may have, how can you add extra impact to your pitch, to ensure they can’t help but say yes?

Bring in someone your boss respects, or an industry expert, to back up your points. Stories are the most powerful way to influence people, so bringing in someone who has seen first-hand the impact well-designed slides can have will add weight to your argument. If it’s hard to sync schedules, writing up a case study of their experience can be just as compelling.

Show some examples of poorly-designed slides and ask your boss to decipher the message. Then, show them some well-designed, industry-relevant slides, provided by your design agency, and I bet they have an easier time explaining those ones. Showing real examples will reinforce your key points, and making the meeting interactive means they are unlikely to forget what they’ve learned.

Finally, make sure you’ve vetted and chosen the design agency you want to work with on your slide redesign before the meeting. Once you’ve reassured your boss of all the benefits of a beautiful set of PowerPoint slides, their attention is sure to turn to the formalities.

Make sure you have the quote to hand, you’ve spoken through the end-to-end process with the design team and can explain it to your boss, you know how much of your time the agency will require, how that fits around your other commitments, and how long, in total, the turnaround time for the entire project is. It all comes back to being 110% prepared.

If you’re still sensing their hesitation at this point, suggest starting small with a template. Creating a robust, on-brand template will give you the power to create your own impactful slides, requires a much smaller budget, and a lot less time. This trial run will allow your design agency to show their expertise, and their understanding of your brand, and allow your boss to see the impact the slides have on the business. Following their inevitable conversion to the Church of PowerPoint, they’ll be eager to sign up for the full package.

With so much to think about every day, it’s no wonder PowerPoint isn’t at the forefront of all company executive’s minds. Doing your research, acknowledging their objections, and lifting some of the pressure off their shoulders is soon to have them singing from the same hymn sheet.


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