Online Commerce: Black Friday and Cyber Monday

In the early 2000s, Black Friday became a retail phenomenon. Eager discount-hunters would wake at 1am the morning after Thanksgiving and drive to local malls and shopping centers to jump on deep holiday discounts. Throngs of shoppers would take stores by storm and it would even get violent at times. As of 2010, the Black Friday chaos appears to have peaked, with sales inching slightly above last year’s. Retailers jumped the gun with doorbuster discounts in early November, and as important, online commerce is becoming increasingly popular for shoppers not too keen on the early morning holiday shopping free-for-all.

Consumers are shifting their holiday dollars from bricks to clicks, as retail spending rose by a mere 0.3 percent, to $10.69 billion, compared to a 16 percent sales spike for online stores, according to online shopping researcher Coremetrics. “The season’s off to a great start,” said John Squire, Coremetrics vice president of strategy to AP. “It really shows really strong consumer sentiment for buying and for going online.” The average online order rose 12 percent from $170.19 to $190.80 since last year. In fact, PayPal’s sales rose 27 percent in payment volume on Black Friday compared to last year.

For many shoppers, shopping online for Black Friday makes more sense. Avoiding the ludicrously early shopping hours, crowds, comparing prices to get the best deal, and discounts that parallel store doorbuster are just a few ways online shopping is easier for consumers. “The American shopper has adapted to the economic climate over the last couple of years and is possibly spending more wisely as the holiday season begins,” ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin said. The point of Black Friday is finding deep discounts to save money, and with a consumer that has recently weathered the harsh economic environment of the recession, they are taking their shopping savvy to the web.

For the past several years, consumer bought products in-store on the Friday after Thanksgiving and went online on Cyber Monday as they returned to work. Some retailers are projecting sales to double Cyber Monday by offering deals, from free shipping offers to hourly specials. Digitally savvy consumers and online discounts comparable to in-store deals, are changing the holiday shopping behavior. It’s actually becoming more convoluted and more of a mashup between Black Friday and Cyber Monday — neither day defining a mode of shopping. Retailers are embracing Black Friday and Cyber Monday as peak shopping days that could make or break their holiday sales goals.

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Financial & Strategic Management

Business Plans

We know what investors are looking for and can help you craft a strategy and business plan to maximize the chances of securing investment. Beyond our ability to write business plans and create powerpoint presentations, we will provide advice to help you improve the chances of business and fundraising success. We’ve seen hundreds of plans so we can offer you guidance on shortcuts and pitfalls.

  • Executive Summary
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  • Market Research & Analysis
  • Financial Projections

Financial Models

Financial projections modeling serves as a tool to analyze scenarios and make informed business decisions. Dynamic financial models will provide insight on the likelihood of success of various business models. Sensitivity analysis enables you to understand the upside and risks.

  • Financial Projections Model (typically 5 years)
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Expansion Strategy

If your core business is successful, chances are that you are considering expansion. We help you evaluate the market and your customer audiences to prioritize expansion opportunities. We will assess the strengths and weaknesses of your current organization, identify gaps in capabilities, and help you make the leap into new markets through new product launches and acquisition of other companies.

  • Market and Customer Research
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Align your team against clear objectives by presenting a cohesive organizational strategy and optimizing your workflow to achieve goals efficiently and effectively. Then build your human capital, add new team skills, provide incentives, and celebrate success.

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10 Benefits of a Social Mission

At Sparxoo, we believe that companies who give back to communities and causes will enhance their brand value and deepen customer relationships.  We’ve covered recent trends in social entrepreneurship and shared a guide to social cause, highlighting benefits of a social mission such as free advertising and customer retention. Need more reasons? Here are the top 10 reasons to integrate a social mission into your company:

1. Build Trust and Respect as an Ethical Company
Walk into an Elevation Burger and you’ll notice it isn’t your typical burger joint. Posters line the walls touting its mission to locally sourced ingredients as much as possible. Their social mission makes Elevation Burger more than just a burger place, it is a place to support environmental sustainability. Therein, lies a relationship and trust.

2. Differentiate Your Product / Brand
Zappos.com has over 6,800 sneakers and an equivalent number of shoes. That’s a lot of shoes to navigate. For the shoe brand Simple, it has differentiated itself from its hundreds of peers by incorporating a social mission into the company. Simple offers vegan, recyclable shoes, meaning nothing is made from animal product or harmful to the environment.

3. Buzz Up Your Public Relations
Instead of spending $20 million on its usual Super Bowl ad campaign, Pepsi Co. invested those dollars in its Refresh Project — a campaign to fund emerging, innovative entrepreneurs. Pepsi, a staple of the Super Bowl, not participating was buzzworthy in and of itself, but funding under-capitalized entrepreneurs made the campaign even more viral. In fact, Pepsi has over 800,000 Facebook followers, www.refresheverything.com (the official Pepsi Refresh site) received nearly 1 million visits in its peak in March 2010 and there are over 1,200 entrepreneurial ideas to fund for August.

4. Attract Partners
TOMS Shoes has a one-for-one mission that has drawn much fanfare not only from hipsters, but from other companies such as AT&T and the ad agency, BBDO Worldwide. Its socially responsible mission has become an advertisement in and of itself. In fact, TOMS partners have helped fund much of TOMS’ advertising to date, including this commercial:

5. Drive Customer Preference
CVS Caremark is the product of CVS’s commitment to affordable healthcare and subsequently became one of the nation’s largest pharmacy chains. The company now operates over 6,000 stores in almost all states — filling more than 1 out of 7 prescriptions in the US. CVS’s dedication to creating affordable healthcare drove customer preference and became an important revenue source for the company.

6. Drive WOM Recommendations
Social media is like the office water cooler on crack — viral stories are shared by millions of people within hours. Companies such as Target, therefore, can generate quite a buzz on social networks. Its Bulls Eye Donation Facebook campaign, which enabled users to allocate $3 million in company donations across 10 organizations, drew much attention from the web community and now has over 1.3 million Facebook fans.

7. Rally Team Passion
Among its many socially conscious tools, such as the BP oil spill tracker, Haiti fund, and free education apps, Google China launched Caring for China. The program solicits and funds emerging Chinese entrepreneurs. The selection process aligns the Google team with the company’s overall dedication to social responsibility.

8. Impact Your Community
Molson offset public transportation cutbacks for New Year’s Eve by providing funding for free transit. The beer company solicited its market peers for funding. Molson effectively engaged and engendered good will not only with consumers but also its market peers.

9. Access New Capital Sources
“Many socially responsible investors are under the impression that there needs to be a tradeoff between social impact and financial returns. We believe it’s possible to have both and tradeoff is not always necessary,” said Josh Cohen, managing partner at the VC firm City Light Capital. City Light Capital focuses on early stage, social mission-driven companies with promising financial returns. Their foremost objective is investing with impact. The eco-venture has secured two exits and has interests in an array of social enterprises, from media to education to robotics and surveillance.

10. Leave a Legacy
Why do millionaires build children’s hospitals or university buildings? The Galisano Children’s Hospital leaves a legacy for Pay Chex CEO, Tom Galisano. The same altruistic gestures work for companies. Tide’s Loads of Hope campaign provides laundry machines for individuals affected by natural disasters. It is a basic necessity that many of us take for granted, but ask anyone that used Tide’s portable laundry machines and they will tell you the lasting impact Tide had on them.

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Top 5 Facebook Stats to Inform Social Media Marketing

Clients are clamoring to their digital consultants: “I want to be on Facebook.” It’s your job to figure out why and how they will be on Facebook. To help you develop a compelling digital social media strategy for your clients, here are some compelling statistics that can offer some insight into how to launch a successful campaign:

How to Attract Facebook Fans — So you’ve added some pictures of your logo and company, posted a couple of updates to let the Facebook world know you’re there. Now what? According to a DDB Worldwide and Opinionway Research report, 2/3 of Facebook users “liked” a brand if they were asked to do so by an invitation or advertising from the brand they followed. The lesson here: reach out to your existing “fans” via e-mail, print, advertisement, etc to build your initial fan base. Novel idea.

Facebook as a Multimedia Platform – To mix-up your existing updates, try incorporating multimedia. Facebook ranked number 3 in the unique videos streamed for the month of June 2010 in the US, reports Nielsen. Even if it’s a brief history of the banana if you’re a fruit distributor or a free marketing lesson for a marketing consultant.

Facebook is THE Place to Share for Gen Yers — Overall, 86 percent of users use email to share content, while just 49 percent said they used Facebook. That stat is significantly off-balanced due to older generations that do not frequently share content via Facebook. Those ages 18 to 24, reverses the trend, with 76 percent sharing via Facebook, compared with 70 percent via email.

Why Facebook Users Share — Once your fans think you’re interesting, they’ll likely share with their friends and who knows, you could go viral and see a huge boost in fans. Roughly half of article links, videos, photos and other content shared are posted to Facebook, with another 29% broadcast through tweets via Gigya’s widget were done so because fans thought the content was entertaining.

How to Retain Facebook Fans — You’ve got fans and you are engaging them? Just be careful not to lose them.  Posting too often or posting uninteresting information is a big turn off for nearly half of brand fans, reports DDB Worldwide and Opinionway Research. Brands need to be more conscious of how each update will influence brand fans over time. Blabber on about how your brand is doing will only get you so far. Variety of content can keep existing fans engaged and might even entice new fans into the brand fold.

Gen Y Brands Today and Tomorrow

Gen Y is so oversaturated with ads that many billboards, pop-ups and Hulu ads have just become mundane wallpaper in their daily lives. In fact, according to the market research firm, Yankelovich, a person living in a city 30 years ago saw up to 2,000 ad messages a day, compared with up to 5,000 today. How then, can a brand pierce through this seemingly impenetrable wall of advertising messages? We’ve refreshed Sparxoo’s Generation and Psychographic Reports with new Gen Y trends to help your brand survive and thrive:

Straighforward — Marketers are constantly finding new avenues to target consumers – from Geico-branded turnstiles to the most recent innovation: branded captcha forms. Some marketers are always trying to invent new “gotcha” strategies to get consumers attention. Gen Yers consider themselves to be pretty media savvy and want to find new products and services rather than be surprised by them. Think how reviews and search engines have empowered Gen Yers to learn about new brands and / or products. No-nonsense brands, such as Ally, HuffPo and Gawker are going to be Gen Y powerhouse brands in the next 5 years.

Minimalist – We’re not just talking about Helvetica versus Times New Roman here. Gen Yers are sick and tired of the waste piling up — destroying the future of the environment. Apple and numerous other brands signed on board to eliminate extra space and reduce the size of their packaging, while eco-conscious brands like Kashi use recyclable cardboard in their frozen meals. However (and this is a BIG however), the user experience cannot be compromise in the name of sustainability. Sun Chips’ cause-related marketing flopped when the company made bio-degradable bags that also compelled you to wear ear plugs due to the obnoxiously loud bag crinkles. Brands like Kashi, Apple and others that go out of their way to eliminate excesses will thrive as Gen Yers have more buying power.

Squeaky Clean – Graphic tees, grunge, torn and tattered jeans are quickly becoming fashion faux-pas as consumers, particularly Gen Yers shift to a more clean, sleek style. Such a style reflects on popular Gen Y brands: Jet Blue, Target, Apple, Volkswagen, Vitamin Water. Clean lines and one-toned colors are emblematic of sophistication, authority and cool – traits Gen Yers seek in their brands.

Empowered – Boomers have been making the decisions that directly impact Gen Y’s future – from public policy on the environment to international sociopolitical relationships that will shape the global landscape for years to come. Now entering the workforce and polls, Gen Yers are beginning to take the reins from their elders. Brands are beginning to tap into this independence and new-found power and the trend will certainly continue for the next 5-10 years. Expect Urban Outfitters and other empowering brands will be on the forefront.

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All You Can Do is Laugh: Comedy’s Answer to Extreme Politics

Robin William’s Man of the Year (2006), in which Williams plays a comedian and rises to the highest political office in the United States, might have foretold the recent volatile blend of comedy and politics. After all, 20 percent of Americans believe President Obama is secretly a Muslim and half think he’s a socialist. With such staggering ignorance, it’s tough not to laugh (albeit nervous) and comedians are stepping up their political satire to meet the insanity of the national psyche.

Steven Colbert’s recent Congressional testimony for migrant workers, his March to Keep Fear Alive – a counterpoint to Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity – Bill Maher’s crusade against the Tea Party Witch Wingnut Christine O’Donnell. Colbert, Stewart and Maher are the leaders of the liberal comedian brigade meeting the infectious growth of the Republican extremist group, The Tea Party – headed by often mis-informed and often paranoid celebrities, Glen Beck, Fox and Friends and Sarah Palin. “There’s a reason to take comedians seriously as commentators today,” writes the Daily Beast. “Sometimes it feels like they’re the only ones telling the truth.” That might be why Jon Stewart was named the “most trusted name in news” by a Time magazine poll in 2009.

As of the past two years, right-wing political commentators have high-jacked the political conversation. Glen Beck, Fox and Friends (Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson, etc) and Sarah Palin have almost single-handedly created the Tea Party Movement – which is on the brink of legitimizing itself as a political party. In fact, conservative Republicans have been put to shame and pressured by the polarized Republican base – energized by the Tea Party movement. Their conservative ideological political extremism is fodder – enough to create their own political platform — for comedians like Jon Stewart, Steve Colbert and Bill Maher.

Glen Beck comparing Americorp to Hitler Youth and Sarah Palin telling the now-retired Dr. Laura to “reload” after Laura repeatedly called a black woman a n*****r. These are headlines ripe for the picking for comedians. By exposing the virulent paranoia spreading across Conservative America, comedians are the sane counterpoint exposing the truth and reality so distorted by pundit extremists.

In such an extreme sociopolitical environment, it seems the only people at the table with any sanity are comedians. Unfortunately, when the economic, political and social climate has deteriorated, giving way to extremists, the only thing you can do is laugh… albeit nervously.

Comparing Gen Y and Boomer Online Strategies

Gen Y often takes center stage when it comes to cutting edge web trends. Online users age 18-26 are at the forefront in various online realms, including social computing, banking, gaming and podcasts, according to a Forrester Research study. But Boomers are an emerging demographic not to be shoved under the mat. In fact, 54 percent of baby boomers said the advertising industry misrepresents and neglects them, especially online, where 72.5 percent of younger boomers and 83.2 percent of older boomers said online advertising focused on younger age groups, reports eMarketer.

If we think about how each generation uses technology, Boomers are stereotyped as struggling to “work” a Droid and thinking Facebook is a cool, “new” place to hang out (“Hey, I’m friends with my first girlfriend… from 40 years ago”), whereas Gen Yers, digital natives, have a base-level knowledge of coding (thank you MySpace), are extremely impatient, just want to laugh and expect cross-platform brand experiences. Although the differences between these two generations are many, there are commonalities that narrow the age gap.

Similarities
Simplicity — How did Apple rocket into the consumer technology stratosphere? Simplicity. The software and hardware developer rolled out user-friendly alternatives to DOS-type systems and the rest is history. Simplicity is not generation specific, as you might have noticed when riding on a NYC train — Boomers to Gen Yers are tapping away on their iPhone 4s. Other digital brands, such as Google have made their claim to fame through a simple UI. From its search engine to Chrome browser (where are the toolbars with dozens of links? exactly), Google has been the simple, user-friendly, alternative.

For brands, simplicity is not specific to non-digitally savvy users (i.e. the stereotypical Boomer). As our digital lives are plugged into more and more websites and social networks, users will increasingly seek a simple UI. Therefore, you need to ask, “Do I need this?” more often than ever before. By shedding a few digital pounds, it will help users understand the intent of your product offering.

Personalize — Boomers crave a personalized brand experience to establish trust, whereas Gen Yers seek personalization through ubiquity across web platforms. Merecedes created a social network called Generation Benz to get their primarily Boomer audiences’ feedback. That doesn’t mean every brand should have a social network, but instead join existing networks, such as Eons, BOOMj.com, Boomster.com and TeeBeeDee. Boomers are embracing digital social networks with almost one in four younger Boomers active in social networks, up from 15% in 2007. It’s a way to establish a personal connection and it’s best to strike while the iron is hot (who knows, half of Boomers could be signed onto a social network in the next couple of years).

Gen Yers seek an overall personalized web experience. Think Facebook Connect. Regardless where you are, you can comment or share your opinion via Facebook. Or, Tumblr, a Gen Y-focused social network (with an user-base of more than 37 percent Gen Yers), enables users to easily share wherever they are on the web. For brands, to target Gen Y in the digital space, it’s about ubiquity. For instance, Call of Duty has a video game, iPhone app, website, Facebook and Twitter. Brands need to ask, how can we engage Gen Yers across platforms.

Differences
Spending — The Great Recession forced many Boomers to crack their nest eggs. “Boomers have lost the most in terms of retirement and savings, and they have very different spending parameters today,” Lisa Feigen Dugal, PricewaterhouseCoopers U.S. retail and consumer practice leader, tells Marketing Daily. “Gen Y, and to a degree, Gen X, have disposable income in a way Boomers don’t. And they spend very differently. They are still trading down, but are using many different ways to seek out bargains.”

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Boomer Brands Today and Tomorrow

There are 76 million Baby Boomers in the United States, representing 40% of total consumer demand, and 48% of discretionary income. But Boomers are feeling left out in the  cold by marketers. “There’s an unmistakable youth bias in brand communications, and it’s not a new problem,” writes UP Market. “It deals with the unabashed over-representation of younger-looking (and acting) people in the marketing messages that we see and hear each day.”

Although money may be tight, nest eggs cracked, Boomers still represent a sizable consumer segment. In fact, they have an estimated $3 trillion in spending power. They are holding onto jobs far into what they wanted to be retirement, so the money is still rolling in. How can brands market to Boomers today and into tomorrow?

Strength and Quality — James Dean, Marlon Brando, Steve Jobs and even Barack Obama have sported Levis jeans. The famous denim is known for its durability and toughness. Levis, unlike your piece-of-junk dryer, is among many brands that Boomers can say, they make them just like they used to. It’s partly nostalgic, but mostly the search of quality. Levis, along with other quality brands, such as Volkswagen, should continue to be big hits with Boomers in the next five years.

Personalize Me — According to a study by Focalyst, AARP and the Kantar Group, Boomers are more likely to be brand loyal to a service rather than product brand. Boomers want to “interact with brands that provide personalized service and seem to care about us and we’ll pay more to do it,” writes the blog Baby Boomer Insights. If, however, you are a product brand, it’s your task to make customer service better to create a personalized connection with Boomers. Or, what is more personalized than Facebook? Yes, Boomers are a growing audience on the social network — comprising 12 percent, according to Quantcast– and will continue in the next five years.

Health First — Though we might think of a young, twenty-something when we think of yoga or health drinks, Boomers are also health conscious. They have a desire to live healthy, longer lives than their parents and are eating healthier and are maintaining their activity levels. Travel resources, like Boomeropia.com and Club Med will increase in value as Boomers finish their “encore careers.”

Still Young at Heart — With a generation that came of age with Easy Rider, Boomers still love that thrill of the open road and sense of rebellion that so inspired their youth. According to the NY Times, the average age of Harley Davidson’s target demographic is 49, up from 42 five years ago. Brands that can reach into Boomer’s youth and re-ignite that sense of adventure and excitement — particularly in travel —  are going to flourish in the next five years, given the economic environment gets sunnier. Expect liberating brands such as BMW and Harley to grow in Boomer favor.

Tips to Enlist Boomers in Your Brand Online

In the past decade, the number of Baby Boomers signing onto the web nearly doubled. The same is true with mobile devices. Boomers are not merely sticking their toe in the digital world, but immersing themselves. In 2000, less than 5 percent of Boomers went online for fun. Flash forward to 2008, more than 40 percent sign on just to play around and enjoy themselves.In Sparxoo’s Generational Trend Report and Psychographic Trend Report, we peeled back the many layers that make up Baby Boomers. Born between 1946 and 1964 (46 – 64 years of age), Baby Boomers are 80 million strong– nearly doubling that of Gen X. Boomers are seated at the very top of the worlds largest, most powerful companies and as established career professionals, they have tremendous buying power.

Baby Boomers are often misunderstood by digital marketers. In fact, 54 percent of baby boomers said the advertising industry misrepresents and neglects them, especially online, where 72.5 percent of younger boomers and 83.2 percent of older boomers said online advertising focused on younger age groups, reports eMarketer. Here is a look at how brands can effectively target Boomers in the digital space:

Simple, Simple, Simple — Amazon had it right when they launched their one-click shopping experience. One-click and the object of your desire is yours. No wonder 23 percent of Amazon’s audience is over 50, according to Quantcast.com. Baby Boomers are not digital natives because they signed onto the web much later in life and are accordingly, not as savvy as their younger, digital counterparts. That means brands targeting Boomers must “Amazon” their site — or make it as simple and easy to follow as possible. Cut down on excessive wording, steps, graphics and other creative and procedural elements that can complicate the brand experience.

Establish and Cultivate a Relationship — Gen Yers might not think twice about dropping their information, care-free throughout the web. Want my email address? Sure, I have four! Facebook is a great example of how comfortable Gen Yers make their personal information accessible. Boomers, on the other hand are not as liberal with their personal information. The internet is rife with shady deals and those unsavvy can fall victim to deceptive practices and Boomers have a heightened awareness that they have a huge target on their foreheads. Brands must earn their trust by being inviting, friendly, accessible and live up to promises. Once a Boomer has tried the product or service, follow up with special offers or other loyalty programs — which are a way to further build trust and cultivate that Boomer / brand relationship.

Boomers Are Social — Despite what you may think, Boomers are not complete digital Luddites. In fact, they are embracing digital social networks with almost one in four younger Boomers active in social networks, up from 15% in 2007. But not just Facebook. They are quickly populating their own corner of the social internet with sites such as Eons, BOOMj.com, Boomster.com and TeeBeeDee. Although Boomer social media usage is moderate, if the trend continues, Boomers could be the next powerful wave of social media users. That means brands need to sign on and catch the big wave before it breaks.

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Creating Effective Presentations

Angela R. Garber coined the term, “Death by PowerPoint” in 2001, as a response to tedious, mind-numbing presentations. We’ve all sat through boring and sleep-inducing presentations, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  Indeed, PowerPoint presentations don’t have to favor style over substance nor serve as a “chicken hypnosis tool,” as retired Marine Colonel, Thomas X Hammes refers to the ubiquitous presentation platform. To create and execute effective presentations, what key elements should your PowerPoint deck emphasize or avoid? Below is an analysis of effective and not-so-effective presentations with accompanying analysis:

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Develop a clear and concise overview – Slide four outlines, in plain terms, “what you’ll learn.” After reviewing The Brand Gap presentation, you will learn the modern definition of a brand and understand the five disciplines of brand building. Simple, concise and digestible.

Show, don’t just tell — Images offer tangible evidence of your points. Slide 20 is an image of dozens of cameras — illustrating the authors point about brand differentiation in the market.

Infographics marry visual and textual — Typical charts can often seem dull and tedious. Compare slide 25 with 26. Which is more interesting? Slide 26 illustrates Coke’s market cap in relation to its brand equity. Using a Coke bottle as measure of capital, the authors spice-up typically boring charts.

A presentation can be interactive — A presentation doesn’t have to be a one-way street. Consider injecting questions to get audience members engaged in the presentation. Slide 109 does this well by asking viewers to determine which website looks easier to use: Excite or Google.

Create a story — When reviewing this presentation, the combination of words and images makes it feel as if the authors are presenting the material. Each slide is tightly connected to the next, creating a seamless narrative.

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Build off of a theme — It’s helpful to set viewer expectations for what is to come. Slide 25 starts a pyramid that is built-upon with each following slide. This idea-building strategy can help users see how elements work together to create the big picture.

Form a rhythm — Notice in the beginning of the presentation, the author features a quote from Steve Jobs, one element of the pyramid, snapshot of a piece of technology, a quote or two, then repeats. This rhythm builds a momentum and keeps viewers waiting for the next section of the pyramid or next Steve Jobs quote. It is a great way to keep viewers engaged because naturally they see the pattern and can’t help but watch.

An image says a thousand words — Starting on slide 44, the author illustrates the point through simple images. The author lets the viewer make the connections between the previous analysis and tangible examples.

Now that we’ve shared the dos, let’s discuss the absolute don’ts:

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Am I reading a dissertation? — Presentations are intended to support the speaker — not serve as a script. Slide 2 begs the question, should I listen or read? Use text to highlight points, not describe them in long-form.

Wait while I get my glasses — Unless the presentation is displayed on a jumbo-tron, viewers are not going to be able to decipher the impossibly small text on slide six. Ensure if viewers are going read, they don’t have to get a magnify glass.

Keep graphics simple — Graphics should be simple. The author should have explored elements of the complex graphic on slide six across maybe 10 slides. Condensing a complex graphic on one slide causes visual confusion.

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