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How to Cook Up an Awesome Deck

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Today we are glad to share with you our research - How to Cook Up an Awesome Deck, based on experience of SEMrush team members and 31 great speakers, who provide us with their insight.
From tips on creating a right structure and visuals to tips on how to rehearse your speech - we hope that this research will help you to come up with speech that will changes minds, convince and bring you all kinds of benefits.

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How to Cook Up an Awesome Deck

  1. How to Cook Up an Awesome Deck Recipes by 31 Experts
  2. Everything starts with the idea. — Aaron Friedman.
  3. Ask yourself, “What am I going to talk about?” and “Who is my audience?” — Phil Fraser.
  4. Ensure the audience walks away with something actionable, something they can take back to the office. — Stacey MacNaught. Tweet this
  5. Creating a great, show-stopping presentation is no easy task. — Ned Poulter.
  6. Define a learning outcome, the core message you want people to get. — Nick Garner. Tweet this
  7. How can You do it? We asked 31 speakers and digital marketing experts
  8. Presentation Creation SuccessYou Research Conception Structured Content Designing the Deck Practicing the Speech
  9. 1. Conducting Research Brad Geddes Brian Downard Carolyn Jones Nichola Stott
  10. Start with proper planning What is the style of the session: workshop, how- to, educational, high-level, problem-solving? What is the length of time you have to speak? What are the other presenters going to speak about? (Either avoid overlap or have a nice segue from one speaker to another.)
  11. Know your audience Audience size (determines how personal your presentation style needs to be) Audience education level based on subject Audience corporate level (practitioners, decision makers, CMOs, etc.)
  12. Think over about outcomes The audience outcome (What should they do with the information?) Business outcomes (What do I want out of it?)
  13. Based on the Step-by-Step Research you can decide how the session needs to be laid out from introducing your- self, opening statement, supporting materials and then conclusion. — Brad Geddes.
  14. 5 More Insights to Rock
  15. Research other popular presentations that have a high share count online. (Topsy is a great tool for this.) — Brian Downard. #1 Tweet this
  16. Find slides, videos or write-ups of past talks to get an idea of what has been presented before and what has been well-received. — Carolyn Jones. #2
  17. Have the main point of your speech written down in one sentence. — Carolyn Jones. #3 Tweet this
  18. Define your business targets — download the slides, visit any further information or tools referenced. — Nichola Stott. #4
  19. Let the idea sit in your head for a few days. Consider the audience, different approaches, etc., until something gels. Then move to bullet points. — Brad Geddes. #5
  20. 2. Defining Conception Miles Burke Ben Austin Laura Crimmons Ned Poulter Neil Eneix Jono Alderson Kent Lewis Stephen Kenwright Lyena Solomon Ross Simmonds Justin McGill Tony Dimmoсk
  21. Without a clear outline it can be tricky. Here are a few reasons why…
  22. Jumping straight into PowerPoint will quite often mean large structural changes to the ordering of the deck, right up until the last minute! — Jono Alderson. #1
  23. The hardest bit is a message that ties everything together… individual slides are easy because it’s just filling in time. — Stephen Kenwright. #2
  24. 11 Amazing Tips to Empower Your Presentation
  25. Storytelling is a key point of your presentation. — Miles Burke. #1 Tweet this
  26. Structure your presentation for a story (setup, conflict and resolution). — Laura Crimmons. #2 Tweet this
  27. Set-up (introduction) prepares listeners to hear the story. — Lyena Solomon. #3
  28. Build the presentation around that key takeaway with a story line. — Neil Eneix. #4 Tweet this
  29. Create a mind-map of all the topics and elements you intend to include. — Tony Dimmock. #5
  30. A slideshow with great info but no story will limit the decks ability to resonate with people and be shared on a consistent basis. — Ross Simmonds. #6
  31. Removal of “fluff” – anything and everything that sounds like “waffle” is removed. — Tony Dimmock. #7
  32. Use the presentation for support, rather than a crutch. — Kent Lewis. #8 Tweet this
  33. Use a real example of someone or a company that’s done a great job. — Mel Carson. #9 Tweet this
  34. Look for supporting data that proves the point. This could be case studies, industry reports, Analytics dashboards, test results, etc. #10 — Leyna Solomon.
  35. Try and find imagery that supports each slide or main point. — Justin McGill. #11
  36. 3. Moving to Structured Content Ali White Nichola Stott Brian Downard Illiy Vjestica Micah Fisher- Kirshner Matthew Barby Matt Beswick Carolyn Jones Lucasz Zelezny Simon Penson Ross Simmonds David Bain Stacey MacNaught
  37. Visualizing Ideas Moving to a Structured Flow
  38. Visualizing Ideas Moving to a Structured Flow
  39. Organize things visually to get an idea of how things are going to flow. — Carolyn Jones.
  40. Draw out your ideas on sticky notes and post them on the wall. — Illiy Vjestica.
  41. I use a Post-it note for each slide. I move them around, remove some, add new ones (a process that typically takes hours!). — Stacey MacNaught. Tweet this
  42. I always sketch out some rough ideas and concepts on a large A3 sheet to begin with. — Matthew Barby.
  43. Creating the basic structure can be done by simply scribbling them on a piece of paper and laying them out in order, one point per sheet. — Simon Penson.
  44. Visualizing Ideas Moving to a Structured Flow
  45. Wireframe structure of the deck — just  white backgrounds and black text — to get an initial version of the slides in place. — Matt Beswick.
  46. Work schematically, writing the key message on each slide. — Simon Penson.
  47. Start with 5-to-6 overall concepts. Structure things and decide on the 3 concepts that work together the best — Matt Beswick.
  48. List the main points, 3 or 4 — they become the sections of the presentation. Break these down further by listing 6 or 7 bullet points for each section of the deck. — David Bain.
  49. Write bullet points. Based on bullet points, prepare a Table of Content. — Lucasz Zelezny. Tweet this
  50. Your key points require multiple steps of review from colleagues and friends to make sure the points you’re trying to make come across well. — Micah Fisher-Kirshner.
  51. 4. Designing a Deck Ali White Micah Fisher- Kirshner Simon Penson Brian Downard Geno Prussakov Kent Lewis
  52. I prefer to default to 1 background image and no more than 3 bullet points in a callout box. — Kent Lewis.
  53. Make sure you use a high enough resolution for all your images, charts and other supporting materials. — Ali White.
  54. 5 more designing tips to stay ahead of others!
  55. Each topic/concept in a presentation may have 1-5 slides. — Kent Lewis. #1
  56. Keep ideas short and easy to understand. — Brian Downard. #2
  57. Arrange for effective presentation via animation and emphasis. — Geno Prussakov. #3
  58. Try to keep things as visual as possible. — Matthew Barby. #4
  59. Most people forget the value of great design, it captures attention and keeps it. — Brian Downard. #5
  60. Use a general rule of one text-based slide, followed by one image based slide, followed by something that has subtle humor within it. — Matthew Barby. Tweet this
  61. Run through your slides with a timer. — Ali White. Tweet this
  62. Spot-check various grammar, spelling and formatting issues, and make sure your information is matching up to how you plan to speak about it. — Micah Fisher-Kirshner.
  63. Written content should use a lot formatting tricks to hold a user’s attention — once, a friend of mine had a client tell him that his infographic couldn’t use capital letters as their customers “didn’t use them.” — Peter Campbell.
  64. 5. Practicing your speech Simon Penson Phil Fraser Peter Campbell Ben Austin Justin McGill
  65. Simply practice the finalized deck 3 or 4 times in the 10 days before the event. — Simon Penson.
  66. My practice normally entails standing in the bedroom delivering the speech to the dog and my wife! — Phil Fraser.
  67. Write a script, and rehearse like crazy. — Peter Campbell.
  68. Use a video to record yourself practicing so you can see how you’re doing. — Justin McGill. Tweet this
  69. Once I’m happy with my slides, I’ll do a practice run in front of the office — my toughest critics! — Ben Austin.
  70. Looking for more information? Follow our Experts on Twitter to Learn More!
  71. Lukasz Zelezny Matthew Barby David Bain Jono Alderson Stephen Kenwright Brad Geddes @LukaszZelezny @matthewbarby @DavidBain @jonoalderson @stekenwright @bgtheory
  72. Matt Beswick Pete Campbell Simon Penson Aaron Friedman Ali White Nichola Stott @mattbeswick @petecampbell @simonpenson @AaronFriedman @AlistairWhite @NicholaStott
  73. Carolyn Jones Brian Downard Miles Burke Neil Eneix Stacey MacNaught Ross Simmonds @carolynlyn @pocketyourshop @milesb @neileneix @staceycav @TheCoolestCool
  74. Kent Lewis Tony Dimmock Justin McGill Illiy Vjestica Lyena Solomon Ned Poulter @kentjlewis @Tony_DWM @Jus10McGill @illiyadesigns @lyena @NedPoulter
  75. Nick Garner Ben Austin Michael Reynolds Mel Carson @nickgarner @absolutelyben @michaelreynolds @MelCarson Laura Crimmons Geno Prussakov @lauracrimmons @ePrussakov
  76. Also don’t forget to checkout our SEMrush Blog to become a digital marketing Ninja!