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Brand Your Presentations

Ah, the ubiquitous PPT presentation. We all deliver them. Sometimes to large crowds externally, sometimes to small internal teams and sometimes to investors, channel partners and customers. But when you’re delivering your presentation, do you think of it as an extension of your brand? Well, you should, because it is a highly visible part of your personal brand.

Think of the late Steve Jobs or Steve Ballmer.  Each has a very different but clear personality when they present.  Your personality comes across in your presentations as well.

Presentations are Brand Extensions
Every time you speak in public, you brand yourself. Your audience gets to see how you communicate, how you gesture, your sense of humor or lack of it. How you organize ideas and structure arguments, how you handle stress (as if just giving a presentation isn’t stress enough!) In other words, your personality.

So how can you approach branding and delivering a presentation? Have a plan for what you want your public speaking brand to be. It should be a natural extension of who you are, your authentic self, not a “created” character for the audience. Another way of seeing this is to ask, ”What do I want the audience to think of me when I’m done presenting”? Do you want them to think, you’re credible or insightful or logical? Do you want them to see a relaxed and confident speaker? Or one who is "fun" and engaging?

Align Presentations to a Brand End Goal
Then structure your presentation accordingly so that those brand traits can shine through. Think about the gestures you use and how you walk and move; do those movements align with your stated brand goal? Also think about how you structure your slides and ideas and even the type of images and data on the slides: do they also reflect your brand goal? What brand image do crowded wordy bullet-infested slides give vs. a single image on a clean background?

Bottom-line, next time you present, think about aligning your presentation style to your personal brand.  And if you're not sure what brand traits to pinpoint, you can never go wrong with confident and capable! Happy branding and presenting!

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Loraine Antrim is co-founder of Core Ideas Communication, a communications consulting agency focused on presentation development and media training for C-suite executives. Core Ideas enables executives to package and communicate relevant and compelling messages in their presentations and interviews. Loraine's expertise is killing butterflies. You know, butterflies: the feeling in your stomach before you have to present or speak in public. Loraine works with executives to create a powerful story, memorable messages and an authentic delivery style. Confidence kicks in, and butterflies scatter. Nice work killing butterflies! You can contact Loraine at: manager at coreideas.com