Frequently Asked Questions

Presentation Services

Which presentation service is right for me?

My design department usually create our slides. How can I convince people we should use you?

Working with BrightCarbon

How long does it take?

Who needs to be involved?

Do you work face-to-face or remotely?

How can your consultants understand my industry?

Scope

How many slides should our presentation be?

How long should our presentation last?

Presentation Technology

Is your ouput in PowerPoint?

What versions of PowerPoint do you support?

Can you use Prezi? Can you use Keynote?

We use Macs. Does that still work?

Can you create slides for iPad?

Project Deliverables

What do I get at the end of the project?

What if the presentation doesn’t work well?

Are we able to edit the slides you give us?

What do I do for a print-out or leave-behind?

Training and Support

Some of our sale people like reading from the slides, so they don’t have to prepare as well. What about them? 

I’m not sure our sales people could present visual slides – it might be too hard for them. How can you make things easy?

Can you help us with presentation skills training?

Can you help us learn to create our own visual slides?

Branding and Design

How can I be sure you’ll respect our brand?

We have very strict brand guidelines. How can you make attractive slides based on our restrictive brand guidelines?

Budget and Pricing

We haven’t allocated any budget for presentations. What do other companies do in the same situation?

We have dozens of products, and we don’t know which one to do first. What’s the best way to get started?

How much does it cost?

 

Presentation Services

Which presentation service is right for me?

Our standard service is Presentation Creation. This usually gives the best results for creating sales presentations. We recommend Slide Revamp for services where:

  • we can’t talk directly to the presenter about the presentation (e.g. if the CEO has delegated the slide design down a few levels)
  • there’s no time to practice presenting
  • the slides that are presented need to be printed without being modified first.

For pitch presentations we recommend our BrightPitch service. We’re happy to discuss your specific requirements to give tailored advice. (Back)

My design department usually create our slides. How can I convince people we should we use you?

  1. We help with your message, not just slide design.
  2. We use visualisation to get rid of ineffective bullet points – we don’t make bullet points look better.
  3. We can bring a fresh pair of eyes.
  4. We are experts in sales presentations – we give you something compelling and persuasive, not just pretty.(Back)

Working with BrightCarbon

How long does it take?

A lot depends on availability on your end. Typically, about a week for a Slide Revamp project, and three weeks for a Presentation Creation project. We can often deliver much sooner when required. (Back)

Who needs to be involved?

The main people who need to be involved from your side are the people who ‘own’ the message – typically marketing, and people who understand how the presentation will be used – typically sales. Often subject matter experts and people responsible for brand may be needed for small parts of the project. With some clients, we just work with one or two people, on projects others, we work with more. Large groups sometimes mean projects take longer to deliver. (Back)

Do you work face-to-face or remotely?

We can do either. We work with some clients without ever meeting them in-person, but some like to do things face-to-face. Typically, we create slides back at our office, and review them remotely – but we can review in-person too. Messaging workshops can be run face-to-face or remotely. Coaching and training are run in-person.

If we’re working with really large groups, face-to-face works better.

We have offices in the UK and Singapore, and work extensively in the USA, across Europe, Asia, and Australia. (Back)

How can your consultants understand my industry?

Often they will have some experience of your industry. Or they may have worked with similar industries. But that’s not really the point. Our consultants understand presentations, sales psychology, and how to present information. They are bright, and know what questions to ask. You understand your business, and our consultants help you to explain it elegantly. (Back)

Scope

How many slides should our presentation be?

It depends on what you need to say. It’s also worth noting that not every slide takes the same amount of time to present. A fairly typical sales presentation might be around 30 slides long, and take 20-25 minutes to present. We price our presentations in ‘sizes’ so that we don’t end up quibbling about a slide here-or-there, and so that you get price certainty. (Back)

How long should our presentation last?

How much do you have to say? Who are you presenting to? People can concentrate for 20-25 minutes. It’s possible to present for longer by building in some interactivity, changing presenter, and so on. Senior executives might want to see a five-minute high-level presentation.

We typically write sales presentations to last around 20-25 minutes. (Back)

Presentation Technology

Is your ouput in PowerPoint?

Yes. The slides we give you are editable PowerPoint (or Keynote or Prezi if you prefer). They might not look like typical PowerPoint slides, but that’s what they are – you can edit the deck, delete shapes, reorder slides and so on. (Back)

What versions of PowerPoint do you support?

2010, 2007, 2003, and now 2013 on PC, 2011 on Mac. We work in PowerPoint 2010 as our ‘standard’ version as it’s currently the best. We can run PowerPoint training on 2010 and 2007, or 2003. (Back)

Can you use Prezi? Can you use Keynote?

Yes. if you want Prezi, we can use it. If you want to use a canvas with zoom and pan animations, we can achieve this in PowerPoint with a tool from Microsoft called pptPlex. Keynote doesn’t offer the same level of custom animations as PowerPoint (although the default settings for casual users are better than in PowerPoint), but we can push it to its limits, no problem. (Back)

We use Macs. Can you help us?

Yes. We can create presentations for Keynote or PowerPoint on Mac. There are differences between software platforms, so there may be a bit of extra work if you want your presentation to work perfectly with multiple separate platforms (e.g. Keynote on Mac, PowerPoint 2010 on PC, PowerPoint 2003 on PC). (Back)

Can you create slides for iPad?

Yes. SlideShark converts PowerPoint for iPad perfectly, so we create the slides in PowerPoint, and then help you get them onto iPad. All our presentations come with an iPad optimised version, where we check the conversion, animation, font sizes, and so on.

We actually think that the iPad offers some exciting possibilities of how to deliver a sales presentation – we can do more than just get your slides onto iPad. Instead of presenting 30 slides in a linear fashion, with iPad you can deliver a visual sales conversation. Our Visual  Conversations® for iPad service is focused on this very thing. (Back)

Project Deliverables

What do I get at the end of the project?

At the end of the project you will get the presentation (usually in .pptx or .ppt format), a template if you needed one (.potx or .pot), a narrated version of the presentation to view on demand (for 30 days, to help with roll-out), and ongoing support. Then… better conversion rates and increased sales. (Back)

What if the presentation doesn’t work well?

It will! We’ve got a process that makes sure we build a presentation on persuasive messages, compelling visuals, and clear design.

Sometimes the presentation does need tweaking. Some slides might not work as well as others, or certain messages might evolve. That’s why we offer our Carbon Aftercare with each project. We offer free edits a week, month, and quarter after you start using your presentation. That way, if it needs a tweak, you can just ask. (Back)

Are we able to edit the slides you give us?

Yes. Nothing is locked. You can edit anything. Editing text and swapping photos is often relatively straightforward. Because the slides can be quite sophisticated, you may find you need a bit of help changing certain things (which is why we offer aftercare – we make edits without additional charge). (Back)

What do I do for a print-out or leave-behind?

Effective slides work with a presenter. They aren’t self-explanatory because if they were they would undermine the presenter (the audience just read the slides and ignore much of what the presenter is saying). On the other hand, effective leave-behinds are self-explanatory – because the presenter isn’t there to make them work.

So, we recommend one of three approaches for leave-behinds:

  1. Create something different, e.g. a document, and use that as the leave-behind.
  2. Adapt your slides so they work when printed (remove most animation) and add labels and extra text (to make the slides self-explanatory for the leave-behind version.)
  3. Record and send a narrated version.

We can help you with the latter two options. (Back)

Training and Support

Some of our sale people like reading from the slides, so they don’t have to prepare as well. What about them? 

That sounds a bit defeatist. Part of B2B sales is delivering a pitch, and part of delivering a pitch is preparation. That said, in some situations, perhaps where reps simply sell too many products to learn multiple presentations, we can create slides that are easy to present with minimal preparation. But just remember that if the slides are completely self-explanatory for the presenter, they’ll be that way for the audience too. The presenter needs to offer some value, which comes from preparation. (Back)

I’m not sure our sales people could present visual slides – it might be too hard for them. How can you make things easy?

We can use fewer builds, add labels, and even consider simplifying your messages. We also provide extensive speaker notes, and a recorded on-demand version of each presentation to help your presenters learn what to say. We also offer training. Most presenters find that presenting visual slides is easier than it looks, and because audiences are more engaged, the presenter naturally feels more confident then when presenting bullet points. (Back)

Can you help us with presentation skills training?

Yes, of course. We offer a two-day course in-house, or a one-day course in-house or as public access. Our presentation skills training is aimed at sales people. If we have built a new sales presentation for you, we use this as the basis of the training session so that your presenters learn to deliver it effectively. The course is very practical, and focuses on teaching presenters to deliver slides effectively. (Back)

Can you help us learn to create our own visual slides?

Yes. We provide PowerPoint training, free online, and paid-for in-person. PowerPoint training can help you create new slides, or adapt the slides we give you. (Back)

Branding and Design

How can I be sure you’ll respect our brand?

90% of our work is with companies with established – often rigid – brands. We follow your brand guidelines, talk to the people you need us to talk to, and only push the boundaries where you want us to. Fundamentally, the project isn’t finished until you sign it off. So if you aren’t happy with how things look, we’ll change them. (Back)

We have very strict brand guidelines. How can you make attractive slides based on our restrictive brand guidelines?

Some of our best clients have very strict, plain, visual identities. We find that the first step to creating more attractive slides is to replace text with visuals and use animations. This allows us to get the best results possible within the constraints of the brand. If a print designer tries to create something attractive in the same situation they usually find the constraints are too much (and may just ignore the brand instead). (Back)

Budget and Pricing

We haven’t allocated any budget for presentations. What do other companies do in the same situation?

A lot of companies have no budget for presentations, because they are used to a DIY approach. Our clients often fund our work from marketing spend allocated to things like brochures, microsites, or advertising. Sometimes sales teams need to fund the work, and combine a new sales presentation with training, and fund this from a sales training budget.

Our starting prices are pretty low, and our clients usually see a quick return on investment. This allows projects to be self-funding after a small initial investment.

Some of our clients run one or two projects as a pilot, and then allocate a larger budget for the next year when those projects go well. (Back)

We have dozens of products, and we don’t know which one to do first. What’s the best way to get started?

Pick the product where an effective sales presentation could bring the biggest results – perhaps because sales aren’t performing as you would like, or because the market size is huge, or because you have first-mover advantage. Or just ‘go for it’ and we can create a larger tool to help you sell your entire product line-up using hyperlinks to allow fast navigation, and integrated sales messaging to make sure your reps are persuasive. (Back)

How much does it cost?

Our prices are all on our website. We price by project ‘size’ – XS, S, M, L, XL. But to give you a rough idea a small Slide Revamp project costs £1,250. A typical 30 slide sales presentation costs £5,000. A day of presentation skills training for upto 10 people cost £2,500. Support for a large pitch presentation costs £15,000. There are presentation designers who offer a really cheap service – but we don’t compete in that market. We believe our pricing is very competitive considering all of the added value we offer, and the results we give. (Back)