PowerPoint hacks you might not know about

You don’t need to be a design expert to be able to nail these life-saving PowerPoint hacks. With a few simple tricks, PowerPoint can become a smooth-going tool that makes your process easier. In this blog, we will divulge some of our presentation designer’s best secrets that help them transform slides into more sleek, professional presentations—all without needing a separate program. 

Embed your fonts

Fonts are a crucial component of any presentation design, and you can tell how different fonts can convey your message in a different tone. If you’re sharing your presentation slides with a user who doesn’t have the specific font you’re using, you’re going to have an issue with formatting and glitching.

To fix this, you can embed the fonts within the PowerPoint file by going to File and clicking on Options. Find the Save menu and go to Embed fonts in the file to ingrain your fonts in the PowerPoint. Another way to solve this is to also save the file as a PDF.

Embedding fonts in PowerPoint

Align images and objects 

Symmetry in a presentation slide enhances the overall aesthetic and aids in conveying a message effectively. It represents the order in our complex world, so aligning images and objects is key.

Streamline that process by selecting all objects you want to align and going to the Alignment tool. 

In the main menu, go to Picture Format, then go to Align and select Align Selected Objects. This ensures that the objects are aligned with each other rather than with the slide. 

Aligning elements in PowerPoint

Then select Align Middle to align all the selected elements with each other.  

Aligning objects to the middle

If you have elements that aren’t spaced evenly from each other, you select Distribute Horizontally. You can also make sure that your content is organized well by selecting the Grid option in the View menu and fitting your elements within the grid. 

Distribute elements horizontally

Reduce the size of your presentation

Sometimes, a large presentation file is a hassle to manage, so reducing its size makes it easier to share and move. Usually, the images and graphics take up the file’s size, so to address this, you can compress the images. 

Select the image, then go to Picture Format, then Compress Pictures. You can either choose to compress certain images or the entire presentation. 

Compressing images in PowerPoint

Compressing images in PPT

If you’re using a projector to present, you can go for the 150 dpi option, or if you’re emailing the presentation, you can choose 96 dpi. Another way to reduce a file’s size is by saving it in a different format, such as a PDF. This way, you can have a more manageable file without compromising on its quality. 

Customizing the Quick Access Toolbar

To become a PowerPoint pro, you need to first set up your workspace, namely the Quick Access Toolbar. This toolbar is located above the ribbon and is editable for users to customize as they wish to access certain features. 

To tailor the toolbar, click on the arrow above the ribbon, then click on More Commands. 

Customizing the Quick Access Toolbar in PPT

In this window, you can choose from All Commands to add your preferred tools. You can also remove commands by selecting them and hitting Remove. 

Customizing the Access Toolbar

Through this simple adjustment, you can streamline your PowerPoint experience and productivity to be more effortless. 

Remove background  

Sometimes, you might find yourself in a situation where you have an image with a background that doesn’t match or an element you want to isolate.

One way to deal with such ordeals is by clicking on the image and going to the Format tab, from there, find the Remove Background button and then manually fix any portions of the background that still remain. Once you’re done, you can continue to customize the image to match the rest of the slide by adding a new background. This helps isolate parts of an image that you want to use without relying on a photo editing program.  

Removing the background in PPT

Converting bullet points into SmartArt

Listing bullet points on their own is not really recommended most of the time, and using features like SmartArt helps elevate your layout. To convert bullet points into SmartArt, you can select the text with the points, right-click, and find Convert to SmartArt. 

Converting to SmartArt in PowerPoint

You can hover over the different options to see a preview of how your bullet points will look, then select the one that suits your slide best and edit from there. 

Match exact custom colors

If you are drawn to a specific color in an image or background you are using, you might be tempted to incorporate it into another part of the presentation, such as the text or text boxes. The eyedropper tool helps identify the exact color you are looking for to utilize it. 

To change the color of the text, highlight it and find the coloring format tool in the Home tab. Then select the Eyedropper tool and hover over the color you want to match within the slide. 

Using the Eyedropper tool in PPT

When you find the color you desire, click on it and select it from the Recent Colors section. To change the color of a shape, follow the same steps as in the Shape Format tab and find the eyedropper tool in the Shape Fill or Shape Outline buttons.  

Selecting the colors from the Eyedropper tool

Replace elements easily

One of the most time-saving tips on PowerPoint is replacing images and icons. This can be especially useful when you’re working with a template and want to replace existing elements and images with your own. 

Instead of manually removing and reinserting icons, you can just right-click the image, go to Change Graphic or Change Picture, then This Device, and select your desired image. When you insert the image here, PowerPoint keeps the same size and position as the original image. 

Replacing elements in PPT

With these PowerPoint hacks, you’re now ready to conquer any presentation task with ease and simplicity. Mastering the technical aspects of PowerPoint was the first step; unlocking these tips and tricks is just the beginning of a more creative approach. For any more help related to PowerPoint, we are a presentation design agency in Dubai that specializes in presentations that tell your story!

How to use animated features in PowerPoint

Looking to add a little panache to your PowerPoint presentation? Animation is one of the easiest ways to transform slides into more dynamic and engaging experiences for your audience. Whether you use them to reveal information or to enhance visual appeal, they play a huge role. Before going into the intricacies of PowerPoint animation, understanding their ins and outs is key to making information more digestible, so let us dive in!

Why use PowerPoint animations?

PowerPoint animations are an exciting feature that allows users to create more visually engaging slides. It is mostly used for two main reasons: controlling the flow of information and enhancing a slide’s appearance. 

Animations control your slides’ pace, letting you reveal information at just the right time and keeping the pace lively and fluid. They also add visual interest and turn static slides into more dynamic presentations that maintain the audience’s attention. So, before you can use them, make sure you have a ready presentation to work on.

Getting started with PowerPoint animations

To start, there are two types of animated effects that you should be familiar with: transitions and animations. 

Transitions are a type of animation that appears in between slides. You can go to the Transitions menu to find a variety of transition effects you can use. These are perfect for when you want a noticeable transition from slide to slide. 

Animation is the type of PowerPoint feature used inside a slide. You can find all the options in the main Animation menu to use as action effects in a slide. Here, you can animate a specific element on a slide to highlight it. 

Animation and Transitions in PowerPoint

The four types of animations

There are four main types of animation you can use, categorized into four types:

Entrance: This type relates to how an object enters a slide, such as the Bounce effect, where an object drops into a slide and bounces. 

Entrance animations in PowerPoint

Emphasis: This type typically appears while an object is on the slide and is usually triggered by a mouse click. For example, an object starts to spin when a user clicks the mouse. 

Emphasis animation in PowerPoint

Exit: These animations control how an object leaves the slide, such as the Fade effect, where an object fades off-screen. 

Exit animation in PowerPoint

Motion paths: Similar to Emphasis effects, this type of effect controls how an object moves within a slide but it moves along a predetermined pathway. 

Motion path animation in PowerPoint

To apply an animation to an object:

To apply animation to an object in PowerPoint, select the object you want to animate, then go to the Animations tab. Find the drop-down menu to browse through the options and select the effect you want to use.

The effect will then automatically apply to the object, and a small number will appear next to it to show that it has the effect. 

In the Slide pane, a small star symbol will appear to show that this slide has an effect. 

Applying animation to element in PowerPoint

Effect options

Sometimes the effects have several options that you can change. For instance, you can select the direction of movement for the Fly In effect. You can access these options from the Effect Options section in the Animations tab.

Applying effect to animation in PowerPoint

Working with animations

If you want to add several animations to an object:

Usually, when you select a new animation from the group menu, it will replace an object’s current effect. But sometimes the occasion calls for more than one effect on an object, for example, having both the Entrance and Exit animations. 

So to execute this, go to the Animations tab and find the Advanced Animations group. Click on Add Animation to add the appropriate effects from the available options.  

Adding several animations

In the case where an element has more than one effect, there will be different number icons for each effect. The order of the numbers also shows the order in which the effects will appear. 

In case you want to reorder the effects, select the number of effects you want to switch and go back to the Animations tab. Under Reorder Animation, click the Move Earlier or Move Later options to switch the order. 

Reordering animations in PowerPoint

To copy animations with the Animation Painter:

Sometimes you want to use the same effects on several objects; here, you do so by copying the effects using the Animation Painter. 

Start by selecting the object with the effects you want to replicate, then go to the Animations tab and click on Animation Painter. Then go to the object you want to animate, whether on the same slide or different, and click on it, and you automatically apply the effects.  

Copying animations with Animation Painter

To preview the animations:

Any effects you applied will appear when you play the slides via slide show; however, you can still preview them from the current slide without needing to use the slide show. 

First, go to the slide you want to preview, then, from the Animations tab, click on the Preview command. This way, you can view the animations for the current slide. 

Previewing animations in PPT

The Animation Pane

Navigating the Animation Pane will allow you to see and manage all the effects you are using on a slide. Here, you can modify or reorder the effects from the Animation Pane, which is very useful when you’re working with several different effects. 

To open the Animation Pane:

On the Animations tab, find the Animation Pane button. The pane will appear on the right side and show all of the effects being applied on the current slide in the order in which they appear.

PPT Animation pane

If you’re working with multiple animated objects, make sure to rename them in the Selection Pane to make reordering them much easier.

To find the Selection Pane, click on an element in the slide, then find the Format tab and click on Selection Pane. To rename an object, double-click, and type in a new name.

Renaming animations in the Selection Pane

To reorder effects from the Animation Pane:

In the open Animation Pane, click on the desired effect and move it either up or down to reorder. 

Reordering animations in the Animation Pane

To change an effect’s start option:

Typically, an effect will automatically start playing when you click the mouse you present a slide show. If you are using several animations, you must click each time you want to start the next individual effect. 

To have the effects play automatically, you can change the start option for each animation and have them play right after each other or even simultaneously.

First, go to the Animation Pane and choose an effect. Find the drop-down arrow right next to it. 

Select one of the three start options. Start on Click starts the effect right as the mouse is clicked; Start With Previous starts the effect simultaneously with the previous one. Start After Previous starts the effect right after the one before it ends.

Changing an effect's start option

Usually, previewing animations plays through all the effects, but when set to Start on Click, it is best to test them by playing the slide show. To test, preview by playing the slideshow. 

The Effect Options dialog box

To adjust your effects, you can find the Effect Options dialog box in the Animation Pane for more advanced settings. 

Select an effect, click on the drop-down arrow, and select Effect Options.

Effect Options in the Animation Pane

Once the dialog box appears, click on the drop-down menus to choose the enhanced effects you prefer. Here, you can add sound effects, add additional effects, or animate texts. 

Additional animation effects in Dialog Box

Depending on the effect you choose, some can also have additional options you can change within them.

To change the effect timing:

From the Effect Options dialog box, select the Timing tab.

Changing effect timing in Dialog Box

From here, you can add a delay before the effect starts, change the duration of the effect, and control whether the effect repeats.

Animation in PowerPoint is not just about adding motion to objects; rather, it is a strategic tool that significantly enhances a presentation. By controlling the flow of information, they improve a slide’s visual appeal and make the content more dynamic and captivating. Animation allows presenters to reveal data in pieces to ensure comprehension and highlight key points. Mastering PowerPoint animations encourages presenters to deliver impactful and inspiring presentations that leave a lasting impression. For more engaging and dynamic presentations, you can always contact our team at Prezlab to elevate your slides! 

How Spotify uses data to enhance the user experience

Spotify, the leading force in the world of music streaming, seems to always know just what song you want to hear. Its expansive library and personalized playlists make it the ideal place to explore new music and revisit beloved classics. But what makes this platform unique is how it utilizes its user’s data creatively, which enriches their experience. Whether it is through fixed features such as the Smart Shuffle, or through fun bonuses such as the famous Spotify Wrapped. The platform continues to redefine music streaming by analyzing user data to create a more meaningful experience for listeners.

Spotify Wrapped

Spotify wrapped

Every December, music lovers eagerly await their personalized yearly “wrap-up” to look through their music data from the past year. With over 500 million users, Spotify gives its listeners a curated overview of their unique music and podcast consumption. Digging into hours of user listening data, they create personalized infographics that showcase a user’s top artists, songs, and more. And it’s not just about the numbers; it’s a narrative of one’s taste and journey, similar to the results of a personality quiz.

What makes Spotify Wrapped unique is its ability to form emotional connections with its users through data. Customers enjoy the emotional validation of seeing their music tastes acknowledged, it fosters a sense of community with the brand and its other users.

Besides the plain statistics, the platform makes its user’s data come alive with dynamic animations that invite users to explore their past activity in a new way, creating an immersive experience. Their data storytelling also makes for aesthetically pleasing and shareable infographics for people to share their passion with others, allowing them to exchange recommendations and start conversations, making Spotify the catalyst for meaningful interactions.

Discover Weekly

Spotify Discover Weekly

Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlists stand out as a game-changer in the world of music streaming. They are weekly curated playlists that appear every Monday that align with the user’s taste by cleverly learning from the platform’s algorithm and analyzing the user’s listening habits. The platform digs into what its users listen to, plus, they also gather insights from their activity on social media, building a deeper understanding of an individual’s taste. Moreover, it identifies patterns in the song choices and makes connections between the different genres and artists, resulting in a curated mix that surprises listeners. Not only is Discover Weekly about discovering new music, but it is also about creating a personalized musical experience that keeps listeners coming back every week.

Smart Shuffle 

Spotify Smart Shuffle

One way Spotify leverages user data to enhance the listening experience is through the Smart Shuffle feature. This feature analyzes listening habits and song preferences within playlists to create a shuffle that is both familiar and new for the listener. So it doesn’t shuffle tracks at random; it weaves in recommended tracks that go along with a user’s playlist to manage to be fresh without straying too far from their taste. This is a data-driven approach that breathes new life into people’s playlists in a way that encourages exploration and keeps users on the platform.

Song Radio & Collaborative Playlists 

Spotify Song Radio

Another way Spotify utilizes user data to create an interactive experience is through its Song Radio and collaborative playlists. Song Radio evaluates a user’s favorite songs and artists to moderate a radio station to play similar songs. This feature keeps the tracks flowing based on a user’s taste, similar to a radio, but it also relates data to Spotify’s algorithm and updates its understanding of preferences.

Collaborative playlists, allow users to co-create playlists together, which Spotify then observes to monitor the musical tastes of several users. This helps deepen connections between users and allows them to engage in the community, as well as inform the platform of future recommendations for all, creating a win-win situation for all those involved.

Spotify weaves user data into personalized features such as playlists, Smart Shuffle, and Radio to form a connection with its user base. Through innovative campaigns and creative features, they have managed to stand out in how they create a personalized experience for every listener. Their data-driven approach to storytelling transforms how users can discover, bond over, and understand their music taste.

Image references:

What narrative arc best suits your presentation

The most memorable part of any presentation is the story. Whether it’s a pitch, product, or consulting presentation, the narrative it shares stands out and retains the audience’s attention. Using a narrative arc is not only a storytelling device, but it is also a tool that organizes all your information into a more engaging format. Here, we’ll explore what is a narrative arc in a presentation, how to use it, and share effective arcs that leave an impact.

What is a narrative arc in a presentation?

When creating an effective presentation, embracing a narrative arc to tell your story is a transformative approach that makes your presentation more memorable and engaging. These arcs are not only confined to storytelling devices, they are strategic frameworks that construct and guide the audience through a structured journey. You are guiding the crowd from point A to point B, where the aim is to lead the audience to a specific action, whether it is an investment, support, or solution. To achieve this, mapping out the journey becomes an essential tactic to showcase key milestones. By fitting your ideas into an arc, you can ensure that each part of your presentation contributes to the ultimate goal, maximizing the impact of your main message.

How to use a narrative arc in your presentation?

Using a narrative arc in a presentation involves structuring your content as a story. To do so, you must first identify all the important details, best summed up as context, conflict, character, and closure. These are the core elements that must be found in any presentation story and within your data. From there, you begin to arrange and fit these elements to build them into a compelling story. The different storytelling arcs discussed below will all feature these elements in one form or another, and the task becomes fitting them into their respective spots. 

Different narrative arcs for presentations

Many narrative outlines help develop compelling stories, here we discuss 6 classic structures that work for any presentation within a professional or corporate session:

The Explanation      The explanation storytelling narrative

The explanation narrative arc is a storytelling framework that is best for presenting information, especially when the goal is to share new knowledge or teach a new skill. It is meant to provide a roadmap to structure information for the audience as a learning journey, from meeting them where they are to reaching a new level of understanding.

Structure: The lay of the land, the roadmap, the first step, the next steps, almost there, the arrival.

When to Use This Arc: The explanation narrative arc is useful for presentations that aim to educate, like workshops or training sessions where the objective is to explain complex concepts. This framework helps the audience visualize the learning process as a journey and makes it easier for them to follow along and retain information.


A new accounting software feels overwhelming and complicated, and staff had previously struggled to use it (the lay of the land). So, you navigate its features and go through them step-by-step (the roadmap), but first, you set up a profile as an example and customize it (the first step). Then, you will explore the process of creating invoices and managing data (the next steps). After that, you will explain how to generate reports (almost there) and lead the audience to be more confident in the software (arrival).

The Pitch

The pitch presentation narrative

The Pitch is a storytelling structure that aims to grab attention, propose solutions, and secure yeses. It weaves a compelling narrative around the problem you want to solve.

Structure: Setting the stage, the hurdle, the vision, offering the options, guiding the choice, reading the fine print, and hook (or added bonus).

When to Use This Arc: This arc shines best when you need to present a new idea, solution, or product. It is ideal for sales pitches, investor presentations, or any other situation where the aim is to win over an audience or stakeholder.


A busy logistics company is struggling with rising fuel costs (setting the stage), considering that current delivery routes are inefficient and lead to missed deadlines and wasted fuel (the hurdle). But with an optimized delivery system, the company can save fuel and ensure punctual deliveries (the vision.) They can either stick with the current routes and accept the fuel costs, or use AI-powered route optimization software (offering the options). The software analyzes traffic patterns and creates fuel-efficient routes, boosting savings and customer satisfaction (guiding the choice). It only requires an affordable monthly subscription and integration within the current systems (reading the fine print), plus, a free trial to see the 20% reduction in fuel costs yourself (the hook).

The Drama

The drama presentation narrative

Loosely based on the hero’s journey, the Drama arc inspires the audience to embrace a new belief or way of looking at the world by connecting with them on a more emotional level.

Structure: Setting the stage, descending crisis, rock bottom, the discovery, the rise, the return, and the lesson.

When to Use This Arc: The Drama arc is best for presentations aiming to inspire change or a new way of thinking, such as product launches that address a need, social initiatives, or innovative solutions that challenge existing perspectives.


Many businesses tend to underestimate the threat of cyberattacks (setting the stage), in fact, a recent data breach negatively impacted a competitor in the industry (descending crisis). Businesses could face unfortunate financial ruin and a damaged reputation (rock bottom). However, advanced cybersecurity solutions offer protection and rapid response capabilities (the discovery), and businesses that implement these solutions can build a strong defense against any potential cyber threat (the rise). Companies can then operate confidently with the knowledge that their data is secure (the return), proving that cybersecurity is a crucial business investment for a company (the lesson).


Situation-complication-resolution presentation narrative

In the fast-paced consulting and B2B sales worlds, this storytelling arc cuts through the noise and effectively presents solutions. This three-act story structure allows the presenter to quickly identify all the important points, linking them with “but” and “therefore” for a logical flow that guides the audience.

Structure: Situation, complication, resolution.

When to Use This Arc: This logical and straightforward arc is ideal for consulting presentations where clarity and conciseness are crucial. It is an effective structure for proposing solutions or B2B sales pitches where a strong value proposition is needed.


Many companies rely on paper-based inventory management, usually stored in file cabinets and office drawers (the situation). But, inaccurate inventory causes wasted resources, lost sales, and frustrated customers (the complication). Therefore, implementing a cloud-based inventory management system would help streamline data, provide data insights, and boost overall efficiency (the resolution).


Situation-Opportunity-Resolution storytelling arc

The business world thrives by capitalizing on opportunities, which makes this storytelling arc the perfect place to highlight them. This arc builds on the previous example but with a more positive twist by replacing the complication with an opportunity.

Structure: Similar to the previous arc, the situation, opportunity, and resolution.

When to Use This Arc: This optimistic structure is perfect for situations where you want to inspire action and showcase growth potential. It can be used to present strategic plans or sales opportunities that maximize value.


The current product line has a loyal customer base, but market saturation hinders sales growth (situation). But, there are emerging trends in the fitness industry that tell us that there is a preference for personalized workout experiences (the opportunity). Therefore, we can introduce a fitness tracker app that provides users with workout plans and progress reports. This allows us to reach a new market segment and ignite sales growth (the resolution).

Hook, Meat, and Payoff

Hook, meat, and payoff presentation narrative

Frequently used by consultants to engage the audience, the hook, meat, and payoff arc crafts presentations that are both engaging and memorable. This formula is easy to follow and ensures the audience is engaged right from the start with a hook and leaves them with clear steps to follow.

Structure: Hook, the “meat” or details, and payoff.

When to Use This Arc: The appeal of the hook, meat, and payoff arc is in how versatile it is. It can be useful for training sessions, client presentations where complex ideas are explained, or internal team meetings where you wish to propose a new direction.


Some social media posts go more viral than others, but why (the hook)? Successful social media marketing requires targeted use of strategies, engaging content types, and effective posting schedules (the meat). These elements would help craft a social media plan that boosts brand awareness and drives results (the payoff).

Incorporating a narrative arc into your presentations ensures that your message is felt by the audience, not only heard. It turns standard communication into impactful stories that boost the presentation’s persuasive power. By allowing these arcs to shape your slides, you can begin creating impactful, engaging, and inspiring presentations. At Prezlab, we specialize in creating presentations that do your ideas justice by telling your story right. You can always reach out to our team to learn more!

Using PowerPoint to create impactful data visualizations

Translating information into engaging data visualizations is indispensable in today’s data-dense world. From PowerPoint presentations to boardroom meetings, data visualization is the secret to enhancing your audience’s engagement and understanding. But wanting to visualize your data is easier said than done, so we will look into techniques that help communicate your data in PowerPoint much more effectively to leave a lasting impression.

Why data visualizations matter

Data visualization is a powerful tool for simplifying dense and complex information to make it more accessible to an audience. By incorporating visual aids into PowerPoint, a presenter can enhance audience engagement and comprehension since visual elements help facilitate understanding. However, its effectiveness heavily depends on selecting the right data visualization type. Choosing the appropriate visualization that aligns with the message is important for ensuring a presentation with impact. We have a whole blog about choosing which chart to use with your data that can help determine what you need.

Creating a chart in PowerPoint

There are two main ways to add data visualizations to your presentation, either by inserting a chart or by importing one:

Inserting a chart:

Once you’ve decided what type of chart you want to use in your presentation, you can go to the Insert tab and click on Chart. From there, select the chart you want to use. Once you do, a small Excel sheet will pop up that you can fill in with your data. Inserting chart in PowerPoint

Choosing chart in PowerPoint

To further customize, you can go to Chart Tools at the top, where you can edit features like colors, outline, and design.

Customizing chart in PowerPoint

If you double-click the chart itself, a side will appear on the right where you can format the axis, data points, titles, chart legend, and labels and change the shadow, edges, glow, and gap between the data.

Side panel to customize chart

Importing data from Excel to PowerPoint

If you already have data available on an Excel sheet, you can still import it to your PowerPoint. Start by selecting the data in Excel, right-click, and going to Quick Analysis; this also appears in a small icon on the bottom right when the data is highlighted.

Importing data into PowerPoint

Select the chart that best fits your data; see More Charts for more options.

Choose chart when importing into PowerPoint

Once your chart appears, copy it, go to your PowerPoint slide, go to Paste options in the Home tab, and click on Use Destination Theme & Link Data.

PowerPoint paste options

This way, the data visualization is linked with the original file, so any changes made to the data appear directly in the PowerPoint as well.

Data visualization in PowerPoint

Best practices for creating data visualizations in PowerPoint

Creating data visualizations goes beyond just slapping some numbers on a page; you must intentionally consider the visuals that communicate them to ensure comprehension. For the information to truly be beneficial, you need to be considerate of factors related to the layout and techniques:

1. Simplify and focus

The primary purpose of data visualization is to simplify data, so the main emphasis when creating it is to maintain simplicity and focus. There’s no need to overload a chart with too much data, as it is distracting, confusing, and ineffective. Focus on the main idea that the data is meant to convey and prioritize the data points that add to it to present it in a digestible format.

2. Use color strategically

For visually captivating data visualizations, the strategic use of color can make all the difference. Selecting colors that complement each other ensures readability and accessibility to viewers. It is best to limit the number of fonts in the chart to a maximum of three fonts to maintain consistency and prevent visual clutter. When considering a color palette, think about color accessibility and color schemes as you decide to use them to convey key messages and elevate their impact.

3. Incorporate visual elements

Visual elements are a core element of effective storytelling, and integrating icons, images, and shapes into a presentation can boost its effect and draw in your audience. Visual elements are powerful tools for enhancing the data’s narrative. For example, using icons to leverage specific dates. This can also look like visual cues guiding the viewer through vital information to ensure the data resonates with the audience.

4. Ensure readability and clarity

Readability is a key component of a powerful visualization, and to optimize readability, it is crucial to pay attention to details like text size, font choice, and color contrast. Selecting appropriate text sizes and font choices ensures the text is legible, even from a distance. Plus, the color contrast guides attention and distinguishes between different data points and elements. In addition to readability, maintaining clarity is essential for presenting complex information. Clear labels, straightforward titles, and intuitive layouts are all ways to help prevent confusion and present information with clarity.

Data visualization is an invaluable tool for simplifying complex information in any presentation, which is why integrating these visual aids needs to be done well. Whether by inserting or importing a chart, the process can be streamlined by implementing best practices to really bring your information to life. Adhering to these principles, presenters can create fascinating data visualizations that can captivate audiences and communicate information with precision and clarity.

Google’s brand strategy, explained

Google, a tech giant founded in the late 1990s, is a company that has greatly shaped the digital landscape over the past few decades through its brand strategy. Beyond their main search engine, they have expanded their product offerings and constantly upgraded their content marketing to captivate consumers globally. Exploring their tactics, we can understand how their core message of connectivity has grown to encompass simplifying the user experience. Here, we cover the different techniques behind Google’s brand strategy to understand how it’s solidified its brand.

Google’s thought leadership

To establish credibility, Google relies on a lot of content marketing and thought leadership material for its brand strategy. As a tech giant, it exemplifies this by sharing valuable content across diverse platforms, such as informative blog posts and engaging YouTube videos. It provides a steady stream of educational content that relates to its audience; this way, it positions itself as a trustworthy resource. Not only is this content able to attract users, but it also enhances the brand image and has a lasting impact on its target audience.

Expansion and localization 

In order to expand its market, Google utilizes an approach that prioritizes localization by adapting its strategies to suit local markets and cultures. Although it has a cohesive global brand identity, the company uses tailored and localized strategies, products, services, and campaigns to relate to specific regions. This process involves adapting the content into different languages and adjusting user interfaces to align with local preferences. Embracing localization has allowed the brand to engage with an international audience more effectively, solidifying its presence in international markets and still fostering meaningful connections.

Google’s mission and purpose

At its core, Google has a purpose. Their mission is to organize the vast sea information online to make it more reachable and usable for people worldwide. This purpose is the guiding principle behind their every action and product, and their commitment ensures that they are consistently delivering value to their users and improving their online experience.

Having a seamless user experience

Way before minimalism entered the mainstream tech world, Google was incorporating it into its identity. Everything from their branding, fonts, color schemes, and icons embraces a simplistic design to make them memorable and easy to navigate.

Most important, however, is their straightforward approach to UX/UI design on their platforms, which helps retain customers and build loyalty. Poorly designed UX could turn users away, so the tech company has emphasized clean designs to make their products simpler to use, even by beginners, eventually becoming inseparable from their brand identity.

Consistent visual branding

Visual branding plays a large role in how it is perceived, as it establishes the identity and personality of the brand. Google is a prime example of the impact of consistent and unified visual branding. Their use of primary colors, clear, simple typography, and minimalist design elements has allowed them to craft an iconic and recognizable visual identity. It is utilized in their products, marketing materials, or online presence and reinforces brand recognition, making it feel familiar to its users. This visual consistency strengthens brand association and recall, making it an incomparable force in its industry.

Product diversification

Although they are known for their search engines, Google has expanded far beyond that and ventured into diverse products and services. Now, they brandish an extensive range of offerings such as Google Maps, Google Drive, Google Photos, and Google Cloud, as well as hardware devices such as smart home products. But by expanding its brand and product categories, it enhanced its market reach and diversified its revenue streams, further solidifying its presence in the tech landscape.

Google’s brand strategy embraces several facets, each contributing to its status in the tech industry. From extensions to content marketing and thought leadership, they have consistently aimed to provide value for their customers while maintaining a strong presence. It continues to set the standard by embracing localization and prioritizing the user experience. Its dedication to its mission makes the brand remain at the forefront of technological advancement, shaping how we interact with information.

How IKEA keeps its customers coming back

It is a universally shared experience to walk into an IKEA store and find it very difficult to leave with just one or two items. What is the secret? Beyond just furniture design, IKEA has cracked the code for masterful retail psychology, turning mundane errand shopping into an exciting experience. From the labyrinthine layout to the thrill of putting together a new piece for your home, every aspect of the experience is specifically designed to captivate. In this blog, we will delve into the strategies they use to create an unforgettable customer journey for their visitors.

Like many retailers, they rely on marketing techniques to draw in customers and inspire them to buy their products. These techniques cover many aspects of the customer’s journey to make them comfortable and confident in the brand, and they include:

The Ikea Effect

Have you ever put together a piece of IKEA furniture and felt an unexplainable sense of pride in your accomplishment? This is what is often referred to as the IKEA Effect, the psychological phenomenon or the unique sense of pride a customer feels after successfully assembling a piece of furniture. This leads to a cognitive bias that makes a person more attached to the product, creating a bond between the consumer and the brand.

By turning customers into creators, their products become a tangible reflection of their efforts, which in turn fosters a sense of connection with the brand. The company leverages psychology to design furniture that is easily assembled to facilitate this feeling of achievement that encourages customers to value their products.

The smart store layout

Think back to your visits to IKEA’s stores and the way the store’s rooms seamlessly transition from one perfectly curated section to the next. This is an example of the Guren Effect, where the store’s layout works to enhance the customer’s experience by allowing them to explore more freely, sometimes (most times, actually) encouraging diversions from the original agenda.

In addition, their store locations are often far from city centers and therefore have lower rents and property taxes. Their far-off locations allow them to face less competition and take up more space with more parking. IKEA’s massive stores with a “maze” layout guide customers through different sections, encourage them to stay longer and expose them to more products. The layout design also encourages impulse purchases by strategically arranging matching items in mock rooms that inspire decor ideas. These all contribute to a clever retail journey that encourages spending without the customer feeling forced.

Bulla Bulla and open wallet

Other strategies that IKEA uses are the “Bulla Bulla” and the “Open Wallets” strategies to stimulate impulse buying. The Bulla Bulla strategy places a bunch of affordable items into a jumbled or disordered display, such as the large baskets, to give the perception of abundance. This technique is the reverse of the Scarcity Effect, which tells us that fewer items make it more valuable, but with Bulla Bulla, if the item is abundant and available, then shouldn’t it be cheaper?

Another trick is that they always switch out the Bulla Bulla items for something new. With the Open Wallets strategy, inexpensive items are placed near the checkout to boost last-minute purchases. Relying on consumer psychology, the company enhances the shopping experience without breaking the bank.

The IKEA restaurant

IKEA’s founder, Ingvar Kamprad, famously observed that “it’s hard to do business with someone on an empty stomach,” which explains the massive dining area in the middle of the store experience. Although it is one of the largest food chains in the world, the restaurant is also a clever marketing tool. Not only does it offer a break for the customer to eat and recharge, it also gives a chance for the customer to interact with the products. In the restaurant, they are sitting at IKEA tables and chairs, using their cutlery, and experiencing the products firsthand. Also, when customers dine in the store, they stay longer and are more likely to purchase something.

Emphasizing affordability and sustainability

IKEA understands that psychology alone cannot guarantee repeat business, so to maintain customer satisfaction and loyalty, they rely on two key pillars: affordability and sustainability.

Prioritizing these values appears in how their products are designed to be customizable and flexible, catering to different needs and circumstances to extend their use. While longevity isn’t always guaranteed, offering durable products reflects their commitment to sustainability. Through reusable bags or adaptable furniture, IKEA relies on affordability and sustainability to ensure long-term satisfaction and repeat customers.

Brand recognition

Anywhere in the world, most people can instantly recognize the brand’s bold blue-and-yellow logo. It is no secret that IKEA is a household name for furniture and home decor, becoming the default option for affordable furniture solutions. With its sleek Scandinavian designs and functional approach to design, it has a universal appeal that makes it a go-to destination for budget-friendly home decor. Through its iconic brand identity, it continues to shape consumer preferences around the world, making it an indispensable fixture in furnishing and lifestyle.

Shopping at IKEA isn’t about furnishing a home; it’s an adventure through design, sustainability, and consumer psychology. From the IKEA Effect which instills pride in a customer over their creation, to the strategic layout that encourages exploration, each element of the store experience is crafted to create a connection and encourage spending. Their blend of affordability, sustainability, and clever marketing ensures their status as a household name in home decor and furnishing.

Perks of working with a presentation design agency

Everyone knows presentations are inevitable in the corporate world, especially a presentation design agency. They are indispensable tools for businesses, organizations, and professionals to communicate their plans, visions, ideas, and pitches. And since presentation design agencies specialize in presentation design, they can bring out the best in your brand identity through PowerPoint. Embracing the help of an agency can take the pressure off as they take on the task of designing your slides. 

Often, corporate presentations could use a more professional edge, which is why these are our top reasons why looking into a presentation design agency could be the boost that makes your slides unforgettable: 

They help demonstrate your brand identity

Considering the competitive business landscape, how you portray brand identity is a key factor in generating successful leads. Consistency across all your brand’s outputs builds credibility and fosters trust, which are essential for drawing in and retaining customers. Relying on hired designers for your PowerPoint presentations will ensure a stable and neat brand identity that seamlessly weaves in your logo, colors, and fonts in your outputs. Using custom templates with professional presentation designs that are tailored to your brand can also enhance your visual appeal and alignment with your brand’s values. Through expert design, your PowerPoint can become a tool to set yourself apart in the industry. 

Access to the latest presentation tools and technologies

One surefire way to deliver memorable presentations is by using the latest technologies to captivate your audience. However, not all of us are tech-savvy, and it is unlikely that you can keep up with learning these tools, let alone regularly train staff to use them. Outsourcing PowerPoint work to a company with in-house teams and access to advanced features and capabilities makes the work much easier. Not only does this technological edge help streamline the process, but it also enhances the quality of the slides themselves. 

Presentation designers have diverse design skill sets

Let go of the cookie-cutter slides! An agency brings together a team of talented designers with diverse backgrounds and skill sets, making the result a versatile and compelling PowerPoint. An external team of designers would offer more specialized knowledge and extensive experience to bring more engaging elements, such as infographic design to your slides. Working with an outsourced team of designers can help tap into a broader spectrum of design knowledge and skills, leading to innovative presentations. 

A presentation design agency helps save money by outsourcing

A super stressful part of creating presentations is how they distract internal teams from their daily, and often more pressing, tasks. This is why agencies can be very helpful for businesses that want a fantastic slide deck but also want to keep a streamlined internal operation. Creating something like a sales presentation from scratch needs time, effort, and a specialized skillset, from brainstorming to designing a unified template.

By recruiting a presentation design agency, you can free up valuable time for more high-priority tasks and also have access to a team of professionals without the commitment of a full-time employee. This way, the approach is cost-effective while still assuring a polished presentation design with fast turnarounds that do your goals justice. 

Presentation designs are more effective than templates

Instead of opting for a template, or, in other words, the easy way out, especially under a tight deadline, avoid the uninspired and repetitive slides for fresh ones. Though the appeal of templates is tempting, original presentation designs are more engaging and usually lead to more impact. By partnering with a creative agency, you gain access to seasoned designers who will ensure a project has a fresh and creative visual appeal and goes beyond the conventional.

They can help complete projects with a faster turnaround

When running a company, several unexpected tasks are constantly popping up, making it increasingly difficult to dedicate focus on your slides. But since a design agency’s main focus is on design, it becomes their priority when you outsource the presentation design. As professionals, their knowledge of creative programs facilitates the design process and development, making the overall project quicker and smoother.

While they handle the creative design work, your internal team can focus on pressing projects that require their attention. Working with a design agency and scheduling work around the presentation due date allows you to become more efficient and coordinate work alongside this schedule.  

Outsourcing PowerPoint design to skilled professionals is a fool-proof way to ensure that your brand is portrayed seamlessly. Their talents, access to cutting-edge technology, and diverse skills are an impressive toolbox for creating unforgettable presentation slides while allowing you to be on top of internal tasks. The captivating outcomes while cutting down on time and costs make a presentation design agency a leading company’s best-kept secret.

Luckily, you can start right here! As a presentation design agency, you can now reach out to learn more about how to uplift and enhance your next presentation.

How Apple leverages white space for brand success

Apple has long been respected not only as a tech giant but as a meticulously attentive and intentional brand in every aspect of its branding and communication. One thing that it shines at in particular is the innovative and engaging use of white space in all its materials. This fundamental design principle is a transformative tool that turns aesthetics into function, and clutter into clarity. Here, we will explore the uses and functions of white space and how Apple implements them to contribute to their memorable and sophisticated designs. 

What is white space?

White space, sometimes called negative space or empty space, is one of the essential design elements that help create visually appealing compositions. Mainly, it encompasses the blank areas that surround the elements in a design, such as text, images, buttons, and so on. You can spot its use in websites, printed material, digital platforms, and more, and when used intentionally, it can become a powerful tool for directing attention and organizing content. By understanding it, designers can effectively leverage it to create functional and aesthetically pleasing designs. One 

Micro space

As the name suggests, micro space refers to situations with minimal empty space, such as that in between letters, lines of text, and images in a grid. Mirco space is subtle and is usually utilized to ensure that the text is legible and that elements in a grid or pattern are not too crowded or cluttered. 

Micro white space

Macro space

On the other hand, macro space refers to larger areas of blank space within a design. This is usually what you first think of when you think about white space; it can appear as the larger margins on the sides of a blog post, for example. Another example of macro space is the gap between the header and this blog post. 

Macro white space

Active vs. passive white space

Aside from the differences between micro and macro space, you can also perceive it as being active or passive. 

Active white space is used to elevate a page’s structure to guide the viewer through the content. It is used to intentionally place more focus on specific parts of the design. 

Active white space

As for passive white space, it is used to enhance the overall design, without a specific practical function. It is used as a more organic and natural way to improve a design’s readability and aesthetic. 

Passive white space

The purpose behind white space

Now that we understand the bread and butter of how empty space works in design, we need to know why it is important, especially for brands like Apple, to incorporate it into their designs. 

Clarity and comprehension

One of the main reasons designers and brands integrate empty space into their designs is to make the content legible and clear to the viewer. White space helps reduce the cognitive load for a viewer and improve readability and comprehension. It is used to separate blocks of text that enhance the visual appeal and facilitate better readability and comprehension of the content. The thoughtful use of negative space ensures that the message is communicated effectively and is clear and accessible. 

Luxury and sophistication

White spaces serve an important function in design, invoking a sense of sophistication and quality. By strategically incorporating space in layouts, designers create an elegant and refined aesthetic in a design. This also helps draw attention to the key focus of a design, allowing it to stand out and command the viewer’s attention. Negative space helps shape the perception of a brand by implying exclusivity and luxury. 

Trust and credibility

In design, negative space has several uses beyond just aesthetics and can influence perceptions, signifying trust and credibility in branding. This space suggests professionalism and reliability, fostering trust in the viewer. By adjusting the space to divide and group elements, viewers can process information more intuitively.  

Case Study: Apple and white space

When you observe the websites and branding of many large companies, you will start noticing how they incorporate white space into their designs. Apple in particular stands out in how perfectly they utilize this design element. 

Apple’s design philosophy is known for its minimalism and elegance, and a key element in achieving this is its use of negative space. This allows for their products to take center stage, whether in their website’s UX/UI design, their marketing materials, or their actual products. 

Marketing materials: In all the marketing materials, namely their keynote presentations, negative space serves a purpose in structuring a design. It gives all other elements in a design more clarity and room to breathe, creating a visual hierarchy and emphasizing the main design’s focus. The positive space, or the main design, should be balanced with the white space, sharing the space gracefully to create proportion and a thoughtful positioning for the main message. Apple presentation white space

Product packaging: Apple uses packaging design as an opportunity to center its products using white space. Clean layouts with ample amounts of space surround the product’s image, allowing it to become the focal point of the package. Minimalistic copy also adds context without being too detailed or overwhelming to the visual. This minimal and uncluttered approach creates a sense of anticipation during the unboxing of the product, emphasizing the premium quality of Apple’s products. 

User Interfaces (UI): When you go on any app on your iPhone or Mac device, you’ll be met with a spacious and uncluttered interface. Apple knows that visual breathing room is for accessible and functional applications, elements such as icons, buttons, and text are surrounded by negative space to create a more intuitive user experience. 

Apple iPhone white space

Website: Like an art gallery showcasing all the artwork, Apple’s websites use a similar format. They use clean layouts with an ample amount of empty space surrounding the product’s images and descriptions. The product photography is simple and eye-catching, only using simple copy to add just enough context. This creates a sense of purpose to effortlessly draw attention to the main focus: their products.

Incorporating space into the design is a strategic and impactful tool for creating focus, intention, and clarity in a design. This is why some of the biggest brands, such as Apple, have made it a vital component of their visual branding across all mediums. From their clean website layouts to their intuitive user interfaces, Apple creates a sense of anticipation and quality. Not only does white space improve visual appeal, but it also communicates trust and sophistication, setting a high standard in digital design.  

Marvel vs DC: What can we learn?

When it comes to captivating audiences, not many have mastered the art of storytelling the way Marvel and DC have. These giants in comic books and films have captured generations with their tales of heroes, villains, and thrilling adventures. Despite that, they still have different approaches that distinguish them from one another. However, that doesn’t mean we cannot learn from their appeal, their contrasting styles offer us valuable lessons for our own storytelling in corporate presentations. 

Marvel vs DC: The Main Differences 

Let us dive into the different elements that set these two comic companies apart, offering us interesting insights that can enhance our own approach to storytelling: 

Tone and Approach:

Marvel’s wide appeal is thanks to its lighthearted approach and vibrant storytelling. With witty dialogue, iconic humor, and vivid visuals, the audience engaged and invested in the characters. Think of Iron Man and his quick quips as he battles villains, this is the lightheartedness that lets them dip into more serious themes without overwhelming their audience. 

Meanwhile, DC embraces a more grounded, darker, and more serious tone. Their narratives dig into their character’s complex moral dilemmas and intense themes. Batman, for example, deals with personal struggles and his setting in Gotham faces a more bleaker reality. While there are moments of humor, it prioritizes emotional depth and character development.

Character Development:

Marvel has a diverse cast of characters who are relatable with their flaws and vulnerabilities. For example, Tony Stark is arrogant despite his genius, and Peter Parker balances being a superhero and a high school student. These struggles that the characters face make the audience connect with them on a more personal level, creating a sense of “they’re just like us.”

DC approaches its characters differently in that they are more aspirational. Characters like Superman have a strong sense of truth and justice, and Wonder Woman and her fight for equality, serve as a moral compass. These characters are heroes who are meant to inspire the audience to strive toward a better world and reach their potential. While they are not always relatable, they encourage us to embody heroic ideals. 

Storytelling Focus:

Marvel has action-packed plots that are peppered with humor and make for very entertaining stories, leaving the audience wanting more. They use these fast-paced narratives and exciting sequences that never let the energy falter. This approach keeps audiences engaged and constantly wondering what will happen next. 

DC, however, has a more introspective approach to storytelling. They still have action and fast-paced plot points, but they focus on deeper narratives that explore character motivations and complex themes. They also rely a lot on world-building, cities like Gotham are more significant than just a backdrop, they are a part of the narrative, and help the audience understand the characters and their struggles more deeply. The emphasis on world-building and character development ensures that the audience is more invested in the journey than just entertainment. 

Consistency and Evolution:

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), they have crafted a meticulous, interconnected universe where characters from different worlds and stories can interact. This consistency in world-building creates a sense of familiarity and allows the audience to become invested in the overall narrative and universe. However, this doesn’t mean that every story is the same, rather it means that they can overlap just enough to keep the audience on their toes. 

On the other hand, DC’s approach is more independent, while they do have a cinematic universe like Marvel, the connections between worlds and characters are a lot looser. And although it might not be as cohesive, this allows for more creative freedom and fresh interpretations. 

What We Can Learn: Applying Marvel & DC’s Techniques to Presentations

So, how can we translate these features from the realm of comic books and films into the world of corporate presentation storytelling? Here are the key takeaways:

Develop your brand’s voice. Marvel’s light-hearted tone engages the audience, and DC’s more somber tone keeps us grounded. Either way, they tell us that establishing a strong voice is necessary for a story to have an impact. Define that tone and utilize it for consistent messaging. 

Embrace relatable characters. Showcase the human element within your story or company, don’t be afraid to feature figures to give a face to the stories you’re sharing. Or for a more aspirational direction, embrace the DC approach by highlighting their values and responsibilities to inspire the audience. 

Have a clear focus. A clear, concise idea is the basis for a solid presentation, visuals and data are the supplementary elements to maintain momentum. More importantly, dig deeper, and explore the “why” behind your idea. Delve into the challenges and solutions being offered. 

Maintain consistency. Build a consistent brand identity across “worlds” or platforms, whether social media, your website, or presentation, that makes it easier for you to repurpose content and gives a more unified and professional impression. However, you should also allow for flexibility in individual presentations as long as you maintain a core message. 

Both Marvel and DC have had their own unique storytelling techniques that resonated with their audience all over the world. Marvel relies on relatable characters to drive vibrant and engaging stories, utilizing humor and fast-paced action scenes. Meanwhile, DC uses a more grounded and serious approach, with deep themes and complex characters.

Businesses and presenters can also capture their audience’s imagination through similar methods, considering that these techniques are tried and tested by some of the best storytellers in the world. However, if you’re looking for help trying to tell your story, you can always reach out to our team at Prezlab!

Presentation Templates vs. Building from Scratch: Which is best?

For consultants, creating an impactful presentation that wins over clients is no small feat, but with deadlines and high stakes, which is more effective: presentation templates or building from scratch? Each has its pros and cons, so in this blog, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches and try to understand what would work best for your circumstances.

Pre-made Consulting Presentation Templates

Advantages of Using Templates

When you want to create impactful presentations under tight deadlines, using pre-made templates can be a lifesaver. Here’s how incorporating templates can be an advantage:

They save time. Using templates is great for saving time since they provide a framework for layout designs. That way, a consultant can focus their attention and energy on refining the data and content that goes into their slides. This is especially helpful for last-minute meetings or juggling several projects or clients.

They look professional. Templates are designed by professionals who know how to make visual content stand out. A high-quality template ensures that your slides looks polished and sleek. This professional appearance also makes you appear credible and impresses clients and stakeholders with your sharp deliverables.

They help with consistent branding. Maintaining a consistent brand across all corporate materials can be tricky to track, especially when working with several brands. Templates often come with pre-styled elements that are then easily customizable to align with different brand identities. This also allows for quick adjustments to maintain a uniform brand voice across different presentations.

Disadvantages of Using Templates

Although presentation templates offer a quick solution to getting started, they do have a few downsides that can hinder your ability to stand out, including:

They limit creativity. A major drawback of templates is that they limit your creative freedom; the pre-set layouts and design elements can stifle innovation. Since consultants want to differentiate from their competitors, the lack of customization can limit the unique visual impact you can achieve with a fully customized presentation.

They feel generic. Templates also risk your presentation feeling generic and impersonal, since many templates are available online and used by many, many people. This could mean that your slides just looks like countless others. And for a consultant willing to establish a distinct identity, this may not be an ideal solution.

They present technical challenges. Plus, templates may pose technical challenges. Although they are meant to be user-friendly, any customization beyond certain elements may be difficult to implement. Making deeper adjustments might require software knowledge, which can be time-consuming and frustrating.

Building Presentation Slides from Scratch

Advantages of Building from Scratch

For consultants who wish to leave a strong impression on clients, starting from scratch will have unique benefits that presentation templates simply won’t. Here are a few advantages of creating brand-new presentations:

You have complete design control. When you create a presentation from scratch, you have full creative control that allows you to tailor each aspect of your slide deck. This allows you to align with the message you want to share and the audience you’re presenting. Whether it is the color scheme or font choice, these elements help you match your brand voice and enhance the effectiveness of your delivery.

It is an opportunity for unique storytelling. A tailored presentation is a blank canvas for your narrative, providing you with the opportunity to develop a unique and seamless visual story. You can enhance and amplify key parts of your slides as you see fit. This coherent narrative not only makes your content more digestible but also more memorable.

It lets you stand out. In this competitive market, it is important to stand out from the crowd, and custom presentations let you do that. By building slides from scratch, you can infuse your slides with your brand’s unique style and voice. This is great for brand consistency across different materials but it also helps set you apart. Customized graphics, layouts, and animations can reflect your brand’s ethos and identity, which can transform your slides into a powerful tool.

Disadvantages of Building from Scratch

While creating a presentation from scratch can offer unmatched customization and originality, consultants should be aware of possible pitfalls. Here are some of the challenges:

They are a time investment. The most obvious disadvantage of building a presentation from scratch is the amount of time it takes. Not only does it require content creation but also design conceptualization, layout structuring, and tailored elements. For consultants who are often in a time crunch, this can be a huge commitment and drain on your resources. This time could be better spent on research and client interaction.

They require consistency. Achieving a cohesive look across all slides is easier said than done. Maintaining visual consistency across slides can be difficult when there is no fixed style guide (which you need to conceptualize yourself). This includes uniformity in fonts, colors, sizes, and layout structure. Without these, it can harm your credibility, make you look unprofessional, and distract from the message you’re trying to convey.

They require technical skills. Another thing to consider is the level of technical proficiency that creating slides would require. Effective presentation design needs a solid foundation in design principles and familiarity with software features. If you do not have a background in design, this is a steep learning curve that can result in an unpolished result that does more harm than good.

Presentation templates or customized slides?

Considerations for Consultants

Whether a consultant opts to use pre-designed templates or craft their slides from scratch, each will have their own perks and drawbacks. Deciding which option is suitable will depend on several factors:

The project timeline
For those under a tight deadline, building a slide deck from the ground up might not be practical. A template here offers a significant advantage since it can be adapted and edited quickly reducing the time needed to create a polished presentation.

The presentation’s complexity
The complexity of the data and information you’re using plays a role in deciding how to approach your presentation. Templates help with straightforward presentations that need simple and efficient slides, while more heavy content might require deeper design knowledge to communicate.

Design expertise
Consultants who know design or have access to presentation designers (like ourselves!) may find that building a slide deck allows for more customization and creativity. However, those without these resources will find that editing templates is more practical since it requires less technical skill.

Combining Customization with Template Use

For many consultants, a hybrid approach is a happy medium where you can reap the benefits of both. Using a high-quality template as a base, you can tailor it by incorporating brand elements and unique visuals that align with the message. This offers a balance that makes the most of each approach’s advantages.

Whichever path makes more sense for you, the overall goal is to create an engaging and impactful presentation that your audience will remember. Considering the factors we mentioned above, you can choose the approach that best aligns with your resources, requirements, and the overarching purpose behind your presentation. You could also contact our team! After all, as a presentation design agency, we can help determine which approach suits you best and design captivating slides to capture your audience’s attention!

Essential slides for a marketing campaign presentation

A winning marketing campaign has to start somewhere, and often, that somewhere is a successful pitch. This presentation is the essential step in presenting your vision right before it is brought to life. Without a well-researched plan, your campaign will struggle to achieve its objectives. Through a marketing presentation, organize all your ideas into a cohesive plan that helps stakeholders connect with your ideas. In this guide, we’ll share what you need to build an effective marketing presentation to help prepare you for your next project.

Essential slides for a successful marketing campaign presentation:

A successful marketing campaign presentation must include slides that outline everything related to the campaign’s mission. Certain slides, however, are particularly essential for effectively conveying your marketing strategy. The key elements of a marketing presentation are the following:

Title Slide

A compelling title slide sets the stage for your presentation, it provides the audience with the first impression that sets expectations. This slide should be concise yet straightforward, featuring the content’s overall title, a subtitle that elaborates further, and the name and logo of your organization. Arranging these elements is also important so as not to overcrowd the slide. A well-crafted title slide will intrigue your audience and lay the foundation for the narrative.

Campaign Overview

When launching into a marketing presentation, it’s important to start with a solid foundation—an engaging campaign overview as an introduction. This slide serves as a primer for the campaign’s core concept and overall plan. It offers a glimpse into the strategic thinking and creative direction that underpin your campaign. This overview is the first step in captivating your audience and guiding them through your vision.

Executive Summary

An executive summary is a crucial component of any slide deck, offering a comprehensive overview of the campaign’s objectives and strategies. This section serves to outline your goals and how you plan to achieve them. An effective executive summary should communicate the campaign’s ambitions and methods at a glance. It is supposed to set the tone for a more detailed breakdown of your vision and marketing efforts.

Target Audience

Any marketing campaign has a target audience that it is trying to reach, and knowing who determines the overall direction of the campaign. Casting a wide net is too broad to be effective, so being selective and conducting market research helps shape your overall message toward your ideal demographic. This includes understanding the platforms they use, their industries, and their ages, which all contribute to aligning your marketing with the broader objectives to ensure that your efforts are concentrated in the right direction.

Competitor Analysis

Along with your market research, an audit of your competitors helps shape your strategy by offering insights into the landscape that you operate within. By assessing the competition’s strengths and weaknesses, you provide an overview of the market’s dynamics, including what works and what doesn’t. It also helps identify potential gaps that you can fill with your business as you redefine your value proposition and meet the needs of your target market.

Product or Service Overview

Your brand’s personality, values, and unique selling point (USP) are your guideposts that lead potential customers right to your door. The section that introduces your product or service should bring your whole brand to life and make it valuable to stakeholders and audiences. Customer testimonials, case studies, and demos all help showcase the benefits of what you’re offering and invite the audience to connect with your brand. And when the audience loves your brand or product, they become your best marketers as passionate brand ambassadors.

Campaign Assets

This section is the meat of your marketing campaign presentation, sharing the campaign assets. These are the tangible expressions of your strategy and message, whether they are digital marketing elements like social media posts, newsletters, Google Ads, or physical marketing materials such as brochures or pop-ups. Highlighting them in your slides showcases the depth of your plans by also providing a palpable example of how they will materialize.

Action Plan

Here, you must characterize the strategies and tactics you will apply for your campaign. Using the SMART approach (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) helps shape your objectives to keep in line with the market and target audience expectations. Outlining tactics and action plans makes your overall strategy more achievable. This simplifies the execution process and also ensures that every tactic within the strategy is aligned with the campaign’s broader goal, facilitating a more targeted approach.

Performance Metrics

Performance metrics are the tools you use to measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaign. Determining your objectives and relevant KPIs allows you to assess your strategy’s success, whether it is brand awareness, engagement, or sales conversations. Selecting performance metrics for a campaign is crucial not only to showcase success but also to identify areas for growth and set goals for future strategies. This approach also ensures that your marketing efforts remain aligned with your core objectives.

Timeline & Budget

A successful campaign depends on the meticulous planning of the timeline and budget. A detailed timeline ensures that there is clear resource dedication, accountability, and clear end goals to avoid projects becoming open-ended. It entails everything from research to creating assets, reviews, and distribution. Meanwhile, a well-planned budget accounts for anything the project requires, like operational costs. It provides your project with a financial framework for a campaign and keeps you grounded, considering any restraints.

Call to Action and Next Steps

A compelling call to action (CTA) along with clear steps is the cornerstone of any successful marketing campaign presentation, as it guides your audience towards the desired action. You can reinforce your CTA by offering additional resources to ensure the audience knows how to process. This approach increases engagement but also creates a pathway to follow-up.

What makes a winning marketing campaign presentation?

The slides above address the areas to cover in a marketing presentation, however, alone, they may not get the result you want. Here, it becomes clear that a presentation like this requires some extra personality and persuasive storytelling to really make it stand out. Some ways to do so include:


Personalization stands at the forefront of any impactful presentation, as it significantly enhances audience engagement. Tailoring your slides to meet the preferences and interests of stakeholders using personalized language and details ensures that your message hits home. Not only does personalization deepen connection, but it also boosts reading time and shareability, making it a key driver of results.

Clarity and Focus

When creating a winning marketing presentation, focusing on one message ensures that the slide deck meets the audience’s expectations. Adapting the content to align with the main message and reflect these insights, along with consistent visual branding, reinforces the campaign’s core message. Not only does this maintain the audience’s attention, but it also solidifies brand identity. Prioritizing clarity allows marketers to create slides that resonate and also leave a positive impression, setting the foundation for a successful campaign.

Consistent Branding

Consistent branding in your slide deck establishes your brand’s message, entwining together voice, values, and visuals to make your brand recognizable. Instead of focusing on the service or product, a strong brand sells an experience. Ensure that every slide reflects your brand identity, engaging the audience with a narrative that is wholly yours and connecting with them.

Bonus: Free marketing campaign presentation template

Courtesy of Prezlab, you can download a free presentation template, to capture and engage audiences for your impending campaigns! Tailored and ready to use, it includes all the essential slides you need for an impactful marketing campaign presentation.

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Since a marketing campaign is a multi-layered endeavor that requires a lot of background research and planning, securing powerful slides sets your campaign up for success. Mapping out your ideas and research in a well-structured presentation encourages stakeholders to get excited, plus it provides you with a reliable roadmap to follow. So when developing your marketing presentation, embrace these features to create a powerful tool that inspires and guides your campaign to victory.

Most consulting presentations get these 6 things wrong

Crafting an impactful consulting presentation is both an art and a science, yet even the most experienced professionals will stumble into common pitfalls that diminish the impact of their message. From burying the lead to writing weak action titles, each mistake has the potential to dilute your presentation. To avoid these common errors, this blog will highlight the most common mistakes and how you can address them.

Burying the lead in a consulting presentation

A common pitfall in consulting presentations is burying the lead. Clients are often short on time and want immediate clarity and direction on an issue, and starting with an in-depth analysis instead of the key recommendation would lose their interest. This is why it is recommended to begin at the end, starting with your conclusion and then working your way backward to provide supporting arguments. This method is outlined in the pyramid principle, which you can read more about here, and is a staple framework for any consulting presentation.

Not structuring the document logically

Consulting presentations regularly handle dense and detailed information, so it requires logical organization to ensure their effectiveness. A well-organized presentation should lead the audience through a clear and coherent journey, flowing through the executive summary, sources, recommendations, supporting arguments, and next steps. For example, when advising a client on expanding their business internationally, the presentation should lay out the original recommendation followed by well-founded arguments. This might include case studies, a financial model, the identification of potential partners, and addressing risks. The idea is that using a structured approach ensures that the audience understands the rationale behind your recommendations.

Writing weak action titles

A very common oversight in consulting presentations is using weak action titles. The action titles are the slide’s top tagline, which also plays a large role since they narrate the entire presentation’s story. They allow decision-makers to grasp the main idea behind your recommendation by merely skimming through the slide titles. To create effective action titles, they should be concise enough to capture the slide’s essence but also action-oriented to convey the implications for the client. For example, instead of “Market analysis findings,” you can say, “Marketing analysis reveals untapped growth potential.” Using more powerful action titles streamlines communication but also enhances a presentation’s impact.

Including irrelevant charts 

Including irrelevant charts in consulting presentations should not be as common as it is, but alas. Consultants can get carried away and try to include as many details as possible but end up distracting from the main message. Each chart added to a presentation must serve a direct purpose, answer a direct question, or advance an argument. Before creating any visual, question what its objectives are, what proof it offers, and how clear it is. A simple, yet effective, slide that supports your argument will always outdo a cluttered slide with redundant information. The slides in a consulting presentation should be insightful, actionable, and relevant, directly addressing the challenge at hand.

Ignoring the context of the consulting presentation 

Do not, under any circumstances, overlook the importance of context in a consulting presentation. The significance of context is as crucial as the content itself. It sets the stage, providing the backdrop that makes the content relevant and meaningful. Without context, even the most well-crafted content will fall flat and fail to resonate with the audience or drive any real action. Context breathes life into the data and allows you to form a story out of the information. For consultants, weaving context with content ensures that a presentation both informs and persuades, making it an ally for any presenter.

Not adding a call to action at the end 

Reaching the grand finale falls flat when your audience is left with nowhere to go. So, it is important to incorporate a clear call to action to guide the audience on their next steps. Whether your goal was to shift perspectives, deter an initiation, or halt a practice, a single, focused call to action ensures that your message is actually acted upon. For example, if you’re introducing a software, do not just boast about its features; direct the audience towards a tangible action they can take, such as downloading the program and registering with their email. Not only does this clarify the desired outcome, but it also boosts the likelihood of engagement.

In consulting, a well-executed presentation can be the key to unlocking understanding, engagement, and action from clients. Avoiding common pitfalls, such as illogical structures or insufficient context, can help elevate your slides and ensure their impact. An impactful presentation requires artfully weaving together background and foreground information and calls to action to propel people forward. A more nuanced approach to your slides allows you to transform any deck into a vehicle for change. If you’re in search for extra help in crafting the perfect consulting presentation, you could always reach out to our team!

What we can learn from the Economist about data visualization

In the field of data visualization, The Economist is regarded for its clear and insightful presentations. Their focus on simplicity ensures that each chart or graph conveys a story that is easy to understand, thanks to their careful design choices. They turn complex data into visual stories that speak to the viewer. There’s much to learn from their approach to charts, providing valuable lessons for those interested in data visualization.

Why The Economist?

For much of its history, The Economist relied on data to communicate news, with tables and statistics appearing in print as early as 1847. Over many years, their graphs evolved and became a weekly staple, adapting to different mediums and data visualization styles. Their reliable and engaging graphs remained grounded in one main principle: the viewer should learn the primary message of the chart after only a few seconds. Afterward, as they examine and explore even further, they will gain more information, just like reading a full page of text.

Use a simple design approach 

A standout feature of this publication’s graphs is their commitment to the design’s simplicity. They regularly use basic line charts or bar charts complemented by straightforward, yet descriptive, titles in a sans-serif font that’s easy to read. These kinds of choices ensure that the data visualization is understood at a glance and keeps the focus on the information. Another method they use to maintain simplicity is sticking with a simple color palette that detracts from any distractions that can undermine the original goal of readability.

Simple data visualization

The chart matches the message

Following a vital principle in data visualization, The Economist tries to match the chart with the main message. Selecting the appropriate type of chart to communicate the data emphasizes the main message, and allows the viewer to grasp the information more easily and intuitively. For example, a line chart helps visualize changes over time, while a bar chart helps highlight the differences in comparisons. Similarly, combined charts like a stacked area chart offer a comparative view of different data sets, allowing for a more layered understanding.

Example of Economist chart

Guide the viewer to the insight

One of the most helpful approaches utilized by The Economist is how they guide the viewer to the heart of a chart’s insight. Throughout the entire graph, the elements work together to move the viewer to the main idea, starting with the title that spells out exactly what you should walk away with. Then there’s the strategic use of color that highlights the pivotal data points and the bolded text and numbers to emphasize their importance. The overall design choices work together to create harmony with all the elements and reinforce the central message.

What we can learn from the Economist about data visualization

Use consistent, unified data visualization

The Economist notably manages a unified, consistent presence across all their platforms, whether on social media, print, or their website. They maintain a seamless visual language wherever you may encounter them. This uniformity is created through a singular color scheme, design style, and foundational principles that minimize clutter and distractions. By embracing consistent design elements, they enhance their data visualization’s legibility and reinforce their brand identity.

Samples of Economist charts

Implement strategic use of color

Color plays a large role in creating clarity in data visualization. For example, a chart that aims to compare between two variables across different regions. Initially, contrasting colors would imply that the categories are unrelated, so to avoid this, The Economist will use a more refined strategy that uses consistent color schemes, playing around with opacity levels to highlight specific points. Furthermore, using typography can assist in emphasizing the key findings and main differences without misleading viewers.

Economist chart example

Break the Y-axis scale 

Adjusting the Y-axis scale on charts can be a testy decision, especially when it doesn’t start at zero. This practice is often criticized and avoided due to potentially misleading viewers. But, as we see in The Economist, there are instances where emphasizing minor variations is crucial for highlighting the story in the data. In these cases, limiting the chart’s ranges becomes necessary to highlight these nuances. However, it is important to clearly identify when the scale has been adjusted for transparency’s sake. It is also important to note that breaking the axis in a bar chart is generally not advised, as it can misrepresent the proportional relationship between the data and its representation.

What we can learn from the Economist about data visualization

Integrate the text and graph in the data visualization

Effectively integrating the text and visual elements in a report is crucial for clear communication, but in many instances, they fail due to the “slideshow effect.” This is when the narrative only repeats what is shown in the graph. The publication implements a more impactful approach by creating visuals that complement that narrative but are informative enough to stand on their own. This means leveraging legends (which explain the symbols in a chart) that are positioned close to the data they are describing could greatly enhance readability.

Integrating text and graph example

In conclusion, a harmonious blend of simplicity, guidance, and consistency are the pillars that make The Economist’s graphs stand out thanks to thoughtful data visualizations. We can learn from their approach how to leverage design principles in data visualization to prioritize the reader’s understanding. And of course, if you have any data that could benefit from elevated design and storytelling, you could always contact our team at Prezlab to learn more about our information design and infographic design services!


MECE Principle: Towards clearer decision-making

When preparing for a consulting presentation, one term you must know is MECE. The MECE principle is a strategic problem-solving tool that helps organize ideas clearly to ensure that they are both distinct and comprehensive. It is a way of thinking that enables consultants to structure their solutions so that no possibility is overlooked. MECE is essential not only as a way to frame problems but also in crafting powerful and persuasive storytelling in presentations. 

What is the MECE principle?

The MECE principle, standing for “mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive,” is a framework used in consulting to group ideas effectively to cover all options without overlapping. It lets the user structure their ideas and solutions to avoid double-counting potential solutions and ensure a comprehensive probe into each idea. Mutually exclusive refers to options that each fall into one different category, while collectively exhaustive refers to when each option is represented.

The MECE principle is an indispensable tool for brainstorming, problem-solving, and planning and helps consultants frame their solutions clearly and effectively. When used in a PowerPoint presentation, it allows professionals to smoothly navigate through tricky problems and guide their clients toward informed and clear-headed decision-making. 

The origin of the MECE Principle

Barbara Minto, who created the pyramid principle, was a strategy consultant at McKinsey when she also invented the MECE principle. Although she credits Aristotle with the original idea due to his view on logic and categorization, MECE is a fundamental concept that underlies the original pyramid principle by helping group ideas logically to let consultants organize their communications. 

How is MECE used with the pyramid principle? 

The MECE principle and pyramid principle complement each other in practice when it comes to structuring ideas and their communication. MECE ensures that the information is categorized without overlap, covering all possibilities, to form the basis of a solid argument. The pyramid principle then takes each of these categories and arranges them into a hierarchy to create a logical flow of ideas from most to least important. Together, both of these methodologies work together to facilitate clear and impactful communication, allowing professionals to present complex information in an organized and persuasive manner.  MECE principle in the pyramid principle

Breaking down the MECE principle

To ensure comprehensive and efficient analysis, the MECE principle approaches information through two main lenses, mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive: 

Mutually exclusive

The first part of the MECE principle is the concept of mutual exclusivity, whose purpose is to ensure efficiency and clarity in problem-solving. It aims to categorize topics as distinct with no overlaps, like non-intersecting circles in a Venn diagram. For example, an efficient mutually exclusive approach would categorize each idea into distinct groups to guarantee separation. This then allows you to explore each idea or dataset in a way that avoids redundancy and optimizes your time. 

Collectively exhaustive

The collectively exhaustive concept is a vital counterpart in the MECE approach that ensures comprehensiveness in the problem-solving process. This part attempts to cover the problem’s full spectrum and leaves no stone unturned. In practice, this means categorizing issues to encompass the entire problem without omitting any details. Through a collective exhaustive approach, you reevaluate what is missing from the mutually exclusive approach and integrate it into a more comprehensive analysis. The MECE approach must be both mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive to ensure that all possible solutions are addressed and explored.

MECE Principle

MECE in practice

The MECE framework is a super useful tool for making vital business decisions, offering a structured and segmented approach that clarifies different business areas. For example, regarding consumer targets, MECE allows an in-depth analysis of customer groups by separating them into profitable segments to help shape targeting strategies. Product targeting is also an area that benefits from MECE, as it facilitates cost allocation for different products and highlights the most lucrative ones for increased promotional efforts. Unfortunately, many companies underestimate MECE’s potential for streamlining focus and decision-making. But for consultants, coming from an external point of view that is divorced from the daily operations, allows for a more intentional application of MECE. 

Why is MECE important?

Being able to deconstruct and dissect complex issues into compartmentalized segments allows consultants to pinpoint critical factors that drive impactful results. Breaking down a problem into segments allows for a more structured approach to analysis and resolution. While both parts of the MECE principle are essential, a collectively exhaustive analysis in the initial stages of a project ensures that the analysis is thorough. This kind of exhaustive exploration would guarantee that the solution to the dilemma is automatically embedded in the overall strategic framework. 

How can I use MECE in a consulting presentation?

In a consulting presentation, the MECE principle plays a role across several stages, from the case opening to the recommendations. Initially, it will help in defining and segmenting the problem, and during framework development, it provides a structured approach to problem-solving. MECE is also an important tool for data analysis and hypothesis testing, as it keeps the process focused. Ultimately, aligning recommendations with the MECE framework is a thorough and comprehensive problem-solving strategy. Within consulting presentations, the MECE principle allows consultants to tackle any tricky challenges methodically and strategically.

Moving through the tricky landscape of problem-solving and decision-making, MECE emerges as a compass to guide us through. This framework sharpens our analytical skills and strategic thinking, and by working through the MECE structure, we move towards more efficient and comprehensive solutions. Whether consulting slides or otherwise, here at Prezlab, we create presentations that prioritize clarity and success in all cases.

Mastering McKinsey presentation storytelling

What makes McKinsey presentations so compelling and persuasive? Beyond mere narration, storytelling is an art, and it’s an art that McKinsey presentations have mastered thanks to their genius framework. Through McKinsey’s storytelling approach, we will understand how to weave complex information into persuasive stories to resonate with audiences.

Why Stories? The Power of Narrative in Presentations:

Within professional communication, storytelling allows presenters to forge meaningful connections and lasting influence. Aside from tale-telling, storytelling is a strategic form of communication that, when used well, can amplify the impact of your message. Stories craft a compelling journey for the audience to follow, one that conveys information while also inspiring action and driving change. Leveraging narratives can ensure that your message is not only heard but also felt and remembered.

Mastering the McKinsey Storytelling Approach:

The McKinsey approach to storytelling requires rethinking your professional communications for the best. This renowned method emphasizes clarity and precision, offering a structured framework for creating compelling narratives out of complex information. Through the McKinsey approach of the SCQA method, you can transform your messaging into persuasive stories that accurately outline the problems and solutions in a way that is engaging for an audience.

The SCQA Framework: 

Using tried-and-true storytelling frameworks can help you follow a structured path to creating effective narratives. The foundational framework embraced by McKinsey’s consultants is the SCQA framework. This method, which stands for Situation, Complication, Question, and Answer, is a cornerstone for constructing a story that resonates. Each step plays a role in breaking down and outlining the problem at hand and turning them into persuasive journeys that compel the audience.

SQCA format

The Situation

In the initial phases of the SCQA framework, you need to set the scene to provide them with the necessary context. The “situation” offers a detailed background on the current scenario you are dealing with; for example, it can outline the business landscape and market dynamics. This helps ground the audience in the reality of the circumstances but also highlights the importance of the matter.

The Complication

The “complication” is where “the plot thickens.” This is where you bring attention to the challenge or hurdle you are facing in your situation. Here, you pinpoint the issues and obstacles and offer a clear exposition of what went wrong and its effects on the project. It is about stating the problem but also making clear what the impact has been. Being detailed and explicit here helps emphasize the need for a resolution and engages the audience further in the narrative.

The Question

Even though the “question” is a section within this framework, it is actually often an implied question. It steers the narrative towards the key issues or decisions that await resolution. This step is really about framing the problem and leading the listener towards striving for a solution. In a McKinsey-style presentation, this is a strategic pivot that engages the audience’s problem-solving skills by highlighting the challenge at hand.

The Resolution

Just as the climax of any compelling narrative, the “resolution” presents the solutions to the challenges. The presenter here would unveil the proposed course of action along with the steps and strategies to overcome the main obstacle. Clarity and conciseness are essential here as the solution is articulated, ensuring it addresses all the issues highlighted in earlier phases. The “resolution” is where the narrative culminates, persuading the audience of the effectiveness of your plan.

How does the McKinsey presentation style help?

Every presentation is meant to answer a question or concern. All in all, the SCQA is a framework that helps craft a persuasive McKinsey-style story and presentation around the information you want to present.

Think of the SCQA framework as a tool to organize thoughts into a streamlined guide to reach a useful solution or recommendation. Not only does this tool lay the foundation for a narrative, but it also allows you to explore different pathways for reaching your resolution. The challenge with the SCQA approach is decision-making, yet it still provides an outline for making informed decisions.

The McKinsey approach to presentation storytelling provides an outline for organizing thoughts into impactful narratives. Aside from structuring your information, they help craft and frame messages that are relatable and profound to your audience. By setting the stage, addressing complications, posing questions, and sharing resolutions, you can create presentation journeys that lead to informed decisions. Mark a new era with impactful professional communications, with Prezlab, we can help you shape your presentation to reach audiences’ hearts and minds.