Candid Camera

By Heather Baldwin

Picture this: you’ve just started your sales presentation, you click on the first slide mentioning the company to whom you’re presenting and voilà! Up pops a photo of the client’s building. Your audience members cast approving glances at one another – this presenter, they agree, has come prepared. What they don’t know is that it only took you two minutes right before the presentation to insert that photo into your presentation. How? Using a technology that’s becoming more and more common today – the digital camera.

“One of the best ideas I’ve seen is using customer-specific images built in to a presentation,” says Mark Pickard, group product manager at Epson America. “It may be as simple as a picture of the customer’s building that you’ve dropped into PowerPoint a second before you start, but it’s something the audience can really relate to.” If used appropriately, such a tactic never fails to wow an audience. And it’s easy to do, says Pickard. Simply arrive early to your presentation, snap some photos of the client’s products, their people or anything else that might be relevant to your presentation. Then take a minute to insert those photos into your presentation.

You’ll need to know ahead of time where you’ll be using those photos and what kind of photos you plan to take so you design your PowerPoint slides accordingly. But the task of actually inserting the photos is easy, says Pickard. Epson’s 3100Z digital camera, for instance, uses a 16MB CompactFlash Memory Card. Simply snap your photos, remove the card, slip it into the PC card adapter on your notebook computer and then insert that image into PowerPoint. The 3100Z sells for $599, but you could spend a couple hundred dollars less for lower resolution and your PowerPoint image won’t be affected.

You’ve heard it before: graphics are key to creating engaging slides. Any time you can add a relevant photograph to strengthen your message, it will help your audience better recall that message. Making that photo something your customer owns and sees every day will make it even more memorable.