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5/8/2012

You’ve written a great presentation. Now, it’s time to make it look great. Extend the shelf life of your document by packaging it as carefully as you would dress for the presentation. It’s a reflection of you and your organization. Did you know that 85% of all professionals strongly agree that the way a finished document is packaged is just as important as what it says?

Package for your occasion

Whether your presentation is professional or business casual, dress it smartly. A business casual meeting is an everyday internal presentation, a project update, or maybe a training session. Make your document more informal, your graphics more fun and put it in a basic report cover or binder. Still, treat it with great respect. You have one opportunity to convince your audience your ideas are worth their time, that your project is on track and finally, that you know what you are doing.

Professional occasions are usually bids, proposals, client solicitations, client relationships, and more formal internal meetings. When speaking to a professional audience, the language you use is as critical as the packaging. It should be neatly bound so it looks as buttoned up as you do.

Did you know more than 76% of professionals believe a bound presentation gives materials a more professional appearance? Err on the side of caution. If in doubt, make sure your presentation is more professional than casual. It’s always an advantage to look polished.

Add Special Touches

One way to stand out is to alter standard packaging to make your own customized look:

• Laminate your cover sheet to make your own durable cover

• Use printable covers on your color printer for customized artwork and logos

• Add design elements such as high-impact covers in unique textured materials

• Affix a badge or decorative element on the front with the name of the presentation for a 3-D feel

Laminate your key points and distribute them at the conclusion to give the presentation longer life to what you are trying to sell. Laminate visual aids to enhance their appearance when displaying in the meeting room. They can also be used for future presentations.

And, if you want to keep your business card from going out of business, hand out a laminated version. It makes it harder for people to throw it away or forget your presentation.

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