What is empathy and how to use it in presentations

What is empathy and how to use it in presentations

While making a presentation, communicating with each and every one like if you were talking to them individually allows you to create a unique bond with the audience. This is the kind of result that those able to control empathy achieve.


But what does empathy mean? Empathy is when you can put yourself in someone else’s shoes, trying to understand their opinions and emotions. It’s not about feeling the same way or agreeing with the other person but respecting and understanding their ideas, feelings and speech.


Empathy can be described by the idea of rapport, a concept of psychology that represents harmonic bonds among people. This synergy enables interaction and exchange of information. It leads to respectful and healthy relationships.



Empathy during presentations


While preparing a presentation and during the process of creating the script, you must think about content but also about the way your audience wants to receive the information. Knowing the audience is the best way to develop a bond between the presenter and the public.


Try to find out what your audience already knows about the subject, what they don’t, what messages  are they supposed to register and to what cultural environment they belong. Is it a formal or informal audience? Would they appreciate numbers or stories? These are some ways to get closer to your audience and create an empathetic bond.

If you feel you are not being empathetic, don’t worry, we’ve good news for you. This is a skill that can be developed.



  1. The first advice is to call people by their names

Human beings seek individual connection. When answering a question to the audience ask their names and call them by their first name. When it comes to interaction with the audience, ask rhetorical questions which do not really need to be answered. In doing so, you make the audience think and feel like you are establishing a direct connection.


  1. Always smile

Scientific studies verified that we have a group of cells called mirror neurons and that by simply observing other people’s action,  activates the same areas in the observer’s brain. So, if you express joy it will help your listeners to feel the same way you do.


  1. Match the rhythm 

Pay close attention to your listeners: do they speak fast? Do they speak slowly or move a lot? Try to interact with the listeners the way they interact with you. By doing so the audience will understand better the message you want to deliver. Vary your tone of voice and the rhythm to reach a larger number of people while speaking.


  1. Don’t be judgmental

An attitude that destroys empathy is judgment.

“That guy is so boring! When will he stop asking questions?”. In order to not be judgmental, you must break through your “reality dome” built by your experiences, jump into the other person’s realm and understand the world through their eyes taking their perspective, emotions and behavior. People see the world based on who they are. When using only personal references and beliefs, you build a wall to empathy. Remember: respect and understanding. “Yes, he really asks too many questions but that is probably because he wants to understand and know better the subject”.

A communicator can’t judge the audience. Instead, he should understand their needs.


With these advices you can start establishing  empathy in your presentations and ace on your next one.


6 Templates to improve your presentations


You know exactly what you are going to talk about, you speak well in public but you’re not the best in putting the slides together? Well, we have the solution for you to turn good presentations into great presentations.

Here are a few free templates that you can download from our website. They will help you present unforgettable presentations!


Template for Proposal Approval



Having your new ideas and projects approved is not always an easy task, no matter how good they might seem to you and your colleagues. To increase your chances of success, download this free template created for proposal meetings. It will help you organize your ideas and present them in a good-looking way.


Template for Presenting Results and New Goals



Results were achieved and there’s a new set of goals to be completed. How to present all the data? In order to show your company’s performance and keep everyone engaged in new goals, you need a presentation with good strategy, creative script, and striking images. We’re here to help you! Present the previous, the current and the future year’s scenario and goals, benefits of having achieved them. Display new goals and strategies for the next year in a persuasive, beautiful and in a well-organized way with our template Download it here for a great presentation.


“The World Cup PPT Template”



Everybody will eventually have to present a new project. However, nobody needs to realize that you lack practice and that you are still an amateur. Use our “The World Cup PPT” template and your presentations will be way more professional. We designed this template based on the most important stages that support any new project: current scenario, opportunity, project, action plan, benefits, improvements, budget and next steps. Use this template to come as an amateur and leave as a professional.


Your Training PPT



If you are in the training sector of your company or work with in-company learning, use our “Your Training PPT” template. Talk about the history of a company or a school or even teach in a more creative way. Introduce your ideals using striking images. Have flexible slides, easily adaptable to specific needs of your audience. Be creative and professional at the same time with this template.

Getting a YES Template



Do you need a “yes” for your project, an idea or a product? Great, then the hardest part is already done and you can now count on us for a “Getting a YES” template. This template will help you get the audience’s attention. Each image is strategic, designed to match every step of your argument. The slides are divided into five important steps of the process of selling an idea: your idea, why to invest, how to invest, ROI and where to invest. Download this template and get your YES.


SOAP’s Tasting Template



The end of the year tends to be a critical moment for every company. Projects for next year are presented and being approved or not, you will need a presentation for that. In this template you will find slides that will help you sell your product or service; a visual identity focused on solving your audience’s problem; images that will help you get your message across in an open format that can be easily changed and adapted. Try now!




How to distinguish yourself without looking phoney

Three PR companies struggle for a partnership with a big agency. In situations like these, knowing how to show your differential may determine who will win. The agency will probably choose the corporation better aligned to its values and that shows ability to deliver what was promised. However, presenting why your company is better than others with credibility and without looking phoney is not an easy task.


We’ve handpicked some suggestions which will make your presentation rock  and conquer your audience – without being artificial, cliche and phoney.


Talk about your case studies

Most presenters start their speech by telling their company’s mission,  vision, values, differentials and blurting out a list of famous customers. By doing this the presenter will hardly grasp the audience’s attention – and it’s important to have in mind that the decision is on their hands. Listing  qualities won’t prove anything and it can sound like a simple strategy to please the audience. After all, in an environment like this it´s easier to tell what you do well rather than list shortcomings.



In a well balanced speech, talking about your case studies sounds honest and truthful. Allows the audience to understand without explicitly telling the reason why your business exists. Your chances of being the chosen one will increase when the audience acknowledges that you have an experienced background and that your plans for the future are promising.


Let´s say that your company values s are “cooperation, efficiency and excellence”. You can tell a story illustrating how these principles work in your company in a daily basis. For example, that time when your employees had  a whole project to do all over again in just a couple of days. The teamwork was intense and all opinions were heard to meet the deadline. As a result of all this effort, the delivered project was outstanding. When you present true situations, the audience can naturally draw their own conclusions regarding your qualities which is way more compelling than the ordinary “self praise” speech.


Don’t pad things out

Forget about explaining every detail of a slide explained in a minute. On the other hand using a shipload of slides does not show knowledge. As a matter of fact, it can hint right the opposite. Talking too much can bore out the audience specially when ideas don’t have aa good script. We strongly suggest that you practice elevator pitch, which means you have to summarize the important ideas into the least time possible. If you have ten minutes to talk, try to use only five. It will leave more time for your interaction with the audience whenever you feel like it.



Do not mention the competition

It´s very common in the United States to run into ads where brands expose their competitors  to show how they distinguish themselves. . If you present cases that please the listener, he´ll see on his own in which fields your company stands out.



Empathize with your audience

When talking about your cases studies, bring up stories that are close to your prospect’s reality. If you know, for instance, that this specific company frowns upon delays, show cases where your company made it very clear how reliable they are regarding deadlines and due dates. What your company did in the past tends to increase your credibility now the public is more likely to trust in what you’re presenting now. This will make it is easier to establish bonds and to build up empathy.


Doing an in-depth research on the profile of the people who are responsible for decision-making and on the company’s needs will help you find the appropriate cases to present.




Excellent is WIP


SOAP lives by excellence. We combine strengths and skills to achieve goals and client’s needs. We are also aware that new challenges come up, so improvements are constant.


SOAP has a new “Door” for you to knock and get information about what we do and can do for you.


Digging deep into the moto “turning complex into simple” we transformed the face and experience of our website. Making it easy to understand what SOAP does, how and with what purposes.




Presentations that merge impactful visuals with business Intelligence.







We shape your ideas into reality. Your concepts into experiences


Click the image to see a Before & After of a slide. Being before a client content and after a SOAP delivery.





What Purpose?


Deliver the message the way clients want it to be perceived. Be it a presentation, a video or a document.


Read all about our process by visiting this page.





You can watch SOAP Portfolio for presentations or video here. By clicking any presentation project on the gallery, you can choose to view a presentation on a PPT format like the one below, or on our Youtube channel.








We kept on of our most visited page, from the old version. The downloads page. Here you can find E-books with the best tips and techniques to improve the way you create presentations, and Templates to save you time and enhance your productivity. All you have to do is download and get to work.








The way to get in touch with us was also simplified. We are here to help you achieve your goals right from the very first moment. Call us or email us in one click or touch of screen. Visit the contacts page and see how easy it is.








With SOAP blog we try to keep you up to date, with all that has to do with presentations. Be it tips on performance, design and software tools that can help you create impactful presentations, news from the brand and marketing world, or the cutting edge technology used to boost creativity on presentations. Check out the latest posts.





SOAP keeps the community close to heart, which is why we value their time and attention. We only want to reach to you in your terms, and only when the content is really worth your engagement and interest. We now have a choice in the way you want receive information from SOAP. Our newsletter will become a quarterly newsletter instead of monthly. You can subscribe to the new format by clicking here, and submitting your info.


We would love to have some feedback or comments. You can use the contacts you can find here, or head to our Social Media Channels, @facebook , @twitter or @Linkedin


Tell us what we can do for you. And remember, excellence is work in progress.


6 Presentation tools to boost productivity


SOAP is a household of designers, consultants and executive management. The art craft is mainly creativity, but the tools SOAP uses are mainly software and hardware. As is the majority of work of this century.


PowerPoint can be Loved or hated. No matter which side you are on, it still represents a mean to a goal. It still is what you do with it that gets you results. When you think of presentations you immediately think of PowerPoint. There are good examples and some that do not achieve the results you expect. Who is to blame? Not the tool for sure.


We have written before, about how Microsoft is investing on the productivity tools. You can read about the office upgrades here, and the strategy and new approach to mobile here.


You can also download tips on PowerPoint by clicking the image below.






We know that it takes years of practice to become an expert with PowerPoint, but as we mentioned before, Microsoft has a new strategy to engage its users. Their tactic is to keep improving the experience bearing in mind the needs. Every month there are updates to the office suite, which are available to all Office 365 subscribers.
Be sure to subscribe to their youtube channel on the monthly updates.


Microsoft are not the only ones that cater to user needs. SOAP found some ADD IN ‘s , tools that you install on to your PowerPoint application, that can really enhance your productivity, by saving you time and effort, and make your presentations have a professional look & feel. Here are 6 tools that caught our attention and are useful.


Data Visualization is and should be a technique you should use to simplify those complex numbers that you really need to show, to make a strong statement. Sometimes the charts available by default on PowerPoint don’t really reach the goal you need. Here is an Add-In that can help you achieve the results you need.




ShapeChef provides access to a growing collection of high-quality PowerPoint graphics, charts, and icons.







Brings a collection of invaluable tools that improve productivity




Office Timeline



Office Timeline is the only Gantt chart and timeline maker software built for Knowledge Workers, right inside Microsoft PowerPoint. It easily produces elegant Gantt charts and timelines that no other application can match.





Easily make beautiful Gantt charts for important business presentations!

from Office Timeline on Vimeo.




The audience is one of most important elements of a presentation. Keeping them interested and engaged is the role of the presenter/ speaker. With this tool, you will not only engage, but make the audience part of the presentation, by giving them a role in real time. It requires no Hardware or software installation from the audience, rather than the devices they use or have in hand. See How it works by clicking the image below.








Those who had experience with Excel charts linking, know how time consuming it can be to create a chart in a specific slide. Aploris can be a solution to save time.

Office Mix

Everything you need to easily create and share interactive online videos and presentations.

If you are an educator or Office 365 subscriber it is free. Watch the video below to see how it works.




For more tips on presentations, visit our downloads page.


Or subscribe to our Mailing list to receive news and tips directly on your inbox.

Design Vs Happiness

Image above from Erik Voake for Fast Company


SOAP’s work is about solving problems. Mainly communication issues. What is the best way to convey this information? In which way can we deliver this chart, so people can understand this particular number or data and what it stands for?


One of SOAP’s resource is design. Which at its nature is about solving problems. Another resource that helps SOAP achieve results is storytelling, or the power of transforming the idea, message or content into a story that engages and transforms audiences.



SOAP came across this article from Fast Company about “How To Design Happiness”. What we took from it were the similarities, between the structure of creating / designing happiness – according to the experts from Disney, Lippincott and SoulCycle – and creating / designing an impactful and result orientated presentation.


Lippincott‘s Design Happiness Halo Theory





Reconstructing happiness is a three act structure: Anticipation, experience, and memory.



It’s all about creating anticipation first. The anticipation of of the experience is sometimes greater than the experience itself. It has to do with the core of being human, it goes back to the primitive skills, releasing dopamine , it´s in our hunting skills.


Just like in a presentation, the beginning of a presentation is the moment you have to grab your audience attention or interest in what you are about to show or tell.


Experience and Memory


Here is where it matters the most. But experiences are never perfect, because you can never control all the circumstances around it. So you’ll have a high moment and an end moment. Memory plays the highest role possible. Because what people will take is what will remain with them from the experience they lived.


Again, in the case of presentations, we call this moment “the Journey”. As a speaker you need to engage and make the message you are delivering a memorable one. One that sticks in people’s mind. That precise moment is the high moment that is mentioned on the paragraph above.


The article then goes deeper into the world of experience. Using Disneyland as an example.  It is important to build a transition from a real (unhappy) world to a world of discovery and happiness. At Disney and SoulCycle they call it the Portal. The best personification of this, is the tunnel you need to go through when entering Disneyland. (See image below).





Image Flickr user Georgio



A presentation should act the same as “the Portal” mentioned above. A successful presentation is one that transforms the audience. So remember this tip when creating your next presentation. Make them feel like by listening to you and watching your visuals they enter a world of transformation and discovery of a solution or information on the issues that matter to them.



Download this Ebook on Tips on focused audience presentations.




To read the full Fast Company article on How to design Happiness, click here.


You can subscribe to our mailing list here and download templates and e-books about presentations on this page.


Advertise, inform or share?


SOAP’s work is very hard to be defined in the communication industry. We are very proud of our work and the experience gained in these more than 12 years of existence.
We are an agency, but not your regular definition of advertising agency. We are consultants, but we work together with the client from the very first moment. We love to tell stories, but we bear in mind the effectiveness of the message behind it, making storytelling with results our core.

All the facts above, makes us a one of kind endeavour. Although gathering all the skills needed to excel as an agency, consultancy practice or storyteller, we know that what matters most is the message.



What defines an impactful presentation orientated for results?


Should it be like an advertising billboard? Should the content be data driven and inform the audience? Or should it have a narrative that captivates and engages people, compelling them share with others what they have learned from your presentation?



Advertising as known today is disruptive. From the very beginning, since it was first used, it’s role was to inform. With the advance of media, from print, to radio to TV it became persuasive. Digital transformation twisted the game. We know talk about formats and screens, and the media currency is now views, likes, advocates, trolls, community, and the most wealthiest of all engagement.



A good example of how much advertising has changed is the awarded youtube pre-roll video by geico. Yes, the best advertising didn´t even get to TV, Radio or Outdoor.







Information is crucial in any presentation. It should be the base of your content. As your audience is expecting to learn from your performance and presentation. So it is important that the data your present have some kind of value they can take with them. Bottom line is that you should include all the information needed to make your audience understand the message you’re delivering. AirBnB does this nicely.






The core of storytelling is sharing. What you are doing when telling a story is sharing an experience you had with others. What you took from that experience is what the people you are telling the story will grab to. The technique and usage should vary according to whom or who you are telling the story. Learn the different types of audience you can find on this Slideshare deck. Branded Storytelling is what Schweppes did. Click on the image to watch the video.






An effective Presentation should:


  • Impact – create slides like billboards direct messages supported by context visuals


  • Transform your audience – give them information they can learn from


  • Connect them with a narrative – tell your story in an engaging way


Advertise, inform and share.


For more tips and presentation templates, visit our downloads page.

Is your Message heard or seen?

It should be both


When we look back to the evolution of communication, from the ancient drawings on caves, to print, radio, TV and now mobile screens, there are common facts we can state. Message, words, language, visuals, and the list goes on. But, when the issue is effectiveness and results, two things come to mind: Message and visuals.

You can listen to a message, but it will be stronger if you attach a image to that message. It will become even stronger, if the message is emphasized with the visual.
Think of the Unicef adverts. They show us shocking images that stick in your minds even if we want do disregard them. That is how strong they are.


Their effectiveness is due to the emotional, rational and purpose of the message.


Getting into what we know best, presentations and their content are more effective when the usage of visuals are applied in a narrative of a story. (Storytelling)


Watch this example of Google, which have an entire youtube playlist of stories about using search. In other words, Google is using storytelling to promote a product.






60,000 TIMES Faster than TEXT


That is the number of times visuals are processed faster than text, which means that you can give effectiveness to your words with visuals. Our friends from Ethos3 created this infographic that give us some numbers to take in. People retain 80% of what they see, 20% of what they read and 10% of what they hear. Click the image below to see full infographic.






Now that you have some numbers to think about, take our advice and start using visuals, video, infographics and data visualization when delivering your message.


Here are some tools we created for you. Download them for free.



Slideshare is one of the most effective platforms for B2B and B2C. A lot of companies make the common mistake of just being on the platform and not taking full advantage of what the platform offers. Bearing that in mind, SOAP developed this ebook on how to make your presentations stand out .






And because we are talking about appealing visuals, here is an ebook on how to illustrate your presentations, in order to give you slides a more personal and fitted approach to your audience.




Make the audience your journey

Knowing to whom you are addressing your presentation is key to a successful and impactful presentation.


This should be the very first step before creating your presentation.



The keyword here, is empathy. Put yourself in the shoes of your audience. What would be interesting for them do discover from your content.


Does the message bring or give leverage to them? Is their time worth the attention they are committing to your presentation?






Before starting to create your next presentation…


Use this questions to get started on pinpointing your audience.



How big will the group be? Who will be absent?


The size of the group will affect the resources you will use on the presentation. Also, the absents may be key stakeholders on the subject, it is important that they can follow up the presentation.



What roles does your audience perform within the organization you’re presenting to? To whom are they accountable?


Knowing what they do and their responsibilities, can be used as leverage to create rapport. Take to account why the message you are delivering is important to them, and how it can be a solution. Making it the highlights of the content you are presenting.



What does the audience already know? What do people need to know?


Let the audience fill in the gap. Don´t state the obvious, doing so leads to the path of disconnection.


What are people likely to assume? Which of those assumptions are correct or incorrect?


Anticipating the assumptions will help you make better choices on the content and messages you’ll deliver.



How well does the audience know you?


Relationships are built on trust and credibility. If they don´t know who you are and what you are good at, you’ll need to build that trust in the room, tell them your story using a metaphor for a shared issue that you can give a solution to.



Will some attendees’ goals conflict with other attendees?


If this situation happens, try to explain early on, how what you offer can be used by both or different parties.



What type of presentations are your audience members used to?


It is important to know what will make your audience comfortable with. In case you are going a different route, you should be aware of what works with who, so you can lead the audience in an engaged way.



In this infographic by SOAP, here are some types of audience you can find.


8 Audience Profile Types you can Run into when Delivering a Presentation
from SOAP – State of the art presentations




Don´t forget to visit our free downloads page, for more tips and templates on successful presentations.


Technology tools you should know about


@SOAP we endorse technology as a mean to an end. We see all presentation tools, software included as part of an integrated system.


All experts have stated that it’s what you do with the tools that can enhance your final work. A lot of people blame PowerPoint for less successful presentations, mostly people building different tools or that have had bad experiences with it.

Think of the following analogy, when you have a white canvas and brush, aren’t we given the same tools as famous painter? Imagine Pablo Picasso, he could turn a napkin into art, given the same napkin to you, maybe, if you are inspired you too can draw what he has drawn, right? Why not? The tools are the same, maybe it will take you years, but with practice and if put your mind and will into it, you’ll make it.

Luckily, SOAP is here to help, and if you need help to enhance your communication, presentation or documents, just let us know, get in touch here.


In the meantime, here are a few gadgets that can help you on different scenarios.




Mobility is now synonymous to ubiquity, putting it in another words, you need to be anywhere without leaving your desk. Personify, can now help you do just that. Imagine the power of collaboration or co creation with online video on your desktop, just like a real time green screen.



Real Sense by Intel


We have wrote how Intel is changing the game of presentations, with their live demo strategy and also innovative products.


You can read on this post about this year disruptive presentation @CES 2016. Real sense is a software based on perceptual computing, that works with sensory input and movement-supported platforms.




ZTE Spro 2


Launched in 2015, it is your canvas on the go. This will allow you to always be ready to present anywhere. Technical issues on the conference room you are about to present? No worries, you can take your tool from the bag, and start projecting your presentation, from your phone. Always ready just became a reality.





A crowd-sourced product that can rise your productivity levels. It’s a computer mouse that also works as a scanner. Think of this scenario, that has happen to SOAP a million times when supporting our clients on site: Your client is about to go up on stage, but wants to improve this particular slide with a chart that is on a piece of paper. The solution? Grab the ZCAN mouse drag it around the piece of paper and it´s you’re editing tool canvas, ready to get edited. How much gravitas will you have?




This is the part of the post where “Minority Report” and “Back to future” seem like they were from the 19th century.



Is a presentation application that includes a wide variety of interactive media right inside your slides, without closing the application. You can find some more presentation apps on this post.




ConferenceCam Connect


Logitech came up with a mobility solution for your presentations and conference calls. It’s a device that can connect to your computer or smartphone and let’s you share video, voice and your presentation. See how it works on the video below.




To know more about impactful presentations, stay tuned to our blog or sign up to our mailing list, visit our downloads page for templates and ebooks with tips for successful presentations, performance and content.