Excellent is WIP

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.

WHAT IT DOES?

Presentations that merge impactful visuals with business Intelligence.

 

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HOW?

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.

 

before&after

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.

WORK

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.

 

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DOWNLOADS

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.

 

downloads

 

CONTACTS

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.

 

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BLOG

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.

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COMMUNITY

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.

 

2013PPT

 

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

 

 

G-Tools
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.

ParticiPoll

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.

 

PartiPoll

 

Aploris
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

 

lippincott

 

 

 

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

Anticipation

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).

 

 

 

Flickr_user_Gerogio

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.

 

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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.

 

storytelling_schweeps

 

 

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.

 

 

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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 .

 

slideshare-download

 

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.

 

illustrate

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?

 

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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.

Personify

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.

 

ZCAN WIRELESS

 

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.

Voiceboard

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.

PowerPoint Updates 2016

At SOAP PowerPoint is our core tool. We are always looking for improvement and productivity innovation.

 

So we will summarize in the following paragraphs what’s new in Powerpoint in case you missed it.
We also have developed an ebook with tips and useful information on Powerpoint 2013.
Just click the image to download it for free.

 

2013PPT

 

 

 

If you were not aware, with the launch of windows 10 Microsoft made a pivotal change in the way they do their OS updates. Microsoft made a commitment to update monthly their productivity offering. Meaning that the Office Suite, Word, Excel, Powerpoint in the 365 format, will have updates every month. We wrote a post about this new feature in this  post, in case you haven’t read it yet.

 

All these new features and updates are only available to 365 subscribers.

 

 

So, with no further ado here are the latest updates in the recent months in Powerpoint:

 

January

 

Real Time Presence

 

This feature allows co-creation of a PowerPoint file. This feature allows you to share your Powerpoint deck and work together in real time, if you are a 365 subscriber and use the OneDrive or Office 365 Sharepoint. You can now not only see when people are working in the presentation, you can also see in which slide they are working on.

 

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Ink Annotations

 

This feature is also present on Excel and Word. This was thought for touch enable devices but also works on desktop mode. You will now see a Draw Tab on the ribbon, where you can select inking styles and start making annotations directly in your files. In PowerPoint you can also convert your ink drawings to Shapes. That way you can get the freedom of free-form drawing with the uniformity and standardization of Office graphic shapes.

 

 

inkannnotations

 

 

 

Black Theme

 

 

You can mow change the theme to Black. This will apply to all the Office Apps. To change your Office themes, go to FILE » Account, and then click the drop menu next to the Office Theme.
black theme

 

 

 

 

November

Designer and Morph

Right before Christmas, Microsoft released 2 new productivity features. Designer and Morph. You can read in detail in our dedicated post about them, here. Or watch the video below to know how they work and they do.

 

 

Tell Me

 

PowerPoint 2016 has a text box on the ribbon that says “Tell me what you want to do”. This is a text field where you can enter words and phrases related to what you want to do next and quickly get to features you want to use or actions you want to perform.

 

Tell me_1

 

Tellme_2

 

 

Six new Charts Types

Knowing the importance of visualization in the art of storytelling, Microsoft added six new charts. When you go to Insert » Chart on the ribbon, you’ll now notice five new options dedicated to data visualization: Box and Whisker, Treemap, Sunburst, Histogram and Waterfall.

 

charts

 

Insights

 

You can now search the web without leaving the Office App you are working on. By right clicking a word or area, you can open the insights pane powered by Bing. Just select a word or phrase, right-click on it and choose Smart Lookup. You can also open the pane any time by going to review » Smart lookup and entering a query there.

 

 

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Ink Equations

 

 

It is now much easier to include equations on PowerPoint. Any time you want to include a complex math equation on your presentation, go to insert » Equation» Ink Equation. As all that it is developed after Windows 10, its mobile first, so if you are in a touch device you can use your finger or a touch stylus to write math equations by hand, and PowerPoint will convert it to text.
equations_1

equations_2

 

Screen Sharing

 

 

You can now include screen recordings in your PowerPoint Presentations with just a few clicks. Set up what you want to record on your screen, then go to Insert » Screen recording, and you will be able to select a portion of your screen to record or capture what you need, insert it directly into your presentation in one seamless process.

 

 

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Simpler sharing

 

This feature is also available for PowerPoint 2013 in the most recent update.
Choose the Share Tab on the ribbon to share your presentation with others on SharePoint and Onedrive, or OneDrive for Business.

 

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This features caught our attention, but there are plenty more to look for.

Timing is Leverage

Watch this Bill Gross Presentation with us.

 

 

 

Now, take this journey on analysing the links between a start up and a presentation. What called our attention to this TED Talk was the business side of it. Many of you are interested in the Tech and business side of companies, at least that is what our engagement metrics tells us.

 

Bill Gross is one of the founders of PIMCO (Pacific Investment Management Company), and named “The nation most prominent bond investor”. In his presentation, besides looking at his perfomance, the information was also interesting to watch. Thinking of the start up’s he mentioned, such as AirBnb , Uber, more than the funding and the business model, timing was the success factor. The same applies to presentations.

 

(click the image below for a free ebook on Time management)

 

time_mgt

 

The most successful product launch is considered to be the Iphone Keynote by Steve Jobs.  Yet again, the Timing factor was also important. There was demand for  3 features in one  product: music player, camera and phone in one. But the structure of the presentation was also around timing. And the way Steve Jobs performed helped build up the set up.

 

If we look at successful and impactful presentations, there are common factors to take in: Storytelling, visuals, emotions, empathy, engagement and timing.

You need to lead your audience to your goals.

 

In order to that, you must get to know who, what interests the audience you will interact with. Find right the story you can tell for them to relate to, conduct your content in ways to make it brief, clear and objective, set up the AHA! Moment to allow to the both of you – Presenter and audience – reach the goal (what you want your audience to retain) at the same time.

 

Once again timing here is priceless. Like the factors in the start up’s Bill Gross studied, ideas, team, funding, the business model’s are all key factors, but the one thing that pushed success and guaranteed impact was the timing. Much like in a presentation, to know where to apply the AHA! Moment in your presentation is the timing factor.

 

Head to our downloads page for more tips and information on presentations.

 

Invest to get invested

The demand for Presentation Pitch Decks has risen in last few semesters. It has become obvious to us at SOAP that the market is changing.

Luckily it is what we have endorsed since we started this business, 12 years ago.

We must be clear, precise and simple with our message. The overall investor has no time to make too many questions, nor is he interest in your qualities. He is in it for himself.

 

 

Check out these two ebooks we developed with the business pitch in mind. Click the images to download them free.

 

proposal approval

 

getting a yes

 

 

Knowing what keeps him interested, what are the goals he would like to get on board with you, or gaining his trust are key factors. So what should the presentation you are pitching say? What is the structure, the type of content and illustration that should be on your deck? Will I be ready for the questions? And what about the tough questions? What should my aim be?

 

To answer this questions and go even a bit further, we will write down some tips of what we’ve learned so far.

The very first thing you should have in mind is that you need a presentation. A killer one. And now for the biggest tip of all: It should be an open presentation. Meaning that you’ll need to add to it, twitch it, adapt it , bearing in mind that every time you pitch it, you’ll need to take the stuff that doesn’t work out, and point out and re-inforce the one’s that do work.

 

 

According to the authors of the book “Get backed: Craft your story, build the Perfect Pitch Deck, and launch the venture of Your Dreams”, Evan Baehr and Evan Loomis, there are 10 Building block slides that you should have:, and that we at SOAP agree on:

 

  1. Overview

Here is where you do your elevator pitch. In one sentence and image, people should be able to see, read and understand what your idea, business or start up will solve for people and what it stands for. Think 140 characters.

 

  1. Opportunity

Describe the differentiation you are bringing to the market / Industry, and how you can get growth potential.

 

  1. Problem

Show how people are experience the issue and how the market is dealing with it. Why it exists, how emotionally painfully it get’s. The main key here is to show how any company or business with the ability to solve a problem is a great investment.

 

  1. Solution

Now that you pointed out the problem, it is time to show how you can solve the problem. Here is an opportunity to step out of the presentation and do a demo, if it is a prototype, or a video. Be sure to show the key features.

 

  1. Traction

You need to have something up your sleeve. Knowing your numbers, such as growth and sales, will make more good than harm. One thing that investors don´t want to feel is that the venture needs them to succeed. Your audience will more likely believe in your success, if you prove they are missing out for not being part of it.

 

  1. Customer

Describe your customer and target. Show the investor you know your buyer persona. Show them how they are handling the problem you are trying to solve.

 

  1. Competition

Whatever the customers are doing by themselves is your competition. Ideally you’ll try to map it with alternatives solutions compared to yours, in such ways like price, access, speed or quality.

 

  1. Business Model

Detail your cost of customer acquisition. You‘ll need to show that you are able to acquire customers for less than a third of their lifetime value. Do projections about cash flows, and different scenarios for different outcomes, in pricing decisions and revenue.

 

  1. Team

Who is going to pull this off. Run the skills, strengths and uniqueness of them all, and what they bring to the investment.

 

  1. Use of funds

How much are you asking for and what are you going to do with it. You’ll need to be straight to point and clear with your intentions.

Just know that this is the most important slide of your presentation. You need to show how you are going to reach profitability, or the next investment.

 

Like we said in the beginning, this deck is and should always be a “work in progress” learning and adding as you go from one pitch to another.

 

You should have extra slides, with answers for the questions they may throw at you at any given minute, like the branding side, the supply chain, in depth bios for the team, and your exit strategy.

 

For more information and tips on presentations visit our downloads page.