On occasion business mapping customers and Map Business Online users get asked by their higher-ups to generate a presentation based on map views. That means it’s time for you to test your new map skills in front of your peers, and your executive team. Gulp.
Fear not! For as Shakespeare said, “Of those presenting to their King, none have fared better than the lowly cartographer – for he paints the world as the King would have it.” Ok. I made that up. But let’s imagine that’s how the Bard felt about maps. Maps are business intelligence. Map makers, therefore are keepers and communicators of business intelligence. So, show your peeps some intel.
You have two digital options for presenting map views to your executive team – use Power Point or some similar slide presentation software, or use Map Business Online itself. In either case I will reiterate my usual caveats:
• Keep the map simple – don’t try to over communicate
• Color code points to describe categories or classifications of things. Color code types of customers, products, or vendors. Do not color code individuals or store names which creates map clutter and invites derision or worse
• As a rule, import no more than four data layers per map and use different symbolization schemes to display each layer
• Use the map legend editing tools to cater to your audience. Your map should speak your audience’s language
In general, a chaotic map presentation that misses the mark means you won’t be asked back. A clean and simple map presentation that delivers the desired message(s) makes you look like a reliable authority. Maps are data visualizations. Maps clarify concepts through geographic display.
Embed Your Map Views in PowerPoint Slide Shows
Slide shows are effective ways to communicate business plans. Your map may show sales results, it may add value to strategic planning meetings, or it could show market statistics in support of product development plans. There are many reasons your boss wants a map. Slide shows, like PowerPoint, allow you to present map views in stages. Take advantage of this by building one to six map views that tell a developing story.
• Build several slides describing last year’s sales, year-to-date sales, and projected sales
• Create a series of slides that show existing customers, prospective customers, and then sales representative base or home locations
• Build maps that show product sales for 2014, new product inventories by store locations, and competitive product locations
Any of these slide show map views will contain a mix of your imported business data layers and map layers derived from the business mapping application. For instance, you’ll import your customer data, prospect data and competitor data while using the map application to display key demographic map layers, zip code maps, and city names.
Use your slide show tool to clearly state your discussion points. Then show a simple map slide that backs up your point. By using a text slide followed by several map slides in sequence, your audience will stay awake. Always keep text slides a brief as possible – avoid more than one line of text per thought. Keep your bullets limited to three, if you can.
If you find yourself editing paragraphs of text and adding more and more salient points, start over. Your presentation is going to fail. Do not do this:
• Write long and detailed lines of text that show how informed and smart you are
• Cram as many points into your slide as the slide parameters allow
• Try to impress your audience with all of the various aspects of your topic that you can list (Yawn)
• Create slides who’s content continues into the next slide
Instead do this:
• Be succinct
• Use 3 points/slide
• Focus on money (Bosses love that)
Use the Save Map Image to File button to create images for use in slide shows (that’s the globe with floppy disk icon to the right of the Print Button). I typically save my map view as a PNG file for use in PowerPoint, but Jpegs work too. Sometimes I’ll use the Print Screen keyboard button to copy my image and paste it into PowerPoint – but that captures everything on your screen. You could also use the Windows accessory Snipping Tool to grab images, and I have a subscription to SnagIt which comes in handy especially for video captures.
Using Map Business Online to Present
“Use the Force to present to your master, young padawan.” – Yoda on Swagellian, 2655
Ok I made up that one too, but if you are gaining confidence in your abilities using Map Business Online you could use the application in conjunction with the Force to present to your team. First, make sure you have a solid Internet connection. If not, go back to slide sharing.
Use Map Business Online to create the map you’d like to share. Use various data layers to make your series of points. Turn on one data layer at a time to describe each business point.
• Start with a map of your area of interest – perhaps a territory map
• In the Map & Data Tab click on the locations of all of your branches or stores – small circles on the map, perhaps color coded by product or type
• Now click on an imported data layer of your competitor locations
• Finally click on a heat map symbolized display of sales by location – that always wakes them up
Keep in mind, with any Map Business Online map you could utilize various administrative layers to color code and display different aspects of your business. Turn on zip codes for territory layers, and counties for a demographic median income view.
Microsoft still supports PowerPoint unlike MapPoint. MapBusinessOnline.com will provide even better PowerPoint presentation graphics than MapPoint. Map Business Online is web-based, maps for Mac or PC, and our data is updated regularly.
The Wrap Up
Regardless of how you do it remember:
• KISS – Keep it simple stupid
• Don’t try to solve all problems with one map. Consider one for sales, another for operations etc.
• Don’t drone on and on. Keep it lively.
• I sometimes insert random images in my presentations to wake up the audience. Here’s one that always worked. Feel fee to use it.
But remember, I’m not the one risking all in their map presentation, you are.
Let a digital map help you learn about your business
Contact: Geoffrey Ives firstname.lastname@example.org (800) 425-9035, (207) 939-6866