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The fact that “death by PowerPoint” has become a well-known quip in the business world says something about the state of people’s PowerPoint presentations. 

While PowerPoint is an incredible business tool, it’s often misused by users who crowd their slides with too many words or distracting designs. They know the basics, but have yet to tap into the lesser-known PowerPoint tricks that can take a presentation from good to great.

This post originally appeared on HubSpot’s Sales Blog. To read more content like this, subscribe to Sales.

I don’t know about you, but my calendar is one of the most valuable tools I use.

Between calls, meetings, lunches, trainings, outings, and events, I rely on my calendar to keep me organized — and sane.

“I read a thing that actually says that speaking in front of a crowd is considered the number one fear of the average person. I found that amazing. Number two was death. That means to the average person, if you have to be at a funeral, you would rather be in the casket than doing the eulogy,” jokes Jerry Seinfeld.

And it’s true. Experts estimate that 75% of the population has some level of anxiety regarding public speaking.

78% of holiday shoppers used the internet to research gifts last year, and 40% of all holiday shopping happened online, according to Google’s data and research from the 2014 holiday season.

That means a lot of eyes are going to be on your website in the upcoming weeks. The smartest marketers will prepare for this not only for by prepping their website for higher-than-normal traffic on the back end, but also by giving their website design a dose of holiday cheer.

Whether you’re designing your website, a product, or another part of your business, great user experience is a key to creating value for your customers. Designing with your user in mind from the very beginning will not only make your customers happy, but it will help grow your business.

For example, StubHub saw a 2.6% increase in purchase rate when they replaced a text link with a button. Zillow boosted their conversion rate by providing geographic context to home listings.

Here at HubSpot, we know a thing or two about webinars. We’ve set the Guinness World Record for largest online marketing seminar, hosted webinars with partners such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Unbounce, and we’re able to host and promote in-house because of the modern marketing team we’ve built.

No matter how great the content of your webinar is, though, it doesn’t mean much if there’s nobody there to hear it.

It’s no secret that visual content is dominating the social web right now. Facebook’s News Feed update that made images much larger and more visible is a great example of this. After all, people are naturally more attracted to images than they are to text — making visual content highly shareable and engaging.

Posting compelling visual content is one of the most important things you can do to improve your social media strategy.

The malls are decked with holly, your inbox is filling up with holiday-themed promotions, and you’ve deemed it socially acceptable to start listening to your favorite holiday playlist on Spotify … or maybe that’s just me. 

Either way, the holiday season is here, and marketers are gearing up to finish off the year strong. But just like shopping for gifts, planning your holiday campaign is something you don’t want to shove off until the last minute.

Ever find yourself with a ton of ideas that you don’t know what to do with? You can picture what you want to do in your head, but you don’t have the technical skills to actually execute on them.

You need a developer — someone with the expertise required to take all of your grand plans and actually turn them into something.

Taking a great idea and turning it into a real, functioning, successful business requires quite a bit of work, sweat, and coffee. 

There are documents to be signed, prospects to be called, emails to be sent, and tweets to be posted. In other words, there’s never a shortage of tasks on your plate on any given day.

Whenever I’m watching a movie and I see a case of really obvious product placement, I can’t help but roll my eyes. 

But product placement is everywhere, from the famous Mini Cooper car chase in the 2003 film The Italian Job to the cans of Mountain Dew rewarded to the winning team on CBS’s television series, Survivor.

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