We live in a global market. We might all be in the same business, but we sure aren’t in the same culture. To this end, we must overcome cultural borders to build global businesses. This way, you can secure international partners by showing appreciation for their cultures. You can also seem more professional if you show cultural awareness, attracting more business to you.

Below are four ways you can achieve this for yourself:

1 – Be Mindful of Cultural Colours

Did you know that in Chinese culture, drawing a green hat on a person means they’re cheating on their partner? Colours represent emotion, superstitions and sentiment across all corners of the world. If you want to progress in the international market, you must study the cultural colour spectrum.

Let’s continue with Chinese culture, as the country is an incredibly important avenue for international business. In Chinese culture, the colour red represents celebration. You should employ a red colour scheme if you are creating a product launch or posters for a Chinese audience. Also, never use white in a PowerPoint presentation to Chinese clients! Chinese culture associates white with death, similar to Western culture associating black with death. It is important to avoid triggering negative associations if you want your presentations to be positive.

If you want a powerfully positive PowerPoint for a Chinese audience, put your graphics in yellow! Chinese culture associates that colour with health, prosperity, and harmony.

cultural, 4 Ways Your PowerPoint Presentation Can Overcome Cultural Borders

 “Pantone Colour Wheel Poster” by Sarah Moore, available here

2 – Attract International Attention With Animation

Animation is a global language. Why describe what you can show? Animations make it easy to convey your core message, and good presentation designers use different angles and fast moving images to quickly tell a story. Presentations can create a particular focus without the need for words or pictures. On that note, GIFs can get your company into the global market by communicating complicated concepts clients who speak different languages. This broadens your audience, and breaks down cultural boarders between you and your business partners.

“World Map GIF” by GIPHY, available here

3 – Conscious Graphics

As well as with animation, you must be culturally aware when designing still graphics. Only so much information can be understood from an image. If your client gets the wrong message, there’s no other information there to make them see you meant well.

As an example, it is offensive to eat or give money with your left hand in many Middle Eastern countries. If you are presenting to the growing Middle Eastern market, you must tweak your designs to follow these cultural norms and keep valuable clients.

You should also be conscious of diversity when designing avatars that represent people. To build a global audience, your brand must be politically correct. You must also show that you adhere to the social norms of international markets. This way, your culturally sensitive content will encourage positive audience feedback.

 

4 – Be Aware of Words

When you use words in your design, you should be careful. Slang words used in Western culture may seem abrupt and offensive to foreign audiences. Keeping familiar with the impact of words will show your client that you understand their values and audience. It may be worth employing a professional content writer who uses culturally aware, industry-specific language.

If you’ve done this and don’t know if your message will be well received, give your text a supporting graphic.

As you can see, it’s well worth working with presentation designers who work with international clientele. Want a presentation that’s perfect for your international audience? Contact us to see what we can do for you!

 

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3 Comments

  • Alessandra says:

    Interesting post! I don’t understand why you write that a graphic in green is ok given the information in the post you link that associates green with a negative meaning…

    • Tom Howell says:

      Hi Alessandra,
      You’re right, this was a typographic error, the intended colour for harmony, wealth and prosperity is yellow. Article has been amended to reflect this.

  • dagoberto says:

    Thanks! And thanks for sharing your great posts every week!

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