Traditional Portfolios Are Heavy and Unwieldy
For the last 25 years I have taken scads of pictures of our work and compiled a very large portfolio — it is brimming with 8- x 10-inch pictures and weighs about 25 pounds ― to show my prospects.
The portfolio has become unwieldy to say the least. I have sorted the photos differently for different customers from time to time, and sometimes I couldn’t find the picture I wanted to show because of all my reshuffling.
But that has changed because now I have all my pictures indexed, duplicated and blown up to 8-1/2- x 11-inches — and my whole presentation only weighs 4.3 pounds! What’s more, I can find anything that I or a customer wants in seconds.
Electronic Slide Shows Are Responsive, Light ― and Easy to Create
All my pictures are now on Microsoft PowerPoint in my notebook computer. Even though I am not a computer jock, this is amazingly simple to do. (I also have the slideshow on my desktop in the office for prospects who come to the office.)
You can create a PowerPoint or similar electronic slide show. All you need are two things — a notebook computer with PowerPoint (or similar) software and a digital camera.
Use the digital camera to take pictures of your projects and products, download the photos to your computer and then create a slide presentation. I also have taken digital pictures of my old photographs using a desk lamp for light and a tripod on the desk to steady my camera. It works very well.
I have sorted my pictures into a several different files by category, for example:
- Doors, interior
- Doors, exterior
- Stairs; interior
Organize Your Presentation So You Can Show Customers What They Want to See
By organizing my presentation this way, I can bring it up and click from one relevant photo to the next with ease with just a couple of key strokes. The pictures are always in order, they don’t get lost or scattered and there are no fingerprints or bent edges to make them look ratty.
Most contractors have a notebook computer and digital camera these days, but they don’t take advantage of all the capabilities and flexibility the technology offers.
When creating a slide show presentation, be sure to save each different presentation as a separate file. You can use the same picture in several different files and presentations, you can have as many files as you want and they can contain as many pictures as you desire.
Remember, at the heart of it, creating an electronic slide presentation is quite simple:
- Take pictures.
- Load them into your computer.
- Open PowerPoint.
- Open the picture file.
- Click on a picture and hit the copy command.
- Go back to PowerPoint, click on the working panel and hit the paste command.
- Stretch your picture to fill the picture area.
- Bingo! You are done.
You will never have to lug around photographs again. You will be delighted with the ease and convenience of the electronic presentation because your work always will be instantly available. Most importantly, your sales process will be greatly enhanced by full screen color displays and images of your fine design and craftsmanship.
Edd Knight is president of EAK Knight Construction, Inc. of Carbondale, Ill. Knight has been a carpenter for more than 50 years, and during that time he has built several hundred homes and remodeled and repaired several thousand. He is currently the president of the HBA of Southern Illinois. For more information, e-mail Knight.
The NAHB University of Housing Offers Designation Programs and Other Courses
The NAHB University of Housing offers CAPS, CGR, CGB and a variety of other professional designation programs and business management courses that set builders and remodelers apart from the competition. To learn more about NAHB’s designation programs, visit www.nahb.org/designations. For a complete list of all current education offerings, click here.
Who Will Be the Next Remodelor™ of the Month?
The Remodelor™ of the Month (this link is accessible to Remodelors™ Council members only) award program is underway. Don't miss your opportunity to be named the Remodelor™ of the Month.
The program groups local councils from different states into designated months. There will be two “wild card” months that will allow the council’s members-at-large to participate in the program. A winner will be chosen each month and that winner will then be automatically included in the nominations for the Remodelor™ of the Year award.
This is a great opportunity for local councils and members to get involved and submit their “best of the best” members to compete with other councils. The national Remodelors™ Council will send out press releases and highlight each winner in ReNews, the Remodelors™ Council e-newsletter.
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