Can you get a hotel upgrade with nothing but a PowerPoint Presentation?

By August 28, 2017Graphic Design

I attempted the unthinkable – I produced a PowerPoint Presentation to convince a hotel that I was worthy of a room upgrade…


Every year I attend the marcus evans CMO Summit on the Gold Coast, Australia. It’s one of the few Summits our agency sponsor, as I feel we can talk directly to marketing teams in a practical and realistic way. It’s also an opportunity to have fun with industry peers, network and enjoy the RACV Royal Pines Resort facilities.


This year, we’re been blogging a lot about improving design in PowerPoint and practical approaches to print, animation and interactive design within the context of PowerPoint. As I was thinking about this on the flight to the Gold Coast, I wondered if there could be another approach. Can we discuss the practical success of using PowerPoints, both in business and life? On a business level, I think the impact of great presentation design is underappreciated when you think of the prevalence and design making power that hangs in the balance of a critical presentation. After all, behind almost every critical decision there is a PowerPoint. It may not be in the final meeting, but within two meetings back you’ll almost certainly find a PowerPoint that justifies the decision to be made. It’s like the theory of the 7 degrees of separation, only shorter… and in PowerPoint.


PowerPoint presentations literally influence every aspect of your business life and a great deal of your personal life too. They are one of the most powerful tools of persuasion you’ll ever have.


As a light-hearted way to demonstrate this, I decided to try my hand at convincing the front of house staff from RACV Royal Pines that I was worthy of a room upgrade. To fully convince them of my dedication and attention to detail, I produced a PowerPoint presentation for them. Now to give you a full disclosure of the event, I am not affiliated, a member of, or even known to RACV Royal Pines. I was just a guy with kick-ass PowerPoint.

Here it is, section by section, along with my notes:

Hotel Upgrade from Synapsis Creative on Vimeo.


Welcome and Agenda section:


The PowerPoint Presentation structure:

Positive claims, relief of negatives, personal tie-in, business tie-in, opportunity. This structure works well for a short narrative that builds in benefits to reinforce a final opportunity.  The knack was turning an upgrade into an opportunity for the business and the person behind the counter themselves – it was focussed on the audience.


Deep Dives to each structural claim:


The Graphic Design methodology:

A simple list-build reinforces the sense of progression and motion – we’re moving inevitably towards ‘something’. I kept the content light, but the visual messaging was one of multiples, building on multiples. Why not a covered list? I wanted to keep it prompt, building towards an end goal (the end of section or end of presentation) is easier to comprehend than if I had listed each item without reference to the full list and our progression in it. For precisely the same reason people are more inclined to click on articles that contain a number (5 reasons to… 6 things you didn’t… etc). Because they know there are only 5/6/x to get through. A list-build works the same way – here are the 5 reasons, let me talk briefly on each.


The result:

The PowerPoint Presentation was watched at various points by multiple curious members of the team and joined by the Hotel Duty Manager.  The result was an enthusiatic upgrade to the RACV Royal Pines Executive Spa Suite. It’s a delightful room and really did make my entire stay – I was also sure to fulfil all of my commitments I had agreed upon in the presentation.

As a relevant note – I highly recommend the hotel – it is filled with genuine, helpful and delightful team members who will go out of their way to make sure your stay is enjoyable. After my most recent stay, I can’t recommend them highly enough.


Want to try your hand at getting an upgrade at your next hotel visit?

Download the FREE Room Upgrade template:


Give it a go – you never know how far a good PowerPoint will take you in life.


Tom Howell

About Tom Howell