Are you and your teams giving effective PowerPoint sales presentations? Or are you guilty of putting audiences to sleep?
While sales professionals have the best intentions, poor sales presentations often stems from poor planning. It’s not that you are intentionally abusing your audience. But habits, norms and standards could be contributing to unpersuasive presentations-and equally dismal sales results.
If you even have a hunch, inkling or a gut feeling that presentation planning could be improved, you owe it to yourself to take action. Action starts with investigating the current practices for designing sales presentations.
Here are a few things to avoid in sales presentation design.
• Poorly structured stories
Killer stories are well-structured stories. If you’re noticing a rampant barrage of stories that don’t go anywhere, you have a clear problem. Your staff doesn’t understand how to build a story from the ground up.
• Multiple messages
Sadly, many PowerPoint presentations suffer from lack of clarity. You’ve seen it. Multiple messages do not focus an audience. They just produce a fuzzy blur. People aren’t sure what the point was.
• Bullet-point insanity
Showing everything in a vast ocean of bullet points is a recipe for distraction. Audiences struggle to connect with the key concepts. But they get lost in the endless onslaught of bullet points.
• Too much data
Some presenters redirect their information into different types of data charts. From pie charts to plotted lines…it can still overwhelm the audience without revealing any insights.
• Random illustrations
Seeking to balance all the bullet points, some professionals drop in photos, illustrations or cartoons at random. This might provide some visual relief…but it misses the point. Clip art is used by millions of presenters. Reusing illustrations that the audience has seen already contributes to boring presentations.
• Graphic clutter
A few presenters err on the other side of the spectrum. Graphics rule. Tons of charts, diagrams, photos, and examples for every single slide. This is different…but not an improvement.
Visual abuse throws the audience into a confusing swirl without telling a clear story.
What can you do differently to avoid alienating your audience? Transform the conversation. Use intelligent stories to structure your slides. Organize your message with pictures and words-so everyone instantly sees the point.
It’s not the fault of the software. It’s how we’re using it.
If you want to give dramatic and effective presentations with PowerPoint, use these few principles.
Transform The Story
Use a clear structure to organize your presentation story. Working with a presentation storyboard is one of the fastest ways to go from ideas to finished story. Even if you’re insanely busy and your presentation is in an hour, sketching out your essential flow will help you present with clarity and confidence.
Shift To Conversation
Tell and show your story. Make time for people to contribute ideas, share experiences and add to the discussion. While many professionals are schooled in one-directional presenting, expectations have changed.
Today’s audiences expect and demand interaction. If you’re used to presenting without encouraging participation, questions and exchanges, it’s time to stretch. Add interaction into the equation.
There’s nothing quite so boring as everything looking the same. If you’re in an organization that relies on PowerPoint presentations, stretch the envelope. Try different layouts. Experiment with unique ways to show information.
If everyone is using lists and bullet-points, take a different tack. Show your information with photos, pictures and diagrams.
If you have the opportunity, stretch even more. Insert a whiteboard conversation into the mix. Show a prop or model to explain ideas. Add variety within your slides…and within your entire choice of media.
Get Objective Feedback
Sometimes it’s challenging to stand out when the norms and standards are deeply entrenched. That’s when it’s smart to reach out and get objective feedback. Talk to a presentation coach. Talk to colleagues in other fields.
Find out what people are doing in other businesses, industries and organizations. The more you see what’s going on, the more you’ll recognize opportunities.
Designing effective PowerPoint sales presentations helps you stand out. The more you discover how to give exceptional presentations, the more you can expect to achieve phenomenal results.