When I sit down with my clients to discuss their sales presentations, I often ask, “How long is your presentation?”
t used to shock me when they replied, “Twelve slides.” When I inquired, “How do you design your sales presentation?” it was dreadful to hear, “We get the slide deck.”
When you begin the process of designing your sales presentation by organizing your slides, you will sabotage what could be a great presentation. PowerPoint is a valuable visual aid, not a scripting aid.
Creating a compelling sales presentation is a creative process.
The technique is often messy and not set in stone until you have completed it. Your finished PowerPoint needs to be tidy and make a logical and compelling case of why your prospect is well served to do business with you.
My suggestion is to begin with a flip chart where you capture all the information you need to include.
Once you have the outline of your new, improved sales presentation structure, you can ask yourself, “Where do I need help telling the story?” How can you visually demonstrate what you’re saying? Charts, graphs, and diagrams are perfect in this medium. However, do not have too many words. This is not your leave behind. You are there to add the context.
If your slides are complex, break them down and reassemble them with “builds” in a way that simplifies and clarifies your message. Now, let’s dive into the best PowerPoint practices for maximum impact:
Use Fewer Words: It’s impossible for your audience to read and listen simultaneously. Consider using more slides with less content. They’ll be more effective if you use the “build” feature when introducing a talking point.
Direct Attention: If you want your audience to focus on a slide, guide their attention to it. If you’re telling a story or engaging the audience without needing the screen, turn it black with your remote control, or use the “B” key for Black on your computer.
Personalize: Make your prospects feel special. Did you incorporate their logo? How many slides are about them? Ensure your presentation doesn’t look like it could have been used for another company yesterday.
You Are Key: Visual aids are essential, but they don’t build relationships on their own. If you only emailed your PowerPoint to the prospective client, could you make the sale? Your personal touch is the most critical factor.
Leave Behinds: For complex presentations, create two versions. The one left behind should be for reading, while the one you present from can have more images and fewer words. Not everything on the slide needs to be said.
Be Consistent: Avoid inconsistency by sticking to a style throughout your presentation. Decide whether you’ll use capital letters at the beginning of each sentence or capitalize every important word, and maintain that consistency. I tell my clients to “Beware of random acts of capitalization.” I know you pull from different decks. That means having everyone in your company ALWAYS use the same rules.
Be Adaptable: No matter how impressive your PowerPoint is, be ready to deliver your message in the way your prospects prefer. If they say, “We’re tired of PowerPoint; can you just talk to us?” or “We would prefer you to whiteboard your ideas,” be prepared to switch gears! After all, you are a sales professional.
If you’re looking to enhance your sales presentations, Patricia Fripp can provide invaluable assistance.
In a world where your message must be memorable, your presentation powerful, and your sales successful, Patricia is your secret weapon. Let’s have a conversation.
Remember, you now have a new friend who is a presentation skills authority.
“Back in 2018, we invited you to help us with an important sales presentation, which we won. You will be excited to know that it continues to reap dividends! Last year, we were awarded $1.6 million in business with them. We just received a $2.8 million order from them already this year and it is still January. Your advice and coaching are awesome. What an ROI!” Michael E. Stryczek, President & CEO, AB&R® (American Barcode and RFID)
Need help for you or your team on improving important conversations and presentations? The Fripp Customized Approach will work for you. Contact Fripp today!