Death by PowerPoint is real.I hear it from sales executives and B2B buyers all the time: “PowerPoint presentations do more harm than good.”
The problem may be even bigger than you think, considering that PowerPoint is installed on one billion computers and an estimated 30 million presentations are delivered every day.1
Could your team's poor use of slideware be killing your sales?The stark truth is that too many slide-supported sales presentations end up feeling the way this humorous version of the Gettysburg Address does.
The message may be strong, but the delivery is appalling.
Avoid "Death by PowerPoint" with these 3 tips.Here are three things any sales professional can do to prevent slides from killing sales opportunities.
(1) Work on your message before you work on your slides.
This quote from Military Times on the move to eliminate PowerPoint field use puts it well:
"Our problem with the tool is that people make slides before they have a clear idea of what problem they're trying to solve. . . . If you can't communicate your ideas, it doesn't matter what tool you use." 2
To make more effective use of slides, start by clarifying and organizing your message. Mandel clients find SCIPAB® to be a simple, powerful tool for accomplishing this.
(2) Emphasize your executive presence more than your slide content.
Great presentations owe their success to a compelling delivery by the presenter — and not to slide content.
Some of the most powerful moments in a presentation are "Control-B" moments, or when a presenter temporarily blacks out his or her screen to refocus the audience's attention solely on him or her.
What’s the lesson for sales professionals?
Delivery matters even more than your slides, so work hard to improve your executive presence.
Learn how to use posture, movement, gestures, pausing, vocal intonation, and eye contact to communicate credibly and with conviction.
(3) Put your presentation on a diet.
Science has proven that people can’t give full attention to more than one thing at the same time.
If customers have to read your slides, they won't be able to pay full attention to you and what you're saying. This is why it's crucial to avoid using a massive PowerPoint stack as a presentation crutch.
Instead, cut back dramatically on the number of slides you use. Keep only the info you believe is critical to your audience's understanding.
Your goal? Maintain your prospect's focus on you and your message. Encourage more conversation than presentation whenever you interact with potential customers.
Deliver more powerful, precise, and persuasive presentations. Would you like to learn more about how your sales team can improve the impact of their presentations? Watch the video: Mandel’s 5 + 1 Slide Strategy™.
1 The Washington Post. "PowerPoint Should Be Banned." 5/26/2015
2 Military Times. "Carter to Brass: Nix the PowerPoint, speak up instead." 2/23/2015
Customers coming to a user conference aren’t there for the fanfare, they’re there for the expertise. If you’re an expert speaking at a user conference, you’re highly knowledgeable and passionate about your topic, but you might not be an expert at speaking in front of an audience. Here are five practical tips that you can implement right away for any upcoming speaking event.
Read the blog and learn how to make your next team offsite your most productive yet.
TED Talks have become a go-to example for how to give an engaging presentation from the big stage. They can be informative, inspiring, and often incredibly entertaining. But is the TED Talk format right for a business presentation delivered in a conference room? Probably not — but the skills used by TED Talk presenters definitely are!
Learn how to identify what goes into a successful TED Talk and how to make those skills work for you in your everyday business presentations.
Learn Mandel’s 3-step model for skillfully responding — not reacting — to tough questions with confidence and ease.
You know your scientists, engineers, and technology experts are the best around. They're proven innovators and solution providers within your organization. Why, then, is presenting to a business audience such a common challenge for technical professionals?
Learn 11 tactics your technical team can use right now to make them more effective and influential communicators for any business decision maker.
Admittedly, I've struggled to find a reliable way to help people reduce their public speaking anxiety, despite years of trying. I’ve advised people to do just about anything I could think of that might help, e.g., breathing, meditation. While I haven't found the thing that works every time for every person, there is one technique that seems to be more effective than most. Even if you've already found something that works well for you, this technique is worth trying out.
Imagine being asked to present to your entire company tomorrow. Does the idea of it make you nervous? You might be tempted to get right to work, writing every word down and committing them to memory. Now, what if I said you couldn’t memorize your talk? Whoa, wait a minute. You wonder, “How am I supposed to remember what to say?”
Find out why memorizing is a terrible idea and what you should do instead to prepare for your next presentation.
Be sure to set your speakers up for success. Read this week's blog to find out how.
Read this week's blog to learn the secret ingredient to Nobel Laureate success. (Hint: It’s not just that they're smart!)
Executive briefings. Big sales meetings. Project pitch meetings. What do they have in common? The stakes are sky high. There’s a lot riding on them for you and your company — revenue, reputation, productivity. Do your people have, both, the presentation AND facilitation skills to ensure their success?
Read the blog to find out and to get your free Discussion Leader Self-Assessment Tool and Facilitator Checklist.
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