Are Your Slides Killing Your Sales?

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 SCI-PAB® 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

David Mears

David Mears

Formerly Chief Sales Officer at Mandel, David was responsible for the organization’s sales growth, as well as for key strategic global accounts. He is an expert in sales strategy development and execution and regularly consults with Fortune 500 companies about their sales strategy design and execution plans. Prior to his work with Mandel, David was an executive team member at BayGroup International, where he was involved in both internal and client-facing strategic project work. David has also held senior roles with Learning International.
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