Deliver an Outstanding Powerpoint Presentation

How to deliver an

"Outstanding Powerpoint Presentation"

OutstandingPowerPoint

What to do, and what to avoid

Ever heard the term “Death by PowerPoint?” This has become a common way to describe the lack of interactivity and boredom engendered by slide presentations. Some trainers have gotten away from PowerPoint presentations saying that they take away from the OutstandingPowerPoint2sales persons ability to communicate effectively. We, on the other hand, have always endorsed PowerPoint type presentations. When done correctly they can be a wonderful asset that helps stimulate the client’s need for visual explanations. Here a few guidelines to remember next time you are delivering a visual presentation. Keep in mind that there are more ways to do a slide show than PowerPoint. Keynote 2010 for Mac is outstanding and now there are many online services that will help you build a great presentation. Either way the following 14 discoveries will help you build a winning presentation.


#1: LIMIT BULLET POINTS

Your presentation should be much more than just a list of bullets – it should be a compelling visual narrative OutstandingPowerPoint3designed to showcase your products and services and how they deliver unique value. Nothing, and I mean nothing will, put your clients in a coma faster than bland bullet points. Although there are times when you will need them, it is imperative that you keep them to a minimum. When you have to have them, set up your powerpoint graphics to bring them up one at a time (on the click). When they come up, use your own personality to communicate the message. #2: SLIDES ARE NOT CUE CARDS

The outcome is to insure that your audience listens to YOU! As with bullet points, there can be a temptation to put too much information on one slide. Resist the temptation to write excessively long points. Write just enough to remind yourself of what you should say.


#2: SLIDES ARE NOT CUE CARDS

The outcome is to insure that your audience listens to YOU! As with bullet points, there can be a temptation to put too much information on one slide. Resist the temptation to write excessively long points. Write just enough to remind yourself of what you should say.


#3: BECOME A GREAT STORYTELLER

Tell a story that is compelling. Visual aids can be used to make you and your story come to life. Tell the classic “rags to riches” story. These tend to inspire. Stories about clients who were great people but had a OutstandingPowerPoint4major challenge. Years later these nice people began using your products and services and today (click to the next slide) they are prosperous. Smiles all around! Great stories not only inspire people but they also compel people to take action.


#4: KNOW YOUR CONTENT

With the visual storytelling approach, it’s essential that you immerse yourself in the content. Why? Because you will want to rip though your slides at a pace that is interesting. Therefore the content needs to be in your head. It is a good idea to sit in front of your computer and give your presentation to yourself. This will empower you with the ability to make your clicks at the perfect time. Master the visual flow of the presentation and you will have clients that rave about you and your offering. Note: PowerPoint (and other software) has an option to record your voice onto your presentation. We do not recommend using this option, however this can be a great tool when rehearsing your presentation. It gives you the ability to playback your slideshow and experience what the client is going to see and hear.


#5: GET NEW CLIP ART

Avoid using the images supplied with PowerPoint; most people in your audience have seen them already. With today’s technology, you can get new and fresh images. This also communicates to your prospects that you put some time and effort into your presentation. At a subconscious level, the client will feel compelled to give you strong consideration. Note: When adding pictures, remember that images will become blurry when viewed from a distance. Make sure that your pictures are of good quality and will not show pixilation.


#6: AVOID THE “CLICK…TALK….CLICK…TALK…” PATTERN

One of the biggest mistakes we commonly see when watching a slideshow presentation is the annoying habit the speaker gets when they click the slide, wait for it to come up and then begin talking. At some point they finish what they’re saying, look up at the screen, click the button and then once the image comes up, they begin the process over. Instead, we train our speakers to present in a continuous fashion. Slides should be changing in mid sentence. This keeps the pace going and keeps a positive flow of images that help support your points.


#7: SLIDES ARE FREE, SO USE A LOT OF THEM

We have been criticized for giving this advice in the past. Most presenters take the “less is more” approach. The most generic advice given is to useStickman-holding-free-slides one slide for every 5 minutes of speaking. We couldn’t disagree more. By that logic a 15 minute presentation would only have three slides. This creates an environment ripe for customer coma. Why put your audience through something like that? People are bored with this bullet point type of presentation. Our 15 minute presentations will have as many as 30 slides. If you follow step 6, this is NOT too many slides.


#8: USE MUSIC

Have a song loaded on your title page. As your clients enter the conference room they will be instantly taken back by the fact that you were audacious enough to put in some warm up music. This is the kind of thing that we have seen bring a group to life. They will rarely admit it and sometimes even kid you about it. With that said….DO IT ANYWAY! It puts them in a great mental state (use your better judgment as it relates to volume).


#9: USE VIDEO

OutstandingPowerPoint5Be careful here. While we are huge proponents of using video, sometimes your footage isn’t always compatible with your client’s computer. Whenever possible, use your own computer so that you know your video will work and load quickly. Nothing is worse than sitting there fiddling with your computer, while your audience begins to look at the clock. With that said, VIDEO IS A MUST! Video testimonials are great. Showing your products or service in action is even better. There are times that we will even use funny clips from movies that are relevant to the situation at hand. These clips can lighten the mood and prepare your clients to enjoy the presentation.


#10: BACK UP YOUR BACK UPS!

You should have two different copies of your PowerPoint file. You should also bring two laptops to every presentation. Technology fails as often as it works. Get to your location early and get set up. When getting prepared, you might notice something is not working. It is much better to have a back up file or even a back up computer to plug in. You can always fix the problem later. Trying to figure out why your slides are running slow ten minutes before your presentation will create too much stress for everyone involved.


#11: TRANSITIONS

PowerPoint allows for a variety of slide transitions and animation features. Many of these will allow your words and phrases to fly in, spin, implode and do a cartwheel while on fire. It is almost never appropriate to use them. If the audience has never seen a PowerPoint presentation before, they will ooh and aah at the little graphic effects. If the audience has seen one before, they will groan at your attempt to look cool. When choosing an effect, find one that is moderate and use it throughout the presentation. This will give your presentation a uniform flow. CAUTION: If you ever use the “random transition” or “random animation” options, you should be taken out and shot! In other words…..avoid these options at all cost.


#12: SOUND EFFECTS

Yeah, don’t use these either. They are tacky and look so 1998.


#13: END ON TIME

Your clients will appreciate it.


#14: LEAVE THEM WANTING MOREOutstandingPowerPoint6

Be prepared to field questions at any time, even before you ask “Any questions?” If you are asked to do a 20 minute presentation, ask “Any questions?” and shut up when your stopwatch hits 15 minutes. If the presentation is scheduled for 30 minutes, take 20. Leave something behind so that your audience feels compelled to ask questions.

Remember the power of curiosity (see our article on “Monkey Business”). Use these guidelines to form your next great presentation. Once complete, shoot us an email and let us know how it went: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Have a great week of influence!

 

WANT TO DISCOVER MORE?StickmansignPI600

We teach a more indepth version of this topic in our certified course "Professional Influence." You might have already heard that our trainers will actually show you how to formulate "contrast options" into your specific products and services.  You may already know, by now, that employers are attracted to people that are different, new and unique.  Today we have overwhelming scientific proof that sales people that differentiate themselves from the crowd are more successful.  They are more likely to close that sale, get that promotion and have longer lasting relationships. 

Show your employer that you are deadly serious about reaching the companies goals.  Increase your income and line yourself up for the next big promotion.  All of this can and will be achieved when you enroll in the "Professional Influence Certification Course." 

Upon successful completion of this course you will become CERTIFIED!  Your certification goes on the "BIO" page and is registered with the INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDIES OF PROFESSIONAL INFLUENCE (ISPI).  As you read through this you may begin to realize that a link to this bio page can also be a powerful part of your resume. 

Are you ready to take your game to the next level?  If so email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  For more information about this and other certification courses simply click here.

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