Monday, May 05, 2008

More audience feedback on PowerPoint

I read this article in The Charlotte Observer today. It talks about what buyers dislike about how salespeople interact with them. One observation is that buyers don't like to sit through canned "lectures" of PowerPoint slides. Take heed of this observation. No audience, whether big or small, likes a presentation that is generic and read to them. What can you do?

If you are in marketing, don't create decks that you send to the sales force and expect them to deliver it as is. That approach doesn't work - for the sales person or the prospect. Instead, create a library of slides that the sales professionals can draw on in each situation to create the bulk of their presentation. Then, train the salespeople on how to create persuasive visuals for the 20-30% of the slides that need to be customized for each situation.

If you are in sales, stop reading prepared decks to prospects. Stop whining about the PowerPoint files that your marketing department produces. Work with the marketing staff to create a library of the common messages you need to deliver. Educate yourself on how to pick from that library and add new visuals to create a custom presentation each time. Commit the time to prepare each presentation properly with audience analysis so you can select the right messages for them.

The result: A consistently customized set of visuals that are delivered in a conversational manner. Prospects are engaged, ideas and solutions are shared and relationships are strengthened. Now isn't that what we all want?

Need to know how to create persuasive visuals? Check out and for books and training workshops.


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