Make compelling presentations

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Presentation and communication skills are essential for all sales people and leaders. If you can not get your message across appropriately there is a risk people do not understand, or worse, not buying in to your ideas. Yet so many people ignore the value of professional presentations and settle for mediocre ones. Many people are looking down on PowerPoint presentation with comments as “The best sleeping pill” and “Death by PowerPoint” but I think it is too easy blaming a tool when the real problem is the operator.

When making a presentation one-to-many you need to master not only your personal communication including etos, logos, patos but also to make the best use of the tools available to enhance your message. I personally think that a whiteboard is a great tool to interact with a smaller group of people but I also think that PowerPoint (or Keynote or equivalent) can be of great service both in small and big groups, if you use it correctly.

Here are some rules for making compelling presentations in PowerPoint to a large group of people.

  • YOU are the star: This may sound obvious but the focus should be on you and you should use your PowerPoint presentation or any support just like that, a support.
  • Keep it simple: Focus on the key points in your speech and do not try to fit everything you want to say on the slides.
  • Use images: An image remains in memory of the audience much longer than text so use significant images that amplifies your message.
  • Reduce information as much as possible (but not more…): If you show slides with lots of text some people will try to read it blocking out everything you say, and others will give up and start thinking on ways to escape the situation.
  • Slides are free: If you absolutely need to show lots of information, do not try to fit it all on one slide. Slides are free so rather put one important piece of information on one slide each.
  • Make it fun: People ignore boring things so make sure the presentation is fun or emotional. PowerPoint is great for visualizing the story you tell and enhance emotions (warning, this goes both ways…).
As a sales man/women, you often hold presentations to a smaller group of people and in this situation some other rules apply and I will address this later on. 

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  1. Completely agree with you…
    Presentation tool + Presentation style and presenter’ personality all together make final effect on views…

    Waiting for next version as promised in end(i.e. presentation to small group of people)

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