Death by PowerPoint! We all dread creating PowerPoint presentations and having to sit through them. I don’t think anyone in the business world gets excited to give or listen to marketing presentations, hence that infamous phrase. There are newer and more interesting programs like Prezi and SlideShare, but PowerPoint is still the simplest to use and most recognizable. They’re not glamorous but they are useful; presentations are still a very effective sales tool and in-person marketing is the most effective tool for B2B companies. Here are the top tips we use at W-Squared for turning any common presentation, such as a product pitch or company overview, into a more interesting and effective tool for educating an audience and driving sales.
- Re-purpose Information – This may sound like a given, but don’t try and reinvent the wheel. You already know and have most of the information you’re going to present, whether it’s from the company website, sales sheets, a business plan, etc. Be resourceful and select the most interesting and valuable information from existing content. You need to be compelling from the start with an enticing introduction and valuable information. But most of your information already exists, you only need to gather and rewrite it for the specific target audience.
- KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid! Simplify the content wherever possible. No matter how amazing or revolutionary your product is, nobody wants to be inundated with overwhelming data and they won’t remember it all anyway. Remember that most of the presentation should be vocal, so the slides should have clear, concise statements and you can fill in the gaps with your speech. Once the presentation is written, go back through it and ask yourself “are these the most important facts I want the audience to remember?” Go back through it 2-3 times cutting content that way so the text on-screen is minimal. The average attention span is only 8 seconds so visuals will help tremendously – do not place 20 bullet points in pure text on every slide! Use images and different font sizes to keep it interesting.
- End with a clear CTA – Make sure you sell presentations at the end! Most live presentations end with the contact information of the presenter, but the audience is likely to visit your website and social media after the meeting. Give them an immediate Call to Action so there is no time for doubt and you get viewers into the company sales funnel right away. The Call to Action should be direct and convenient, such as “We’ve prepared the contract and are ready to get started,” “Reserve your spot now,” or “For more tips, subscribe to our newsletter.” A passive conclusion can detract from the overall presentation and lose leads.
- Use Marketing Agility – Once you’ve finalized the presentation, you can modify and recycle parts of it repeatedly to get even more value. For example, we have many clients that print the presentation as a nice booklet or summary sheet as a leave-behind. Or you can screenshot some of the main slides for inclusion in an email campaign or social media pages like LinkedIn and Twitter. Place sections of the presentation as a video on the website or YouTube. Integrate your marketing with tidbits of the presentation wherever possible.
PowerPoint presentations will never dazzle an audience as the main attraction, but with these tips you can present information that will keep the boredom to a minimum, boost your marketing & brand awareness, and generate sales leads.