What’s the story?

Do you have to make presentations as part of your marketing and sales process? Do you, like the vast majority of businesses out there, lean on technology to help you?
If …

31st January 2008 at 5:27 pm

Do you have to make presentations as part of your marketing and sales process? Do you, like the vast majority of businesses out there, lean on technology to help you?

If you do, BEWARE. We’ve got an epidemic on our hands and it’s causing Death By Powerpoint all across the nation!

Once you’ve developed a powerpoint habit (often involving rashes of bullet points), your demise can be slow and painful. Your customers may develop rigor mortice more quickly.

If you think you’ve been infected, take radical action. Try to wean yourself off powerpoint. (Patches are not available from your pharmacy). But if putting down the evil application is simply too much to bear and the threat of cold turkey brings you out in a cold sweat, try the following homeopathic approach:

Limit your slides to 12. People will remember what you say – if you invest the effort usually sunk into firing out a lengthy slide deck, in refining your performance and delivery instead. (More to the point they might remember you – THE PERSON. The person they want to do business with, rather than a dreary half hour of screen gazing).

And when creating your presentation and the associated visual aid that you’ll undoubtedly cling to like a vital prosthetic remember that people of all ages respond to stories. Tell your audience a compelling story. Make it relevant, connect with your audience. Rather than seeing the colour drain from your audience’s faces as they lose the will to live, you may give then a much needed tonic, (entertainment – I swear it’s vastly under-rated in today’s business context), and give your own business a healthy bottom-line boost in the process!

Sara Scott

Sara is a marketing specialist with a wealth of on-line and traditional experience. With award winning credentials as an advertising writer, her career also spans the disciplines of planning and strategy for both B2B and consumer clients. Having worked for one of the the UK's biggest non-London agencies, Sara now works on a consultancy basis for clients large and small. http://www.smallbizpod.co.uk/blog

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  1. Clive Birnie says:

    About a hundred years ago I was taught: say what you are going to say, say it and then say that you have said it. So 3 slides. 4 if you need a title. I try these days to get my people to distill it down to 1 slide if they can. OK they rarely get there but by aiming to they learn to be brief. A necessity. I have customers who open every meeting with: I only have 20 minutes so you need to be brief. Same for email. No one reads an essay. Maybe Twitter is the future for us all… Elevatory!

  2. Short is definitely good. I always like Guy Kawasaki’s advice on powerpoint too.

  3. Clive Birnie says:

    Alex & Sara, road tested the 10, 20, 30 rule today. Went very well so may break my 1 slide rule more often…

  4. There’s always the Lessig approach too which I’ve used twice … once was a glorious success, once was an abysmal failure. Fun though!

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