Archives For presentation skills

At the end of yesterday’s Making Money with Security Online class I mentioned the upcoming “Principles of an Effective Value Proposition” online program scheduled in April.  There is nothing worse than sitting through a terrible presentation or being stuck in boring meeting for several hours.  So why would we subject our prospects to this kind of torture?  To get us started, here are ten things that will absolutely kill a Power Point presentation… 

1.     Opening with an agenda slide – your first task is to grab the audience’s attention; the agenda slide is a sure way to lose everyone.

2.     Using the standard bullet point format in Power Point – this makes for boring slides with too many words.

3.     Showing slide after slide of meaningless numbers, statistics, financials, with values that are too big to comprehend.  The human brain needs a comparison when dealing with large numbers – a point of reference.  A slide or 2 is okay, but don’t go overboard on statistics and sound bites.

4.     Talking about “Self”.  Especially true when presenting to new prospects – no one cares about your company before there is a reason to do business.

5.     Bad colors and no graphics.  Most people are visual.  They want to see pictures – this is why people watch movies rather than listen to stories on the radio.  If you want your information to be memorable, use grabbing graphics!  The best way to do this is by changing the slide background to an image.

6.     Reading your slides – no! Look at the audience.  This requires that you know your material.

7.     Too many words on the slide.  If your audience can’t read the whole slide in a few seconds (5 or 6 words) you’ve lost them.   They will either listen to you or read the slide…most will read the slide and ignore you.

8.     No climax. A presentation must build.  If it’s flat people will lose interest quickly.

9.     Obvious.  Most sales presentations look exactly the same.  They discuss company background, offerings, features, a few client names, etc.  This is predictable, boring, and obvious.

10. When he presenter is not a speaker.  This is the final presentation killer.  If you’re going to stand up in front of a crowd, you had better be good.  This is not a genetic trait.  It’s simply a matter of learning the skill and practicing until you’re great at it.

© 2011, David Stelzl


Another great Value Proposition workshop today in NYC – hot topic today was making corporate presentations stick!  Top issues I see with resellers all over the world:

1. Marketing departments pump out Power Points with no understanding of the client’s needs or wants.

2. One size fits all: Execs should not have to sit through the same presentation as IT.

3. Power Point and Word are two different applications.  With 50 words to a slide your client can either listen to you or read your slide – or you can read the entire slide to the client.  None are good options.

4. Presentations are all about you – prospects don’t care about your company until after you’ve given them something interesting to buy.  Save the stats for another time….(20 years in the business…so what?).

5. Overview of your company sounds like a technology Wal*mart, but not with Wal*Mart prices..bad marketing strategy.

6. Too many slides – will an executive tune into 20 or 30 slides?  Even IT is going to lose interest at some point.

7. No call to action. Is this an overview or are you there to move them to do business?

© 2010, Dave Stelzl

Photo by DStelzl

Everyone works to move the sale up the ladder – here are 10 things that will take you right back down (in no particular order):

1. Kicking off with your PPT slide show

2. Beginning the meeting with obvious open-ended sales questions

3. Allowing their IT person to become the focal point of the meeting

4. Pushing to close the deal this month – quota being your primary motive

5. Focusing on product features

6. High-Tech jargon

7. Asking, “What keeps you up at night?”

8. Not having researched their company prior to the call.  “So, what does your company do?”…duh.

9. Lack of confidence in front of executives

10. Poor presentation skills

© 2010, David Stelzl