That depends on the answer to a couple of questions.
Is your company always clearly the superior choice in the minds of your prospects? Or have you ever been told, “It was very close, but in the end we decided to go with your competitor.”
If it’s always very clear to your customers and prospects that your company is superior, then better presentations are probably not going to have much effect. But if you ever find yourself in a close race with your competition, then more professional presentations will definitely make an important difference in your business development efforts.
Yes. 300 million people can be wrong.
It’s estimated that PowerPoint™ has over 300 million users, giving an average of 1 million presentations every working day. The average presentation contains approximately 150 bullet-points, which means 150,000,000 bullet points will be presented today alone.
How many of those bullet points do you think really hit their target?
Request a tip sheet. You’ll learn about fundamental slide layout principles, effective presentation structuring, the successful use of effects such as animation, and several other topics. All in an easy-to-read compact guide.
In the meantime, here are a few tips that will immediately improve your presentations.
When you’re preparing your presentation, think in terms of the Rule of Three. Human beings seem better able to remember ideas that are presented in groups of three. You can take advantage of that fact by organizing your content under three main headings, and then creating 3 sub-headings under those main headings.
Take a look at the title slides in this presentation created for a PowerPoint management software product to get a sense of how the Rule of Three is applied.
People can really only focus on one thing at a time. The more elements you place on a screen, the more fuzzy and scattered your audience’s focus becomes. So make it easy on them. If you’ve got three important points to make, use three slides to convey those points. Don’t try to cram too much on a single slide. And make sure you group your text and graphics so that you create as few visual elements as possible.
Let your audience know right from the start that it’s going to be worth their while attending your presentation by creating a title that states a benefit to them.
Look at the first title slide of our sample presentation. It could have said, “iPoint – The Greatest PowerPoint Management Software In The World”. If it did, the audience would know they’re in for a sales pitch. Instead, it says, “How to Build More Persuasive, Up-to-Date Presentations in Less Time”. Now the audience knows they’re going to learn something of value.
Make sure you include a slide that outlines the scope of the presentation. That way, the audience knows upfront what to expect, and aren’t disappointed if a particular topic isn’t covered by the end of the presentation.
The same way you deliver great presentations. Practice, practice, practice. You’ve heard that “timing is everything,” and the only way to improve the delivery and timing of a presentation is to practice. Preferably not in front of an audience.
Make sure you time your rehearsals so you know your presentation will fit comfortably into the time frame you’ve been given. If you can it’s also a good idea to practice with the equipment you are going to use.
Never use PowerPoint as a teleprompter. Put as little on the screen as you can get away with so you don’t lose your connection with your audience. Remember, the slides are not going to convince them. You are.