Sales presentations frequently fail to stand out

PowerPoint presentations are the conventional means of transmitting messages in a wide range of business contexts. They are used as sales presentations, business pitches to potential clients, suppliers or partners, or internal performance evaluations, to name just a few of these contexts. In any case it is not controversial to say that PowerPoint is an absolutely vital business tool, and it follows that a company with a tight grasp of quality PowerPoint design holds a significant edge over competitors who do not. This applies to all contexts of business where PowerPoint is a necessary tool.

To make good quality presentations you will require several ingredients. Most obviously, you need an excellent grasp of the software and its capabilities. This means having an in-depth understanding each of the functions available in the program. If we’re honest we’ve all come across a hurdle and had to consult a forum, asking “how do you do x, y or z in PowerPoint”. It takes time, with no guarantee that a satisfactory answer will be found.

Beyond an awareness and a proficiency in the workings of the program, you need the ability to integrate its possibilities with the overall message that you are trying to convey. This requires something more than mere computer skills: it requires skill, forethought, even creativity. This is as important as the message you are trying to get across. When a job is not done carefully it is in danger of coming apart at the seams, and PowerPoint presentations are no different. Many a great idea has come unstuck in the world of business exactly because of issues in the presentation.

Imagine, say, that you are trying to motivate your workforce, perhaps by showing statistics of the previous year’s achievements, or by sharing with them your objectives for the year ahead. If you cannot provide the information or data in an inspiring way, a large portion of your PowerPoint presentations will be lost in tedium resulting from uninspired presentation. Similarly, your sales presentations to potential clients need to be eye-catching and concise; there is no room for irrelevant information. Sometimes the people you pitch to have to watch over ten pitches in a day: this can be very boring, and you must not leave it to a tired audience to filter through poor PowerPoint design to find out that your ideas are worth listening to.

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