PowerPoint- Don’t Miss the Point

I sat through another deadly boring PowerPoint presentation yesterday. It’s getting so that when I see one coming I almost start to feel nauseous. So you probably think I hate PowerPoint presentations, right? No, I just hate BAD PowerPoint presentations AND PowerPoint Presentations that are imposed upon me whether I like it or not. Let’s talk about this second point for a minute.

You see, I am not a visual guy. I am an audio guy. I like to talk to people, not look at slides and graphs. Pretty basic, huh? But how many salespeople, who have come to me over the years, bother to try to figure that out in advance? Maybe, oh, 1%, and of course those people almost always close me because I am so impressed that they respect me enough and have done their homework to be sure the meeting is satisfying to ME, the buyer, not THEM, the sellers. So while most salespeople are having a great time putting on their shows, I am dying a thousand deaths . . . “please be the last slide . . . PLEASE!” 

And yet I know a lot of people who are just the opposite. If you just talk to them long enough (in a business meeting) without providing some sort of visual support or stimulation, their eyes begin to glaze over and the information does not get in there deep enough to satisfy them or move them to action. To those types of buyers, one, really good slide is worth a hundred words.

So how do we know which kind of buyer we may be dealing with in terms of sensory bias? It’s a pretty scientific process . . . we ask them. Yep . . . either prior to the meeting or at the beginning of the meeting, we always say something like . . . “we have a PowerPoint deck we have brought to the meeting. Would you like to go through it TOGETHER or would you like to talk for a while to see how YOUR needs and our resources may match up?” The answers are almost always, “Let’s take a look” . . . “Let’s talk for a while” . . . or, after talking for a while, “NOW let’s take a look.”

Now, when it comes to the PowerPoint presentation itself, don’t get me started on print that is too small to read, cluttered pages, the seller constantly turning his back on me and, here is the big one . . . it hits me like dull chalk on a blackboard . . . the salesperson who turns around, breaks eye contact, and is determined to read every single word and line. On the other hand, go ahead and get me started on good and bad PowerPoint presentations . . . next week.

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