The Ten Rules of Good Slide Deck Design


A good slide deck is often the price of entry for serious consideration by today’s buyers.  Shabby slide decks reflect poorly on you, your company and your solution. However many salespeople don’t have the time or expertise to create a work of art. Fortunately, you don’t need to be an art major to create a good deck if you follow some simple best practices with these design rules: 1. Adapt to your environment Where and how your presentation will be viewed is important to the design. If you’re using your prospect’s projector, weak lighting combined with a bright room can make your images and text fuzzy and hard to read. Use more contrast between colors and shapes as well as a larger type size to combat this. Check the slide aspect. While most new projectors are 16:9, there are still plenty older ones out there using 4:3. Find out earlier Read More

Video Blog: Use Stories to Move Prospects Off the Status Quo

Click on the screen above to see the video Stories can serve a variety of purposes in your presentation. The right story can grab your prospect’s attention, draw him in, give him a new perspective on your solution or value, or overcome an objection. An area where stories are particularly effective is with a prospect who is having trouble moving off the status quo.  In this video you’ll see how stories can soften resistance and open prospect’s minds enough to consider possible alternatives. For more tips on leveraging the power of stories in your presentation, click here.

Converting Leads through Compelling Sales Presentations

Screenshot 2016-01-24 14.33.54

This is a guest post from the pros at PGI. Enjoy! Sales professionals are constantly looking for new ways to not only drive more leads, but simply stand out from their competition. Generating and tracking leads has become increasingly more difficult with the influx of new selling disciplines (social selling, anyone) and complex tech tools. Differentiating yourself from the masses requires a way to break through the clutter. You Only Have One Chance to Make a Good First Impression: First things first. Gaining credibility from potential clients demands that you present yourself as a compelling and professional solutions expert. You won’t convert a prospect into a paying customer if your first impression falls flat. Successful presentations all share the same common elements, but many professionals don’t stop to think about how their sales pitches will be received. As noted in our eBook, “The Science of Sales Presentations,” it takes one-tenth Read More

10 Quick Tips for a Winning Sales Presentation

Seinfeld and sales presentations

What does it take to deliver a winning sales presentation today? Whether it’s breaking the mold like groundbreaking TV series Seinfeld or Lost, or using new tools to increase interaction, you have to think differently today to keep busy audiences engaged and interested.  Here are 10 quick tips to start you on your way! Know the first line of your presentation. Nerves and last minute changes can easily throw you off track during your presentation. If you have your first line down cold you can start with confidence. Once you get that first line out your preparation will kick in and you’ll be in the flow. Keep it conversational. Even though you may be doing most of the talking, a sales presentation is not a completely one-sided exchange. Leave space for your prospect to respond both verbally and non-verbally. Keep your tone conversational, never lecturing or veering into “presenter mode.” Read More

Use The Big Short System to Simplify Complex Ideas and Pay-off in More Sales

Margot Robbie

If you told me before I watched The Big Short that a champagne-drinking Margot Robbie in a bubble bath would help me better understand how subprime mortgage bonds worked, I would have called you crazy. And that wasn’t the only complex economic concept this fast-paced film sheds light on while still managing to entertain. Through the use of analogies, props, quotes and celebrity guest appearances, The Big Short provided a veritable fish stew (see Tip #1) of pop-culture and attention-generating devices capable of bringing life to some potentially mind-numbing subjects. “Economics is actually fascinating, it’s the language of power—but somehow we’ve been conditioned to treat it like it’s boring,” Director Adam McKay. The Big Short provides hope for salespeople who sell a product or solution typically treated as boring or complex, which, with the exception of driver-less cars and robots, is most products in my experience. Presentations and demos are Read More

Reader’s Choice: Top 7 Blog Posts of 2015


The tribe has spoken!  From presentation winners and losers at the Oscars to how to make your presentation “sticky”, these are my 7 most popular blog posts from 2015, according to readers.  Did your favorite make the list? How to Break the Fourth Wall – and Keep Prospects on the Edge of their Seats. Maybe it’s the popularity of House of Cards, or maybe it’s because this is such a cool technique, but this article soared to the top or the “must read” list.  Check it out to find out how to create an engaged audience in your presentation or demo. How to Make Your Presentation Sticky. It’s rare that a presentation ends in a signed contract, so it’s critical that you make it easy for your prospect to remember your value proposition when decisions are made. This post includes 6 ways to make your presentation more “sticky.” The Verdict Read More

Presentation Fatigue: 5 ways the struggle is real for your prospect and fatal for your sale


Unless your prospect just arrived from a distant planet, he will have seen more than his fair share of presentations – whether it’s company training, personal education, other vendors, Ted Talks, you name it.  As you read this thousands of presentations are being uploaded on Slideshare and a younger generation is being raised on a steady diet of slide presentations in the classroom. In fact, a study found that two-thirds of students said most of their instructors used PowerPoint in the classroom.  Yes, a new, presentation-savvy and PowerPoint weary audience awaits you and your slide presentation with a big collective, “Ho hum.”  Presentation fatigue is real and prospect symptoms, like listlessness, an inability to focus on your message, and a heightened need to check electronic devices, are often fatal for your sale. Five things you must know about Presentation Fatigue to lessen its effect on your prospect and improve your Read More

VIDEO BLOG: Does your presentation end with a whimper?

Whimper close

Click on the Video above to see the “Whimper close” in action… Most sales presentations close with a whimper: “Well, I guess that’s it…Thank you for having us…Any questions?” While the presentation certainly comes to an end, that doesn’t qualify it as a close. Closing is a process that either completes a sale or moves you one or two steps closer to it. If all you’ve accomplished is gotten to the end of your presentation but not made a strong final argument or asked for something in return, you have not really closed. An effective presentation close takes planning and practice, but as the final impression you make on your prospect, it’s well worth investing the time and effort to make it shine as brightly as your opening. 4 tips for a more powerful and persuasive presentation close:  Know your ending: Seems obvious, I know. But the truth is most salespeople Read More

New Persuasion Techniques Borrowed from the Courtroom

Courtroom Trial

Lawyers are always on the lookout for new techniques to help them persuade a judge or jury to side with their case. Not surprisingly they’ve found that the most effective techniques are 1) making a strong argument for your case and 2) being seen as a credible source. But recent research on the subject of persuasion reveals some surprising new ways that lawyers can improve their ability to persuade – and hence, how you can be more persuasive in your presentation or demo. 4  Persuasion Techniques Borrowed from the Courtroom for Use in Your Presentation or Demo: Eliminate hesitant or vague language from your delivery. The “ah’s, umms, and errs” not only make it harder for people to pay attention to you, but it turns out, it makes you less persuasive.  Then there are the “maybes, sort of’s, some’s, and a lots” which convey uncertainty.  Eliminate the filler words by Read More

How to Win the Ultra-Marathon of Presentations

Woman runner on sand dunes

Full day and multiple day presentations or demos are the ultra-marathon of presenting and common in certain industries, like technology. While a full day presentation might seem as simple as stringing together several shorter presentations and chugging plenty of Red Bull, they present some unique challenges including: More brain power More content means more material for both you and your audience to try and remember. More is not always better if it means a long, meandering data dump where the prospect walks away with no clear recall of the key message or overall value to his organization.  More presenters Longer presentations often involve a team effort. While this takes some of the pressure off of each individual presenter, it can produce disparate messaging, awkward transitions, and wildly inconsistent delivery which can ultimately keep you from achieving your goal. Short attention spans With attention spans at an all time low and Read More