Weekly Tip: Come Out of the Corner Swinging

I just read a 35 slide deck presentation where the list of reasons the prospect should choose the presenters was buried at slide 34. This is not uncommon. Often presentations are treated like mystery movies under the belief that the momentous reveal at the end of the movie increases excitement. There are a couple of problems with that approach:

  • The data is against you – Presentation decks of longer than 12-15 slides numb the audience and lose steam. People want and expect interaction.
  • Word inflation – The more you say, the less each piece means. Your true message could get lost.
  • Anticipation fatigue – The listeners know you are going to tell them why they should choose you. If you tell them at the end, they will miss the justification for the declaration along the way.
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1.)  Tell the audience up front why they should choose you. Make the list at the very beginning of the session as to why you are the better choice.

2.)  Use the balance of the presentation to provide each of the key points.

3.)  Close by re-stating why they should choose you.

This isn’t Mad Men where there is some dramatic “gotcha” moment at the end of the pitch and the client is so blown away they sign the big contract. Save the drama, and make certain that your compelling points are heard strong and clear.