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Turn a Standard Presentation into a Sales Tool

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on November 4, 2010

Every business cranks out a lot of presentations, probably more than they can count. Are these slide decks boosting branding, driving customer engagement, and increasing sales? Presentations are second only to e-mail as the most commonly used business tool, yet most are static, one-way communications that often miss the mark. Here are a few tips to help turn your presentations into the ultimate weapon in your sales and marketing arsenal:

1. Spice up your slides. Presentations should be engaging and exciting; boring slides will dampen, even damage, customer interest in your brand. Incorporate interactive elements into your presentation, such as audio voice over, real-time feeds, and video.

2. Be friendly to social media. Today’s sales and marketing world is social, two-way, and based on the constant flow of real-time customer feedback. Add to your slides short sound bites that your audience can quickly absorb and share with their larger social networks (think 140 characters). Also, include links to Facebook, Twitter, and blog entries that customers or partners have written about your brand. Add widgets from Yahoo or Google that display real-time stock tickers, RSS feeds, and other streamed information.

3. Invite feedback. Whether you’re delivering the presentation live or sending it to your intended audience to view later, make sure your slides include interactive elements that allow people to provide feedback and opinions. If you won’t be there to deliver the presentation in person, include clickable buttons in your slides that say such things as "click here to share your opinion." Also urge people to visit your Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms to share their thoughts.

4. Keep talking. Like any marketing campaign, an interactive presentation is just the start of a longer and deeper conversation with your audience. Make sure your presentations include "share this presentation" buttons, and also post the presentation, or parts of it, on the Web. You can put the presentation videos on YouTube, post the slides on your company’s Facebook page or Intranet, and include a link to your online slide presentation in e-mail campaigns, your website, or other marketing materials. By getting your presentation out there, you’ll invite continued feedback and build a larger social network of interested customers.

Chuck Dietrich
Chief Executive Officer
San Francisco

Reader Comments

Barbara Redding

November 5, 2010 2:30 PM

I think it’s also critical to know your audience and really understand the environment that the audience’s business operates in. Is it highly competitive and changes rapidly or does it move slowly and is highly regulated? Does the HR exec of your target company lose sleep at night because he has a highly skilled labor force with high turnover? What are the opportunities that your product or solution could fill? I’d actually say knowing your customer is the most important aspect to tailoring your presentation to make the sale.

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