3 Ways A PowerPoint Presentation Can Kill a Sale


Posted by Adam Wiggins on HubSpot Blog


You have an amazing product, packed with great features and benefits. You have a potential client, ready and waiting to hear all about it. You prepare what you think will be a sure fire sales presentation — a PowerPoint packed with data points outlining how your product is the best.

There’s only one problem. No one is listening.

You think PowerPoint can only enhance a sales presentation? Think again. Here are three ways a visual aid can actually kill a deal.


1) Too many slides. 

It happens to the best of us — an overdose of enthusiasm. You have so much information to share, and you’re dying to get it all out.

However, once you start designing your sales presentation and adding all the pertinent information, you end up with way too many slides. And too many slides will put your audience to sleep. They are not expecting a novel, and they do not want a novel.

How many is too many? Here’s a handy benchmark: If you have more than one slide per minute of your presentation, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and edit it down.


2) Too much information. 

Complex lists, tables, and paragraphs of information should not be presented via PowerPoint. This overload of facts and figures will bore your audience instead of engaging them.

There are some schools of thought that advocate for no text on PowerPoint slides at all. Using only an image, you as the presenter are better able to tell a story and hit the emotional high points.

Slides should support what you are trying to say, not be all that you’re saying. With image-only slides, or at least slides with minimal text, the audience can listen to you, rather than read the copy. This enables them to better pay attention to and understand your sales pitch.

If there is more information the audience needs to know, give them a one page print-out with key information after the presentation. Then no one is distracted during your pitch.


3) No conversation.

The biggest problem with relying too heavily on PowerPoint for your sales presentation is that it stops the conversation. A lot of slides with a lot of information means the presenter needs to talk a lot. And this means they are not talking with the audience.

Being talked at instead of engaging in a meaningful, valuable conversation is not fun for anyone. Your audience would like to ask questions, tell you what their issues are, and probe into exactly how your product can help them. A wordy presentation affords no allowance for conversation.

While slides can help support what you are saying and build a compelling story, they have to be designed and used correctly. Overwhelming people with PowerPoint puts a barrier between you and the audience, and this is not helpful in the sales process.

Remember whom you are speaking to, and how you’re proposing to solve their problem. Stick to this idea, and your sales presentations will benefit.


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