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Make the most of a PowerPoint presentation

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Let’s face it: No one wants to watch you talking to the 100 slides in your slide deck. No one wants to sit passively while you treat them to an interminable, droning monologue. But that doesn’t mean PowerPoint presentations can’t be valuable. On the contrary, they’re extraordinarily valuable in helping you give your clients what they want.

Here are the ways your presentation can help you capture a sale:

  • Your clients want to understand why they should change, how they should change and why they should choose you to help them change. Your slides should speak to the “whys” of change.
  • Your clients also want to understand what their needs are and how they can obtain better outcomes than they’re getting now. Your presentation should speak to their needs.
  • Your clients and prospects want to understand what options are available to them so that they can achieve those better outcomes. They want to know the tradeoffs. There are always choices and tradeoffs, and you create value by helping them understand those tradeoffs.
  • Your clients want to know what the risks are. They want to know how to deal with those risks. They want to know how to avoid anything that might cause them more problems and more pain than they already have. Your presentation should demonstrate how you plan to mitigate their risk.
  • Your clients want to know how you would approach their projects and how you could go about helping them. They want to understand your values, your ideas and what it might be like to work with you. These are the outcomes your presentation should support.

I once walked into a client’s office and he told me not to open my laptop because he didn’t want to hear a presentation. He stated simply that he had 18 questions he wanted answered. My PowerPoint presentation would have provided nice visuals to accompany my answers, but he was going to make his decision about whether or not to give me his business based on my ability to look him in the eye and straightforwardly answer his questions.

It’s important to remember the purpose of your PowerPoint presentation is not to provide a PowerPoint presentation. It’s to demonstrate who you are and what you can do for them. And you can’t do that if you’re hiding behind a presentation.

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S. Anthony Iannarino is the managing director of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, a boutique sales coaching and consulting company, and an adjunct faculty member at Capital University’s School of Management and Leadership. For more information, go


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