Tag archives: Power point

To use Power Point or not?

During my one year as a brand manager, I learned how to use Power Point. I learned how people misused Power Point. I sat through  “brief” presentations of 200 slides or more. I prepared slides linked to videos, jpgs and Excel spreadsheets and jpgs. 

Setting up my own business was a totally different ball game. As some entrepreneurs write, the change was as drastic as night and day. Presentations to clients were sometimes done in the lift or on the way to the car park. Surprise, surprise, these presentations were shock horror, without Power Point slides!

My business now has 5 trainers and we work with Petronas, Maybank, Johnson & Johnson, YTL, MIDF, IBBM and Kuwait Finance House. At the end of every month, as a good former MNC trained brand manager, I conducted an analysis of my business. I determined where the business was from (which company & industry and which was the most profitable). 

Around 8% of my business resulted from making Power Point presentations. 92% of the business resulted from meetings/presentations without using Power Point slides. In all the meetings, I did have slides prepared. It was just that the meeting went quite well without the slides. 

Not setting up a projector made the presentation feel a little more relaxed. Feedback from my clients showed that most of them were tired of endless slides. Most meetings would begin by questions on what exactly the client needed. To summarize, you should always have a set of slides in case, but you may find that more than 90% of the time, you may be better off without them. Obama’s Democratic national convention speech was over 45 minutes long, extremely riveting and given without a single slide.

Some of your clients may feel a need for slides and will want to sit through a Power Point show. If you do have to prepare some slides, take a look at  www.presentationzen.com and the post below on Pitfalls in Presentation. This is quite a comprehensive guide to presentations that advocates getting to the point and making a focused presentation.

Should we use Power Point? Your thoughts please.

Seth Godin in his blog  talked about 9 steps to a great Power Point presentation. Step 1 tells you not to use Power Point. Does that make sense?  

Having closed new clients by cold calling, I would have to agree that sometimes you can do without a Power Point. One of the strongest openings is to do a brief (I mean 1 minute maximum) introduction of your company and then ask key questions about the other person’s business. Engaging my prospective customers in an interactive dialog helps me to understand their needs and better position our services and solutions.

Do you think Power Point is necessary?

Post your thoughts and ideas here. If you are someone who makes purchasing decisions, do you think that you must sit through a Power Point for at least 30 minutes?

If you are someone who is involved in sales, do you find that you need the Power Point to close the deal?

How not to use Power Point!

This is an entertaining and true video about Power Point. I have suffered through many presentations with too much animation, data and text in one slide! Key points to remember :
1) Keep slides brief – maximum of six lines down, six words across.
2) Keep charts brief – there should be only one takeaway from each chart and it should be clear the moment you see that chart.
3) Don’t read the slides – this negates the need for a presenter. I have heard many people say “just send me the slides please!”
4) Have a focused and clear message BEFORE you begin writing the presentation.

I particularly like his example of every marketing slide you have seen. As a brand manager, all our Power Points had a similar chart or 2 or 3…