When was the last time you conversed with others?
Chances are, you’ve remembered most of what you talked about, right down to the times when you either agreed or had a healthy discussion on the topic.
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This is what makes the conversational style so effective: they allow for easier recall and a more engaging dialogue with your audience. And the same holds true for PowerPoint presentations.
All too often, business communications use jargon to make their presentations look appealing. The problem is, these words defeat their original purpose because they’re too technical, boring, and hard to remember.
Advantages of the Conversational Style
1. It Grabs Attention Faster
A longer pitch does not equate to quality. Going on about superficial information makes your audience antsy and impatient.
Getting to the main point makes listeners immediately know what your presentation is about. Brand communications specialist, Carmine Gallo, presents something as simple as introducing the MacBook Air as the thinnest laptop, or the Intel Core 2 Duo processor as something that increases your productivity.
Doing so helps potential customers understand more about the products, as opposed to reciting their technical specifications word-for-word.
The latter approach bores the customer. While the explanations are technically correct, they don’t touch on the advantages they can offer.
This style of conversation also allows you to add a short but descriptive opinion of your topic. By adding your two cents’ worth before the presentation, you can build the mood of your audience.
Do you want them to be excited or curious? It all depends on you.
2. It’s Easy to Follow
Once you grab your audience’s attention, you can then tell a story and use your PowerPoint slides to support it. This makes your presentation easier to follow and it will allow others to connect the dots faster.
In 2005, Steve Jobs announced that the new Macintosh models would have Intel processors instead of IBM PowerPC chips.
Rather than give a boring, unconnected, jargon-heavy description, he built up the situation, made everyone curious, then stated the reason for the change: Apple wanted to make better computers for its customers.
His company was unable to deliver the kind of computers that he wanted, which was why the switch was made. Jobs said that this was a vital move for future projects, thus convincing his audience that it was the right thing to do (Gallo, 2010).
3. It’s Mostly Jargon-Free
Since the conversational style eliminates all the unnecessary technical terms, you let your audience keep up. If you have to explain anything, explain them in layman’s terms.
Then, tell them what those terms mean for them.
Gallo (2010) presented two hypothetical scenarios of a customer looking for a laptop:
The first one had a salesman giving a technical explanation of what the Intel Core 2 Duo processor was, but without elaborating on the physical benefits that it could offer.
The second one had a salesman explaining in plain English what the processor could do and how it could increase productivity.
According to the Colin James Method, misused jargon is distracting and unimpressive. If you want to widen your reach and increase your lead conversion, drop the terminologies and pitch naturally.
You need clients to invest in your idea by selling your offerings in an interesting but understandable way.
To do this, use the conversational approach in nurturing a relationship with your clients. Renowned author Jim Aitchison suggests that you show that you understand and want to relate to them.
At the end of the day, neither your client nor your boss can approve their proposals if they can’t understand a jargon-heavy presentation.
Converse with prospects to establish a more personal connection, and you’re sure to land those sales no matter who you’re talking to.
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Aitchison, J. Cutting Edge Advertising: How to Create the World’s Best Print For Brands in the 21st Century. Singapore: Prentice Hall, 2004.
“Craft Your Corporate Presentations into a Great Story.” SlideGenius, Inc. May 15, 2015. Accessed May 7, 2015.
Gallo, C. The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience. New York. McGraw-Hill, 2010.
“PowerPoint Verbal Crutches to Avoid.” SlideGenius, Inc. June 12, 2014. Accessed May 7, 2015.
“Why Jargon Fails – And How To Avoid It.” Colin James Method. January 07, 2015. Accessed May 7, 2015.