We often think that a great presentation can simply outsell its competitors, but an effective PowerPoint deck uses an interesting idea at its core. This idea lends itself to its content, its design and even the speaker’s words. Professional presenters like TED speakers fulfill this core requirement: a single idea that defines their stories.
Every part of their presentation, even the rule of three, is used to support this one idea. It’s also the reason why people like Steve Jobs can effectively sell his gadgets to loyal Apple supporters.
What makes a selling presentation idea?
There are three ways to tell if yours is as effective as the pros, similar to how advertising agencies evaluate their ideas:
1. Your Clients and Audience Can Relate to It
An effective sales presentation has something that its audience can relate to.
Will you bank on shared beliefs?
Will you play to your passions and share a personal story that inspires others?
Your presentation idea or strategy should be relatable to your audience. In Cutting Edge Advertising, Jim Aitchison expounds on how there should be an insight into human behavior that they can see. In the case of clients, everyone wants something to make their lives easier. The trick is to show them exactly how. To put yourself ahead of the competition, use simple sayings like: “This product conveniently puts the information you need at your fingertips.”
2. It Has Potential for Variety
Once you have a solid PowerPoint idea, the next step is to make a strategy. Similar to an advertisement strategy, a presentation strategy is something that creativity mentor Luke Sullivan would describe as the key message you want to communicate.
Do you want to say that you’re an industry leader with a track record for helping other companies? Do you want to position yourself as a competitive startup with advantages over the market leader?
If you can make a presentation strategy that’s this simple, you have the added benefit of having a pitch to improve on and build up for the next client. The key point to a flexible presentation idea is to ask yourself: “Can it be done differently?” If your idea suggests different words and pictures that all point to the same strategy, it can save you a whole lot of trouble building a new pitch for a new client with different needs.
3. Is It Engaging Enough?
This simply means that your idea must be effective enough to make the audience think for themselves. Is your slide content or speech specific enough for clients to visualize what you want them to see? Can they do this even without the visuals from your slides?
Engage your audience by spiking up their imagination. If your words paint a vivid picture, it keeps them hooked and prevents them from tuning out from or sleeping through your pitch.
The Takeaway: Always Be Skeptical
Every idea has its potential, but the great ideas are always the ones that have a better chance of selling. This is why presenters should always be skeptical of the ideas to use in a business presentation.
Ask yourself: “Will I still like it after two or three days?” It also helps if you have a professional PowerPoint expert to help make the most out of your idea and save you the time coming up with one. All you need is a few minutes to get in touch with one for free.
“Ad Agency Tricks: Outsell Competitors in Sales Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2015. Accessed August 7, 2015.
Aitchison, J. Cutting Edge Advertising: How to Create the World’s Best Print for Brands in the 21st Century. Singapore; New York: Prentice Hall, 2004.
“Promotion & Advertising Strategy.” Marketing Strategy. Accessed August 7, 2015.
Sullivan, L. Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This! A Guide to Creating Great Ads. Hoboken, NJ – J. Wiley & Sons, 2008.