Simple Ways to Improve Sales Presentations

By Dave Zielinski

It happened again at a sales presentation I attended last week. When the presenter got to his last slide the presentation simply ended, with no crisp wrap-up conclusion or compelling summary thoughts for the audience. It was as if he failed to plan for one of the most crucial parts of his presentation.

Far too many sales presentations still end because the speaker simply runs out of slides. Instead, create a succinct summary slide to close your presentation, and know its slide number so if your presentation is cut short by that impatient executive or decision-maker, you can simply type in the slide number of your summary visual and jump to it — and your call to action. It will help you look polished and prepared.

It’s also common to have a mix of leadership levels attending sales presentations. Often times it is technical managers along with executive leaders, making it hard to target their specific content needs and respect their limited time. So consider starting your presentation by telling the audience your first 10 or 15 minutes will be a high-level, 50,000-foot overview of your product or service offering, and then you’ll take a short break.

If participants received all of the information they need in that opening period, tell them they can feel free to leave. If they want to do a deeper dive on content or ask questions, the next 30 minutes or so will provide far more detail.  This “audience segmenting” will go a long way toward keeping everyone happy.

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