Presentations people remember (for the right reasons)

Presentations that sell and people remember

The situation - you have to make a presentation to a group of people outlining your general capabilities. How do you make it interesting and memorable?

In that situation you’ll almost certainly be one of a number of companies invited to ‘pitch’. You’ll also probably not have the depth of background knowledge about the client to be able to give the sort of tailored presentation you’d really like to.

So how do you and your presentation stand out from the crowd and be memorable? Here’s our top seven tips to deal with that situation.

Be clear about the messages you want them to remember

Before you start creating slides, think about what you want your audience to remember after your presentation.  People generally have short attention spans and don't remember much, so don't make it hard for them. 

Think of the three key points you want them to take away, and make sure those points come through loud and clear in what you're saying.

There's an old adage that goes, 'Tell them what you're going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you've told them'. 

Tell stories

A company and product pitch will be dull for everybody in the room but you (and maybe you too). Especially if they’ve already seen five others. So don’t do that.

Instead use pictures and stories. Tell stories of other clients you’ve helped. Name the clients. What problems did they have? How did you solve those problems? What were the outcomes?

Stories bring even the dullest of subjects to life, and it’s easy for the audience to think themselves into the other clients’ shoes.

Highlight relevant information

Today people tend to use Powerpoint almost like a word processor. So you end up with slides with lots of words on.

To give an illustration of the problem, one of the companies I've worked with had a 'standard company presentation'.  It comprised almost 80 slides.  Each deep in text and complex graphics.  Nobody could ever deliver it all in under a day.  And of course it was all same old same old.

The old rules used to be nothing smaller than 24 point text and no more than 10 words per slide. And ideally no more than ten slides.  But fashion has swept that approach away. Shame – it really worked.

So when you’ve got slides with lots and lots of words, find a way to highlight the few words or phrases that are most likely to be relevant to your audience. Maybe bold? Maybe a different colour?

Don’t sell

The temptation is always to bang on about how wonderful your products and services are. Dull. Realistically, are they so different to the competitors they’ll look at?

A far better approach is to give the audience a feel for how you think, how you work and most importantly, how you’ll solve their problems.

If you saw a doctor and he prescribed some great treatment for a broken leg, it wouldn’t matter how good it was if you were there with flu.

Explain how you’ll deal with problems

Let’s face it, there’s always going to be problems of some sort. You know that, and they know that too.

Research shows more than half of IT related projects go over on either time or cost. And customers know that, so don’t hide from it.

What do you do when things don’t work out as planned? How do you deal with setbacks? What are your processes to keep projects on track and recover when they don’t? What else do you do to mitigate the impact on the customer?

Be an expert

Customers want to deal with people who are experts in their field. So if you’ve written a book or white paper, tell them about it. If you blog, tell them about it. If you’ve new, relevant research, share it with them.

This isn’t about being a smartarse, it’s about establishing your credibility. Don’t bang on for hours about how clever you are, but do establish you know what you’re talking about.

Tell them what you’re doing

The audience will be expecting a typical company and product pitch. So tell them what you’re going to talk about, and explain why.

And as a final point, plan to talk for no more than half your allotted time. Leaving the rest for discussion will be a much more productive way of using the time.  Get them talking, listen carefully, ask questions and you'll learn.  Lots.

How can we help you?

  • Got an important presentation coming up?
  • Working on a new ‘company’ presentation?
  • Want to clarify your ideas about what to include (and exclude!)?
  • Want a neutral third party view of how to make a presentation better?
  • Want some coaching for you or your people to give better presentations?

Give us the problem and we’ll sort it for you. Call now on +357 99 860 725 or contact us.