Fileboard’s Guide To A Killer Sales Presentation – Part Two: Constructing the Slide Deck

Welcome to the second installment of FileBoard’s Guide To A Killer Sales Presentation. Last week we discussed casing your potential customers to discover the problems they are experiencing and the specific messages they need to hear to convert.

Today we are focusing on creating the slide deck presentation based your research. A powerful sales deck is an art form in marketing that relies on different principles than creating a slideshow for educational or other purposes. Below, we discuss several content and design guidelines that you should follow to ensure a maximum emotional impact on your clients.

Planning The Layout And Size

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Every great slide presentation begins with a proper layout. This preliminary step might seem easy to skip, but a detailed layout helps to organize the ideas in your head and curtails the slide deck to a focused presentation.

First, outline the main points that the deck will cover. These should follow a logical narrative, typically starting with a brief overview of the problem your client has. You can then segue into the unique ways your product solves that problem, and conclude with the benefits of choosing your brand over the competition.

Essentially you are aiming to communicate your USP in as few slides as possible. Brevity is the key to a winning sales slideshow. Ideally you should be aiming to keep the entire presentation under 20 slides. We know you have a lot to say, but consider that only 25% of decks that exceed 20 slides are read in their entirety. Don’t let your message get lost to wordiness!

Creating The Content

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Once you have your layout in order, it’s time to construct the presentation. As mentioned above, each slide should be dedicated to a single idea or concept. Trying to squeeze several key themes onto each slide does not enable you to do more with less; it only serves to dilute the strength of your pitch.

Whenever possible, avoid the traditional bullet point layout. Although PowerPoint makes it easy to fall back on this template, bullets create a presentation that puts the speaker in a teaching position and discourages the natural back and forth conversation that should take place between salesman and client. Instead, try to stick with concepts that can be explained visually. You can accomplish this with charts, graphs, screenshots or photographs of the product in action, project plans, etc.

Finalizing The Design Of The Deck

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Anyone who’s been in marketing and sales long enough knows that a strong pitch is only part of the sale. Your “packaging” so to speak has a lot to do with the emotional connection you make with your potential client. To this end, the design of your slide deck should be an important focus.

There are four basic slide design strategies to keep in mind:

  1. Contrast: Try placing dissimilar items together to create drama and visually bolster your talking points.
  2. Repetition: Keep your design elements consistent throughout the presentation. Use of borders, color schemes, or recurring visual items (such as characters or icons) should not change from slide to slide.
  3. Alignment: All text/image alignment and organization of content should remain consistent throughout the presentation as well. This promotes comprehension and creates a unified feeling to the slide deck.
  4. Proximity: Group related slides together so that your narrative flows in a logical, unified fashion.

Concerning use of text, you should always use at least an 18-point font so that your sentences can be comprehended at a distance. Do your best not to exceed five lines of text per slide or audience members who are not close to the screen might have trouble digesting it all.

Finally, be sure to include your company name and logo at the top or bottom of each slide.

How Fileboard Can Help

Fileboard enables you to contain and organize all of your sales and marketing materials needed to create visually stunning sales decks in one central place. No more tracking down images or copy; just tap into your shared folder and design away.

Next week we will explore pointers for delivering your winning B2B sales deck presentation. Remember, if you’d rather not wait for the next two installments, you can download our free whitepaper, “Roadmap To A Winning B2B Sales Presentation” by entering your email address to the right!

More parts of this guide: 

Fileboard’s Guide To A Killer Sales Presentation – Part One: Casing the Customer

Fileboard’s Guide To A Killer Sales Presentation – Part Three: Delivering Your Presentation

Fileboard’s Guide To A Killer Sales Presentation – Part Four: The Art Of The Follow-Up

You may also be interested in:

The Six Most Persuasive Words to Use in Your Sales Presentation

11 Warning Signs Your Sales Presentation Will Fail