Xtreme PowerPoint Makeover

By Heather Baldwin

Note to readers: Need help with a PowerPoint slide? Help has arrived! This new feature of our Presentations newsletter will show you how to overhaul your presentation slides, give them more punch and more impact and make them more memorable – and we’ll be using your slides to do it. Send us a slide you’ve been struggling with and we’ll send it to our experts for help. You’ll be amazed at the results. powerpointhelp@sellingpower.com

Company background. Corporate Fulfillment Systems, Inc. of Norton, MA (www.cfsmail.com) usually doesn’t do PowerPoint presentations. But when more and more of their customers started asking them to discuss their capabilities with other divisions, CFS officials decided they wanted a more formal presentation to illustrate what they can do – namely assist clients in decoding mailing lists, navigating complex USPS regulations, executing direct mail programs, providing first-class fulfillment services and realizing higher response rates at lower costs. So they created a presentation, but felt their opening slide and opening comments needed more pizzazz. For help, they turned to Claudyne Wilder, president of Wilder Presentations, Boston, MA, who shares her recommendations regarding CFS’s opening slide here.

Slide’s objective: To open the presentation in a way that is convincing and on point.

Audience: A potential customer.

Challenges: The before slide needs a background that conveys a better look for CFS, says Wilder, and the statistics and phrases won’t excite the audience as the presenter starts the talk. They are getting closer to capturing the attention of the audience with the last phrase: Use a Fab Five Approach. This, says Wilder, sounds intriguing.

Changes: Wilder put CFS as a logo on the slides so the audience would remember them. She added some design elements and kept the top title space clear. From a content perspective, Wilder consolidated the key information about CFS on one slide. She also recommended CFS not open their presentation with statistics about themselves. Instead, she says, the data could be presented later under a heading such as: We are there when you need us.

Results: The new slide provides a quick overview and gives the presenter the option to elaborate on each of the points in a way that talks about the prospect’s business right away.

  • Customers – We know right away the types of customers CFS has.
  • Commitment – This is one of the company’s slogans and includes some great stories about how they have delivered flyers at 5 a.m., how they’ve stayed up all night to make an event successful and more.
  • Focus – These two points give the audience a sense of how the company operates and treats its customers.
  • Strategy – Here, a CFS presenter talks about one strategy they use to keep their customers. If appropriate, this can be discussed in more detail.

“The way this slide is now designed the presenter has enough on it to tell some amazing stories about the company’s business,” says Wilder. “It is not just another company opening their presentation by telling all about their company. This slide gives the presenter an opportunity to talk about satisfied customers.”

About the expert: Claudyne Wilder, president of Wilder Presentations, teaches people to develop, design and deliver customer-focused presentations. She is an acclaimed speaker, coach, author of several books on presenting and co-creator of a CD on visual design. Her latest CD, Presentations in a Hurry: 26 Formats That Persuade, as well as details about her public seminars can be found at www.wilderpresentations.com.