Extreme Makeover: PowerPoint Edition

By Heather Baldwin

Company/background: Titan Software Sales of Waterloo, ON (www.titansoftwaresales.com) has been successful at selling Sales Sanity Check, a service that reviews current sales practices in software companies, using the PowerPoint presentation it developed in house. But Titan President Jim Reid felt his sales force could do even better with a more professional-looking presentation. In particular, he wanted a more forceful concluding slide that would provide a clear call to action. For help, Reid turned to Dave Paradi, president of PowerPointLifeguard.com, Mississauga, ON, who shares his ideas on Titan’s call to action slide.

Slide’s objective: To close the presentation with a strong call to action.

Audience: A potential customer, typically a president or vice president of sales at a software company.

Sample PowerPoint Slides

Challenges: The before slide, says Paradi, uses a standard background that is not consistent with the company brand and the overused clip art doesn’t convey the benefit of Titan’s service effectively.

Changes: Paradi created a slide template that incorporated Titan’s choice of color and font with strong top and bottom color anchors. He added a washed-out magnifying glass in the background to emphasize the investigative aspect of the service. He replaced the clip art with a photo of a stack of money to convey the bottom-line advantages the service provides. Finally, he moved the text to the left of the slide to focus the audience on the text before the image. Other slides in the presentation have a mix of text and images as well.

Results: The new slide provides a stronger conclusion by emphasizing the key advantages of Titan’s service visually as well as with the text. The audience members will focus first on the text, which details the benefits of the service, and then move to the image of the money, so their final impression is of the bottom-line effect Sales Sanity Check can provide. “The slide now conveys a stronger, more professional image,” says Paradi. “It better allows the presenter to close with a strong call to action.”

About the Expert: Dave Paradi, president of PowerPointLifeguard.com, rescues speakers and their audiences from Death by PowerPoint. He is an international speaker and author of Guide to PowerPoint to be published next year by Prentice Hall. His latest video tutorials, as well as details about his seminars, can be found at www.PowerPointLifeguard.com.

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
(Please send no more than three slides. Whole presentations will not be evaluated.)