April 4

How to Create a PowerPoint Sales Presentation That Is Engaging & Builds Trust

As a business development professional, your PowerPoint presentations should communicate more than just information. They should aid your efforts to build a trust-based relationship with your prospects. Only some salespeople have ever been taught how to design a PowerPoint pitch deck that not only delivers information but also fosters a genuine connection with their audience. Fortunately, today, I will share a bit of scientific research and SIX PowerPoint sales presentation tips that shed light on how to build authentic relationships with buyers through better-designed PowerPoint presentations.

Connect with your audience using storytelling 

Research has shown that storytelling is a powerful way to engage and connect with people. According to Uri Hasson, a neuroscientist from Princeton University, listening to stories can trigger neural coupling, where the brain activity of the storyteller and the listener syncs up (Hasson et al., 2016).

Why is that important, you ask?

Because the study showed this connection helps your audience retain information and empathize with your message. Considering the average prospect only retains 10% of your presentation, framing your presentation as a story versus a dissertation might just be the difference between winning and losing the pitch.

Choose the right visuals to support your message 

Visuals are crucial in capturing your audience's attention and boosting information retention. Research from the University of Minnesota found that presentations with visuals were 43% more persuasive than those without (Vogel et al., 1986). However, it's essential to choose visuals that support your message rather than distract from it.

For instance, if you're presenting contrasting information or data, you might frame one grouping inside the image of an apple and the other within the image of an orange, playing off the well-known "comparing apples and oranges" metaphor.

Harness the power of body language 

Body language plays a significant role in how your message is perceived. Studies have shown that nonverbal cues account for up to 93% of communication effectiveness (Mehrabian, 1971). Thus, as both presenter and participant, stay attuned to these subtle signals. Not only does it give you an edge in reading your audience, you'll be more likely to hear the unspoken needs, wants OR concerns driving acceptance or rejection of your pitch.

Be authentic and show vulnerability 

Authenticity is vital in building trust with your audience. Research from Harvard Business School found that people who displayed vulnerability were more likable and trustworthy. Far too many sellers wrongly continue to ascribe to the traditional, aggressive, Type-A sales approach. But don't fall victim to that kind of thinking. Instead, channel your inner introvert -- introverts often have a natural ability to be genuine and open, which can be a significant asset in sales presentations -- so steal their secret and leverage it to deliver more compelling and engaging PowerPoint pitches.

To deliver a more engaging PowerPoint sales presentation, show your human side. Share your struggles and successes, and be honest about your product or service. This openness will help your prospects connect with you on a deeper level, leading to trust creation more quickly than if you keep them at arm's length as most salespeople prefer.

Focus on quality content

No matter how visually appealing your presentation is, the content will ultimately persuade your audience. Invest time in crafting a compelling narrative that addresses your audience's needs and pain points. Then use facts, data, and testimonials to support your claims, making your presentation more credible and persuasive. Ruthlessly edit your PowerPoint presentation until every single point on every single slide is absolutely essential. Remember, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A FILLER SLIDE if you want people to pay attention to you.

Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse 

I cannot overstate the importance of rehearsing before presenting. PLEASE rehearse your presentation multiple times. I usually practice delivering a new PowerPoint presentation or Keynote talk at least 10 times before I actually deliver it live. This helps me refine my delivery and pacing. It also helps (at least it helps me) to HEAR the presentation out loud.

So often, what looks good on screen or inside your head sounds odd when presented aloud. So practice, revise, and practice again until you're confident the PowerPoint presentation is as effective as possible.

An added bonus: the more comfortable you feel with your material, the more confident and engaging you'll be during your presentation.

Have you read: How to Craft The Perfect Pitch?   

Click Here to Read Next

Six SIMPLE PowerPoint Sales Presentation Tips To Make Your Next Sales Presentation More Compelling and Effective

Remember, the key to creating and delivering an engaging PowerPoint sales presentation is not about having a flashy design or being an extroverted speaker. It's about connecting with your audience on a deeper level and addressing their needs effectively. By following these six simple tips, listening, empathizing, and focusing your presentation efforts on building trust with your audience –  you'll have no problem delivering a successful sales presentation.

So go out there and conquer your next sales pitch with confidence.

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