Every single slide in your sales presentation needs to earn its place. It should contribute to your story to persuade your prospect to change their behaviour. However, at BrightCarbon we see certain “filler” slides cropping up again and again. It’s time to look at your sales presentation with a critical eye and get rid of slides that aren’t pulling their weight!

The Map

Screenshot of a PowerPoint slide with a map filling the space. Title: Bright Company Our Locations. The message of a map slide, if there’s one at all, is something along the lines of “we’re big”, “we’re global”, “we’re successful”. The best you’re going to achieve with this is to convey a vague sense that your business is doing well. Fine. The problem is that this is a very inward looking message with little thought given to how your company’s size or location impacts your prospect. Why should they care? Delete the slide!

The exception

If the fact that you have offices (or manufacturing locations or whatever!) in specific places directly benefits your prospect, then a map slide can be effective. However, you need to explicitly show how your geographical positioning can solve their problems. Perhaps it means that you can deliver to their customers faster, or ensure their products are always made with locally sourced materials. Can you give them a wider reach, or 24/7 customer support? Rather than simply showing your locations on a map, add extra information, like where your prospect’s largest customer base is. This shows them why your presence in a certain state or set of countries is important to them.

The Portfolio

Okay, you don’t have to delete your portfolio slide but please don’t place it at the beginning of your sales presentation! At this point in your presentation, a list of products, services, or solutions has little meaning to your audience. You need to make it clear that your prospect has a problem and show how the problem is hurting them before introducing your solution.

Why do it this way round? Once your audience acknowledges they have a problem, they start to think about how they can to solve it. You set up tension which you can resolve by providing the solution – you!

The ideal

Rather than just listing everything you can do, or all your products and specs, try to connect these to specific client needs. Alternatively, use your portfolio slide as a hyperlinked menu. You can see what services or solutions your audience is interested in and jump to that section of the deck for more details.

The Headshots

Will a swish black and white photo of the CEO convince your prospect that a certain product is going to solve their problems? I doubt it. Well-meaning presentation creators often put a headshot-based slide or org chart near the beginning of a sales presentation as an introduction to the company or team. Unfortunately, these slides swing the focus of the presentation onto you and your company right when it should be all about your audience. Cut it out!

Sales presentation slide with the title 'Bright Company Meet the Team'. There are 4 headshots with the job titles of the employees underneath.

The exception

If one of your USPs is the specific team that the prospect will be working with, then it might be appropriate to include headshots along with some information about how the team’s expertise will benefit your audience. Don’t just shove this at the beginning of your presentation though, make sure it fits with the flow of the deck. This example contrasts Bright Company’s approach with that taken by their competitors to clearly outline how an agile team structure would benefit their audience.

Click here for more information on how to structure a sales presentation.

The Logos

A slide full of logos says nothing more than here are some companies we’ve worked with (Are those companies relevant to your prospect? Was the work successful?) and yet we see these slide in sales presentations all the time.

The alternative

While flashing up a bunch of logos might give your prospect some confidence in you, including relevant testimonials or case studies slotted into a meaningful presentation structure and linked to your USPs is going to be a more effective strategy. If you claim to be more cost effective or faster than a competitor, present case studies that demonstrate this. You can also match your testimonials to your prospect if you do your research ahead of time. For example, if your prospect has a particularly complex organizational structure to navigate show them a testimonial from a similar organization.

The Company Timeline

Sales presentation screenshot with the title 'Bright Company Our Story'. There is a timeline with company achievements.

I’m sorry to break it to you but no one really cares about your company history except you. Your audience want to know how you can help them today to improve their future, they’re not there for a history lesson.

The exception

Any company history you share needs to be meaningful to your audience. Perhaps one of your USPs is innovation, and a timeline of the last 10 years demonstrates that your company is always ahead of the curve in adopting or creating new technology. Or perhaps you’re talking about stability and a timeline shows consistent growth despite industry instability. Think about where this message best fits in your story and avoid making a timeline part of an irrelevant ‘About us’ section at the beginning of your deck.

So, clickbait blog post title? Maybe a little. I’m not saying that all of these types of sale presentation slides need to be totally outlawed, but presenters do need to start using them so they support a persuasive story and help maintain focus on the prospect. Any other slide types that you think need the chop? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Want to learn more about sales presentations? We’ve got you covered:

How to make the ULTIMATE sales presentation

Sales presentation messages: Best practice

How to write great value propositions for sales presentations

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Written by

Olivia Kippax Jones

Senior consultant

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