Q: Are you a PowerPoint kind of rep?

Andy – Issaquah, Wash.

A: PowerPoints are part of a sales rep’s repertoire, but like everything, it’s the implementation that’s key. There’s a right way and wrong way to do it. The length of your presentation should be considered, as well as how much text vs. visuals you put in there.

Want some advice? Don’t be a bullet-reader. Researches at University of NSW in Australia concluded in a study that the human brain processes and retains more information if it is digested in either its verbal or written form, but not both at the same time. John Sweller, from the university’s faculty of education, said the use of PowePoint’s been a disaster, in so much as presenters’ tendencies to read what’s already on the screen.

“It is effective to speak to a diagram, because it presents information in a different form. But it is not effective to speak the same words that are written, because it is putting too much load on the mind and decreases your ability to understand what is being presented.”

A link to the full article is here.

And this concept is perfectly illustrated in the first few seconds of this guy’s stand-up routine.

That’s not to say you should load up on graphs and visuals and nothing else. It’s just … don’t go point by point through those bullets. And always leave time for questions . Be more concerned about the flow of your presentation. Aim for it to produce dialogue between you and your customer, not glazed eyes and a snore from the guy in the corner of the board room.

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