Recently, I sat through some vendor presentations and while I won’t name names, I just have to say: learn to give better talks. If I had a dime for every speaker that said some variation of “if you can read this slide” I’d be playing *a lot* more golf. In what I can only call yet another example of how Scott Adams hides out in my office, our friend Wally shows off a slide that I think I saw earlier this week.
Oh, and saying “I hope none of you are color blind” isn’t all that funny. Why do people feel compelled to jam twenty things onto one slide? Are the little bits of electrons that costly? I for one have a rather unique presenting style and while my slides don’t do much as takeaways, I have yet to hear someone say they weren’t spot on for presenting. And whatever you do, make an extra pass through your deck for typos; some may still slip through, but trust me, you’re judged on them.
If you find yourself doing any amount of presenting, I beg you to attend a couple of Toastmasters meetings (the damn bell will cure you of filler words – ahs, ums, you knows – right quick.) Spend some quality time on Garr Reynolds’ Presentation Zen, help us all and absorb his lessons. Oh, and if you’re sending people out into the field to represent your company, do us all a favor and send someone with passion. The last vendor talk I sat through nearly put me (and most of the attendees) to sleep and I assure you, that doesn’t improve your odds of a sale.