3 PowerPoint Mistakes Sellers and Marketers Should Avoid at All Costs

By Jodi Cachey | February 24, 2021

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As more sales organizations make the switch from in-person to digital selling, the gap between what buyers expect and the experience sellers deliver is growing. But in a Zoom economy where one in three people admits to falling asleep during a PowerPoint presentation, is it possible to close the gap?

It is if you create, present, and share content that engages, inspires, and ultimately closes deals. 

Static, linear PowerPoint presentations aren’t enough to captivate remote buyers. You need to uplevel your sales presentations to keep today’s buyers interested. 

Common PowerPoint Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make

By nature, people are visual learners. We remember just 20% of what we read, but 80% of what we see. So, especially in a remote and digital environment, it’s critical to lean in to visual storytelling. Incorporating animations into your PowerPoint presentations can help you both grab your buyer’s attention and set the tempo for the sales interaction. 

As animations build, sellers have a chance to catch their breath and think about where to take the conversation next. They are better positioned to eloquently articulate what it is they’re trying to say while giving buyers the opportunity to process the information they’re given and respond with questions. By default, the engagement becomes more collaborative and impactful, building buyer confidence in both the seller and the offering. 

But be careful. Without the right attention to detail, animations could backfire and actually hurt sales performance. When adding PowerPoint animations to your sales presentations, consider the following to avoid making costly PowerPoint mistakes.

1. More PowerPoint animations don’t necessarily equal higher engagement.

Add too many PowerPoint animations and transitions, and you could wind up distracting buyers rather than engaging them. Be purposeful about where and when you use animations. Don’t use animations to be flashy. Use them to help your sellers guide buyers through a more consistent and compelling story. 

2. Preview mode can wreck your PowerPoint animations faster than you created them. 

Animations are meant to enhance the user experience in live presentations. But if you plan to send the content to a prospect or customer to review at their convenience or share with other key stakeholders, you’ll likely hurt the user experience, not help it. 

Most people view shared PowerPoint files in mobile, Mac or Google preview modes – all of which are notorious for wrecking PowerPoint presentations. Preview modes display all slides at once and give animations an incomplete or broken appearance. 

[2/24] 3 PowerPoint Mistakes Sellers and Marketers Should Avoid at All Costs

But let’s say your prospect or customer does open the deck in PowerPoint. They still won’t see animations or videos unless they enter presentation mode. (Be honest with yourself. Do you really think anyone is going to do that?)

3. The larger your PowerPoint file, the less likely you can share it over email. 

Using animations to bring images, video, or graphs into your PowerPoint presentation can quickly increase your file size and make it impossible to send the file via email without compressing it or creating a link. But compressing the file or having to send it as a Google Drive link also hurts the user experience by reducing the quality of the images and videos included and/or creating more clicks to content.

3 PowerPoint Mistakes Sellers and Marketers Should Avoid at All Costs  

The #1 Foolproof Way to Avoid PowerPoint Mistakes 

So where does that leave us? We know PowerPoint animations can help us lead more lively and compelling sales presentations. But from a technical perspective, it’s easy to sabotage the user experience. 

Fortunately, the right sales enablement platform can help you remedy each of these PowerPoint mistakes before they even become an issue. Here’s how:

Looking for more ways to lean in to visual storytelling and uplevel remote sales meetings? Check out our recorded webinar How to Create Interactive Content and Presentations for Remote Selling.

Jodi Cachey is the Vice President of Content Strategy & Growth Marketing at Mediafly, where she is responsible for the strategy and execution of all content marketing initiatives to drive traffic, demand, and growth. With over a decade of experience in the tech space, her previous roles include sales, business development, sales enablement, and product marketing. Jodi attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Media Studies.

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