If you’ve ever been to a marketing conference – or any major conference or convention for that matter – you already know that not all Powerpoint presentations are made equally. Some are very bland, boring, and by the book. Others come alive with imagery, humor, and a compelling storyline while serving as a springboard for the presenter.
And yet I find that many enterprise marketers both at agencies and working in-house positions fail to fully tap into the power that this Microsoft software relic has to offer.
Note: There are various other software programs capable of matching or even exceeding Powerpoint including cloud-based solutions like Google Docs’ “Presentation” app.
For years, I’ve told people in this digital marketing thing of ours that executing a successful marketing program is as much about selling as it is about strategic or tactical expertise. If you can’t get buy-in from executives or cross-functional stakeholders it’s unlikely that your ideas and initiatives will ever come to fruition no matter how smart they truly are.
In my experience, cliche as it may sound, more often than not it’s the Powerpoint presentation that’s the go-to format for conveying ideas in a way that can be easily digested by executives and stakeholders alike. And yet, I’ve come across so many people both on the agency side and on the in-house side that wouldn’t know how to build a solid Powerpoint deck if their life depended on it.
Moreover, some of the folks that do know how to build a decent Powerpoint deck and have seen what a truly influential Powerpoint presentation looks and feels likes make a crucial mistake in my opinion. That mistake is thinking that the kinds of decks they see at conferences are not “corporate” (e.g. tame) enough to be used in the day-to-day business environment. And so they insist on including tons of verbiage, complex data-graphs, and sterile agenda with not even a hint of the story-line patterns that are proven to move people. That or they convince themselves that since they’re not a professional artist or graphic designer they’re better of building slides with no imagery at all; the equivalent of a word doc in prose form only on a Powerpoint slide instead.
And that’s if they put any thought into the process of creating great presentations at all. Some never do. They dismiss Powerpoint presentations out of hand as unnecessary nuisances and then wonder why their ideas are never executed and why their online marketing careers are stagnating.
If you’re reading this and recognize yourself in any of the proceeding assertions it’s time to take action. Start by reading one of the many fantastic books on how to go about building truly great presentations. And then start practicing by putting your various strokes of strategic or tactical inspiration into Powerpoint format.
Before you know it, more of the no’s will become yes’ and more of your approach to marketing will be adopted by your clients and or corporate colleagues. And that can be a very good thing for both your marketing KPIs and your personal career.