Jim Stone's blog on issues relating to creating professional presentations for the technology industry.


Corporate Slide Decks

Posted in [General], [PowerPoint] By Jim Stone

In most technology companies, there are several corporate slide decks created by marketers and product marketers.  Sales and other customer facing individuals use these decks to assemble presentations for specific audiences; or at least that is what should happen. 

In real life, the decks are often used without modification.  Even worse, presenters stack multiple decks together.  On more than one occasion I have seen very long corporate overviews preceding a product presentation.  Recently I viewed a product presentation where 13 of 21 slides could be considered “corporate”.    Send that presenter directly to jail!

Standard corporate slide decks are used for the vast majority of presentations made by technology company sales and marketing professionals.  I am ok with that assuming the base presentation is good.  What I am not ok with is when the presentation is “to” the audience rather than “for” the audience.  What is the difference?

A presentation “to” the audience is where the presenter pulls out the same presentation they gave to the last five prospects and just changes the name on the title slide.  A presentation “for” the audience is where the presenter uses the available slides, and unique slides they have crafted themselves to the meet the objective of the presentation, and the needs and expectations of the audience.

Let’s be honest.  Almost everyone in a customer facing sales and marketing role has delivered the exact same presentation, without modification, to multiple audiences. Certainly I have.  But times are changing and audiences have a lower tolerance for poor unfocused presentations.  Next time you give a presentation, are you going do it right, or are you going to leave that to your competitor?

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