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How to shorten a sales presentation [A guide]

Recently an interesting meeting was booked on my calendar directly from our website – "We want to shorten our sales presentation" – straight from the communications manager of a Fortune 500 IT firm. This request was surprising & piqued my interest.

Typically, clients rely on discovery meetings to define their needs. However, this request seemed different, as if they already knew what they wanted.

Upon joining the meeting, I found myself face-to-face with three eager participants. "Can you show this sales presentation to me?" I asked. They promptly unveiled a staggering 59-slide deck, leaving me momentarily stunned.

"This is too long for the audience to stay engaged," I remarked, upon which they explained: "When making it internally, everything seemed important, so we decided to include it all."

With a plan in mind, I declared, "Here's what we're going to do with this deck." And thus, the journey began to transform their cumbersome sales presentation into a concise, impactful masterpiece.

So, in this article, I'll take you through the exact process we followed to trim that bloated deck down to size. I hope this will help you too.

How to shorten a sales presentation [Step by-step guide]

Step 1: Determine Your Audience and Their Decision-Making Parameters

Before diving into trimming your sales deck, it's crucial to understand your audience and what drives their decision-making process. Identify the key stakeholders involved in the decision to ensure your presentation resonates with their interests and priorities.

For example, if you pitch to executives, focus on high-level strategic insights and financial metrics. If you're targeting technical decision-makers, emphasize product features and functionality.

Step 2: Eliminate Irrelevant Information/Slides

Once you've identified your audience, review your sales deck with a critical eye to identify any irrelevant or redundant information. Remove slides that don't directly contribute to your core message or fail to address your audience's needs. Keep your presentation focused and concise to maintain your audience's attention throughout.

For Example, If your sales deck includes slides detailing company history or unrelated case studies, consider removing them to streamline the presentation. Instead, prioritize slides that showcase the unique value proposition of your product or service and address specific pain points of your audience.

Step 3: Establish a Compelling Narrative Structure

Crafting a compelling narrative structure is essential to guide your audience through your presentation and keep them engaged from start to finish. Organize your content in a logical sequence that builds momentum and leads to a clear call to action. Use storytelling techniques to create an emotional connection with your audience and make your message memorable.

For example, structure your presentation like a story, with a beginning, middle, and end. Start by introducing the problem your audience faces, then present your solution as the hero of the story. Finally, conclude with a compelling call to action that encourages your audience to take the next step, whether it's scheduling a demo or signing a contract.

Step 4: Rewrite Content for Maximum Impact

With your narrative structure in place, focus on refining the content of your slides to ensure maximum impact. Use clear language to convey your message and avoid jargon or technical terms that may confuse your audience. Highlight key benefits and value propositions to demonstrate the benefits of your product or service.

For example, instead of listing technical specifications, focus on how your product addresses specific pain points or improves efficiency for your audience. Use customer testimonials or case studies to provide social proof and validate your claims.

Step 5: Solicit Feedback and Refine Content

Seek feedback from colleagues, mentors, or trusted advisors to identify areas for improvement in your sales deck. Use their insights to refine your content and ensure it aligns with your audience's interests. Test your presentation with a small group of target customers to gather feedback and make any necessary adjustments before finalizing your deck.

For example, present your revised sales deck to a focus group of potential customers and ask for their honest feedback. Pay attention to their reactions and questions to identify any areas where your message may be unclear or ineffective. Use this feedback to make further refinements to your presentation.

Step 6: Dive into the Design Phase

Once you've finalized the content of your sales deck, it's time to dive into the design phase. Create visually appealing slides that complement your message and enhance the overall impact of your presentation. Use consistent branding elements, colors, and fonts to reinforce your company's identity and create a professional and cohesive look.

Work with us

Link to our service page for sales deck development

If you're overwhelmed with the task of streamlining your sales deck or crafting one from scratch, look no further. As a seasoned presentation design agency, we specialize in transforming complex ideas into captivating visual narratives. Whether you need to trim down an existing deck or create a brand new one, we're here to lend our expertise. Reach out to us via the contact section of our website or schedule a meeting directly from there. We're eager to collaborate and help you make a lasting impression with your presentation!


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