Despite awareness of the several advantages of utilising the PowerPoint presentation tool, there have been occasions where the use of slides was not required. Being an adherent of PowerPoint, I have clearly bungled some sales pitches where the audience/prospects had cause to prefer ‘No slides’ presentation. Please assist me with some vital tips on how to get it right in this area. More so, it will even help in my new role as a budding pastor – Michael Orji
It is not out of place to assume that proficiency in presentation, without using slides, is of relevance in pastoral prowess. This further lays credence to my ‘well bandied’ claim that marketing applies in most endeavours. Even where the subject here is on sales (an aspect of marketing), what is being conveyed could easily be applied to most situation where a presentation occurs (e.g. for product or service, and even concept, idea, gospel or sermon). In summary, just note that you can still come out with your best pitch, win over prospects and make more sales, in a ‘No slides’ presentation.
I endorse the use of slides, which comes to play in most of my talks at seminars and workshops. I do not only use slides, I even personally create whatever related concept, using the PowerPoint software. However, provision must be made for occasions where one makes a sales pitch or other forms of presentation without the aid of slides (a ‘No slides’ presentation). Achieving mastery of ‘No slides’ presentation sales pitches even makes one adept. I commend you for being conscious of the need to acquire techniques in addressing various audiences without slides, especially when a pastor who uses slides to reach out to his congregation here will be generally perceived as odd.
For the benefit of other readers, allow me throw some light on certain concepts and terms that come to play here. The term ‘sales pitch’ is not out of this world. It simply refers to planned presentation on whatever is being offered (e.g. product, service, idea, gospel, etc) fashioned to initiate and close a sale. It is essentially designed either as an introduction of an offering to an audience who is ignorant of it, or a descriptive expansion of what is being offered which an audience has already expressed interest in. A sales pitch could be formal or otherwise, and put across in various ways.
By presentation slide, I mean a slide being a single page of a presentation or collectively as a group of slides adopted for a ‘slide show’. The latter is often the vogue. These days such is carried out using presentation programmes such as Microsoft ‘PowerPoint’ or Apple ‘Keynote’ or ‘OpenOffice impress’, involving projection on a screen using a magnifying device or digital projector. Since most shades of presentation nowadays seem incomplete without the use of the PowerPoint application, its brief definition here could be quite useful – PowerPoint is a slide presentation software (programme) delivered by Microsoft as part of the Microsoft Office Suite, and runs on Microsoft Windows operating system.
While I do not hesitate to express that I am in a position to provide strategies and techniques on how to professionally go about ‘the flip side’ of the subject here, that is effectively delivering a sale pitch with the aid of slides, I intend to make known vital tips on how to get it right in making a non-slide supported presentation, with some essential ingredients. These are comprised of overview of what you must give serious consideration to from the onset, before other practical steps critical to not making a fool of oneself in front of an audience. Such measures, hinged on the ability to overcome speech anxiety, no doubt help to uplift the outcome of a presentation.
Since the saying, “no audience, no presentation” always remains true, what you have to offer must be tailored to your audience. You sales pitch will amount to a complete waste of time if you opt to ignore this rule. Always note that even before the commencement of whatever you desire to make known publicly in this form, your knowledge of the audience make up an important factor in the success of the presentation. This entails adherence to checklist such as, knowing the audience background; extent of knowledge about the subject; seeking any group dynamics of the audience; identifying ‘influencers’ or leaders within the audience; likely size of the audience; and the duration of the presentation. These certainly will gear any presentation towards the audience and its needs.
Understanding your audience, what it knows about your topic (along with its desires), affords a platform for you to favourably present from an audience view-point; which affords you platform for providing examples connected to the audience interests. An audience with an impression that a presentation is designed to go well with it, is obviously going to respond favourably.
After taken cognizance of important issues about the audience, as stated above, you must take a close look at how prepared you are, through a self-analysis. With this, ensure you have positive response to questions such as: How knowledgeable are you about the subject? Is the time for preparation sufficient for the type of presentation that you intend to put forward? Are you really interested in the subject, the event, and the composition of the audience? (To be continued).