I recently created a new business pitch in the form of a PowerPoint. While I had to create countless PowerPoints as a student, these presentations are twice as important. It can mean the difference between taking on or losing a client or campaign.
Here are a few things I keep in mind when creating these kinds of presentations:
  1. Use the client’s language. Does the client refer to people as customers, clients, travelers, patrons or guests? Be sure that the content of the PowerPoint is understandable to the client.
  2. KISS: Keep It Short and Sweet. The text on the slides should be concisely written. When presenting, you can elaborate more to discuss the information not on the slides. This can help the audience to pay more attention to you rather than simply reading the slides.
  3. Be consistent. It’s easy to use multiple terms for the same idea. My example is e-mail marketing – it may be referred to as e-mail promotions, e-promotions, e-marketing, and in a variety of other forms. The key is to consistently use the same term throughout the presentation in order to not confuse the audience. Also, be sure that style, punctuation and voice are consistent.
  4. Prove your points. It’s not really effective to tell a client that social media can help them reach more customers. Why should they believe you? Try to find case studies and statistics (preferably within the client’s own industry) to support the points you want to make.
  5. Call to action. A presentation to a client shouldn’t just inform. It should motivate them, selling the services you can offer (if you work for an agency, anyway).
  6. Review the presentation. Have several other professionals go through the presentation. They can tell you if you are being clear, if there is too much jargon and if the slides are too long.

What would you suggest to a young professional creating a PowerPoint presentation? As a young professional, what kind of trip-ups have you experienced with presentations and how would you prevent them?

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  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rachel M. Esterline , Kaylea Notarthomas. Kaylea Notarthomas said: So true & amazingly useful to know ppt! RT @rachelesterline Six PowerPoint Tips for Young PR and Marketing Professionals http://ow.ly/2c2KD [...]

  2. [...] Rachel has six Powerpoint tips for young professionals. What are some of [...]

  3. As our Presentation Assistance Service’s coordinator, one of the worst habits I see with presentations is that I am given a handout that is useless. It is not supplementary or necessary, but rather redundant or distracting. Printing out PowerPoint slides to take notes with works for some people in college classes, but I want something that gives additional information that I can take with me and look over quickly, but delves deeper. Statistics are awful to go through in a presentation if that is the primary focus. If they are important, then they can be handed out and one or two examples should be taken from them.

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About

Rachel M. Esterline works in public relations and marketing communications. Her blog, ExPRessions, contains her musings about PR, marketing, career and professional development, Gen Y issues, personal branding and more. Rachel also does freelance consulting and writing. She is originally from Genesee, Mich., and will graduate from Central Michigan University in May 2010.