Want better results from your sales presentations? Ditch your slides and decks and conduct structured conversations with clients and prospects.

That’s the advice of the author of a newly-published book entitled Five Steps to Conquer ‘Death by PowerPoint’.

“Before you even think about putting together another PowerPoint presentation, keep in mind that there is absolutely no evidence to indicate that slides are even remotely effective at helping people communicate,” says Eric Bergman. “In fact, the research is pointing in exactly the opposite direction. So, if you wish to communicate effectively with your clients and prospects, use slides and decks at your own risk—and pray that your competitors are still using theirs.”

Use slides in presentations at your own risk
Bergman doesn’t make this statement lightly. The foreword to Five Steps to Conquer ‘Death by PowerPoint’ is written by John Sweller, Ph.D., one of the world’s leading experts on cognitive science and how the human mind processes information to learn. Professor Sweller’s research has been cited more than 6,000 times in academic articles and journals.

“Currently, we use technology such as PowerPoint because we can, not because it results in improvements,” Professor Sweller writes. “I feel the evidence is overwhelming that the way in which we currently organize presentations is ineffective and inappropriate.”

Five Steps to ‘Death by PowerPoint’ has been written to provide a practical alternative for delivering all kinds of presentations, including sales presentations. Its concept are equally relevant one-on-one and with groups. It has the potential to revolutionize the way presenters, and their audiences, view presentations in the future.

The book’s first chapter—“The Pied Piper of PowerPoint”—shines a critical light on ten basic assumptions for using slide programs (like PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi or SlideRocket), plus the overriding assumption that slides are necessary or desirable for effective communication in the first place.

The next five chapters are five simple steps that can be implemented to reduce the likelihood of evoking ‘Death by PowerPoint’ on others, while enhancing communication effectiveness:
  1. Put the Audience First by tailoring the discussion to the audience’s specific needs.
  2. Structure the Conversation by using a proven framework to put ideas into context.
  3. Minimize Visual Aids by questioning the value of each and every slide.
  4. Convey Your Message & Personality by creating a two-way, conversational exchange.
  5. Answer Questions Throughout by keeping your answers short to enhance interaction and interest.
The final chapter provides insights into “Overcoming the Addiction” and introduces the audience manifesto, a tool by which audiences everywhere can say: “Please, no more mind-numbing, slide-driven presentations. There is life after PowerPoint. And we’d like to live it.”

The book has already received strong reviews. “While reading the book, I was riveted by the content,” says Glenn Ives, chair, Deloitte & Touche LLP. “My mind was flying through my own presentations; the things I could have improved, how the audience must have felt, how this information could be applied to our board of director meetings.

“Eric provides straight-forward advice to presenting ideas effectively. This book is well worth reading.”

Professor Sweller concurs: “Eric Bergman’s techniques are a window to the future of this important human activity.”

Read the foreword by Professor Emeritus John Sweller.

Read a sample of the book.

Buy the book from Amazon.

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