Part 2 180 Degree Shift – Are ZEN Slides Killing Your Sales Presentations?


What do you think of these slides?

A slide with picture of sunset at a beach with various rocks strewn around and the words – ‘It is the right time to launch our new software’?…

  • …or another slide with waves breaking against the shore talking about how unemployment rates are decreasing in the country?
  • Won’t it feel beautiful?
  • Won’t such poetic pictures take you to you a whole new world?
  • Won’t you feel so absorbed by these images that you find it difficult to take your eyes off the slides?

That is exactly my point. Those are the very reasons why these ‘Zen’ slides will kill your marketing presentations.

What is the real issue?

When you project these slides to your customers, what kind of questions can you imagine popping up in their head? Here is my guess:

  • “Is that sunrise or sunset? Those rocks look like bar graph. Wow!”
  • “How are those rocks balancing so well? How are they connected to our software? Is he subtly hinting at modular development of software by using that image?”
  • “Hey! This reminds of my trip to Mauritius. I really loved that vacation. I haven’t called Sandy for a long time. Let me note that in my diary.”

As you can see, none of these questions are going to help them make a meaningful purchase decision. The amusement you see in your audience eyes is not because of the strength of your argument, but because of the beauty of those ‘Zen’ pictures.

Stop killing your chances of winning a deal, by using such pointless but beautiful pictures on your slides.

Instead, create slides that will make your audience ask questions like…

  • “What kind of new opportunities have emerged in the market, to support the product launch?”
  • “How will this software solve the issues which we currently face?”
  • “How does this software compare to the competition? Why should I choose this software over any other?”

These questions when answered will help your customers make a purchase decision.

I am not against using full bleed images in presentation slides. But, you need to be sure that the pictures add clarity to your message – in an obvious way. When your audience has to ‘think’ for two minutes about the second level meaning of the images you use – stop.

When you feel that the images will divert your audience’s attention – save them for your son’s school project.

Remember! In your marketing presentation, YOU are the hero. Your slides are your support. Don’t let your slides dominate YOU for any reason.

Happy selling!