Mar 1, 2018

How to analyse your audience (prospect) before a sales presentation?

Delivering a good B2B sales presentation is no easy task. A lot is at stake and that's why you need to prepare well. But you cannot deliver the exact same pitch to each and every client. When you schedule a meeting with a prospect, take out time and modify the sales presentation to suit this prospects' needs. Here is how you do it. Here is how you analyse your audience (prospect):

  • Who is the audience of my sales presentation? What is her role and designation within the company?
  • In what ways is she different from the last prospect I pitched to?
  • What does my audience expect from my sales presentation?
  • What does my audience already know about the product/solution and my company? Is she an experienced person or a new joinee?
  • How will my prospect evaluate my sales pitch?
  • What are the toughest questions she might ask?
  • Who are all the decision makers for the client? Is she a decision maker?
  • What do I want her (my audience) to feel? What is my emotional sales pitch?
  • How much time does she have for me? (presentation + questions and answers)
  • What is in it for her? How much is at stakes? What if this deal goes through? What if she chooses a bad vendor/service provider?
  • How big or important is this deal for the company and for the client?
Answering these questions before you start making/editing your sales presentation will help you well. Every prospect is slightly different and hence every sales pitch should also be slightly customized.

Want to add to this list? Leave your questions in the comments below.

Jan 26, 2018

4 Things your audience dislikes the most in a Presentation

Dave Paradi conducts a global survey every two years. He asks what annoys them the most about PowerPoint Presentations. Respondents are asked to pick the top three from a list of twelve options.

As a presenter, this survey helps you figure out the top mistakes that you need to avoid, because they annoy your audiences the most. Here is the result from Survey 2017:

  • "The speaker read out the slides to us" (68%)
  • "Full sentences for text" (52%)
  • "Text too small to read" (49%)
  • "Visuals too complex" (34%)

What does this mean for you as a presenter?

  1. Never ever read out the text from your slide. Your audience can read it themselves. They don't need you to do it.
  2. When presenting a deck in-person, do not write full sentences. Write 2-3 words and explain the rest of your content orally.
  3. Use large and legible fonts. Never go below 20. If you are presenting in a very large venue, try to visit the venue beforehand to test your slides or go with a large font size of 30 or more.
  4. Do not create complex charts and graphs. Avoid more than 2 charts on a slide. Avoid sharing too many data points on a slide. If your chart is complex, you might to only share the analysis and not the chart. After all, the audience cares more about the message.
Read the complete article here: Results of the 2017 Annoying PowerPoint survey

Jan 19, 2018

Startup Investor Pitch Workshop in Kolkata, India

I am organising a day-long presentation workshop for startups in Kolkata on February 4, 2018. If you are interested, enter your mobile number by clicking hereIt is ideal for early-stage startups looking to raise their first/second round.

3 hours: Workshop by me
3 hours: LIVE Pitching by each startup + Feedback to each startup


1. How to pitch to angels and VCs?
2. What does the investor look for?
3. How to structure your pitch?
4. What to say to an investor? (complete template)
5. How to design good slides?
6. Common mistakes to avoid while pitching

Book now by clicking here

Jan 15, 2018

How good are my Slides? Evaluate using this Slide Design Checklist

You have prepared your slides. But you are unsure if your slides are really good. What if you had a checklist through which you could run your slides. Here is one checklist.

Your slides are good if your response is YES to all the items on this checklist.
  • I have not used bullet points
  • I have prepared a slide (with few words) and not a report (with lots of words)
  • My photos are not hazy (pixellated)
  • I have not used cliched images and WordArt
  • I have not distorted the image while enlarging it
  • My fonts are legible. I have not used fonts below size 18
  • My charts are simple and easy to understand
  • I have not used 3-D charts
  • I have not used boring fonts like Arial, Calibri or Garamond
  • I have used a sans-serif font. I have not used a serif font
  • I have not used fancy fonts
  • I have not used more than 3 colours in my presentation
  • I have not used watermarked images
If your answer is NO to any of the above points, it is time to fix that problem. Unsure about how to fix? Ask your question in the comments section below.

Want to read more on slide design? I recommend these articles:

Jan 10, 2018

9 Common slide design mistakes [with examples]

#1 Too much information on one slide

#2 Long list of bullet points

#3 Using cliched, overused images

#4 Using WordArt. That's so 90s

#5 Trying to impress with extra-stylish charts

#6 Illegible fonts

#7 Using 3-D charts

#8 Difficult-to-read chart legends

#9 Too many colours

All slides taken from public sources. For academic purpose only.

Dec 18, 2017

How to use STORIES to pitch your IDEAS better?

Making a sales pitch to a client? Or an investor pitch? Or pitching an idea to your CEO?  Here is a proven way to make it impactful and memorable so that you get the result you want.

Package all your messages into a STORY

Selling any product or service has a few common elements. Why not wrap all these elements into one single story?

  • Problem faced by your client
  • Existing solution
  • Your solution
  • Benefits
  • Price
If you are selling an idea to your CEO, you could be addressing a problem or challenging the status quo. You will talk about your idea and its need, benefits and impact. It would be great if you pick up one story (or anecdote) which helps you explain everything.

Why stories work?

We love stories. We have been hearing stories since we were children. We read fiction and watch movies. Stories are entertaining and they are memorable. Your prospect or your CEO will forget your logical arguments and numbers but they will remember your stories.

How to present your story?

Jeff Dachis is the CEO & Founder of One Drop. One Drop makes glucometers (measures glucose levels of diabeticsand a diabetes management app. In this video Jeff pitches his product idea in front of INVESTORS. He uses one story (of Joanna) and presents everything through that. The entire pitch is over in 6 minutes.

I have played this video in front of many people in my workshops and everyone loves it. They remember the message and find it impactful as it stirs their emotions and packages so much information in a single story.

Breakdown of Jeff's investor pitch and storytelling structure

Jeff starts with a story. Meet Joanna. She fell unconscious in an elevator. She could have died. She is diabetic.

Joanna feels alone in her fight against diabetes. But she is not alone. 30 million Americans have diabetes. 345 million people in the world have diabetes. It is the most expensive healthcare problem we have today.

We took an unloved product like the glucometer and redesigned it completely. Our glucometer is a lifestyle product which makes you feel awesome. We also deliver the supplies every month. It is that convenient.

Joanna logs in her glucose level and insulin. She leaves a professional tip on the app. She also logs in a food moment by simply tacking a picture. Joanna can compare her timeline (one day vs. other days). She gets insights and is able to change her behaviour.

One Drop is also a first of its kind diabetes management app which allows you to live with diabetes more easily. It will succeed because it is convenient, powerful and reminds diabetics like Joanna that they are not alone. People, patients, doctors and insurance companies (all stakeholders) will love One Drop.

One Drop is free if you have insurance. This product is sold in the US, EU and some other countries.

Jeff ends his pitch in an amazing manner. The Joanna he talks about all along is no one else but himself. He fell unconscious and almost died in the elevator. With just one story Jeff has told us everything he would tell his investors. He also stirs up our emotions (that's the power of a story). He even tells us (without telling directly) as to why he is in this business. He is a diabetic himself. He understand his customers like no one else.

Final lesson for us

  • Write down what you want to tell your CEO, prospect or the investor.
  • Find (or create) ONE story through which you can cover all the points.
  • Say the story with emotions and you will make a winning pitch.
What do you think about this approach? How would you try it out?

Dec 11, 2017

17 Impressive Slides from 'Google for India' Keynote 2017

Google for India Conference (GFI 2017) took place last week in New Delhi, India. There were various keynote speeches delivered at the event. The overall quality of presentations was excellent. Here are 17 slides I have handpicked for your inspiration. Read the takeaways below, after you have browsed through the slides.

Rajan Anandan, Vice President - Google 

Anuradha Aggarwal, CMO - Marico

Other Speakers



Write important numbers in big and bold. It will create impact and catch attention. If you are at a big venue with hundreds of people in the audience your slides will be visible to someone in the last row too. Look at this slide.


Every speaker had one colour theme. Rajan Anandan's slides had red, Anuradha's slides had pink and Ford India's slides were blue. The other colour was dark grey. The choice of main colour was in tune with their brand colours. But more importantly, the colours were used well. Look at these slides.

Since blue was chosen as the colour for Anurag Mehrotra's slides (MD - Ford India), notice how it is used in all 3 slides. The right side of slide 1, the icons and highlights in slide 2 and the background in slide 3. Read this great tip on how to use colour to design great slides: 5 Tips to use Colours in presentations [Design secret #1]


There are no wordy slides at all in this Google conference. That is why the slides are so good looking. The tip for us is - write very few words on the slide. They are just your cue. Rehearse well for your keynote speech and you will create a wow experience for your audience. Read this well-researched article too: How to use FONTS to design better presentations? [Design secret #2]


Lots of slides have full screen images and they look fascinating. In case they could not use a large image, they have used icons. Using images and icons makes your slides beautiful and helps your audience get the message quickly. Look at these two slides.

Wondering where to get such amazing images and icons. Read this comprehensive guide: 7 Secrets of designing beautiful PowerPoint Presentations

Preparing a keynote speech? Check this article on how to structure it.

Let me know your views on these slides. Is there a slide that you like? Share it with me. Email: vivek [at] jazz factory [dot] in.