Steve Jobs once commented, “People who know what they’re talking about don’t need PowerPoint.” Whether that’s a slight exaggeration or a big one, it is true that most of our sales pitches and presentations rely heavily on visual aids and collateral. These can be a crutch for those of us who might not know our content inside and out (there’s only so much data most of us can memorize). But these can also get in the way of us focusing on the most important part of our pitch: the people we’re speaking to.
Whether you’re mired in materials, distracted by your deck, or just on a roll without remembering your audience, you the risk of losing your listeners’ interest, attention and connection. Once you lose that, you’ve lost your opportunity to build the relationship, have a positive influence, and ultimately, make a successful sale.