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display and presentation

For display and presentation, should you be using flip charts, whiteboards or PowerPoint?

When it comes to making sales, technology is your best friend. From demonstrating products to highlighting figures and displaying charts, the salesperson loves their high-tech tools. Step into any presentation across the UK and you’re bound to witness a snazzy PowerPoint presentation clearly highlighting all the amazing features of the product on offer.

But is PowerPoint really the most powerful tool at your disposal? Does your snazzy presentation really deliver results? Or is there something a little more basic that can actually do the job better?

Can we improve our display and presentation strategy?

Back in the days of yesteryear, there was no PowerPoint. There was only the humble pen and paper, but it didn’t stop people being able to sell. In fact, by using chunky markers and large sheets of paper, the salesperson was often able to convince and convert just as effectively as he or she does today.

In the modern sales environment, the humble flip charts and whiteboards have taken a back seat, as technology has pressed on, making us into film directors as well as awesome sales personnel. But were we right to move away from the simple, effective medium of ad-hoc whiteboarding, or should it still hold a place in our regular sales toolbox?

And the winner is…

An interesting piece of research by the Aberdeen Group found that using a whiteboard as part of a two way, interactive presentation lead to 50 per cent more conversions than using a static PowerPoint display alone. Despite this, other research by Corporate Visions found that whiteboards are only used around 13 per cent of the time, compared to 33 per cent for PowerPoint.

So, by choosing to take a whiteboard or flip chart and pens to your next display and presentation engagement, you could elicit a better response from your customer. You could also stand out from the crowd, as our research tells us only one person in every ten will choose to present in this manner. Sounds good, right?

How to use flip charts in display and presentation situations

If you’re not all that confident in using a flip chart, here are some tips to help you wow your next audience:

  1. Prepare some pages in advance for your presentation
  2. Leave a blank page between every prepared page to note down comments or illustrate something off the cuff
  3. If you intend to illustrate with diagrams or charts as you move through your presentation, draw light pencil outlines to guide your hand
  4. Either create a title page or leave a blank page at the start to avoid distracting your audience with the first page of text
  5. Leave space on each page to add in comments from your audience; use a different colour for this
  6. Use large letters so everyone can read them; around three inches tall is a good size, but avoid using all capitals as it looks unprofessional and messy
  7. Stand to the side once you’ve written or drawn on the chart so people can see
  8. Use dark blue or black for writing; reserve bright colours for charts
  9. Practice writing with the flip chart on an easel so you can develop your horizontal writing skills without the words falling downhill
  10. Go back through your chart following the presentation and make notes on what came out of your meeting. Send these to your client as a follow up.

Flip charts and whiteboards don’t have to be used exclusively. You can combine the use of these with slides to vary your presentation as it moves along. Having said that, if you’re just having a short meeting with a client about one particular issue, a flip chart can be a better choice than trying to use slides.

Flip charts and whiteboards will never crash on you, don’t require much time to set up, and are valuable in stimulating interaction with your audience in a way a static presentation cannot. Check out our products in our display and presentation category to find the right tools for your next talk.

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Last Modified / Updated on: May 31, 2018 at 11:04 am