Straight to the Point
by Manny Hondroulis
I want to try something new. Rather than writing about how the Internet
can help our industry, I thought Iíd discuss how productivity software
can help us do our jobs better. Productivity software is a generic term
for spreadsheets, word processing, e-mail, slide shows and database applications.
The most widely used and accepted suite (compilation of various applications)
is Microsoft Office.
After I graduated from college I accepted a position at General Electric.
It was there that I was introduced to the ways of corporate America and
how presentations are communicated. It seemed that every idea, no matter
how big or small, was presented through Microsoft PowerPoint. So as not
to be left behind or uninformed in my new position, I spent one Saturday
learning how to use the program and Iíve been using it regularly ever
The Big Picture
PowerPoint is part of Microsoft Office and is a modern alternative to
old-fashioned transparencies displayed on an overhead or slide projector.
Itís a great tool in helping you communicate a clear and concise message.
I use it when presenting to end-users, architects, influencers and prospective
Just like in the days of overhead projectors, the basic building block
of a PowerPoint presentation is the slide. That, however, is where the
similarity ends. PowerPoint is much more. You can incorporate videos,
photos, different fonts in different colors, charts, graphs, shapes and
animation. You can even create your slides to have a look and feel consistent
with your companyís brand.
The key to creating an effective presentation is to first organize your
thoughts and then determine the beginning (point A) and end (point B)
of your message. In other words, the PowerPoint presentation you create
will help your audience and you go from Point A to Point B.
impact provided by PowerPoint goes a long way
in explaining a presumably new concept.Ē
Driving the Lessons Home
The specifics of using PowerPoint can best be explained by the countless
books (i.e. PowerPoint for Dummies) and online tutorials on the subject.
So letís look at how PowerPoint can be used in the window film industry.
Iíve never been one for taking a casual approach to a sales call, especially
a commercial one. Rather than jumping in and measuring the windows right
away, I prefer to start the call with a formal sales presentation. So,
I build enough time into the appointment to present the prospective customer
with a detailed presentation. With laptop and LCD projector in hand, I
will display my PowerPoint show on the prospectís conference room wall.
Prior to the appointment, I research the building and end-user and incorporate
that research into the presentation; the presentation will center on the
reason for my being there. For example, if the end-user is concerned about
a nearby terrorist explosion and wants to protect his/her office workers,
my presentation will focus on security film. If the end-user is looking
to reduce utility bills, my presentation will focus on sun control film.
I try not to include too much extra information simply because the point
I want to drive home may get lost in the extra detail.
If Iím talking to the end-user about security film, I will include bomb-blast
test videos, test results, warranty information and case studies in my
slides. The visual impact provided by PowerPoint goes a long way in explaining
a presumably new concept to your audience.
Avoid reading your slides verbatim to your audience. Instead, the slides
should serve as a visual and provide a reminder of the important points
that you are communicating. Reading your slides will make you seem unprepared
or uninformed and as though you are merely a mechanism to regurgitate
the desired information.
PowerPoint makes for professional sales presentations and may provide
you the increased professionalism necessary to close the deal. Itís a
very useful tool that requires only a day or two of practice before it
Stay tuned to the next issue when we discuss Microsoft Excel and what
it can offer those of us in the window film industry.
Manny Hondroulis is marketing manager
for Energy Performance Distribution in Baltimore. Mr. Hondroulisí opinions
are solely his own and not necessarily those of this magazine.
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