Do you give a ‘presentation on rails?’ One that is like boarding a train… you start at the beginning and you take one single path to the end? If so, you probably are not making a sales presentation that can adapt to the needs of your client or prospect.

How often during a presentation does a prospect ask a question and you say, “oh, I’ve got something to show you on that”? Then you close Presentation Mode (if you’re in PowerPoint), open a few folders, root around for what you wanted to show, open it, then go back to your pitch.

Maybe that gets the job done, but it’s disruptive and not very impressive.

PowerPoint has some fabulous capabilities for linking to other areas of the presentation, allowing you to skip backward, forward, and all around with ease. When you are showing samples, answering questions, or just reacting to the questions you get, this can be invaluable. Suddenly your presentation is a living thing, and you look eminently prepared for any and all questions. You’re the pro.

Get off the train!