Sales Presentations For Dummies
Book image
Explore Book Buy On Amazon

You can give your sales presentation an even more polished look by adding a theme. A theme is a unifying idea or motif that embodies your prospect's objectives, your value proposition, or your competitive advantage. It's typically very short — one to four words — and lends itself to a clear visual image.

Although used prominently in your opening and closing, a theme runs like a thread throughout the rest of your presentation, even influencing your slide design and messaging.

In order to strike a good balance between no theme and theme park, you need to have a solid understanding of when to use a theme and how to choose one that's right for your presentation and your audience.

Knowing when to use a theme

Themes aren't a necessary component of a presentation; however, a theme can be valuable in the following situations to help prospects remember your presentation and your value proposition.

  • Long presentations: If you have a presentation that runs two to three hours or more, you're starting to cover a lot of ground. A theme is helpful in tying ideas together and making it easier for your prospect to see the relationship between different sections by providing a common thread.

  • Multiple presenters: The differing styles inherent with team presentations can make a message seem less cohesive than if delivered by the same person. Using a theme can give a sense of consistency and uniformity lacking in many team presentations.

Determining theme

When deciding on a theme, you need to consider these three questions:

  • What do you need to accomplish? To inspire your prospects? To excite them? To motivate them? To challenge them? Different themes convey different emotions.

  • What is the tone? Serious? Light-hearted? Humorous? The tone you strike must coincide with your message and will influence your choice of a theme. For example, if your message is about turning a company around from the brink of disaster, a theme about badminton may be a little lightweight to support such a substantial subject.

  • What are the visual possibilities? A good theme lends itself to a clear visual. The more instantly recognizable the better. For example, two clasped hands may easily identify a theme of "togetherness," while a theme of "maximizing value" may be more difficult to quickly convey.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Julie Hansen, who is recognized as the "Sales Presentation Expert," redefines the typical sales presentation and helps salespeople apply best practices. She leverages the power that performers have been using for centuries to engage and move audiences.

This article can be found in the category: