Let’s presume you give your sales people some rudimentary orientation. Let’s presume that, in lieu of formal sales training, you give them some fundamental introduction to your company, what it does, and (most important) why it does what it does. And let’s presume you give your sales people access to at least a modest system of collateral materials, and said materials include a PowerPoint deck.

If, thereafter, you ever want to know the extent to which the members of your sales organization are no longer on the same page — and especially if you’re also interested in knowing how strong your stomach is — try this: Invite your sales people to World HQ for a group meeting, and ask each of them to give you a sales presentation that includes the PowerPoint deck. Then buckle up and grab the Dramamine.

Since PowerPoint’s official launch on May 22, 1990, The Chautauqua Center for Inscrutable Phenomena has been trying to determine the causes of DIURETIC (digressions into uselessly ridiculous exercises terminating in confusion). While it isn’t yet known why PowerPoint seems so susceptible to DIURETIC infections, three theories have been proffered, all attributable to the fact that PowerPoint was engineered to be manipulated by chimpanzees or people with single-digit IQs.

According to these theories, DIURETIC infections occur because:

  • People like to get creative.  Translation: If they can find the kitchen sink and all of its attendant fixtures and connective plumbing, they’ll put it in the deck because … well … just because.
  • People like to include what they think is important. Translation: If your product cures cancer and the person who creates the deck thinks your product’s ancillary ability to produce a hum at A440 is cool, don’t be surprised to find him selling your product to elementary school teachers as a substitute for the old-fashion pitch pipe.
  • People get bored, and people who get bored are easily distracted. Translation: Telling different people the same things over and over again — regardless of how true, important, compelling, engaging, and differentiating those things might be — can start to get … Oh, look! A squirrel!

If you want to keep the PowerPoint decks of your sales people on message and aligned with your corporate strategy, review the decks every quarter. Otherwise, they will be stacked.

There will be few aces at the bottom of those decks.

Image by blickpixel, courtesy of pixabay.com.