You may have been ecstatic to hear you have an opportunity to present to your boss, senior leadership team, or an important client. But what are the 5 top challenges you should know about? Find out now.

Even if your presentation skills are top notch, you’ll struggle to win over your team to presenting without relying on slides. Here are the top 5 challenges you’ll face to overcome the typical resistance to slide free presenting.

Challenge #1: Not Invented Here
One of the biggest challenges to new ideas is the “not invented here” syndrome. This is a knee-jerk response to brush off ideas, solutions and communication styles that are unfamiliar.

To respond to this challenge, introduce new non-slide reliant methods in team meetings, informal presentations. Allow enough time for this way of presenting to become part of the culture of collaboration and conversation.

In a short time, you won’t have to fight for interactive storytelling. It will be part of the norm and expected process.

Challenge #2: Change Averse
Sometimes, it’s just the change factor that is the obstacle to slide-free presenting. Team members who are used to presenting with slides don’t want to change. They already have put in the hours creating powerful presentations. They view your proposal for slide free presenting as foolish.

The resistance to change is a core human response. What can you do? Show evidence of the shift away from presenting exclusively with slides. Provide documentation from credible sources that whiteboard sketches, interactive discussion and dynamic participaton are on the rise.

To really stop this reaction in it’s tracks, find out what your competitors are doing. If they are relying on slides, you’ll gain a distinct competitive advantage by being unique. If they are already using whiteboard presenting to win clients, don’t get left behind.

Challenge #3: Variable Skill Levels
Team members often have different views on how an important presentation should be delivered. For experienced professionals, PowerPoint delivery may be so ingrained that anything else is considered off-limits.

For some subject matter experts, slide-intensive delivery is their central communication skill. Using slides enables shy and introverted people to plan presentations in advance, and rely on slides for delivery support.

To engage people who are used to delivering with slides, it is essential to address these core emotions. Work as a team to include everyone in the design process. Show individuals how to succeed using other mediums such as whiteboard sketches, prototypes and models.

Challenge #4: Legal Implications
For many of my clients, this is a top challenge. “We have to run everything by legal…we’re in a highly regulated industry.”

I’m not a lawyer. So, if this is set in stone, you’ll have to pay attention and investigate. If your hands are tied by regulations, then make your efforts for slide-free presenting targeted towards internal meetings. Use flipcharts, whiteboards and interaction in team meetings, brainstorming sessions and strategic planning events.

However, in many organizations the ‘legal’ challenge belongs in an earlier bucket. It can be linked to resistance to any of the three challenges we’ve already addressed. Do some digging. Ask your boss. Ask your legal counsel. Find out what you can and cannot do. Then, take it from there.

Challenge #5: Command and Control
Sometimes the urge to stay in control stifles creativity and innovation. If you, your manager or your boss rule with a tight hand, find ways to win them over. The fastest route is to introduce presenting without slides in an informal one-on-one conversation. Sketch out an idea on a napkin. Show a proposal at a whiteboard. Use alternative methods in privacy of his or her office.

Once you do this, you’ll be delighted. The resistance may have been purely due to unfamiliarity with the power of the medium. Your supervisor will still want to be included, informed, and involved. Show him or her your presentation storyboard for sign off. Do a run through so you can get personal feedback. Respect your manager’s desire to have the final say.

For most of us, high stakes presenting has been done with slides. Making the transition to slide-free presenting is a living process. Yet, the rewards are great. You can win sales, expand sales, and discover valuable opportunities.

Anticipate these presentation challenges and get ahead of them. You’ll know how to engage your team…and your clients to win top results.

Author's Bio: 

Milly Sonneman is a recognized expert in visual language. She is the co-director of Presentation Storyboarding, a leading presentation training firm, and author of the popular guides: Beyond Words and Rainmaker Stories available on Amazon. Milly helps business professionals give winning presentations, through Email Marketing skills trainings at Presentation Storyboarding. You can find out more about our courses or contact Milly through our website at: