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Using evocative images and icons in your PowerPoint or Keynote presentation has to be applauded. And when you use evocative images to reflect your presentation theme or subject matter? That’s even better. So it must have come as quite a surprise to the marketing team at Mercedes-Benz when it all went horribly wrong with their Mercedes-Benz presentation.

Mercedes-Benz presentation
Wheels Come Off The Mercedes-Benz Presentation In Las Vegas

Their Mercedes-Benz presentation at the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas took the theme of revolution reflecting the revolutionary qualities of the new Mercedes-Benz products. So far, so good. And indeed everyone enjoyed the Mercedes-Benz presentation. But then someone published the slides on the internet.

And it was then that the Cuban emigré community got involved. They spotted an image of Che Guevara in the slide pack. So, they took immediate offence. They took real exception to the words, Viva La Revolucion, which appeared on the slide. You couldn’t make it up.

Mercedes-Benz Presentation Revolution

The Cubans in exile pointed to Che Guevara’s record of murder and mayhem in Cuba  and beyond and announced their extreme dissatisfaction.

At this stage the Mercedes-Benz public relations team went into top gear. They insisted that the Mercedes-Benz presentation was an isolated event. And, of course, they also noted that the slide did not represent the company or its products.

A well-engineered plan for this presentation quickly led to the presentation scrap heap.

Of course, you should aim to use images and use icons in your presentation. But, remember to look out for the pitfalls. That’s because in this interconnected, online, media savvy age, presentations speed around the world faster than Mercedes-Benz products could ever imagine.

You can discover more presentation skills tips with a presentation training course from Time to Market. You can join a public course at one of more than 40 presentation training centres, or choose to hold a course at your own office. It’s your choice, and we are always happy to help. So, please do not hesitate to call when the time is right.

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About the Author

The Principal Trainer at training business Time to Market. Now based in London, I run presentation and public speaking training courses, coaching sessions and seminars throughout the UK.

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