10 Do’s and Don’ts for Sales Kickoff Presentations
by Terry Gault
It's that time of year again … (Not the NFL playoffs though I will be cheering for my Niners) … Sales Kickoff Time!
January and February is the time of year when companies bring together their sales teams to learn about new products and features, get pumped up for the new year, bond with co-workers, have a few (or more than a few) drinks, and listen to presentation after presentation after presentation after presentation until they start to feel like they are Bill Murray's Phil Connors in Groundhog Day living the same day over and over and over.
Well, here's a few things you can do to ensure that you are not personally responsible for a colleague drooling on the table – dead asleep during death-by-powerpoint # 47 of the Annual SKO.
- Use stories, especially personal stories, whenever possible. They are more compelling than any other content available to you. More on crafting compelling stories, personal or otherwise.
- Organize your presentation around a single unifying Main Takeaway Sentence. For example in the most viewed TED talk (almost 9 million views), Sir Ken Robinson clearly articulates his Main Takeaway Sentence when he says, "My contention is that creativity now is as important in education as literacy and we should treat it with the same status."
- Use a story or metaphor as a recurring theme. Martin Luther King Jr. did this beautifully and memorably with his "I Have a Dream" speech. It helps to increase the stickiness of your message. Use visuals to reinforce the theme. We use footrace images as part of our presentation material for our presentations about structure.
- Don't read off your slides. If you need to look at the screen to orient yourself or remember your next point, practice the R-C-S process: Read in silence. Connect with the audience with eye contact. Speak only when you have connected with someone.
- Don't use complete sentences on your slides UNLESS you are quoting someone. Keep the slides simple with minimal text. Distill each bullet down to its essence and think of how to use the bullets themselves as hooks.
- Don't use a visual unless you are going to explain it clearly. This also applies to visual metaphors. Assuming the audience will intuit why you are using an image of an bullet proof vest will leave some audience members confused unless you say something like, "Investing in network security is like buying a bullet proof vest. Would you be looking for the cheapest one or the best one?"
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