5 tips to ensure your success when presenting at the annual sales meetings
Often sales professionals are asked to present at the annual sales meeting. Whether it is your territorial plan for the next year, a best practices overview, a case study or other topic, executives often like to have their people present to their colleagues as a part of the national meeting.
1. Be magnanimous. The Oscars are beond the beyond of the example of magnanimity, but if you have watched the show you get the idea: Thank Everybody and Do it By Name. This is your chance to thank your boss, your trainer, colleagues, internal support, clients and other resource players. Don't worry that it may seem a bit over the top. It isn't to the people you mention and they will notice if you don't thank them.
2. Be short, on point and engaging. These three points are critical. If you are talking for longer than 20 minutes without audience interaction, it's too long. You can build interaction throughout your talk, including "polling the audience" by raise of hands, asking for a best practice example, or putting your audience to work with an exercise to get energy into the presentation and keep it engaging.
3. Remember Bump, Set and Spike. This is a simple presentation rule that follows the three-touch volleyball approach to setting up a winning volley.
-- Bump: Lay out the point you are making clearly and succinctly
-- Set: Provide an example of where you used the technique, idea or strategy
-- Spike: Give the impact in concrete terms of win/loss, growth or change so that the audience learns the concept, hears the application and can visualize the result for themselves if they use it.
4. Handouts. Beyond handing out your presentation notes, what can you do to make the presentation memorable and valuable? Include a Top Ten list that is not included in the presentation but to which you can refer in your presentation so that your audience will go through the materials. This connects them to the material. Other examples include a resources page with websites that are valuable, a Do's and Don'ts page with ideas on how to best use the ideas you have given, or a case study on a single page that encapsulates the point you are making. The point is to anchor your presentation with a supplemental piece that creates extended interest in what you have said.
5. Put your audience to work. Have your audience do something as a part of the presentation. Fill out a survey, do a "Burst, Break, Best" exercise as I described in my blog post "Running the Annual Sales Meeting," or ask your audience to participate in a smartphone race for the answer to a particularly relevant question. Sales people are not accustomed to sitting in one place listening for long periods. Put them to work, or you could possibly lose them early.
One last point. Remember this phrase: "Content over comedy." You may be very funny, but that is salt and pepper to the steak. What the group really wants from you is the meat of the topic. Focus on delivering that first and add the comedy to secure the engagement.
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