A salesteam I recently worked with had all traipsed off for a day of presentation skills training.
They were a little underwhelmed.
It’s not that the training was considered ‘bad’. And when the guys took me through the materials, I thought there was some good points in there.
It’s just that there was too much. The detail was overpowering.
Here’s an example. The course was split into two main elements; planning and organisation & delivery/performance. They promoted this 9-stage approach. Yes. Nine. Steps.
- audience analysis
- set an objective
- collect information
- decide on a structure
- create visual aids
- read through
The good bits appear rather hidden away somewhat. And the overall tone is fairly dry.
Here’s an obvious example. The page on designing a powerpoint slide was thus:
40 Point Font Heading
• 24 point clearly legible font
• Leave 30% white space
• Use bold instead of underline or italics
• Use the slide master to ensure consistency
Completely missing the point.
As this was a day instructing salespeople, you’d have thought how to ‘sell’ would be an intrinsic part of the whole affair. Any presentation seeks to ‘persuade’, or ‘influence’. Yet any such sales slants seemed sorely missing.
Salespeople tend to react to simple diktats. And they’re not alone in this regard.
Whilst I did like the ‘checklist’ pamphlet – a page for each of the nine as a reminder – I couldn’t help thinking the whole course would be better tailored the same way a solution sales call is.
Take a real customer need. In this case, a particular and personal type of presentation. And work through it with each person.
Get them to deliver it first.
Then go through the stages to sharpen it up. Or as is probably the case, ditch it and start afresh.
My mind was racing as to different, better dynamics to frame such a course.
As you can tell from the provider’s website, whereas they’d likely deny they like to complicate things, I suspect they revel in using the kind of language your typical b2b salesperson would tune out from.