Presentation Services: What do I need? – 3

Q: We would like to create a sales presentation promotional CD for our existing and potential customers. We would like your ideas on the design of the presentation too as well a list of your presentation services and I would appreciate it if you could give me a quote for this job.

Marketing Assistant
Design & Manufacture Company
North West

A: In parts 1 and 2 we looked at developing a single sales presentation to fit all possible sales situations, coupled with a programme design structured to convince buyers.

Today in part 3 we’ll look at the presentation services you need to ensure you get exactly what you want from a presentation production company.

We can understand this better by breaking down the different steps of the business presentation production process.

At every step, you’re looking for added-value, as the cumulative effect of added-value will ensure your final presentation is significantly more persuasive and compelling when compared to the average powerpoint that gets kicked around buyer’s offices.

The Key Production Steps in a presentation service are:

> The Proposal

> The 1st Production Meeting

> The Script Meeting

> The Storyboard Meeting

> Sample artwork sent for comment and approval

> The Rough Cut viewing

> Final delivery and duplication

Let’s take a look at these one by one, and see how they stack up.

The Proposal

Many proposals today are generic templates, designed to overwhelm you with a welter of generic information, usually as powerpoints and pdfs explaining the wonder of the production services on offer. There is so much of this info that it’s hard to know whether to feel flattered or battered!

But when you actually start to examine proposals in detail, a different story often emerges.

Read through your sales presentation proposal and look to see how many times your company name is mentioned. Or count how many specific references there are to your company, it’s logo, or it’s markets, or its specific needs.

The proposal that mentions you a lot has obviously thought about you a lot.

By contrast, the proposal that hardly mentions you is really just a price quote with lots boilerplating. Batter rather than flatter.

This isn’t the same thing as a real proposal detailing how the production service is geared exactly to your precise requirements, and showing examples of this in a way that relates directly to your organisation and its needs.

The 1st Production Meeting

To get the best out of the production services on offer, you’ll need a team.

Ideally, the team you assemble to produce your company presentation should represent the best sales intelligence in your company.

So this might include a business development director, the top salesperson, a marketing professional and a technical specialist. Plus your presentation producer/scriptwriter.

If this seems like a lot of people, then consider:

What is it worth to get a presentation that’s really convincing, that will persuade the maximum number of buyers?

Also consider:

My company presentation is right there in the front line of sales every day, helping to win customers. What do I have to do to ensure it always delivers the perfect message in every situation?

Be in no doubt. You need the best sales intelligence in your company in order to get the best presentation.

The tasks for your company presentation production team in the 1st Production meeting will be to:

> Develop bullet point content for the presentation

> Creatively discuss all possible presentation options and sales messages

> Set a schedule through to completion, which could take 2-3 months.

> Bond as a team

> Appoint an anchorperson for the project

It’s important not to try and start writing the all the script at this meeting. Make the best start by scoping out the project together, and gathering more ideas. It’ll pay you later to do this.

Any quality presentation service will always start with a meeting where people can get to know each other, share their attitudes, and blue sky ideas together, freed from the constraints of “we must must must write that script today”.

The Script Meeting

Sometimes this meeting may be combined with the Storyboard Meeting, depending on how complex the production is.

A professional scriptwriter will be included as part of the production service.

At the script meeting, all the bullet points covered in the last meeting will need structuring into a presentation design – a series of fluid, persuasive and compelling messages.

Every single point needs critical examination and discussion.

By doing this you’re ensuring your presentation is flawless.

By contrast, what you don’t want to do is dump the presentation onto a scriptwriter with a copy of the old powerpoint and tell them to get on with it.

Simply re-hashing the old powerpoint is wasting an opportunity to design the greatest presentation your company ever delivered!

Subsequently, your scriptwriter will write up your script for the team to comment on and approve.

The Storyboard

If your presentation is complex, then the service will include an additional meeting to cover these complex elements.

Examples of complexity are:

> Voiceover or standalone versions of your presentation

> Lots of interactivity and presentation menu options

> Lots of customisation features to cover every sales presentation eventuality

> Recurring visual or animated motifs, or special graphics and visuals.

In addition you’ll need to discuss where to source stills for the presentation.

These can be from the company’s own internal stills library, from the presentation producer’s own library, or stills sourced from high-quality online photo stock libraries.

Sample artwork sent for comment and approval

Once your message has been nailed down as a script and approved, you’ll need to see artwork as the next stage in the production service.

While it’s not realistic to stand over a presentation designer while they’re developing your presentation, it is essential to see a sample of their visual intentions, and approve this.

Once this is done you can take a back seat while they get on with it.

The Rough Cut viewing

Rough Cut is more a traditional term, and not wholly accurate!

The core presentation at this stage should be nigh on perfect, as we’ve followed all the previous production steps to ensure that it is nigh on perfect.

Because of this, no major changes should be needed at this stage.

Small amends may be required of the core presentation, and some discussion of implementing customisation features may be needed. But the main topic of the meeting will be planning roll-out of the presentation.

This is the happiest part of the whole production service, as the results of all the hard work can finally be seen. If all has gone well, it should be a triumph!

Final delivery and duplication

Once the core presentation has been approved, the final part of the service kicks in.

All the add-ons and different versions, and menu structures will now have been put in place, and the whole package delivered to you, complete and ready for showing to customers.

Presentation services expanded on here www.rossiterandco.com/presentationservices.htm

Summary

Effective production services are based around effective proven production steps.

If the temptation is to take shortcuts by having less meetings or spending less time on it, or involving less people, then don’t.

The perfect sales presentation will clinch deals for you.

But you have to commit in order for it to be perfect.

A professional presentation service will ensure every ounce of this commitment is maximised.

© Studio Rossiter 2007

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