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Q: We need a conference presentation for our annual company get together. We particularly need to motivate sales staff to go and beat their targets.


A: Sales conference presentations are different to other corporate presentations in that they need some razzmatazz.

A good theme tune is a great start, something that is catchy and upbeat, and gives a good feeling. There are a lot of “power & progress” jingles available, but while these sound fine for many corporate situations, they don’t especially leave the audience feeling good, which is one of the things I believe the a conference should do. So be prepared to audition up to 20 or more jingles until you find the right one, with the right feelgood factor.

Having established the jingle, you’ll find other ideas will flow more easily.

I’d also recommend using lots of photographs of staff, maybe 20,30 or more, all highlighting their sales achievements. Lots of photos means that everyone attending will know at least one of the people in the photographs, which is good as it’s more inspiring to hear of the achievements of someone you know, rather than a blank face from “somewhere else”.

I’d also recommend an overall visual style that is big and bright. Again this is in contrast the “smart, techie, corporate” styles used in many corporate presentations.

A third point is to avoid the template look of powerpoint, where each successive screen looks much the same as the last one – except that the captions change.

Having each slide as different-looking to the last one as possible will stop the audience quickly getting bored. It’ll have the opposite effect by making them anticipate the next slide.

All of this needs professionally designing as the homemade powerpoint look will quickly be recognised for what it is – homemade.

I’d also include some spoof element, as sales conferences should be fun as well as serious. Photos from the last company party showing directors in compromising positions are great to show, if egos can stand it!

Graphics of arrows and charts going bigger and bigger til they almost fill the screen are great to watch too, and are a relief from the usual excel-generated bar charts. Mix these in with photographs of holiday locations for sales incentives, and you can hopefully see how a lively atmosphere is generated.

If you can succeed in making the audience laugh and smile, and show them how successful their peers are, and incentivise them too, then maybe people will start to want to go one better and beat their own targets. This is what motivation at sales conferences is all about.

Further details on our conference presentations are found here
© Studio Rossiter 2006

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