Presentation Team Tactics for Technical Sales: Part 2

In my previous article from earlier this week (“Part 1”), I covered tips on presentation preparation, content, and practice. In this article, I’ll go into the delivery and review stages of the presentation, plus I’ll provide a list of resources that I’ve found helpful.

Operating Principles By Role

These tips can also be applied to sales presentations consisting of one or two members. Leading up to the presentation, always be in lock step. The faster you go, the more coordinated you need to be.

For everyone on the presentation crew:

  • Communication comes in all forms: verbal, non-verbal, visual, and auditory – so be aware of your dynamic range, messaging, and demeanor

  • Remember that you're always communicating, even when you’re not saying a word

  • Be aware of fatigue levels on both sides, so be sure you are well-rested and functioning optimally

  • Craft your presentation so as to not require staggering levels of coordination and skill on the big day

  • Ask the exec sponsor or presentation lead what their guidance is for meeting time decisions – what should be your decision-making authority on content and articulation?

  • Solve for message comprehension

  • Everyone needs to align on the two to three key messages and be able to articulate them

  • Each message should be short as in a sentence or two

  • Your presentation and follow ups need to align with these messages; how you communicate or prove them on presentation day might change depending on the audience


For presenters:

  • Get warmed up by building repeatable practice environments while becoming familiar with demo assets as they’re being built

  • You'll be telling a narrative and taking your audience on a journey, so make it amazing

  • Journeys have growth, contrast, and imagery, and they may involve multiple people

  • Focus on connecting the dots in a logical sequence, while appealing to motives

  • As you work through your preparation, determine what your plan is to engage the audience

  • How will you bring the audience in to participate? When will you let them rest a bit mentally?

  • Silence is okay for a few moments, even if just to catch your breath

  • Look at your mindset and visualize that positive reception

  • The audience wants to hear from your experience in your domain – less so about what you've done, but more about how that experience lends credibility into your product positioning and recommendation

  • Customers also want to hear what you've learned about them, and how your domain expertise and your product offering uniquely apply to your relationship with them


For demo drivers (usually the SE):

  • Check all highlight and markup tools prior to the presentation, and keyboard shortcut them

  • Take your hand off your mouse or rest your hand on the heel of your palm often, so the mouse doesn’t reflect any movement or nervousness (a rule of thumb is if you’re talking or the presenter is talking, keep your hands clasped together)

  • Be ready to co-explain or clarify and practice transitions for parts where a conversational presentation is more compelling

  • Help presenters get in a durable yet flexible mindset

  • Watch for signs of fatigue

  • Be ready to swap out and support the talk track to let them recover for a few moments

  • During practice, ask the audience to comment about things you built

  • Keep the conversation going during practice (this can reduce tension, enabling one to detach from the outcomes and participate more in the experience)

  • Be sure to pause and “redo” whenever a talk track needs a rerun


For executive sponsors:

  • Have a game plan for derailments

  • Empower your team to make decisions on meeting flow: how should they prioritize completing the presentation with the need to drive customer understanding?

  • Help the audience understand the decision criteria on presentation day

  • Quick decisioning = appearance of smooth team to product integration = natural customer engagement


Immediate actions to take after the meeting:

  • Leave the meeting location first and head to a spot for food where you can recharge

  • Take a few moments and ENJOY what you did

  • While outcome-focused, these events are as much about the process than any final result

  • Take opportunities to point out small moments and talk tracks where customer behaviors changed or reflected positively

  • ALWAYS have some form of post-meeting review


Considerations for the post-meeting review: