Detail Makes the Difference
The key to the success of a
presentation is preparation. It includes defining and addressing
the audience's wants and needs. It also means that the
presentation has to be organized with strong visuals and
considerable preparation and rehearsal.
But even with all of the
preparation and rehearsal, a presentation can be ruined by the
smallest of details.
To ensure that your presentation
is as effective as possible, we have developed a checklist to use
as a guide. Not all of the items will apply to every
presentation, but they do cover the majority of situations.
The checklist won't guarantee
success. However, it will help you avoid the most common
Keep in mind that success can be
won or lost because of the little things.
- Are your speakers
- Have you scheduled a
- Have you written a
- Have you consulted
your presentation materials supplier?
- Are the presentation
materials being prepared or brought up to date?
- Have you set up
- Have you allowed
enough lead time?
- Have announcements
been made to all concerned parties?
- Is a copy of the
- Have you notified
speakers of rehearsal date, time, and place?
- Have you made
arrangements for refreshments?
- Is the room large
- Is it ventilated? Is
- Does it have a dimmer
- Will existing
curtains adequately darken the room?
- Are electrical
outlets convenient? Do they have the capacity to
operate all of your equipment?
- Are there enough
chairs and tables?
- Are there stands for
all projectors? Are they high enough to project
over the audience?
- Is the screen area
protected from extraneous light?
- Is there a lectern
with a reading light?
- Is the room free of
distracting noise, odors, etc.?
- Is the room free of
objects which may interfere with projection?
items that apply to your presentation)
- Overhead projector
with extra bulb
- Slide projector with
- 16-mm sound projector
with extra bulb
- Tape recorder with
- P.A. system
- Spotlights for charts
- Small high-intensity
lamp for projectionist and/or for providing some
light (by bouncing off rear wall) to rooms
lacking dimmer switch
- Slide remote-control
cord long enough to reach from projector to
- Small flashlight
- Extension cords for
- Portable lectern
- Gloves or hot-lamp
- Three-way plug
- Clip-on reading lamp
- Masking tape
- Extra blank (black)
slides (five per carousel tray)
- Note pads and pencils
- Ice water and glasses
- Has every speaker
rehearsed his or her visual material with the
- Do you know how to
replace projector bulb?
- Do you know where the
room light switch is?
- Can everybody hear?
- Is the screen large
- Does the
projectionist have a cued script?
- Has the meeting been
Are Using Slides
- Are they clean?
- Are they in the
- Are they mounted
- Does the material on
the slides correspond to the script?
- Are blank (black)
slides available to replace unusable slides?
Are Using Video
- Is there adequate
black lead for films?
- Is all film on one
- Are cuts or
alternates at the end?
- Has receptionist been
notified of names and titles of guests?
- Have you left word
that guests should not be disturbed during the
- Is room set up
according to plan?
- Is projection
equipment as far back in the room as possible?
- Is projectionist set
and ready to go?
- Are system speakers
- Are all wires and
cables out of the way and firmly secured?
- Is all equipment in
- Are all films and/or
slides prefocused and framed?
- Have sound levels
been tested and preset?
- Are lenses and gate
clean and free of lint and dust?
Your presentation should be no
more elaborate than is necessary. Tailor each prospect
presentation to your audience and the results you want to
achieve. Give the essential points. State what you are going to
tell them, say it, and summarize what you stated.
Give your prospect time to react
and ask questions throughout the presentation. When the
presentation is completed, ask for the order. This may sound
overly simplistic, but all too often the sales and presentation
team become so enamored with the presentation, their polish, and
poise, that they forget the real reason for the
Prior to departure, give them a
summary of your proposal, background information on your
organization and the products, services, and support which were
discussed. Thank them for their time and attention. Then, follow
up the presentation with a letter, phone call, or another
meeting. Don't let them forget about you, your proposal, or your
And continually work on the close.
The objective of the presentation is to sell.
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