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The Sales Presentation Checklist

Attention to 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 problems.

Keep in mind that success can be won or lost because of the little things.

Initial Preparations

  • Are your speakers lined up?
  • Have you scheduled a meeting room?
  • Have you written a presentation plan?
  • Have you consulted your presentation materials supplier?
  • Are the presentation materials being prepared or brought up to date?
  • Have you set up deadlines?
  • Have you allowed enough lead time?
  • Have announcements been made to all concerned parties?
  • Is a copy of the program included?
  • Have you notified speakers of rehearsal date, time, and place?
  • Have you made arrangements for refreshments?


Meeting Room

  • Is the room large enough?
  • Is it ventilated? Is it air-conditioned?
  • Does it have a dimmer switch?
  • 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?



(Check items that apply to your presentation)

  • Screen
  • Overhead projector with extra bulb
  • Slide projector with extra bulb
  • 16-mm sound projector with extra bulb
  • Tape recorder with extra tape
  • Phonograph
  • P.A. system
  • Easels
  • 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 podium
  • Small flashlight
  • Extension cords for projection equipment
  • Portable lectern light
  • Gloves or hot-lamp remover
  • Three-way plug adapter
  • Clip-on reading lamp
  • Pushpins
  • 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 projectionist?
  • Do you know how to replace projector bulb?
  • Do you know where the room light switch is?
  • Can everybody hear?
  • Is the screen large enough?
  • Does the projectionist have a cued script?
  • Has the meeting been accurately timed?


If You Are Using Slides

  • Are they clean?
  • Are they in the proper order?
  • Are they mounted horizontally?
  • Does the material on the slides correspond to the script?
  • Are blank (black) slides available to replace unusable slides?


If You Are Using Video

  • Is there adequate black lead for films?
  • Is all film on one cassette?
  • Are cuts or alternates at the end?


Final Check

  • Has receptionist been notified of names and titles of guests?
  • Have you left word that guests should not be disturbed during the presentation?
  • 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 "warmed up"?
  • Are all wires and cables out of the way and firmly secured?
  • Is all equipment in working order?
  • 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 presentation...the sale.

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 organization.

And continually work on the close. The objective of the presentation is to sell.

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