Anyone in sales leadership will tell you that sales is a team effort. And in today’s hybrid work environment, where teams are often spread across the globe, moments of connection can be pivotal in creating unity and alignment on key messages.
For many of our clients, a national sales meeting is an opportunity to bring their teams together to reflect on successes, learn from obstacles, and focus their strategy for the future.
But a successful national sales meeting takes more than simply bringing people together. With so much information to convey in a short time, you need a strategy for the how and what of every presentation.
In this article, we’ll cover some of the best presentation design and storytelling tips we use to help clients make the most of these unique opportunities.
What is a national sales meeting?
A national sales meeting is a yearly meeting where salespeople and support staff gather to recap the successes (and challenges) of the previous year, share new information and best practices, and align on a strategy for the next year.
They are also a time for sales leadership to share priorities, announce new objectives, and create connections between team members.
A national sales meeting could be anything from a weeklong event in a central location to a day of virtual meetings, depending on the size and scope of your organization.
How to plan for a productive national sales meeting
Effective communication is at the heart of a meaningful national sales meeting. You want everyone in attendance to leave on the same page, aligned around the same goals, and working as one.
PowerPoint presentations are typically at the core of these gatherings, as they are well-suited to communicating to large groups. That’s why a sound plan for your next national sales meeting starts with a strong PowerPoint strategy.
Read on to learn more about how to use PowerPoint to improve your next national sales meeting!
Tip #1: Understand the room & the audience
Sales teams are probably familiar with giving presentations, but a meeting with a client isn’t the same thing as a presentation to a larger room and internal audience.
Often, presenters approach these group events the same way they would if they were presenting to a small group in a conference room. However, this can mean missing some of the differences you need to take when adjusting your content and delivery.
Here are a few things to consider when developing your presentation for a national conference:
Tell a story with your slides: help your audience understand more intuitively by sharing the information in your presentation as part of a larger context.
Remember that your audience is on your side: these are your colleagues, and they likely know the information you are sharing very well, so you should tailor your content to match their level of knowledge.
If you’re using a larger space than usual, you’ll also need to take another look at the design and build of your presentations:
Make your slides more visual, and use crisp, high quality images: if you have an internal design team, you can partner with them to find hi-res images that won’t look blurry on the big screen.
If you are including video in your presentation, make sure you give the video files to the production/event team to ensure it plays correctly during your presentation.
If individuals are building their own presentations, make sure you have any licenses for photos or other assets they include. It’s common for presenters to have a bit more fun in these settings, but that can come with costs.
Tip #2: Create a template for your national sales meeting presentation
To get everyone on the same page after the event, start by making sure they are all aligned during the meeting. A custom presentation template just for your national meeting will help to elevate the look of every speaker’s presentation and ensures that your team(s) are staying up to date with brand guidelines.
A presentation template will also help to make sure that everyone is focused on developing great content, rather than endlessly editing slides to make an impression. Partner with your internal brand experts to build a PowerPoint template, or contact Us to help create a custom PowerPoint template for your next national sales meeting.
Tip #3 Keep slides simple
There is never a time when the “less is more” approach to slide design is more essential than when you will be speaking to a large audience.
Rather than cramming your slides full of content, use your time to cover big ideas and key themes, and then let the audience dig into your data as part of a downloadable presentation afterwards.
This benefits you in three ways:
1) it keeps the audience focused on the presenter, rather than reading ahead on the slide
2) it keeps you focused on the main ideas
3) it helps the audience stay engaged throughout the entire day, not just on your presentation
Tip #4: Pick a producer or project manager
The logistics of guiding multiple team members to share a consistent message across all of their presentations and follow a specific design can be a lot of work. Even if you give specific instructions on how to build a presentation and what to include, there’s virtually no chance that everyone will come in with the right content designed in the right way.
By assigning one person the role of coordinating presentations, you can help ensure consistency, streamline preparations, and reduce errors during the presentation creation process.
This person can take on the role of making sure each presenter knows what they should address, and can work with them during the presentation creation process to refine that message and ensure each presenter is on the same page.
And in cases where multiple people are working on the same presentation, they can help integrate slides, smooth out overlaps, and keep the message clear.
Tip #5: Set a schedule for finishing presentations
While some team members might be able to throw some slides together the day before your presentation, the audience will almost certainly be able to tell that the presentation was rushed. And if you are presenting important data, even a rush job may not be enough to cover all your key points.
Setting a schedule for finishing presentations well before the event helps ensure that your team is creating high-quality content, covering the key issues that leadership wants to highlight, and ready to go before the rush of the event starts. It also gives them ample time to practice, which is one of the best ways to improve any presentation.
Bonus Tip: Keep slides consistent
Sales meeting presentations are often created by pulling content from multiple sources, including old presentations. This practice is great for gathering content, but often leaves the presentation file looking like a yard sale of mashed together decks. Even if you don’t follow Tip #2 (Create a template), you can ensure the presentations have a consistent look and feel simply by making sure the colors and fonts match. And small details like making sure the slide titles follow a uniform placement can also help increase the scannability.
By spending a little extra time editing slides, you can ensure the presentations look professional and clear for the event.
Get ready for your next national sales meeting before the big day
When it comes to live events, a little preparation goes a long way. If you keep these 5 key tips in mind, you’ll be on your way to a successful event from start to finish.
And if you’re still unsure about coordinating your team’s presentations when the pressure is on, our final piece of advice is to look for a presentation design partner to help design, build, edit, and coordinate your team’s PowerPoint decks.
Looking for more information and tips for a national sales meeting? Check out our resources for expert advice and tested strategies.