A client recently lamented, “when so much of my presentation is verbal, there seems to be little value in leaving the attendees with just a copy of my slides. What should I leave behind instead?

It’s a good point because the slides are often meaningless without your accompanying narration, interpretation and storytelling.  So don’t do it.  A better option is to provide a copy of the slides with speaker notes included, or save your PowerPoint and speaker notes to a Word file and issue as a document. [In the latter case, it’s often best to distribute as PDF in order to protect your original content from unapproved editing!] But regardless, this is all extra work for you, creating a document which still might not actually be read.

What if we could get attendees to remember your proposal without any physical leave-behind?

Let’s say your original presentation was about convincing the audience to buy software that improves analytics in the client’s marketing efforts; something that integrates with Salesforce. If you leave behind a PDF, you’re relying on people’s memory to remember this document in reference to a presentation that promised to improve something. Unfortunately, memories are fairly feeble.  But they can be strengthened by “triggers.”  In this example you would use triggers by:

  1. Thinking before the presentation: “What is something that my client uses daily?” (In this example, Salesforce)
  2. Answering: “How can I associate concepts I want them to remember with Salesforce?” (for example, by associating parts of your product with pages on Salesforce).
  3. Repeating this association throughout the presentation.
  4. Reminding them of the association once the presentation is over.

In this way, you prime your prospect’s brain to remember what you proposed each time they visit that page on Salesforce.

This memory trigger method is certainly more powerful than your standard leave-behind, making breaking-up much less hard to do.

[Image courtesy of Annetaintor.com]

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