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Product presentations are an important part of selling your product to
prospective customers. In many cases, this will be the customer's first
introduction to your company and potentially your product. First
impressions are critical. There are also times when it is important to
sell your product to the people inside your company as well as
investors. Proper preparation is vital to presenting your product in
the best light possible.
The objective of the product presentation is different depending upon the target audience and the presentation should be adjusted
accordingly. It is important to
know your audience and why they are interested enough to hear your
Before you even start building your presentation, be sure you know the following information:
Objective/call to action - At the end of your product presentation you want something to
happen, either you want a customer to move forward to evaluate your product,
your management to buy into what you are doing with the product, your sales people
eager to sell your product, or an investor or your management to provide
additional funding of your product.
Target audience - Who are you giving the presentation to? (Prospective customers,
investors, management) What is their industry like right
now? What are their needs and immediate concerns? What are their
individual goals? Where is their pain?
Orientation - How much does your audience know of your product and other similar
products? What is special about the way this audience looks at your
product? Do they have any preconceived notions? Are they looking at
competitors? If so, which ones? What are their special interests?
Target presenter - Who will be giving the presentation(you, sales person, company executive)?
It is helpful to write the above information down before building the product presentation so that you can go back and review it if
you get stuck on any given point. You
will want to refer to it later to make sure the presentation meets the
objective and you will also need it for doing practice runs.
Once you have your basic product presentation, it can be modified for other presenters and other audiences, but it is important to
have a target audience and a target objective when building the initial
presentation. Failure to do so
can result in a presentation that doesn't speak to the audience and one
that is not focused on their needs.
The following is a basic outline for a product presentation. You will note
that the maximum number of slides is twenty. Most sales calls allow 30 minutes for the formal presentation, at two
minutes a slide, fifteen slides is the appropriate number. It is important to keep your presentation precise otherwise your
point will be drowned out in detail.
1) Introduction - This is normally just a title slide where the
speaker introduces themselves, and the point of the product presentation.
This is where you want to hook your audience and tell them what is in
it for them. If you are not
going to be giving the presentation you may want to have a note slide
with the point on it. (1-2 slides)
2) Agenda - An agenda is optional, but provides you with an
your opportunity to tell your audience what you are going to cover in your
presentation. It avoids
people asking questions early in the presentation about material you will be
covering later. (1 slide)
Information - This is a way to establish credibility and to make the
audience feel comfortable with your company. Ways to do this include
customer lists, high-profile executives or advisors, information on
funding (if a private company), awards and major milestones. Don't
spend too much time on this, you don't want your audience falling
asleep. In fact, in my more recent presentations I have moved this to
the back, after I have the audience's attention.
4) Positioning - Successful products have a unique technology
or positioning that sets them apart from other products on the market.
You want to introduce this aspect of your product up front to let
your audience know how your product is different and why they should listen
to the rest of your presentation. Use this as an attention getter.
This should be done in terms of the problem that they have and that you are solving with your
product. Be sure to present this in terms of your audience and their pain. Performing a positioning exercise
prior to building your presentation is very helpful. This part of your
presentation must be very crisp and to the point. (1-5 slides)
5) Product description - Clearly describe your product in terms
that your audience will understand.
It may be helpful to have a chart with the product components.
You want to give the audience a frame of reference for the features
and benefits that they are going to see.
You also want them to know how your product fits into their existing
environment. Show how the
product interfaces with other products or systems they may be using. (1-2
6) Clearly articulated benefits as they relate to your target
audience - You can use a features and
benefits list or just walk through the features and benefits.
Whatever you do, do not forget the benefits! They may be obvious to you because you live and breath the
product, but your audience should have them clearly called out and they must
relate to their needs.
(1- 5 slides)
7) Examples/successes - At this point in the presentation your
audience should be familiar with your product and why it is different and
better. In order to drive this
point home use examples of how your product is being used and how customers
have benefited from the product. (1-3 slides)
8) Closing argument - This is your opportunity for a 'call to
action'. You want summarize
your product presentation, reiterate the point of the presentation, and ask your
audience to do something, if that is the point of your presentation.
Use examples whenever possible. Examples help to illustrate your points and provide a frame of reference for those people in your audience that don't already have one.