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Prepare your Sales Presentation like an Ice Cream Sundae

BY LOU BARREIRO  @lou_barreiro

During my childhood, on hot sticky summer days, my father and I would get ice cream sundaes to help us cool off. Margie’s Candies, a sundae shop and Chicago staple since 1921, was our go-to place to fill our bellies with all the deliciousness they offered. But what was so special about Margie’s Candies that kept us going there each summer? It was all about their presentation.

Whether it was satisfying our specific tastes with a wide variety of flavors or presenting a simple, yet elegant sundae, it kept us wanting more each time.

When it comes to sales presentations they can be a lot like building the perfect sundae. You have a wide variety of ingredients that can give it the right flavor. However, if you overdo it and don’t tailor it to your audience, you will fall short. While these might seem like obvious rules, many B2B sales teams still fail to do so. To avoid this, think of your presentation as building an exquisite dessert that needs to entice and fulfill your audience’s desires.

Here are three tips to build a more engaging presentation (and a perfect sundae):


Simplicity Tastes Best

“For my toppings, I would like chocolate fudge, strawberry syrup, honey, marshmallow, caramel, and butterscotch,” said no one ever.

Just like you don’t want to put too much on your sundae, you want to treat your presentation the same way. Hitting your audience over the head with too much information and too many details can overwhelm them and lose their attention. Presentations should be more about having an open discussion and informing them how you can solve their problems. Present to them the benefits of working with your company, instead of barraging them with details that are unnecessary. Introduce yourself quickly, and make sure you keep it short and sweet.

One way to force yourself to make your presentation simpler is to use more visuals than text. The brain processes images 60,000 times faster than it does text. By simplifying your presentation so that it focuses more on visuals, is a great first step in ensuring that your audience is engaged with what you are presenting.


Tailor the Flavor

A person who doesn’t like chocolate isn’t going to ask for chocolate fudge on their sundae. People tailor their sundae toppings to their tastes. Do the same with your audience.

By tailoring your presentation so that it addresses the company’s needs and industry, you will find more success. If the company you are presenting to is in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) space, piece together a presentation that is tailored to those needs. This might require that you first do research to understand what are some of the company’s pain points, along with some of the industry challenges. This is also the perfect opportunity to inject some of the past work you have done with other clients in the same space.

The key is knowing what flavor your audience wants. By knowing them, and focusing your message, you prove to them that you can be a trusted resource.


Appetizing Aesthetics

Just like a sweet and elegant looking sundae will get the saliva flowing, a presentation’s aesthetics should be a visual dessert for the brain.

Keeping a presentation simple and tailored, are two of the key ingredients, but the perfect topping is packaging them into one beautiful piece. A recent study found that aesthetically pleasing visuals can satisfy the current physiological needs of a person and lead to positive emotions. If you are able to garner positive emotions from your audience, it will only help them become more interested in considering purchasing your products or services.

Research different presentation tools to understand how you can create beautiful presentations, that align to your brand’s story and are streamlined across the board throughout your organization.


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