Are you guilty of monologuing and death by PowerPoint?

One of the top annoyances of IT industry analysts are vendor briefings where the spokesperson is talking at the analysts instead of having a conversation with the analysts. Not only does this annoy the analysts, it causes vendors to miss the opportunity to find out if their message and content is getting through. We have heard analysts often say: “If they had only stopped to take a breath and asked us what we thought, we could have eliminated the misunderstanding right upfront!”

One of the easiest ways to improve the effectiveness of a briefing is to dump the 64-slide, 153-build PowerPoint presentation and engaging in a real and candid dialogue.

SageCircle Technique:

  • Ruthlessly limit all presentation decks to no more than 10 slides of content for an one-hour briefing
  • Clearly determine your objective and one to three key messages
  • Educate spokespeople on best practices dealing with analysts
  • Identify what questions should be asked at each step of the briefing
  • Assign a briefing participant to the role of “questioner”

Bottom Line: Communications and IT vendors should develop a dialogue habit to guide their interactions with the industry analysts. Go into a briefing with the understanding that this is not the only time you’ll be talking to these analysts and thus avoid the mindset of throwing everything plus the kitchen sink into the presentation and talk track. Train your spokespeople.

Questions:

AR teams – Do you have a formal program of educating spokespeople, whether executives or domain experts? Is the education analyst-focused or included in typical PR media training?

Spokespeople – Do you find it difficult to limit your presentation and talk track to a focused set of objectives and key messages? Why?

Analysts – Do you encourage dialogue or let the vendor monologue so not to interrupt and appear rude?
 
Are you guilty of monologuing and death by PowerPoint? SageCircle can help. Our strategists can:

  • SageCircle Advisory ServiceEducate executives and domain experts via the Spokesperson Best Practices webinar or individual conversations via Advisory Service inquiry
  • Critique presentations via Advisory Service inquiry or Presentation Critique Mini-workshop to ensure that they are focused on the right content and do not contain any extraneous material
  • Coach briefing participates in practice sessions via Advisory Service inquiry or Presentation Critique Mini-workshop

To learn more contact us at info [at] sagecircle dot com or 650-274-8309.  

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7 Responses

  1. Again, following on from monkchips got practice for analyst meetings, I don’t see why the above rules are restricted to analysts. Most people would like to have more productive meetings, to be more conversational, to be better educated and this doesn’t take 153 slides.

    People are busy people too, not just analysts!

  2. Hi Cathcam, Thanks for the comment. I agree with you 100% that many of the best practices on SageCircle apply to areas way beyond analyst relations. I just happen to focus on the analyst and AR aspects. Cheers, -carter j

  3. Try this: no slides. Scary!

  4. The session at the 2006 analyst conference was when Mark had no slides and used a flip chart. He was happy and the analysts loved it!

  5. I attended a Genpact presentation at a multi-vendor event recently which was 4 execs addressing us “panel fashion”. No PowerPoint. Put their competiton to shame. PowerPoints should be reserved for handouts after the fact, or accompanying reading material. Executives should be so comfortable with their subject matter that they can do without slides… and it’s very difficult for the analyst to switch off when someone is speaking directly to them… and not a slide deck. As I told you directly, Carter, most PowerPoint material “makes a great appendix”.

    PF

  6. […] why they don’t express their opinions are because vendor spokespeople drone on in “monologue mode” and also because vendor participants do not directly ask the analysts for a response. […]

  7. Our IAR team continues to beat the drum on “little to no slides.” Nothing bores me more than attending a teleconference by the analysts in which death by powerpoint occurs – we keep this in mind when developing our materials for them.

    I applaud the subject matter expert that has mastered the art of “take a breath” and not filling the dead space with chatter. The analysts are a thinking bunch and sometimes that last statement sends them into an introspective moment from which they emerge with …wait for it…feedback!

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