Presentations are often underestimated and frequently underutilized, yet they are one of the most influential tools used to communicate in the business world. A recent study based on the response of 150 professionals from marketing and sales departments quantifies their importance: 80% of the respondents consider presentations "essential" to do their jobs.
How Many Presentations Does a Company Impart per Year?
It highly depends on a company's size, level of capital investment and marketing strategy. In this analysis, we have considered a medium-size business with 500 employees, 200 of them being part of commercial departments (sales, marketing, product specialists, etc.). For simplicity, we have also focused on three main types of presentations: conferences, commercial and internal.
1. Conference Presentations.
This format is probably the first one that comes to mind when we think about presentations: large events with thousand of attendees where top chief executives present their innovations from the stage of massive auditoriums. Because these type of conferences have incredibly high visibility and price (for one speaking slot in a macro event like this, a company pays around 10.000 euros to the organizers) the content and design of these presentations are normally impeccable.
But also because of their high cost, companies don't have many of these large events scheduled in their calendars. Instead the majority of conferences in their marketing plans are small/medium size, with hundreds of attendees, economically more affordable (between 3.000 and 5.000 euros per speaking slot) and covered by sales, market development, product line and marketing managers. But in spite their smaller size, these events are as important as large conferences concerning corporate brand and reputation. And even more from a sales point of view as their much smaller size makes it easier to engage with attendees in search for new business opportunities.
However, companies don't usually recognize the importance of these presentations. That is the reason why their speakers often lack the required support, time and knowledge to work on them. The result is beautiful presentations but inaccurate content, a good storyline yet weak value propositions, or -most common scenario- 100% accurate content but too dull and dense slides.
2. Commercial Presentations.
Commercial presentations are an essential tool to explain customers which problems we are tackling, how we are going to solve them and why we are the best partner to do so. That is why it is critical that these type of presentations have nite and well-structured content, tailored to each specific customer. And as necessary as a robust structure it is the way that a commercial presentation looks and feels. An intelligent and smart design that is in-line with our corporate brand reinforces our credibility and professionalism, essential when we are closing a new business opportunity.
For a medium-size company, with 15 sales managers, 10 customers assigned to each manager and an average of 6 customer visits per month per manager it means that the sales department gives a total of 1.080 commercial presentations in a year.
3. Internal Presentations
But the highest number of presentations are given within a company between professionals. Over 50% of the respondents in the study mentioned above attend as an audience an average of two times per week. More than 40% also have to present twice a week and some even two times per day. Besides symposiums and customer visits, these results are clearly accounting internal presentations too, used in meetings to explain ideas, projects, and business plans.
Assuming that 8 meeting rooms are available in our medium-size company and that they are booked twice a day, two times per week each, the result is that over 1.600 internal presentations are given every year. If we think of all the hours and professionals invested in these meetings, it is evident the importance of using clear, precise and brief presentation material to make the most of the time of all professionals involved.
How Much Does a company Invest in Presentation Material?
In total, combining meetings, customer visits, and conferences, a company gives 2.754 presentations per year, an amount that certainly impresses. With this first estimation made, next is to calculate how much it costs to create and present on each format.
The cost of creation varies between 150 and 750 euros depending on:
• Annual gross salary of the professional that has to build the presentation
• Time invested in it (a sales manager can get the job done in 2 hours, while a market development manager needs at least 2 days to put together a presentation sharp enough for a conference)
The cost of presenting has a broader margin of variation from 158 euros for a commercial presentation (salary of the sales manager for 1-hour customer meeting plus 100 euros for travel expenses) to 10.000 euros for a speaking slot in a conference. For internal presentations, the cost of presenting includes the salary of all professionals participating in the meeting (assume an average of 5), translating to 300 euros approximately.
In conclusion, a medium-size company spends the incredible amount of around 750.000 euros on presentations only. But according to the professionals interviewed, only half of them are useful. This means 370.000 euros wasted on mediocre presentations that failed to create new sales, reinforce corporate branding or merely inform peers. All because the professionals responsible for them didn't have the methodology nor the time to build top quality presentations.
The Need for Presentations Specialists
Nowadays, presentations are the most widely used business tool to communicate with clients, employees and the general public. Our analysis confirms their importance with companies presenting thousand of times per year and investing a lot of effort and time to do so. That is why mediocre presentations should never be an option, and same as we hire specialists in product development, web design or marketing, companies and self-employed professionals should also rely on experts for their presentation material.
Humans love to share their ideas, and those with the ability to tell them well have always had a competitive advantage. This is especially true nowadays, in the Communications Era, with all sorts of information bombarding us every minute and barely any time to process it.
As presentation experts, our mission is to make this competitive advantage affordable to everyone. Not only creating memorable presentations for our clients but sharing with them all the knowledge that we have accumulated after years presenting around the world so they can do it themselves. And, speaking about conveying a message, this is the one that my team and myself want to share with you today, our audience.