Who really ‘tolerates’ your food product presentation?

      Who tolerates your food product presentation


During any given year, I participate, view or listen to about 100 food product presentations.  The audiences range from foodservice operators to CEOs of large food manufacturers.

Virtually all the presentations are destined to be forgotten.  It’s nobody’s fault.  We’re all bombarded with too much information.

But there are some people who have a much higher tolerance for details.  In my totally unscientific analysis, it goes something like this:

  • R&D chefs or “category specialists” have a high tolerance for information. After all, it’s their job to know everything at the ground level — so, they take abuse well.
  • Marketers are in the middle of the pack in terms of attention span since, hey, many are largely responsible for creating the presentations in the first place.
  • Good sales reps know just what they need to know right before walking into the next sales call. No more.  No less.  Because those reps (especially brokers and DSRs) have to be an expert on some other food product tomorrow.
  • Finally, most customers and senior executives are at the far end of the spectrum. Their brains click over to other pressing matters as the second PowerPoint slide appears.

But there is gold in most product presentations I witness.  Rather than losing the value, some simple repurposing of the content for online viewing will pay dividends long after the crowd leaves the room:

  • Animated audio. Nearly any hour-long presentation I’ve seen can be reduced to about 10 minutes of scripted narration over some key illustrated graphics.  Of course, divide those ten minutes into a few shorter mini segments — nobody wants to watch a 10-minute online presentation.  Several short segments let folks pick a focused topic rather than listen to a lengthy program whenever they need a refresher.
  • Remember 3-3-3. A shorter segment should cover no more than three points.  Avoid going beyond three minutes in total.  And the visual should change at least three times per minute because staring at your Gantt chart any longer than 20 seconds is internationally defined as “torture.”
  • Find the sweet spot.  There is no perfect presentation.  So, take a hard look and cut down to the 20 percent of information that will fascinate 80 percent of the possible audiences.  You’ll be ahead of the game compared to any other food product presentation that is competing for your audience’s attention.