The marketing and training teams of companies usually call meetings with their commercial teams. These are held in congress hotel rooms with variable periodicity: monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual.
Meetings can last 1-3 days, depending on how many concepts the team needs to transmit and the activities they have organized. They are usually pleasant events, creating team feeling and enriching. These events allow people to interact with each other and learn more about their opinions and experiences in multiple aspects.
Commercials are people accustomed to work moving from one place to another. By having them sitting several days from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., it is often difficult for them to maintain their attention for a long time. The most interesting talks are those that present sales results of your activity and the incentive policy. These usually occur at the beginning and end of the agenda of talks.
Are these events therefore a good formative opportunity? Or are they simply used for this purpose, taking advantage of the “Since …” effect?
Since it costs so much money to move all commercial equipment to the same location and, therefore, it can’t be done more frequently. Since the center team has so many things to tell about the many aspects they have been working for several months, take the opportunity to tell them EVERYTHING intensively.
Several aspects can be improved so that the meetings are more effective, they get to improve the long-term reminder and they can be more productive. These aspects are the following:
Sleep at least 7 hours
The agenda should allow people to have slept for at least 7 hours and that each talk should not exceed 20 minutes in length, so that there may be pauses of attention of about 5 minutes between one and another to allow them to concentrate again. A good example of short talks are the TED Talks. Its success consists in communicating the really important messages in less than 19 minutes, without digressing about irrelevant aspects.
It is important that the exhibitions are as interactive as possible with the audience, asking them to raise their hands or interrupt with their observations or doubts. Unidirectional monologues should be avoided in which someone who knows many things goes up to the stage to explain them all. If this happens, it is likely that a high % of the attendees will disconnect their attention starting at minute 10.
To avoid distractions, it is also important that if information is projected, there is as little text as possible, trying to transmit visual concepts or combining text and striking images. The size of the texts should not be small, causing people in the more distant rows to disconnect.
In our era where each person has a device with which to actively distract, it can be a good strategy to “disable” smartphones elegantly for this purpose, forcing them to use it to interact with the speaker as recommended in the previous point. Applications such as Kahoot or Trainapp EVENTOS, where the smartphone screen becomes a remote control to answer questions, can be very useful. The questions will serve to awaken curiosity in commercials and guide attention towards learning from the mistakes made.
Between one talk and another, it is best to generate as much movement as possible, making them get up from their chairs, stretch, or perhaps cause them to walk to pick up a document from the next printed talk, for example, instead of distributing them so they do not have to move and do not delay the agenda. Moving the body contributes to learning. During the course of the presentations it is favorable to invite the commercials to express things with their arms.
Gesticulation and story telling
Try to emphasize the important messages with greater gesticulation and story telling techniques, which turn them into stories that are easy to remember and break the monotony with pauses, changes of tonality, … It is also a good strategy to devise games to actively work on these key messages.
Repetition of important messages
The speakers must be aligned so that the important messages are repeated several times in different talks, so that the commercials end the meeting with these concepts as consolidated as possible in their memory. Many times, the coordination between the talks is usually done precisely to the contrary, trying to avoid overlapping communicating the same message. If this happens, at the end of the event no message will have stood out above the rest and will be easily forgotten.
Presentation of the sales agents
It would be wise to dedicate spaces on the agenda so that, on a rotating basis, commercial people can present how the market is evolving in their areas, what impressions they received from their clients from the previous promotional actions, what concerns they and their customers have, etc. If only the central office presents its vision, it is assumed that the commercial team does not want to transmit to the office. Thus, an excellent opportunity is lost to collect important impressions of the commercial reality or the needs of the team. What the audience wants to hear is if what happens to them also happens to other colleagues. Another aspect of interest is knowing success stories that can be learned. Possibly, these spaces will be where a better reminder is obtained and reflected in a high number of people making notes.
Reflection of the audience
Each speaker should be clear about the key messages he wants to convey and start the talks inviting the audience to reflect on these aspects. In this way, the audience intervenes generating curiosity and interest and is put in a situation of need. Subsequently, strategies for resolving this situation will be proposed.
At the end of each presentation and as the closing of the event in general, it is advisable to repeat the main messages that should be taken home. It is also necessary to give the audience the possibility to review the messages days later, creating later reference material, which can be printed documents or digital ones located in a corporate campus.
Periodic training pills
If many concepts have been taught, it should not be assumed that commercials already dominate them. Our memory needs several impacts so that learning is consolidated, so it is highly recommended that concepts be gradually repeated by other media such as e-mail or group chats/forums. A good method is to send periodic updates of brief training pills, so that they can “digest” the information little by little. When exposing shorter fractions of information, it is possible that more questions, impressions or interesting questions to share arise.
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