Five Types of Meetings Where We Can Strengthen Your Message

In considering all the venues where business presentations are made, the following are ones where our dial testing can add the greatest value to your business: participant education meetings, advocacy messaging, mock trials, sales finals presentations, and home office (or wholesaler) messages to the field force.

1. Participant education meetings: Providers of retirement plans, health plans, and insurance plans all require employee audiences to be interested and cognitively-engaged before convincing them to sign up for optional benefits. Find out whether audiences "get it" by using a real life group as a test.

Example: An employee benefits provider decides to roll out a new product. It spends months developing an enrollment presentation that will be seen by tens of thousands of employees who work for plan sponsors' companies. To make sure that these employees fully understand what this product can do for them and why they should sign up for it, the company works with Presentation Testing to test and refine their enrollment presentation. This process boosts overall participation rates and increases the provider's assets under management.

2. Advocacy messaging: Leading advocacy groups and their government affairs firms hire Presentation Testing to determine how well their key messages are received by the public at large, as well as by particular demographic or psychographic groups. Dial testing pinpoints which messages are confusing, boring, and unbelievable.

Example: A top grass-roots organization hires Presentation Testing to test a videotape featuring snippets of an advocate for a particular initiative arguing in favor of that reform. Presentation Testing isolates the boring, confusing, and unbelievable parts of the tape, and uses feedback to draft a speech geared toward audiences of all ages, as well as a variation geared toward audiences above age 50. Presentation Testing hires an actor to play an expert, videotapes that actor reading the speeches from a teleprompter, and then tests the new speeches with audiences across the United States. These market-tested speeches become the standard in the reform community.

3. Mock trials: Top trial consulting firms bring us in to determine, on a moment-by-moment basis, whether their client's opening argument is helping or hurting his case as he delivers it before a group of mock jurors.

Example: A leading trial consulting firm asks us to help its client—a leading defense attorney—determine the lowest level of damages a mock jury will accept in a medical malpractice case. With the dials, we gather the visceral reaction of mock jurors as each of 10 injuries is described, along with the amounts the defense attorney claims the plaintiff should pay his client for each injury. If a particular amount is too high or too low, we know it immediately.

4. Sales finals presentations: Want to know why the win percentage on your high-stakes sales presentation is below what it should be? Find out by testing it in front of an internal audience of your own colleagues who may never have seen your "pitch." How interested are they in the content of your presentation? Do they understand it? Where are the "weak spots" that need to be altered and improved?

Example: A company vying for a key piece of business sends in its heavy hitter to deliver the presentation that is supposed to seal the deal and beat out the competition. Unbeknownst to the presenter, though, the presentation is jargon-filled and the PowerPoint slides try to do too much. This presentation, too confusing for even savvy audiences, has a lower win percentage than it should have. Presentation Testing uncovers the weak spots, makes actionable recommendations, and the presenter wins his next piece of multi-million-dollar business.

5. Home office (or wholesaler) messages to the field force: What your key producers don't know can hurt them! Does your sales force comprehend everything they need to understand in order to sell your product? Do they adequately know your competition? We can determine whether your presentations to your sales force are being heard, and if there are weak spots in your communications, where they exist.

Example: An insurance company holding a three day retreat for top agents wants to ensure that the agents are getting the message about their competition. Presentation Testing conducts two dial tests: one to determine which information a group of agents understands most and least, and a second dial test with another group to determine which information the agents value the most.