If you aren’t, the problem might be in your pitch. Pitching and presentation expert Rich Mulholland’s number one pitching rule is this:
- When you’re talking, you’re selling; when they’re talking and asking questions, they’re buying.
- Your job is to move as quickly as possible into them buying.
Here’s Mulholland’s three step approach.
1. Don’t fill your time
60 minutes to ‘talk’ is 60 minutes to engage. Remember that social media has killed attention spans. You need to present in 20 minutes, so that the remaining 40 minutes are all about them. For two thirds of the meeting they should present to you. (Remember, when they’re talking, they’re buying).
2. Don’t go over 20 minutes. Ever
If you can’t present in 20 minutes, you need to refine your pitch.
“I saw J Craig Venter present on how he mapped the human genome — the most complicated science in human history — in 18 minutes, and it was compelling. If he can do that, we can certainly present our businesses in 20 minutes,” says Mulholland.
3. Recapture attention every three minutes
“John Medina, author of Brain Rules, says that you need to recapture your audience’s attention every ten minutes. If that was true ten years ago, I guarantee you that today’s maximum is three minutes before you lose them and have to start all over again. You’re competing with thoughts, phones, busy schedules and short attention spans. Design your pitch with this in mind, and aim to do something that recaptures attention every three minutes,” says Mulholland.
In a nutshell
For a killer presentation, give them a reason to care, a reason to believe, tell them what they need to know, and then tell them what they need to do.
Mulholland has three words of advice: Don’t be sh*t. If you’re going to be sh*t, stop. No one wants to sit through that meeting. There are 100s of books you can read. There’s no longer an excuse to be bad at presentations. Go out there and be awesome.