Getting your foot in a prospective client’s door is an achievement on its own – but the presentation you’ll be delivering to them during that meeting is what will help you to win their business.
Typically, there is a limited amount of time to ‘sell yourself’ and convince the client to choose you, which is why your approach to preparing and delivering presentations is so important.
1. Know your audience
Every client is different and it’s important to have at least a general idea of the type of person (or people) you will be dealing with.
Use social media to find out more about a client’s personality, or consult with other professionals in your network or within the industry who have experience with presenting to this particular client.
This will help you gain helpful insight, such as specific phrases that may set this specific client on edge, and general pointers on what to expect from them.
2. Keep it simple
The ideal presentation conveys your point succinctly, holding the client’s attention through to the very last word. If you plan on using a slide presentation, try to include more images than text, and as a rule of thumb, explain only one idea per slide.
Keep in mind that too many complicated graphs, spreadsheets and tiny numbers are difficult to see and understand at a glance, so avoid these, and rather explain your thoughts.
3. Show confidence
While it’s important to carefully consider the content of a presentation, how you deliver that information is key to your success.
Do not rely on the presentation to guide you, but rather use it as an aid to your delivery.
Ensure that you make eye contact with your audience, and use hand movements to articulate your thoughts – distracting the audience from your clicker tool as you seamlessly switch from slide to slide.
4. Believe in your product/service
There’s nothing more obvious to an audience than a lack of belief – the client will be able to hear it in your voice and see it in your face, which means you run the risk of not being taken seriously.
Avoid this by taking the time to understand your product or service and most importantly, the benefits it offers your client. It is also vital to ensure that, if someone else in the company is presenting to the client, they understand the value of your offerings and are just as passionate about it as you would be.
5. Prepare for the worst
As negative as it may seem, it helps to consider every potential disaster or undesirable outcome in order to prevent it from happening to you at the most inopportune moment.
Technology – wonderful as it is – sometimes fails us, so make sure you’ve printed out a few sets of the presentation slides or any supporting information to hand out should the gremlins get the better of you.
Be sure to print them out in high-res colour for effect, using a high quality printer and good paper.