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Presentation Wow

Put some panache into your presentation, and you’ll clinch the deal.

Barry Farber

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Sales calls come in as many shapes and sizes as there are products to sell. Some sales calls are just extended conversations where both seller and buyer profit from the final result. For most salespeople, however, there are times when more formal sales presentations are required to close the deal.

If you’re wondering how to make your presentations more powerful and persuasive, you’ll want to take these five suggestions to heart:

1. Prepare. Before you make any presentation, complete a thorough needs analysis so you can address the prospect’s requirements. Prepare notes on the most important things to cover. (Don’t read directly from your notes; people get a much stronger message when it’s spoken from the heart instead of the page.) Do as much research as possible. Peter Connolly, president and CEO of tommy.com (a division of Tommy Hilfiger), says salespeople who show up unprepared have no chance of doing business with him. “Sometimes, people will come in with a presentation and tell me they have a great idea for my company. But when I ask if they’ve seen any of our new stores, they say ‘no’.And when I ask if they’ve seen our new ad campaign, they say ‘no’. If I were going to meet the head of marketing for a corporation, I’d certainly review their ad campaign. If they haven’t, I wouldn’t think much of their presentation.”

2. Follow the four T’s. Don’t launch into your solutions immediately. Start with a short introduction. Build rapport with the people in the room. Make sure everyone is comfortable, and that you know how much time you have. Then follow these four T’s of making presentations:

  • Tell them what you’re going to tell them. Let them know what to expect in the presentation, and why your solution makes sense. For instance, say: “I’m now going to take you through our new product line and demonstrate exactly how it will help you decrease production time.”
  • Tell them. Just go through your presentation following the outline you proposed.
  • Test them. Keep your prospects involved. Don’t just spit out information; ask questions that will let you know whether your presentation is hitting home and addressing their criteria. Ask: “Is that important to you?” or “Do you see how this could help eliminate the service problem you had in the past?”
  • Tell them what you told them. Summarise your ideas and the most important benefits you covered in your presentation. Leave them with the knowledge that you’ve hit on the points that are most important to them.

3. Be yourself. Don’t worry about making your presentation perfect; instead, concentrate on making your content strong and powerful. Speak as though you were having an informal one-on-one conversation, no matter how many people you’re actually addressing. Once you’ve done your preparation and know the four T’s, you can relax and let your personality come through.

4. Present with passion and pizzazz. You don’t have to be an entertainer, but you do need enthusiasm and a positive attitude. Studies have shown that four factors are critical to business success: information, intelligence, skill and attitude. When these factors were ranked in importance, attitude alone overwhelmingly beat information, intelligence and skill combined.

If you lack enthusiasm for your presentation, it won’t matter how much you prepare or how many hot buttons you hit; you’ll lose your audience before you get anywhere near the close.

5. Remember that technology is just a tool. There’s a saying that goes, “If you can’t convince them, confuse them.”Sometimes salespeople get so wrapped up in fancy graphic displays and overloaded slides, they forget about relaying their core message. It’s fine to use graphics and handouts, but don’t overwhelm your audience with technologically perfect, but meaningless, information.

James Roosevelt credits his father, Franklin D. Roosevelt, for great presentation advice: “Be sincere. Be brief. Be seated.” Keep your presentation strong, concise and focused. Speak from the heart to get your message across. Then sit down.

Barry Farber is a top speaker and bestselling author of 11 books on sales, management and personal achievement.

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(Video) Get More Attention For your Business

Lindsay Broder, The Occupreneur Coach, explains the importance of communicating your unique skills and the value you can offer clients in this short video.

Entrepreneur

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Demonstrating what you bring to the table isn’t always easy.

Lindsay Broder, The Occupreneur Coach, explains the importance of communicating your unique skills and the value you can offer clients in this short video.

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(Video) How You Can Make Your Next Presentation Memorable

How to make your pitch memorable.

Entrepreneur

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Carmine-Gallo

From delivering board room presentations to speaking before a live audience, speaking publicly is something most of us will have to do at some point. But if we’re going to take the time to develop and practice delivering a presentation, we want to make sure the content and the “performance” are memorable, right?

In this video, keynote speaker and communication coach Carmine Gallo offers his top tips for how you can make your next business presentation one your audience won’t soon forget. Gallo is author of TALK LIKE TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of The World’s Top Minds.

Gallo recommends following the “rule of three.” Instead of presenting 15 or 20 points, stick with three or four features or pieces of advice. Why? It’s easier for people to remember and stay engaged with what you’re saying.

“It’s almost impossible for the human brain to ignore that group of three,” Gallo says. “We have to know what those three are.”

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(Video) How to Hit the Presentation Content Nail on the Head

Building better business presentations.

Entrepreneur

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Avoid the glassy-eyed look from your audience by creating a strong presentation that delivers an exciting experience. Pam Slim delves into her process and techniques for choosing content to fill her presentation slides.

“Ask yourself: What do you want people to walk away with?”

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