How To Be A Rock Star in Your Next Presentation
What can you do to nail it the next time you are presenting your offering? How about your upcoming capabilities presentation? Maybe you are a startup in need of capital? The following are some tips to help you get your audience engaged, entertained and interested in continuing the sales conversation after you leave the room.
Start a conversation
Most presentations start with the company history, a picture of headquarters and the founder. BORING! Think about your other sales conversations, do you start the discussion making it all about you? Of course not, this is just another type of sales conversation. Use a startling statistic that will grab their attention to begin your presentation. Another way to create engagement is in providing critical insight into their industry. Ask a question to get your audience started from the very start. Information in today's world has to be both informative and entertaining to keep your audience's attention.
Do you know the slides well enough to do your presentation without them? When I coach salespeople before a presentation, I advise them to rehearse the presentation 10X the day before. You should be using the slides as a guide to keep you on track, not as an information source. I recommend ten slides per 20 minutes and no more than fifteen words per slide. Save essential stats, and detailed information for a hand out you give at the end of the presentation. Use compelling visuals to help you tell your story.
We make most decisions based on emotions. This fact has been proven over and over again in behavioral science. Tell a story with human elements. Often, a good story has an exciting opening, an emotional high point, and a happy ending. Think of others you have helped who have had a pressing issue. Maybe you can solve a problem for their customers; then the buyer can be the hero in the story. Use client testimonial videos as social proof of your value. Another way to tell your story is through analogies, as long as they are relatable to your story. Adding emotionally rich content will set you apart and give you the advantage of being remembered. Stories are remembered up to 7X longer than facts.
Address Silent Concerns
Once you have told your story what happens next? If you do not plan your future, you risk not having the one you want. Look at the reasons they may be concerned about making the decision. Maybe it's training, money, timeline, implementation, compatibility, the impact to others, and more. Think ahead and address these concerns after you tell your story. The benefits of this are awful! If you can remove fears before they are real, you stay in control of the sales conversation. If you do not address the silent concerns, when you leave they may have these discussions, and you will be left with competing agendas and assumptions about "what if" scenarios for these silent concerns. Do not let the "what if's" in the room steal your thunder!
Close with a Roadmap of the Future
So the story has been told, the silent concerns have been addressed, the questions have been answered, now what? Are you going to leave and wait for a call? No, No, and No! The best way to move forward is to envision the future with you and the buyer. Create a visual guide to the implementation journey and leave it at the end to present. Explain each step step in the process and leave room for silent concerns to be addressed. Look around the room at each person's face, do you see them looking like a question is waiting to come out? Stop, and ask if anyone has any questions during each of the steps to ensure you stay in control. If you take away any concerns and provide the right value, you should be able to ask for the commitment at the end. If you do not get a commitment, ask what to follow up with and when. Never leave it to the buyer to get back with you. Stay in control of the sales conversation and always ask for the next step.