Sunday, November 17th, 2019

3 Simple Presentation Tips to Improve Sales

By Cathy Kuzel on Oct 25 2010 • Filed under The Connected Woman

Many of us at one time or another have had to step up and make that presentation to our clients, our prospects or colleagues. I know, you’d rather be 6 feet under than stand at the front of the room! Well, take heart – it’s not as bad as you think!

One thing I’ve found over the years of being in sales and marketing is that we are always presenting. Every time we speak to a client, supplier or prospect, whether we realize it or not, we’re ‘presenting,’ and we have these conversations easily. But it seems as soon as we put that label ‘Presentation’ on it, we acquire a dire case of mumble-mouth.

Here are three simple presentation tips that will put you at ease, engage your audience and improve your sales.

1. It IS a Conversation – A presentation is a conversation with many instead of just one. Avoid the old school lecture. No one wants to listen to the ‘talking head’ when they could have read it online, in a text message or a hand out. Engage your audience by speaking with them, not at them. People want to be included and know that you are truly interested in what they need. Business presentations should be inclusive. It’s all about them.

2. Paint a Picture, Tell a Story – Advertisers have long known about telling stories. We don’t want to know that this particular medicine cures 69% of all cases with no ill side effects. We want to know about the mom who can now run and play with her children and that her quality of life has greatly improved because of this medicine. In business it’s the same. Our clients want to know how their lives, business, bottom line will improve by using our products or service. I hate to burst your bubble, but they don’t want to know about your expanded office space, latest award or new copy machine. Really.

3. Wings are for Birds – As a professional mentor, I coach entrepreneurs and business professionals on the merits of practice. If I had a nickel for every time someone said, “I know my stuff, I can wing it,” I could retire. You can't ‘wing’ a presentation. Practice makes perfect and a poorly prepared presentation will reflect on you, your business and your customers. Your audience is making time out of their busy schedules to hear what you have to say and the last thing you want is them leaving with the thought, “That was a waste of time.”

With access to information at the touch of a mouse, our clients and prospects are becoming self-educated and more discerning. We don’t need to give them statistics and facts – they can find that out for themselves. We need to engage and enroll them on an emotional level. By incorporating these three tips into your next presentation, you’ll discover a more responsive audience and you won’t have to imagine them in their underwear.


3 Comments

  1. I couldn’t agree more! Particularly with the winging it comments. I’ve never yet met anyone who could wing it as well as they thought they could and I’ve VERY rarely met anyone who could wing it at all. Whenever someone says to me “I can wing it” what I hear in my head is “I’m too lazy to practice!”

    Not even professionals wing it – even improvisational theatre has rules within which any apparent improv takes place… and these guys are professional improvisers!

    • Re: professional improvisers. Sort of like the ‘overnight success’ was 25 years in the making? You’re so right Simon. With today’s technology, there is no reason not to do a ‘dry run’ with a video camera and then fine tune. No vid? Grab a colleague or offer a complimentary Beta workshop to solicit feedback and critiques. No excuse for ‘winging’ it!

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