6 Tips for Effective Presentations


For sales professionals, presentations and public speaking are more important than ever.  Whether you’re giving a sales presentation for a few people or having to address hundreds in an auditorium, here are some tips that can enhance your presentations.

6 Tips for Effective Presentations

1) It's important that you share your enthusiasm.  Not enthusiasm for what you’re going to get out of the deal.  Rather, your enthusiasm about providing an offering that will fulfill the needs of your customer.  Remember, that’s your job.  What’s more, make sure it's genuine enthusiasm.  People can see through fake enthusiasm very, very easily.

2) People have a limited attention span.  If you have an allotted amount of time, use it wisely, and leave lots of room for questions and occasional silences to allow your prospects to absorb the material.  The last thing you want to do is pontificate endlessly and then ask, “What do you think?”  Their heads will likely be swimming in facts and figures, leaving them feeling totally overwhelmed.

3) Plan your presentation around one major intention and a few big ideas, because your listener can’t digest everything at once.  Personally, I recommend centering your presentation on your one-page proposal, and then bringing out the rest of your material to answer their questions: your laptop, technical reports, studies, etc. 

4) I don't think that PowerPoint is necessary for most sales presentations.  If you’re doing a video conference call and have complicated data to share?  Sure, images can be very effective.  But in person?  Not necessarily.  It should be a meeting of the minds, not a narration of bullets on a blizzard of slides.

5) To stand or not to stand?  I like to stand, even in a small room.  If you're in a conference room with 10-12 people, you probably don't want to do the presentation sitting down. If you prefer to stand, make sure that the room has space for you to move around.

6) Don’t leave brochures.  Frankly, I think the prettier the brochure, the more distracting it is.  It’s more important to leave people with motivation and ideas rather than distractions.  Instead of a piece of paper, tailor your words.  You might want to say, for example, "I've worked with 15 customers within 50 miles of where you and I are sitting right now.  It's interesting to note that about 12 of those customers had technology you have, and that’s what we wound up removing." 

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Posted by Mark Jewell

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