Customising your sales presentation to the unique needs of the customer is essential to retain interest and engagement.
Presentation skills Archive
The core purpose of an investor pitch is to stimulate interest and to get a second (detail) meeting.
There is a big difference between spoke language and written language. Aim to have it sound natural as it is spoken. The speech should be memorable and easy to follow. Most importantly, when writing a presentation script for some else it needs to reflect the speaker’s style, not yours.
The Power of TED Talks are that they are engaging, have a clear message we can relate to and hardly ever have any "Death by PowerPoint" to put us to sleep. TED Talks make learning fun and entertaining.
Business storytelling helps our audience recall more than a list of statistics or facts, but we still need to be sure our audience leaves with our key points. A simple story that is relatable and memorable is far more powerful than something foreign to your audience.
Do you feel like people sometimes don’t listen to you at work? We’re all guilty of not listening at one point or another in our lives. We tune others out while we’re busy, concentrating on a task or when we are reading. Though we try hard to multi-task between tasks we are not always able to listen to someone who’s trying to talk to …
Not all Q&A sessions are created equal. We could use technology (Twitter or some other live question feed) to get quality questions, but these solutions can be time consuming, complex to manage or expensive (due to the technology required).
Image selection in slide design is about more than just typing the word or concept into Google, it is about clarifying your message and making each slide count. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but using the wrong picture can be distracting and create confusion.
Effective slides are designed to augment your message - not be your message (notes) or a distraction (clutter). When designing slides avoid to "death by Powerpoint" think billboard (a simple focus slide which augments your message and can be understood in 3 seconds).
Our brains love personal and emotionally compelling stories; they engage more of our brains and therefore are easier to remember than a set of facts.
Using our attentional spotlight is energetically costly so we need to use it sparingly. The functions using the pre-frontal cortex of our brains require considerably more resources than we sometimes realise.
Avoid “consultantese” - the temptation to shovel a truckload of statistics and facts at your audience. Your speech should be supported by the facts and research; it should not be just the facts and research. What does the audience actually need to know?
Questioning skills to help engage your audience. Questioning can help build relationships and coach if done effectively
Group presentations are often done poorly. The problem is often a combination of poor planning and coordination between group members and a fear of public speaking. Have each speaker plan their speech before you build the first slide; your slides should augment the presentation not be the presentation.
Humour can be a powerful tool if it is used to make a point Jokes without a point, in a presentation, can be distracting. Humour helps us capture attention, builds rapport, and makes our message more memorable if used effectively. Laughter also helps break tension, too much drama or tension is exhausting (Think Shakespeare’s use of line to break tension “Alas poor Yorick I knew him well”). Tips …
Use the Picture Superiority effect (PSE) to increase engagement and reduce boring presentations. Bullet points lead to presenters reading instead of speaking. It is easy to begin reading what is on the screen when the screen is filled with text bullets, this is really boring to the audience.
Using bullet points in your presentations can cause your audience to read ahead or switch off. Use the Picture Superiority effect (PSE) to increase retention and engagement. Pictures are more memorable than lists.
We have to deal with off the cuff questions daily - after presentations, when dating and in social situations. Learning to think on your feet is a great way to increase your confidence as a speaker.
Speech design tips to help you structure your thoughts so your audience can follow and understand your message.
Communication that is clear and understood saves time and money, improves customer scores, and helps increase employee engagement levels.
Body language tips to improve your speaking Improving your understanding and delivery of nonverbal communication takes time and practice to improve. First we need to recognise the power of nonverbal communication. Facial expressions Our faces show how we feel, even when we try and hide it. Learning how to read facial and body expression gives us insight into the accuracy and honesty of communication. We …
Before developing your call-to-action, be clear on what action you’d like your audience to take. Build the interaction around that call-to-action and point people to the next step.
We don’t care what people say, we are more likely to believe what they do. We communicate information in multiple ways (eye contact, gestures, posture, body movements, and tone of voice).
A soundbite pitch is a clear, concise and a well-practiced description of the benefit your company offers.
Start by making some notes of stories and experiences that you’ve enjoyed with the bride, groom or couple. Take into account the audience’s cultural background, age, familiarity with the happy couple, etc. By sharing a few stories that show who they are to you, the audience gains insight into your relationship. e.g. “I’ll never forget ...”
The MC helps the day run smoothly. The speeches at the wedding reception are meant to be an enjoyable part of the day, giving friends and family the opportunity to have some light fun and gain insight into the character and lives of the happy couple. To
Use stories and anecdotes to create an engaging wedding toast Long drawn out wedding toasts can put your guests to sleep. If you’re not used to public speaking don’t wing it, practice your speech (or get coaching). The speeches offer an opportunity for family and friends to gain insight into the parties involved and have some light fun. Notes on index cards (not word-for-word, but …
Dumping a full Excel spreadsheet into a presentation makes the information less effective. Keep it simple, changes and relevant information.
Numbers can be very powerful to illustrate the story you want to share, but what does your audience actually need to see? Start by clearly defining what your message is and which numbers help make that point clear.
Presentation skills tip: if you can find it on Wikipedia, don’t say it in your speech. Use personal stories to make your point, don't dump data.
Top Presentation skills tip. When speaking practice feeling the emotion, showing it in your face and body language, then saying your line for more natural body language and sincerity.
Speech design tips, how to captivate your audience with a great opening will engage your audience for a while, while a weak opening will lose your audience's attention and dilute your message.
Always start writing your speech, or presentation, with a clear message you want the audience to remember in mind. If 5 people spoke they should remember you spoke about ... what? Your message should relate to why the audience should care, and what they should do with the information.
There are different types of presentations. The presentation you deliver, the presentation you mail (to be read), and the presentation your print. Each requires a different approach to make it effective in sharing a message that engages the audience.
How many slides should you have? The number of slides is not nearly as important as creating a clear message that people can hear and act on.
When presenting percentages or statistics keep it simple and relate it to the audience. For many people percentages are complicated and cause the MEGO (My Eyes Glaze Over) state. 1 in 5 people is easier to grasp than 20% of the population.
Pick your background, font and contrast carefully when creating your slides. Contrast makes your message easier to read.
To engage your audience add a black slide, or blank the screen. This allows you to step forward and speak to the audience. Black slides can help the audience focus their attention on you, the speaker.
Learn how to use bullets effectively. At the very least, bullets points bore your audience when used ineffectively. Most "Death by PowerPoint" occurs as people put too much text on the slide .. then read it! Audiences love bullets - when they have created the content.
Leadership means we are always on stage “What you do teaches faster, and has a lasting impression, far beyond what you say.” T.F. Hodge Part of our job, as leaders, is to inspire the people around us to step up, and go the extra mile. To accomplish this we must demonstrate best practice, by doing what we tell others to do. It doesn’t matter whether we are …
Use white space to enhance readability and visual clarity. This helps direct your audience’s focus to the important content on your slide, rather than distracting them.
One of the leading contributors to “Death by PowerPoint” is putting too much information into each slide. No matter how cool your logo is, putting it on every slide can minimise the impact of your message, and your logo.
Subtle changes to the way you display prices can make a huge difference. Discover the impact of anchoring, premium products, wording, framing value, bundles and selling time can have on your bottom line.
Don’t let your message get lost in too much data. Create a clear take-away you want your audience to remember. We may feel the message should be obvious, but unless you have your message clearly in your mind, it isn’t. Ensure you can write your message clearly in one or two sentences.
Learn some simple tips to increase your impact as a speaker. Rushing your opening or overloading the audience with data can be the kiss of death. Your open sets the scene. Open with power.
Too much focus on the bottom line can lead to disengaged employees as they feel they do not matter. Managers now have the hard science to support development of our most important asset, our people while developing engagement. Passionate engaged workers translate in to a healthy triple bottom line (people, profits, planet).
Demonstrating your knowledge of your audience’s real world business challenges sets the expectation that your talk is relevant to them. As speakers we have an opportunity to entertain as well as inform. Often our audience could have picked up a book and discovered the solutions for themselves.
Speech design and delivery. Handling speaking nerves. Use the power of the body’s autonomic nervous system to change the chemical state of your body, and how you feel.
We often wait for life to make us feel happy, before we smile. However research shows that if we smile first it can make us feel happier. By standing up straight we feel, and look, more confident. Don’t wait, smile first.
Tips on using a microphone. Using a microphone is about the audience. Can you be heard, and understood, from the back of the room? Don’t be “that speaker” who says they don't need a microphone and then proceeds to shout, making it hard to hear. Learn where and how to hold it to engage your audience.
It turns out we are far more stimulated by the idea of fairness than by free money. Our pleasure/reward circuitry is activated more when the offer is perceived as fair. An unfair offer produces resentment,and may lead to the desire to punish.
We often use comparisons to assess value. Learn the skills Williams-Sonoma, The Economist and great sales organisations know to ensure your ideas and product have perceived value.
The world of speaking is changing. The Instant nature of social media can tell you how you are doing as a presenter, and if your message is clear. Social media allows for real time feedback. Social media can allow audience members to ask questions in real time.
A clear point made with humour will linger in your audience’s minds long after you've finished. Ideas that make us feel something are more memorable, specially when we laugh.
Think about what you have recently bought that you didn’t really need, but wanted. We buy mostly based on our emotional preferences (wants), not always on what we need. As we become aware of this emotional drive we can learn change the way we sell to, or influence, our customers.
We are emotional beings first, we use reason and reason to make sense of our emotions. Studies have shown repeatedly that we value experiences far more than things. People will pay more for an enjoyable experience than a thing.
Avoid dumping data and confusing your audience in your presentations. “Consultant’s disease” is giving too much information, without discovering what the listener’s actual needs are. A simple example is when asked how to write a letter on the computer the “consultant” explains about the processor speed, the operating system, and the stability of the software. 90% of the information given, in this case, is …
Learn how to use Presenter's View. Stop boring power point where the presenter reads what the audience reads and everyone falls asleep. Presenter's View, on Power Point (2007+) or Keynote (2004+), allows you to see your notes on your laptop, while the audience sees just the current slide.
Your audience wants to be moved, inspired, persuaded ... not be bored to death with data dumps and cluttered slides. So use simplicity, San-Serif fonts and contrast for powerful presentations
TED talks aim to persuade, influence and change the way we Think and Act. We should be aiming to do the same thing in our business presentations. No more “Death by Power Point”, ever. Microsoft comes with Power Point, Excel and Word - they are meant to do different things. Word is for documents to read, PPT is to visually augment what you are …
As speakers we can learn to overcome our fears through the vicarious experience of watching others grow personally and professionally. Then, when we are ready, we try it for ourselves. Over time we learn we don’t die when we get up and speak. Initially we protect ourselves with lecterns and notes, then eventually we are able to stand up and shine.
Q & A tips. Your audience expects you to be confident and to maintain control of the session. Often when the Q&A session goes “pear shaped” it’s because the speaker has lost control and gone off point (the point of the talk). Audiences may form a negative impression when the speaker reacts emotionally, but leave with a positive impression when you remain calm, confident, and …
Successful speakers pay attention to the details. By anticipating some of the most common mistakes we can prevent them. Remember to keep it simple and relative to the main theme of the presentation. If it does not clearly make your point, for your audience, cut it.
Walk the talk. As a leader what you do gets noticed, even when you are not in the front of the room. Whether as a leader in your work, or in your family life, demonstrate the behaviour you want to see from others. Nothing makes your point more powerfully than demonstrating a desired action or behaviour. We are more likely to follow a leaders example, …
A toast is a short speech. The toast of the evening is normally 2 - 3 minutes. Check the Programme for time and style of toast (Toast of the evening or to a specific person or organisation). A toast has an opening, body, and conclusion.
Start by determining what training is required, in order to deliver products or services to the customer (internal or external customers), in a manner that increases customer engagement and retention. Get a training buy-in to ensure motivated trainees.
There is a direct relationship between tension and laughter. Laughter is a natural stress reliever, because when we laugh muscle tension melts away. When we laugh our muscles automatically relax, it's an involuntary reflex. A pause sets up the anticipation … here comes the funny!