Presentation skills

18Now you are in a great position to polish the presentation that will close any sale, as long as your presentation skills are up to the job. This is a huge topic in its own right and we will only be able to scratch the surface here. But there are a few things we focus on which could set you apart and help you close the sale. Such as how do audiences react to a presentation? Some people remember the first thing you tell them, some the last, some the most unusual, and some the most repeated items. You don’t know who is in the audience. How do you make sure they remember the key points?




Let’s review where we are now.

You should have the makings of a great presentation which

  • Positions your product, service, industry or market.
  • Allows you to establish your clients’ needs
  • Explains the benefits of your product in a tailored way
  • Overcomes objections
  • Contains or accesses testimonials

That should put you in a great position now to polish a presentation that will close any sale.

As long as your presentation skills are up to the job.

This is a huge topic in its own right and we will only be able to scratch the surface here. We will assume you have a basic level of competence. In you don’t, then there are many experts writing and working on this subject who can help you.

But there are a few things we should focus on which could set you apart and help you close the sale.

Such as how do audiences react to a presentation?

How do you make sure they remember the key points?

Most presenters instinctively build a case, working chronologically, and building up to the conclusion they want the audience to note.

BUT

Audiences are at their most receptive in the first few moments of a presentation. By the time you build your case they may have lost interest.

So open with your most important point- your conclusion. The key points must be at the top. You can build the case later and repeat the points.

People remember in different ways. Some remember the first thing you tell them, some the last, some the most unusual, and some the most repeated items. You don’t know who is in the audience or how their brain works, so you need to cover all of these memory types. A combination of the above is good.

So list the key points you want to make in the presentation, and then take some time to put them in order of priority. Consider critically whether the last couple need to be there at all. Do they “add value”? Should you remove them?

Once you have settled on the list, this should be your first slide. Your key slide.

You can revisit the points listed later, building the case for each one if you want, but this key points slide should be repeated at the top, middle and bottom of your presentation to ensure audiences receive your message.

Another factor to consider is the work of Professor Albert Mehrabian , who has pioneered the understanding of communications since the 1960s.

Aside from his various other works, Mehrabian’s research provided the basis for the widely quoted and often much over-simplified statistic for the effectiveness of spoken communications.

His research shows that;-

7% of message pertaining to feelings and attitudes is in the words that are spoken.

38% of message pertaining to feelings and attitudes is paralinguistic (the way that the words are said).

55% of message pertaining to feelings and attitudes is in facial expression.

This is often taken to mean that audience’s perception is based as follows;-

What you say 7%

Tone of voice, the way you say it 38%

Facial expression, Body language 55%

Either way, it is clear that it is not only what you say, but equally important is your delivery, body language and voice. Present with certainty and energy.

You need to give some credence to this research in the finalising of your presentation and your practice of it.

If you are working B2C and will only have one opportunity to meet with the clients, then your best bet is to have a loosely scripted presentation, which allows for interaction with the client at the beginning, and then can be adapted as the meeting goes on to allow you to show them their achieved benefits.

You will have to think on your feet, and may find the written factsheet we devised at the end of lesson 7 to be useful. This allows you to ascertain the client’s key objectives, and refer to the sheet throughout the presentation, to tick off the points you need to make.

If you are working B2B then you may very well have a number of meetings with the clients, which will allow you to develop and tailor an individual presentation based on your generic one.

For example if you are a national account manager you may ask the buyer at your first seasonal meeting, what their objectives are for the coming season.

They may say

  • Reduce range SKU’s
  • Increase turnover
  • Increase margin
  • Reduce end of season stockholding

This is perfect-You probably didn’t realise some of them were targets. Now you can go away and come up with a plan that will deliver them all, in some format.

Maybe your proposal includes

  • Reduce range – offer some proven high sellers as exclusives
  • Increase turnover- offer some proven high sellers as exclusives
  • Increase margin- offer discount for volume, maybe retrospective; make a margin contribution for selling space.
  • Reduce end of season stockholding – offer sale or return, or just in time delivery

You need to consider a number of factors when preparing your presentation-the usual housekeeping stuff-do you have the correct equipment, power source, correct sized room, comfortable temperature, refreshments available. Your position in the room, does the equipment work correctly, can everyone see and hear you?

It pays to invest time in all these details so that you can concentrate on your presentation without being distracted by these factors

A lot has been written about establishing who you are etc. Be aware that clients may remember that more than the product if you begin with that. Key points first remember.

A lot has also been written about the danger of developing PowerPoint slides so that the presenter reads them out to the audience. So avoid that. And consider whether the logos, dates, headlines and introductions on the slide are adding value or just clogging up the slides.

Other factors to consider;-

People buy from People –present with certainty and energy. Body language and voice are important as we discussed earlier.

Instil certainty that you can deliver the benefits the client has asked for.

“We can definitely help you with that “is a useful phrase.

Try to use success stories-people love them.

Ask for the business. Very important!!

Practise-remember the old story of the man carrying a violin, walking through the streets of New York. A young boy stopped him and asked him how to get to Carnegie Hall “practise and practise “he replied

Exercise

Revisit your presentation; weave together all the parts we have discussed to develop a generic presentation. Practise and practise

Good Luck!!!

 

Comments

Presentation skills — 65 Comments

  1. may God reward you abundantly for your endless efforts in educating us. thank you very much.

  2. Wow, it is a wonderful item in the business management skill worth comprehensive across the broad scope of business and management .I am highly impressed I wish others could understand it beyond by understanding and apply it to practice.

  3. Thanks, it is a very good module to understand the peculiar features for a successful sales force.

  4. Honestly I gained a lot from the lecture.My opinion is that some token should be remmited for certificate after completion of certain part

  5. waw it is so awesome and i persenaly gate very important values
    txs si much