If you have ever been on the receiving end of a terrible presentation, then you know what a dreary experience this can be for an audience, especially if you are a potential client looking to invest in a company’s product or service. While giving a professional presentation can be a stressful task for even the most skilled public speakers, following these five “Be’s” will help you make a great impression with clients.
This Boy Scout Motto is not just important for wilderness survival. Before the late Steve Jobs would deliver one of his legendary marketing presentations, for instance, he would spend countless hours designing and rehearsing them in order to transform a typical sales pitch into a theatrical experience.
While you may not have an audience of thousands like Steve Jobs, being prepared to speak and answer questions without having to rifle through notes will instill confidence in your clients, and checking your venue and equipment beforehand will ensure that their focus remains on you.
Few behaviors irritate an audience more than a speaker who constantly wanders from a topic, and nothing kills a sales pitch faster than a presentation without a clear goal. While straying a little from the topic to tell a joke or to address an unforeseen concern is fine, staying focused will prevent you from wasting your client’s time.
Knowing the agenda of an audience is also important in designing an impressive sales pitch, as potential clients are not interested in hearing information that fails to address their needs. Shaping the agenda to fit your goals will also enable you to offer a distinct solution to their problems.
When Steve Jobs designed his presentations, he used the “rule of three” to make them clear and concise. Overwhelming your audience with hundreds of PowerPoint slides riddled with bullet points is a surefire way to lose their attention. Instead, use a handful of key points backed up with compelling visuals such as charts and product displays to get your point across.
However, if you do need to present a large amount of information to clients or are at a venue (such as tradeshows) where bulky presentation folders are impractical, USB duplicators are an impressive way to distribute this information quickly and effectively.
The only time an audience wants to see a corpse onstage is during live theater, which is why it’s important to stay animated while you present. Show passion for your product and don’t be afraid to tell an appropriate joke or an interesting anecdote that relates to your subject. Instead of fumbling with laser pointers and remotes, use hand gestures.
Visual displays will also add pizzazz to any sales pitch. When designing a PowerPoint presentation, make sure that your charts and graphs are colorful, easy to understand and consistent. Animations and music effects can further enhance your presentation when used sparingly.
Be memorable (in a good way)
Steve Jobs branded himself as the “voice” of the company during his marketing presentations, which is why a snappy appearance, a memorable slogan and a positive attitude will assert the value of your product.
You should also provide a parting gift to help potential clients remember you. At tradeshows, for example, companies use USB duplicators to distribute their information on rewritable USB sticks branded with their logos.
With these “Be’s” at your disposal, your next professional presentation will be sure to impress both established and potential clients.
Guest Bio: Brandi Tolleson is a prolific freelance writer residing in Whittier, CA.