5 Things to Prepare for a Sales Presentation

We usually go out for a meeting or clients visit us here in the studios. In all these we prepare what we call a marketing kit and bag. Here are my tips on how to prepare for a sales presentation:

Believe and study:

Study all the products that you have, understand each benefit and its importance. Believe in yourself that you can do this and you can answer all questions. Believe in your product.

Prepare something new and engaging:

Tired of talking from start to finish and at the end of the meeting they just ask you again what you offer? Try making something new that will engage your prospective client to listen and understand what and who you are. Make a corporate video if you would like them to know about your company, make product videos to show them different products and show them the benefits, make a marketing video to tell them what you can provide and how good your services are. You have a lot of choices it you are open to new things specially the power of video.

Triple Check:

I used to check all the things the day before the meeting but I check again before leaving the office. Why? Because it helps! What if after you check somebody just borrowed something from the things you have prepared, what if something just fell off. Triple check your things and make sure its all in the bag.

Who and Where:

Make some research about the company that you are going to meet. Their goals, achievements and history. Call and ask for location map or a route map. Make sure you have the right one.

Be sure:

Before leaving for a meeting, (based on my experiences) call the person whom you are going to meet and confirm the meeting. Inform him that you are now leaving office and will be there by such time of the day. Once you arrive inform the secretary that you are there for a meeting if you are early inform the secretary that you are a little early and willing to wait. Make sure you bring everything you need before leaving office or else you may just find yourself out on a limb.

Presentations – A Key PowerPoint Usage Strategy is to Put Yourself in the Picture

There are lots of usage challenges when it comes to PowerPoint. It’s a challenge juggling a keyboard, the mouse, or a remote, trying not to trip over any wires, trying not to read the slide, and letting your audience can see the screen. One key strategy that resolves most of these usage challenges is very simple: step back to the screen and stay with the visual while you’re referring to it. 

When you separate yourself from the visual — whether by standing at the lectern or at the computer or off to the side — you split the audience’s attention. You’re forcing them to choose between looking at you or looking at the visual. By keeping yourself in the picture, so to speak — right next to the screen — you ensure that the focus stays on you. 

There are two other very good reasons for standing right beside the screen. If you stand at your laptop, there’s an excellent chance that your positioning will be blocking the view of the screen for some audience members. You don’t want to risk that. Secondly, standing by the screen gives you a chance for purposeful movement, as you can refer to the visual and help direct your audience’s attention to the specific line or column you want them to focus on. Remember though, don’t talk to the screen. You can glance at it and refer to it, but always make sure you turn and talk to your audience.

There is one exception to this guideline. If you’ve ever attended or presented at a large industry conference or convention, you’re probably familiar with the giant-sized screen commanding the center of the stage in a convention hall, or the double oversized screens that flank a stage. An already intimidating speaking situation, it’s aggravated by the fact that the proportion of screen size to speaker height — or even the number of screens present — implies that the visual is more important than the speaker. Under these circumstances, you can’t very well put yourself in the picture (where you’ll look like a dust mote on the screen) or refer to a line that’s two stories above your head. 

Although you certainly can’t refer to something specifically on a slide, you can still refer to it generally with an indicating gesture. This situation really calls for you to use your visuals purposefully. In other words, make sure there are times when you don’t have a visual up. Use black slides occasionally to ensure that there are times the audience can be focused exclusively on you.

This would be a good place to discuss which side of the screen you stand on. There are two schools of thought. One says that you should stand to the side that places your lead arm next to the visual. So, if you’re right-handed, then, from the audience’s vantage point of facing the screen, you’d be to the visual’s right. That way your right arm can easily make gestures and refer to the visual. If your lead hand isn’t next to the visual, you may find yourself twisting your whole body around — and therefore turning your back on your audience — when you refer to the visual.

The second school of thought, and one I’d probably recommend, is to stand to the left side (from the audience’s perspective) of the screen. This is where the beginning of each line and bullet point is, which therefore serves as an appropriate anchor point to stand and bring the audience’s attention to each line. However, this means your left hand will be the one you use for referring to the visual. If you’re right-handed, this might be a little awkward, but it’s certainly doable. The advantage to the right-hander in this position is that the right hand can hold and click the cordless mouse while the left hand refers to the screen.

It’s really your choice, just pick which side you’re going to use and stick with it.

Have You Determined Presentation Objectives?

What do you want to achieve with the presentation? Audience need clear guidance about what is expected of your Presentation. A pre-set objective to your presentation helps you and your audience. When asked to make a Presentation, the first thing that often runs through the mind of a Presenter is, “What am I going to say?” A more purposeful response is: “Why have I been asked to give this presentation?” Therefore, the first step in the presentation process, before a word has been put to paper or power point, is to determine the objectives and goals of the Presentation.
Statement of your objectives is a good and safe way to start a Presentation. Here is a caution. Even where it is appropriate to include the objective of your Presentation in the introduction, don’t make this as your opening remark. The Presenter generally chooses one or any combination of the following three forms of Presentation:

(1) To inform or instruct, as one would as an instructional course leader, and is based on thought processes.

(2) To persuade or motivate to action, as would a politician or salesman, and is based on behavior modification.

(3) To inspire, entertain or otherwise elicit feelings and emotions, as would a motivational speaker or stand-up comic, and is based on changing attitudes.

Whatever be the purpose applicable to your presentation, develop clear objectives before you design your Presentation. An objective is the target you want to hit. Your Presentation is then designed to meet the objectives. Be specific. What do you want the participants to know or be able to do by the end of your Presentation? You don’t want them to just know about the topic or you want them to know specifics.

An objective includes an action that can be observed and measured. Be clear and specific about your objectives and what you want the participants of your Presentation to know or be able to do by the end of your Presentation. This approach certainly creates the best form of your Presentation much easier.

Find answers to these questions to determine Presentation Objectives

(1) Does my presentation has core & important objectives?

(2) Is my Presentation objective designed to gain agreement ?

(3) Am I offering new insight of the subject through the Presentation objective?

(4) Does my presentation stimulate involvement with a clear and understandable Presentation Objective?

(5) Am I able to reduce objectives to a single headline statement as YOUR ESSENTIAL MESSAGE ?


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