Presentations – What Audiences Want And What They Definitely Do Not Want

In today’s business world of ‘quality circles’ and ‘managing for excellence’, the most successful individuals are often accomplished presenters. That’s because a successful presenter is more than just a fact dispenser – he or she really knows how to communicate with their audience, someone to whom people listen. The effective speaker in business, just as in the political arena, is the one who can make people hear the facts and believe the message.

Unfortunately, public speaking is not something that comes naturally to most of us. Without prior training in the basics of timing, body language, humour, organisation and all the other skills that go into the act of public speaking, even the smartest, liveliest and most articulate individual can wither in the glare of “the spotlight”.

What Do Audiences Want?

o To feel you ‘know your stuff’

o That you look the part

o That you respect them and acknowledge their situation and views

o To find what you say links with what they want from you

o To have sufficient information to make a considered judgement about what you say (they will ‘weigh it up’)

o To be clear about any action necessary – at the end

And above all to find it understandable, interesting and a good fit with the audience and the occasion.

And In Summary: What They Most Definitely Do Not Want?

o To be confused

o To be blinded with science / technicalities or jargon

o ‘Lost’ in the structure (or lack of it)

o To be talked down to

o To be made to struggle to understand inappropriate language

o To be made to make an enormous jump to relate what is said to their circumstances

And they do not want to listen to someone whose lack of preparation makes it clear they have no respect for the audience. As with most things in life, preparation and planning is everything.

It is important to remember that as the presenter or speaker, we are there for our audience, they are not there for us – we must earn the right by proving our credibility, to be standing in front of them.

Copyright © 2006 Jonathan Farrington. All rights reserved

Presentation Power – The Courage to Be Brilliant

If you are in sales, you present. Sometimes it’s a one-on-one across a desk. Sometimes it means standing at the front of a big room before a discerning audience that has assembled to decide who wins the sale. But no matter the arena, no matter the product or service you offer, your goal is to capture your listeners from the very first word and have them happily follow you right through to the end–and buy.

You can do what you always do–thank your audience for allowing you this opportunity, tell them you’re so happy to be there to inform them about whatever it is you are selling, introduce them to your team, tell them about your company, and make your pitch. Or you can open with power, have the courage to be brilliant–and win the sale.

It’s not as hard as you might think. Yes, it takes originality and intelligence–but you’ve got that in spades, right? So, here’s what to do.

First, decide on your message.

Your message is the most important thing you want your audience to remember if–at the moment you began your pitch–the world were to come to an abrupt end. It’s the key thing that gives your audience a reason to buy. To articulate your message, describe in one or two simple sentences what it is you are selling, its key benefits and why it is better than anything else in the marketplace. Polish it, refine it and make your message shine.

Next, identify the theme of your message.

Is it about change? Innovation? Technology? Financial savings? Improving something? Simplifying something? Magic? Whatever it is, you will use that theme to drive your presentation.

Finally, create an opening that leads to the theme of your message.

I’ve listed a variety of interesting ways to open below, and whether you choose from my list or invent an opening of your own, the point of your opening must be clear and lead directly to your message. If you’re really clever about it, your opening leads to a message whose theme you can use throughout your presentation. When you can do that, you’ll not only wow them from the start, your audience will be engaged throughout your delivery.

At the end of your presentation, restate your message, then tie it all together by returning to your opening.

So let’s summarize. Begin with an intriguing opening that leads to a clear and compelling message. State your message. Deliver your content keeping your theme in mind and referring to it from time to time. End by restating your message and returning to your opening–which is now a clever close.

Here are a few ideas for brilliant openings. Begin with:

  • a personal story
  • a quote from a famous person
  • a quote from your CEO
  • a magic trick
  • a musical introduction
  • a story from the news
  • a reference to a topic of national interest
  • a game or contest
  • a demonstration
  • a reference to a story with great emotional impact
  • a mind-reading act.

You won’t differentiate yourself from the competition by sounding like everyone else. To grab your audience from the very first word, you’ll need a memorable approach, a dynamic style, and the courage to be different. That’s brilliant!

3 Tips to Take Your Network Marketing Presentation to the Next Level!

Are you having trouble sponsoring prospects into your network marketing business? If you’re showing 10 presentations per week and NOT sponsoring at least 3 people out of those 10, you MUST read this.

Back when I started in the network marketing industry, I showed a bunch of presentations and I was able to sponsor a decent percentage of the people I showed. I can accredit my early success to this: I wasn’t THINKING about my presentation. I was just flat out EXCITED!

Tip #1: Are You Focusing On Your Presentation Too Much?

When you’ve shown a decent amount of presentations, you might tend to start analyzing your own presentations. You’ll start thinking about what you did say or what you DIDN’T say… (hint: your prospect doesn’t know if you skipped over something!)

You’ll start trying to add funny stories and facts that you’ve heard when you saw other distributors show the presentation. And you’re going to do everything but what you’re supposed to: relate to your prospect, transfer your excitement over to them, and get them started (or book the next appointment).

Tip #2: Ask Your Prospect More Questions!

I used to know my presentation so well, I could do it with my eyes closed… And sometimes I might as well have. I would talk so fast it would seem like I didn’t even take a second to BREATHE. I was so eager to get out all of the information, I forgot that there was a person sitting across from me.

You’re not talking to a camera. You’re not on TV. It’s NOT a one-way communication.

In order to relate to your prospect more, gain and KEEP their attention, and gain their trust (and partnership)… you need to LISTEN just as much if not MORE than you speak.

Ask your prospect questions as you go through your presentation. Even if they’re “yes questions” like:

- Does that make sense?

- Isn’t the compensation plan exciting?

But even better are the questions where you get to see what they’re thinking and see if you should even continue your presentation. Questions like:

- How would this extra income make a difference in your life?

- What do you feel about the support our team will be giving you?

- What are you looking for in a business?

Remember that this is a TWO WAY communication and you’re sponsoring rate will go through the roof!

Tip #3: DON’T Show the Presentation Yourself!

“But, wait! I thought we need to show the plan and duplicate our upline?!”

Sure. Sure. Sure… I know I’ve heard it, too. But here’s the in-your-face truth: not everyone can duplicate that!

Many people in your downline will not want to show presentations… So how can they grow their business? In the past I’d just hope that they gave me some referrals, I’d build a team under them, and find a leader in their group that WOULD show presentations. Then it wouldn’t matter if they were growing the business or not.

The problem is this: “Old-School” network marketing tells us that these people CAN’T be successful in network marketing. And, man, is that a load of JUNK!

So, how do they show the presentation WITHOUT showing the presentation? Two ways:

  1. Use a DVD. Pass it out to others with your card and contact info on it. Invite people to a group meeting or invite them to a 1-on-1 with you in someone’s living room. Slide the disc in and press ‘play’. And PRESTO! No more having to memorize the presentation.
  2. Use the Internet. (This is my personal favorite). In this day and age you can now use a website to show the plan for you. Learn how to “drive visitors to your website”, let the site do all of the work for you, and you’ll have an automated machine spitting out distributors for you all day long…

So, if you’re having trouble showing your network marketing presentations… just remember -

You’re not there to do a “perfect” presentation. Have fun, get excited, ask questions… and when all else fails, use technology… (wink wink)