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!

Valentine’s Day Present

With the special holiday around the corner what will you be getting for a valentines day present.

Its so easy to buy your special loved one a box of candy and a card but does that really mean anything? Giving or getting the same old thing every year is okay but a little thought could go a long ways.

The only valentines present any of us really need is the love of that someone special.

Love is a very special thing that really cant be described in words but rather is displayed by actions. It really is easy to tell someone that you love them but it is another story to really mean it.

Two people together for many years in most cases do understand true love. By the time they have been together for many years they have been through everything together.

They have had good and bad times, they have watched kids grow up, they have traveled and now they get to share the rest of their lives together.

Some people stay together out of routine but true lovers never get bogged down in routine but rather keep their lives young and never stop loving.

In today’s society it is way too easy to walk away from a relationship when things get a little tough. So many people forget about the vows they take on their wedding day and they think everyday will be part of the honeymoon phase.

Unfortunately no one ever teaches them that the honeymoon phase does come to a screeching halt and real life kicks in. The time comes when there are bills to be paid, babies cry, jobs go into over time and hundreds of other things that can add stress to a perfect marriage.

That’s why a perfect Valentines day present is showing your love more than ever. Making sure two people who love each other stand beside each other no matter how bad things get.

There is no stronger bond then the bond two people who are truly in love can share.

A few keys are always telling each other they love each other. Another key is never going to bed mad no matter if you end up getting no sleep at all.

Just remember there are very few reasons to let or allow a marriage to end. Everything we do these days are hard work but none is more rewarding than the reward of love during a beautiful life together.

So this year instead of buying the chocolates tell your lover how much they mean and I bet that will be the best Valentines present ever.

Never Shortcut the Presentation

People Reject What They Don’t Understand

Many sales are lost, not because the product or service didn’t fit the customer’s needs nor as a result of an inferior product line- and regardless of what they say, not because the customer couldn’t “afford it” or “needed to think about it”- but because the salesperson lost the customer somewhere along the way. They confused them. And, when a customer is confused, they will not buy, because people reject what they don’t understand!
 
Customers are providing you with a clear indication that your message lacked clarity when you hear something like this: “Well, you really did a great job and you’ve given us a lot to think about. We’ll talk it over and get back to you”. After all, what are they suppose to say to you? They probably won’t be so candid as to say, “You know, we were actually ready to make this decision right now, but frankly, you confused us when you were talking about that drop-interest financing option. We’re going to need some time to see if we can figure out what you were saying before we make a mistake that could cost us money.” 
 
To the uninformed, the “we need to think (or talk) about it” response is an “objection”, so they leap into the objection handling mode and hope that that last seminar on closing they attended was worth the money. It seldom dawns on them that it may be something else- that they may have simply confused the customer or failed to make a compelling argument for buying their products or services.
 
If something is missing, or seems vague, customers simply will not buy. This is one really good reason why you should never shortcut the presentation. Clarity is important. Customers need to hear the full story in order to make a truly informed decision. If you shortcut the presentation, skipping over points that later you find out may have been important to your customer, it will be tough as nails, if not impossible, to effectively rewind the presentation and straighten out any confusion you may have caused in your effort to speed things along earlier. Basically, the customer awards you a single opportunity to get it right. You don’t want to waste it by attempting shortcuts. 
 
Salespeople often have a tendency to want to speed through the presentation to get to the more exhilarating part, the close. Rushing through the delivery (essentially shortcutting the presentation) is a dangerous practice that risks confusing the customer; which in turn leads to substantially lower closing percentages, lower sales averages, and higher cancellation percentages. 
 
The solution is to s-l-o-w-d-o-w-n! Always keep in mind that no matter how many times you’ve given the presentation, it is the customer’s first time hearing it. Make sure that your message is clear and your customers will have less to “think about” at the end of your presentation!