Prepare, Polish & Prosper
Before you make any presentation, whether it’s on the phone, in person or via Skype, the best thing you can do is to prepare yourself. Once you’ve prepared your presentation, polish it, refine it and rehearse it again. Great presentations lead to sales, joint partnerships and prosperity!
1. Establish your goal.
Think about your reason for making this presentation. For example: Are you trying to establish a connection with a new person or group of people who could become clients, referral sources or associates? Or, are you trying to sell them something?
2. Write an outline.
Write out what you want to cover in the presentation. While it’s generally not a good idea to read something word-for-word (unless you’ve trained at sounding natural reading from a teleprompter or script.)
3. Follow this format.
If you’re making a presentation where you’d like to attract new clients or associates, here is a simple format to follow:
4. Introduce yourself.
• Establish rapport. (You can spend around 5-6 minutes doing this in a long, in-person meeting. In a phone call to someone who’s busy, you may have only 30 seconds to do this.) Allow your natural humor to come through, but avoid cliches and bad jokes.
• Identify your audience’s need or problem.
• Present your solution to their need or problem in a broad sense.
• Explain the details of your solution (your product/service).
• Tell your audience how they can work with you or access your product or services to solve their problem.
5. Be friendly and accessible, but don’t be overly familiar, which can ring false if you don’t really know the person/people to whom you are speaking.
6. Use the appropriate tone to suit your audience: If it’s a more formal business situation, speak in a more professional manner. If you’re speaking with people who like the “warm fuzzies,” you can be more warm and fuzzy.
7. Rehearse your entire presentation at least a couple of times. You’ll notice that it will get smoother and your confidence will increase each time you do it. If you can record it on an audio or video recorder, you can review it.
8. Refine your presentation. After you’ve rehearsed and reviewed your presentation, identify sections you can smooth out and determine whether or not you should change the order of your presentation points.
People feel more comfortable working with people who come across as knowledgeable and confident. If you prepare and polish your presentations, you will prosper!
Lisa Elia, Media Trainer and CEO of Expert Media Training