“It takes one hour of preparation for each minute of presentation time.”
– Wayne Burgraff
Earlier this week, I discussed with you my head, heart, gut model http://www.kison.com//a-three-point-selling-strategy/ It is a powerful strategy that you can use in all aspects of your personal and business life. When applying this model, you will develop stronger relationships which will help take you to the “Strategic Partner” level and make it easier to do business development, receive referrals, close the deal and even avoid price objections.
With all these possibilities in mind, I also wanted to touch on how to apply this model during presentations. Given the fact that most people do not enjoy conducting presentations or speaking in public, the ability to communicate effectively to groups of people is a key factor for achieving success in business.
I’m finding more of our clients are required to conduct presentations in order to secure work and retain their customers. This often involves days of preparing documents and proposals which must be presented to a group of executives or a selection committee. Many talented individuals and firms are simply losing out to a competitor because they are out performed, or should I say out presented.
Although the tips and guidelines included in this blog will not take the place of planning, practice and coaching, they do help provide some great insights for improving your presentations.
“Our work is the presentation of our capabilities.”
– Edward Gibbon
Preparing winning presentations
Keep your presentation on target and compelling by asking these yes-or-no questions before you walk into the meeting.
Each time you give a presentation, you’re putting your career or reputation of your firm on the line. Few things are worse than making yourself look weak or incompetent in public and few things are better than a winning work to a round of applause or praise from the client.
Here’s a yes-or-no checklist to ensure your presentation is the best it can be. If the answer to almost all of these questions is an emphatic “yes,” you’ll probably knock them dead.
- Have you prepared thoroughly by researching the topic?
- Are you enthusiastic about your message?
- Are you confident that the presentation is on target?
- Are you prepared to answer likely questions?
- Have you rehearsed until you’re comfortable?
- Have you selected a slide background that’s unobtrusive?
- Does your cover slide correctly identify the event?
- Do your slides highlight what’s really important?
- Are your graphics understandable (rather than confusing)?
- Does each slide contain text than can be read in less than 30 seconds?
- Did you use a simple font that’s easy to read?
- Can every detail of every slide be read from the back of the room?
- Have you eliminated UPPER-CASE, underlined, and italicized text?
- Does your opening statement capture attention?
- Does your presentation persuade rather than lecture?
- Are your statements and opinions supported by evidence?
- Have you removed the bling, biz-blab and jargon?
- Will the presentation use the audience’s time effectively?
- Are your anecdotes, stories or analogies vivid and memorable?
- Is there a clear close or call to action at the end?
If you’ve only answered “yes” to a few of these: It’s time to go back to work!
I have used this list as an integral part of coaching clients to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in new work. Put in the effort to prepare and reap the rewards or cut corners at your own peril.
Addressing the points listed will also ensure that you connect with your client’s head, heart and gut. The three point win!