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Ban the Boring Presentation and Find Greater Sales Success


You can have the slickest PowerPoint presentation and demo, but it doesn’t matter much if you fall flat as a presenter. Meetings are the lifeblood of sales. But too often, the skills to be an excellent presenter — and make a meeting truly impactful — are overlooked.

A sales rep should consider this not just as part of their job role but as an actual role they need to step into. Knowledge and preparation of products and companies is one thing. Knowing how to communicate that knowledge to your customers in an engaging and memorable way is quite another. Don’t force your customers to sit through another boring presentation; make it come alive and inspire. And that can only happen with you. Here are a few ways to take your presentation skills up a notch and find greater success in your sales meetings.

Start from within.

The best sales meetings happen when a salesperson first takes a look within and asks, "What is my intention for this conversation, and how do I get it across?" Learn to bring out what's inside of you and connect with the material, especially when it’s a script or bullet points that you need to get across.

In my trainings, I’ve listened to many salespeople deliver their powerful value statements. If you listen to just the intonation, you wouldn’t really know if it was good news or bad news — they’re disconnected from what they’re saying. They’re simply trying to get that information out no matter what.

You also have to pay attention to the subtext. Are you just saying the words, or do you know why you’re saying them and how you want your audience to feel about them?  The best script in the world will go to waste if it's not delivered in a way that is real and meaningful to the presenter.

Information on its own doesn’t engage people. You shouldn’t expect them to stand up and applaud just because you got through the presentation. You have to inspire them, and that can only happen when you find your own personal connection to the material and know how you want your listener to feel or what action you want them to take.

Practice your delivery.

Delivery becomes much easier when you have made that inner connection with the material. But there’s still quite a bit of work to do in order to deliver it effectively and really bring it to life.

There are a lot of different ways actors practice their lines to start internalizing and connecting with them. Salespeople can do the same. It starts by just analyzing the script or presentation. Think to yourself, “Why am I actually saying this?” If you can’t explain it to yourself, then you have no business saying it to another person.

Know why you’re saying every line and how you want that line to make the other person feel throughout the presentation. Are you engaging, challenging, or reassuring them? Creating clear intentions will deliver more resonance and a much more connected delivery.

It’s also important to practice in different ways. Believe it or not, practicing a presentation can actually be fun. Go big and over the top; maybe pretend you’re Al Pacino or your favorite actor or superhero. It sounds silly, but it helps you familiarize and remember the material and what you’re saying. Maybe in that characterization, you find that you’re naturally emphasizing something more than another. It can even help you break up those old transition habits like “OK, for my next slide.”

Make an impact on camera.

Of course, more and more meetings aren’t in person now, and it may seem daunting to try and make the connection over a video camera. But it’s the reality of today, and it’s imperative to find strength and confidence in front of the camera for presentations and meetings.      

The biggest mistake is showing up to a virtual meeting in the same way you would in person. One of the first things to pay attention to is your voice, and commit to using it more consciously. You have to really understand the power of your voice in video meetings — what you sound like, and any specific ticks that should be addressed, like constantly saying “Does this make sense?” over and over again. Bonus is this helps you with your in-person meetings, too. Eliminate those distractions and amplify the things that you want your audience to remember.

Often, salespeople find the camera intimidating. Remember, you don’t have to keep it on the entire time. Even if it's just at the beginning of a presentation, I encourage you to have that camera on, establish that connection, and then you can turn it off as you get into slides or get into your demo. Then switch the camera back on when you're taking questions at the end. Think about how much easier it is to turn down a salesperson on the phone than somebody who's right in front of your face. Make yourself real to them, and over time, the comfort with video and its benefits will grow.

There are a lot of different ways actors practice their lines to start internalizing and connecting with them. Salespeople can do the same.”

Julie Hansen | Author and Founder of Performance Sales and Training

Learn More

How to Craft the Perfect Sales Pitch By Annie Simms,
Account Executive, Salesforce
The Simple Client Meeting Rules Every Salesperson Should Follow By Laura Stack,
President and CEO, Productivity Keynote Speaker and Author, The Productivity Pro, Inc.



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