sales presentation

15 Tips to Master Video Presentations


video-presentationWhat do today's business presenters have in common with television anchors? They both have broadcasting skills. With youtube being the number two search engine and companies demanding online learning, public speaking has gone digital. According to Business Insider 2014, “About 50 million people in the U.S. now watch video on their mobile phone."  Public speakers who shun the camera will be left behind. The first step to being a master presenter is to understand the difference between in- person speaking versus video presentations. Here are a few tips for speaking in a digital media world:

  1. A video recorded presentation is one way communication. That means you can’t read the audience and pivot in the moment to meet their needs. So it takes a lot of preparation to deliver a compelling message and provide value to your target audience.
  2. In the case of teleconferencing, appoint a facilitator at each site to manage the technology and to facilitate the meeting. Be aware of delay time and plan for it by practicing longer pauses. Pause and silently count to four. That will allow enough time for the speaker to finish and for the listeners to hear the last word.
  3. Know the time zone of your audience. It may be 8:00 a.m. in New York, but if it’s 2:00 p.m. in Amsterdam you don’t want to start the meeting with “Good morning”.
  4. Display a visual agenda. People need a roadmap and it will keep the meeting or presentation focused.
  5. Have a back-up plan. Be able to continue by telephone if the video fails. It’s a good idea to do a test drive of the technology 15 minutes before the presentation. As a hedge, send the PowerPoint deck in advance.
  6. Make love to the lens. People don’t know where to look when speaking on skype. When you look directly at the caller, they see you looking down and you lose that eye connection. Try this instead: When speaking to them, look directly at the webcam. When you are listening, look at the caller.It’s uncomfortable speaking to a camera; yet that’s exactly what the presenter needs to do during webcasts and media interviews. In live presentations the presenter feeds off the audience reaction. With video, the presenter imagines the lens is a person. It’s important to maintain a steady gaze. If your eyes are darting you’ll be perceived as nervous or untrustworthy. And practice smiling and talking. Broadcasters do this easily. A serious delivery will weaken the likability factor.
  7. Video is an energy drain. There is an exchange of energy between a speaker and an audience. When that energy is strong, it’s palpable. That’s not the case with video. As a result, you won’t convey energy the way you do in a live performance. For that reason, you need to pump up your performance on video. In a video the presenter can easily come across as flat. Push your energy higher than normal to have the same intensity level when you’re live and in person.
  8. Minimize gestures. Wide, sweeping hand movements are distracting on video. Use fewer and smaller gestures. If seated, sit with both feet on the floor and lean forward at a 15 degree angle. Place both hands on the table. This is a confident speaking and listening position. You’ll be perceived as confident and it will stabilize you. Avoid excessive head nodding and jerky movements.
  9. You are always on stage. If someone else is speaking, chances are you are still in view. Be careful about sloppy behaviors such as slouching, looking at your phone, side talking or looking bored. The presentation isn’t over until the camera is off.
  10. You’ll look heavier on video. Video is two dimensional which flattens the presenter. I once was videotaping a client for a presentation. It was amazing that when I looked at her directly she appeared slim. When I looked through the camera lens she looked heavier.To manage the widening effect, dress for the camera.Remember that light colors enhance and dark colors diminish. A client of mine was unhappy with her video because she thought she looked heavy. She was wearing a boxy white jacket which gave her a wide appearance. We did a make-over. This time she wore a tapered navy blue jacket which had a slimming effect.Another way to look thinner on video is to stand at a ¾ angle with your hips back. If you’re in a close-up, drop your forehead slightly to avoid a double chin.
  11. Wear the right colors. White and black are not good colors for video. White creates glare. It’s better to wear off-white or pearl grey. Icy pastel colors look washed out on camera and are not a good choice. Red can bleed or look muddy. A better choice is burgundy. Avoid stripes and large bold patterns. You’ll look like a TV test pattern. When in doubt, blue is a good choice for video. It films well and psychologically blue means trustworthy, conservative, stable.
  12. Lighting is key. While lighting is important in a live performance, harsh lighting won’t be as damaging. On video, fluorescent lightening will highlight lines and shadows in the face and can also hurt the eyes. Use soft lighting that flatters your face.
  13. Choose the backdrop carefully. When doing a video presentation always ask about the backdrop. If you’re filming from home, make sure you don’t have messy papers stacked up behind you. If you’re filming off-site, choose clothing that will work with the backdrop. Early in my career I was being filmed for a speaker showcase.  I asked the producer if my fuchsia suit would televise well. He said yes. Unfortunately. I asked the wrong question. I should have asked “What color is the backdrop?” When I arrived I found myself in front of an orange curtain. The fuchsia suit bled into the orange and looked terrible on film. This wouldn’t have been an issue in a live presentation.
  14. You cannot be boring. Engagement is crucial.You have 5-10 seconds to grab attention in a video presentation. The key to success in video presentations is good storytelling and a highly targeted audience who will appreciate the value. Being boring is deadly in any venue. A live audience will show more tolerance by listening longer. If your video presentation is boring the viewer will click off instantly. A video presentation needs to have greater engagement. A measure of engagement, is how many people watch the entire video. According to Industry standards, a 15-20% complete viewing of a 2 minute video is considered a good engagement rate. That means most viewers are not watching the complete video.
  15. The day of the talking head is over.To increase engagement, keep a fast pace. You need to keep the video moving. Add slides and images while you are speaking. Fly in bullet points as you speak. Keep the presentation brief. If it’s a formal speech aim for no more than 18-20 minutes. Sales presentations need to be crisp, engaging, fast moving, and brief.In my own experiment, I noticed that every time I reached for the fast forward knob, the picture would change. This happened continually as if the videographer was reading my mind. Intrigued, I started to look at the time. The frames were changing every four seconds-the same time I wanted to fast forward.

If you’re not producing video presentations you’re leaving money on the table. Your digital footprint is now an important part of your personal brand. Interviewers are asking for videos. LinkedIn now allows videos to be added to profiles. Video is the ultimate selling tool. It addresses the know, like, trust factor.

Video is not going away. To be current, you need to master video presentations.

7 Mistakes to Avoid When Speaking to Sell

Most small businesses are overlooking the  most powerful and cost effective marketing strategy to increase sales. Creating and delivering a 20 to 45 minute seminar, can go a long way in positioning entrepreneurs to capture more leads and increase sales. Unlike more traditional cold calling, the benefits of seminar selling keep on giving.

Speak at Your Own Risk: When Public Speaking is a Lost Opportunity

Speaking is the new competitive advantage. At least that's what I told my audiences until last week. I was excited to attend a wellness conference during the weekend in New York City. The keynote speaker was a celebrity I admired. But what was more exciting were the topics. Most of the speakers were doctors, dentists, and health professionals. The presenters spoke for 20 minutes as in a TED talk format and the presentations continued non-stop throughout the day.

Some of the research was cutting edge and I was eager to learn from the presenters. My enthusiasm quickly turned to boredom after sitting through the first few presentations. Clearly, the presenters were subject matter experts with impressive credentials. But they quickly sacrificed their credibility when they stepped up to the platform. What a lost opportunity! Here are three mistakes that were consistent among the speakers.

1. Using the Microphone Ineffectively

Almost every speaker held the microphone at chest level or too far away from their mouth. When the audience can't hear, they tune out. It also makes the subject matter expert look like an amateur. A microphone should be held no further than four inches below the mouth. My recommendation to the event planner was to provide an attached microphone or require a rehearsal with the hand held mic.

2. Being Speaker-Centered

This is all too common in business. I've experienced it in every kind of speaking situation including sales presentations. There was one woman in particular who spent most of the time telling her story. Not only was it too long; it was all about me, myself, and I. Here's the 411 on the audience. They don't care about you! They're interested in what you and your information can do for them. Yes, tell your story. We want to know you on a personal level. But keep it brief and move on to provide value.

It's not difficult to be listener-centered. I've demonstrated in one minute or less how to take any subject and create a listener-centered opening that speaks to the listener's self interest. It's not about you. It's about them! Chapter 7 in Knockout Presentations reveals the process of Listener-Centered Communication. It's powerful.

3. Bad Timing

Both the presenter and the coordinator are culpable when time commitments are not kept. The reason speakers run out of time is a) they have too much material b) they didn't rehearse out loud. One speaker was telling an interesting story and realized she had two minutes left. She stopped in the middle of the story and quickly flipped through to the end of the PowerPoint slides. The presentation lost impact. And this was a subject I really wanted to hear. At this point, my friend leaned over and whispered, "Diane, this is a real opportunity for you." (Not a good sign).

Were there other mistakes? Yes. But these were the most common errors. Were there any good presenters? Yes. I can think of two, maybe three. The celebrity keynote was excellent. It was obvious that she had a lot of public speaking experience. What is the lesson here? Poor presentation skills do not motivate an audience to action. I didn't approach any of the speakers after hearing them present on stage.

There was a silver lining, though. I won the grand prize - a Vitamix blender! So all was not lost - except the opportunity for the presenters to build their brand and increase their business.

Six R's of Public Speaking and Presentation Success

6 Rs of Public Speaking and Presenation SuccessSeptember is back to school month. Students first learn the three R's- "Reading, (w)Riting, and 'Rithmetic." But for public speakers and presenters there are actually six R's. Last weekend I attended a workshop on videomarketing - Share the Sizzle. One of the speakers, Mary Agnes Antonopoulos, talked about the six R's for succeeding in social media. I realized that those same six characteristics apply to successful public speaking and presentations. The six R's are Relevance, Recognition, Rapport, Relationships, ROI, and Responsibility.

Relevance - One reason presentations fail is lack of relevance. I see this all the time in my coaching practice. Too many presenters are speaker-centered and not listener-centered. They talk about what's important to them, instead of addressing the self-interest of the audience. Public speakers may have a relevant topic but if they don't present examples, case studies, or stories that are meaningful to the listeners, the ideas can die a quick death. For example: when pitching an idea to senior management, don't spend time on details. That's irrelevant to them even though details are very relevant to end users. Speak to the interests of the audience for maximum relevance.

Recognition - People do business with people they know, like, and trust. The first step is visibility. Do people know who you are? If not, it will take longer to gain their trust and to sell your ideas. I knew an executive whose department contributed significantly to the company's revenues; however, most people weren't aware of this executive's accomplishments. As a result, the executive did not advance as quickly as expected. The better the audience knows you, the more easily they'll accept your information and ideas. That's why companies hire celebrities to sell their product. Seize opportunities to speak and promote yourself to increase your recognition.

Rapport - Rapport has to do do with likability. How likable are you as a presenter? Do you exude warmth? Or are you a talking head? I've noticed some commonalities between speakers who fail to achieve audience rapport.

First, they don't smile. If you're too serious, you may come across as distant and even intimidating. The public speaking myth is that "serious" means "professional." Actually, the reverse is true. The top leaders and public speakers smile and use humor. When you're relaxed, you appear more confident.

The second mistake I've observed is rushing. When speakers get right down to business and talk AT the audience instead of with them, the audience retreats emotionally. That's why many speakers begin with opening remarks and humor. They share something personal about themselves or the audience. When I was in Tanzania, I memorized my opening remarks. I said, "Good morning. I'm happy to be here!" in Kiswahili. To my surprise, they audience broke out in applause. I was literally speaking their language!

The third reason for failed rapport is that presenters don't pace the audience. They hold on rigidly to their outline or PowerPoint. Successful public speakers are able to let go of the script and move where the audience wants to go. Don't let rigidity be one of your six R's.

Relationships - If rapport is about likability, then relationships are about trust. Once the audience likes you, it means they're engaged at the moment and willing to listen. You may be entertaining but until the audience trusts you, they won't take action.

Let's say you're giving a marketing talk. You have excellent platform skills. You're entertaining. But at the end of the presentation, nobody buys your product. Assuming you're in front of the right people, audience skepticism may mean they don't know you well enough.

The top speakers build a relationship with the audience and that happens before they ever meet. It starts with an email which may be followed up with a postcard or phone call. These public speakers provide third party testimonials and leverage mutual relationships.

In company meetings, you'll have better success in gaining support if you meet people for lunch, stop by their desks to say hello, and get to know them. Chase Manhattan Bank had a slogan that said it best: "The right relationship is everything."

ROI - We often think of ROI as Return on Investment. For presenters, it also means Return on Impact. If you're selling a product or pitching for funding, success can be measured in dollars. Most of the time, presenters are communicating information or selling an idea internally. These presenters won't see increased dollars in their pockets if their idea is accepted. But they will experience return on impact because they'll increase their influence within the organization.

How do you know if you've made impact with an informational presentation? The listeners will be engaged. They'll ask questions. You'll see nodding heads and direct eye contact. Positive feedback will filter through the company grapevine.

Responsibility - Public speakers and presenters have a responsibility and some take it lightly. You have a responsibility first and foremost to deliver what you promise. When a store advertises a sale and then pulls a Bait and Switch act, you automatically feel frustrated, angry and distrustful. Many consumers will walk out of the store.

I've seen speakers do the same thing. I once heard a celebrity speaker announce, "I don't think I'll talk about... [the subject that was published in the schedule]. We can cover that in the second session. What I want to talk about is..." The problem with that decision was that I didn't sign up for the second session and that celebrity speaker lost credibility. I'll read his books, but I won't attend a live presentation again.

Presenters have an obligation to their listeners. There's a contract between a public speaker and an audience. Even if you're giving a meeting update, be sure to honor the time commitment and give them the information in a way they can understand. When you speak to a large audience, be sure to deliver the presentation they signed up to hear.

Delete These 3 Annoying Words in 2013

Resolve to delete three deadly words from your vocabulary this year. We make resolutions on January 1st and then we go back to our usual habits in less than a month. But you can't afford to let your communication and presentation skills slide. Why? It's a new game. It's tougher, more competitive, and harder than ever to be heard above the noise. Your speech can undermine your success in an interview, a sales presentation, or a promotion opportunity. And it can sabotage your leadership. Jargon, non-words, and slang will not serve you.

According to a Marist poll, the most annoying word in 2012 was "whatever", followed by "like', and "you know" was a close third. The word "whatever" topped the list for a third year. Other annoying words included "twitterverse" and "gotcha".

People under the age of 45 in the Northeast were most annoyed by the word "like" while  "you know" was offensive to people over 45 years old. Go figure.

Regardless of demographics, using these words will, like, undermine your executive presence, you know? So choose your words carefully during your next communication or presentation. When tempted to use these three words in presentations, hit the delete button and pause. It's up to you.  Whatever.


Adrian Miller Speaks About Growing Your Business

Adrian Miller rocked the audience this morning when she gave a knockout presentation entitled 4 1/2 Ways To Grow Your Business. As a public speaker Adrian was dynamic, pragmatic, and drove home her message with humor. Her tips for increasing sales were appropriate for public speaking and giving presentations. Her 4 1/2 tips included:

1. Be Different 2. Stay on the Grid 3.Qualify 4.Probe 4 1/2. Quantify everything

So how does this relate to presentations? Speakers who are different are memorable. But being memorable isn't enough. You must stay on the grid. Speakers can stay front of mind by sharing ideas and information that add value to their customers and audience. It's important to qualify the audience by conducting a listener profile. The more you know about the audience the more effective the presentation will be. This involves the use of probing skills prior to the presentation. But masterful presenters probe the audience during the presentation by taking a quick poll to create engagement. Finally, be sure to survey the audience so you can quantify results. You may have a good feeling about your speech but don't rely on gut feelings. To measure your speaking performance it's better to compile audience comments and a numerical rating scale.That kind of process will give any public speaker real time data that can be quantified.

So why did Adrian give 4 /12 tips? To be different! Weren't you curious about the 1/2 tip? What have you done as a presenter to differentiate yourself from other public speakers?





Public Speaking: The Power of 7

7I just got back from a networking event.  Networking is a form of public speaking - it's your sales presentation.  If you're like me, you experience the speakers as unclear or they're so long-winded that you tune out.  In business, your elevator speech is the most important presentation.  Speakers who are unclear are leaving money on the table. So I decided to challenge myself to describe what I do in 7 words or less.  There's a magic to the number 7:  Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, The Seven Seals, Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, and Lucky Sevens.

Here's what I came up with: Reduce speaking anxiety and monetize your mouth.

After I sent this out to our listserve, a number of people commented about how much they loved it and how well it describes what I do as an executive speaking strategist.  So, I decided to offer the same challenge to people in my network.  Admittedly, it was difficult.  But I was proud of some of the responses that came in.  Here is a sampling:

What about you?  What do you do in seven words or less?  Let us know in the comments.

The Five Letter Word that Kills Telemarketing Presentations Every Time

This morning the phone rang. It was a recorded message. It's rare that I listen to one of these recordings.  My knee jerk response is to hangup. But there was a reason I kept listening. The offer was something I wanted. And the sales presentation was surprisingly excellent. The recording had a strong, clear, energetic voiceover and the brief message got to the point quickly. The ending had a strong call to action and a sense of urgency. You could press 1 and speak to a representative or you could press 2 to disconnect and give your competitor the opportunity for a one person per industry opportunity. Wow! I wanted to know more. I called and spoke to an outgoing and knowledgeable telemarketer. He answered my questions. He showed me the site online with an example of a customer's site. The price wasn't out of reach.  All I had to do was give my credit card over the phone and I would be assigned a representative who would get me started. The offer sounded exciting and something that would help me grow my business. He asked for my credit card and I said no.

And there was one major reason I didn't do it. One little five letter word stopped me cold. That word is TRUST. I didn't know the person on the other end and couldn't be sure if this was a legitimate company or a telephone scam. If there had been a television or radio infomercial with an 800 number there would've been a little more legitimacy. But an unsolicited call will always raise doubts no matter how well the caller speaks or how polished the presentation.

In today's market, trust is at an all time low. Audiences have a prove-it-to-me attitude. Not only are they slow to part with their money; the lack of trust is a symptom of fear. Speaking continues to be the new competitive weapon. But use it wisely. Build a relationship with your audience. Develop a know-like-trust process through social media, articles, blogging,  youtube, and third party endorsements.  So that when you call or even speak before a live audience there will be a spark of recognition and the beginning of trust.

Presenting At Trade Shows

Trade shows are presentations and  exhibiting is serious business. I've seen exhibitors lose sales because they didn't know how to present themselves at the booth. Follow these simple tips to increase your traffic: * Define your purpose. Why are you there? To conduct market research? To generate leads? To introduce a new product? Defining your purpose will give you a clear focus for the day.

* Project the right image. Are you upscale? Small but friendly? Specially priced? Once you agree on the company's image, define your behaviors and act accordingly.

* Set goals. Be specific. "To generate 25 new leads for hotel rooms by April 1st is measurable and specific. By setting a goal you'll be able to measure your success. * Organize the booth. Rid the booth of clutter. If you have a lot of handouts place them out of view away from the brochures. You can pull them out if needed. Don't drink coffee or eat snacks while you're in the booth; it creates an unprofessional look. Take a break and eat in the concession area. Don't read the newspaper during slow times. Remember all eyes are on you.

* Polish your presentation. Greet each person with a smile, a firm handshake, and direct eye contact. Nobody wants to buy from someone who's darting eyes are looking for the next lead. Be warm and enthusiastic. Take short notes when talking to a prospect. Don't chew gum, smoke, or chat with co-workers while you're in the booth. And never leave the booth unattended.

* Put your best foot forward. It's best to stand in front of the booth. That makes it easier to greet customers. Sitting will make you look too casual and not ready to do business.

* Promote the booth. Send invitations and advertise in advance of the event. Schedule appointments to meet with existing customers. Sponsor a fun event at your booth such as roulette or golf and watch the crowds gather.

* Don't give away the store. Instead of handing bags of premiums to everyone who walks by, ask for business cards. Keep gifts on the back table. When someone arrives, ask for a business card in exchange  for a prize.

* Prepare an opening line. Know your audience. Don't waste time talking to non-buyers. "Are you a meeting planner?' "Do you purchase computers?" "Are you a purchasing agent?" If the answer is yes you can continue your presentation. Otherwise, politely send them on their way. Your goal is to present to qualified prospects.

* Listen, listen, listen. The number one reason for losing the sale is the salesperson didn't listen. Listen for needs and wants. Most trade show presenters are too busy talking. Listening will give you the competitive edge.

Coffee, Tea, Don't Bother Me

I'm about to hit a triple header with this blog post. Hopefully, this will be my last post about airlines. On the first leg of my journey from Newark airport to Hilton Head, South Carolina,  the pilot announced that we would be arriving late. Knowing I had a tight connection in Charlotte I was concerned that I could miss my next flight. It would board in thirty minutes and the plane  I was on was a one hour flight.

I approached the flight attendant in the back.  I showed her my ticket and made a request. "Would you announce that the connecting passengers will deplane first?"

She looked at my ticket and said, "It doesn't leave for an hour. You'll be fine."

"But the pilot said we'd be late," I countered.  I had heard other airlines make this kind of announcement in the past.

"Oh they wouldn't listen, " she volleyed back. I persisted and finally she admitted that they were not authorized to make the announcement. "That would have to come from the lead attendant. We could ask her but that doesn't mean she would do it."

To make a long story short, they didn't make the announcement. I doubt that she approached the lead attendant. The good news is once we were in the air, the pilot announced that we would be arriving early.  Even so, I now  had a negative impression of these flight attendants and the airline.  They couldn't be bothered with my needs even though I was a customer.

Whether you speak to one or one thousand, your audience is your customer. What kind of message are you sending them? When they ask a question, you don't say "I don't know." You say, "I don't know. Let me get back to you."  When your audience is physically uncomfortable, you take a moment and adjust the thermostat. If you're talking to scientists you don't give your typical sales pitch. You provide them with the data and studies they value and respect.  When you sense the audience is bored, you don't keep yammering on.  You check in, ask questions, start a discussion or take a break. If a layoff was just announced before your presentation, you don't do your happy dance. You acknowledge the elephant in the room, let them vent for a few minutes and then begin your talk.

As presenters, we are all in the business of serving customers.  We set the tone. When you come from a place of service you communicate that you care.  Take care of your audience and they will take care of you.

Even Dry Cleaners Give Business Presentations

This morning I dropped by the dry cleaners to pick up my clothing. As I handed her the ticket, she gave me my dry cleaning and then asked me a question. "Do you send out your husbands shirts?" "No," I told her. "He's retired. He doesn't wear shirts." She smiled as she explained in her accented English, "Oh I was just trying to..." I supplied the word she was searching for. "Upsell?" "Yes," she said. "Well my husband only wears golf shirts. But very good marketing. If we ever have a wedding to go to I'll bring in his shirt." We both had a good laugh.

But the laugh is really on business owners who don't see an opportunity and follow up. This woman realized that a presentation doesn't end when there is an exchange of money. The presentation lives on as you continue the dialog.

Even the post office now asks if you want stamps, mailers, or other supplies. The way you approach a customer is a presentation-from the greeting and smile, to the conversational interaction, to the thank you, to the upsell. Just like any presentation there is a beginning, middle and an end.

Unfortunately, not everybody gets beyond the first presentation.

A Product Launch is a Presentation

I was in line for a sample sale on Fifth Avenue in New York. While I was waiting to get into the showroom, a woman came up to me and asked if she could talk to me about a new product. She began by holding a small purple bottle in her hand. She told me the company was launched a year ago and the founder was a modern day Carrie Bradshaw (Sex in the City). She pontificated about the founder's fashion background, her love of New York City and a desire to combine beauty products and fashion. As I listened I noticed the young woman was wearing shades and I couldn't see her eyes. This created a disconnect for me. Although it was sunny we were standing in the shade. I couldn't connect with her.

She talked about the product creams that were made from pearls and silk and were an all-in-one cosmetic. As the blathering continued, a mild ennui enveloped me. I wondered when she would get to the point. I didn't know what she wanted from me. Finally the verbal vomiting came to a halt. She asked "Would you like to be on our mailing list?" My knee jerk response? "No. Not without a sample."

She had to be kidding. What possible benefit could I derive from that offer? It wasn't even an offer. It was a taking.

So what was wrong with this presentation?

There was no connection. She should have removed her shades to make contact. We connect through the eyes. The presentation was speaker-centered- not listener-centered. Asking me a couple of questions about my skin care needs would have been a lot more effective. And she should have given out samples and then talked about results. At the very least, she could have opened the bottle she was holding and poured a few drops on my hand. This woman went on too long about the founder. Who cares? Do you buy Revlon because you like Charles Revson? If your goal is to build a database you need to entice people with an offer that they care about. There wasn't even a card with a website address.

I always say, "Life is a presentation and everyone is a public speaker." I guess the presenter forgot about that.

Seth Godin: A Knockout Public Speaker

Last month I heard Seth Godin speak at the Small Biz Summit in New York City. He was there to promote his new book, Linchpin. It was the first time I'd heard him speak and he blew me away! I turned to my friend and said, "Now that's a professional speaker!." What was it about Seth's presentation that was so exciting?First, he had a very challenging room set-up. It was two rooms in one divided by a wall with the stage angled between both audiences. The two audiences could only see part of the other room of people. Yet, as a masterful public speaker, Seth pivoted between the two groups with ease never losing the connection.

His energy and enthusiasm never waned. He was so passionate about his subject that we hung on his every word.

But he didn't rely on energy alone.There was substance combined with the sizzle. His message warned us that complacency in our businesses or careers would render us obsolete. This was based on trends that he studied.

The final reason he captured and kept our attention was his PowerPoint. Yes, PowerPoint. Every slide was a picture. We couldn't dismiss him and read the slides. Like a good ad, the visuals flashed before us with each point burned into our brains.

We left his presentation informed, entertained, motivated, and inspired. Each person received a complimentary copy of his book. And the greatest gift was the gift of himself. He stayed behind to sign each book. Public Speaking Lessons Learned: Work the room Be entertaing Engage the audience Energy and passion sell Choose visual images over words Deliver a message with substance Offer a gift Stay behind to talk

The Biggest Mistake in Sales Presentations

So what do you think is the biggest mistake in sales presentations?

  • Selling features instead of benefits?
  • Talking too much and not listening?
  • Not knowing the product?

In a recent presentation, Ron Karr, of Karr Associates, Inc. and author of Lead, Sell or Get Out of the Way, asked the audience, "What are you selling?" People responded by calling out their products and services. Ron went on to say that one of the biggest mistakes in sales is selling the "how" instead of the "what". "You're selling outcomes", declared Ron. He challenged the audience to get clear about the outcomes their audience or clients receive from them. The outcome he presents to his audience is to "sell more in less time." He went on to explain, "Most people spend 70% of their time talking about what they do when they should be spending 60% of their time in first impressions and qualifying.

As with all presentations, it first begins with mindset. How do you think of yourself in relation to your audience? Are you an expert? A peer? A trusted adviser? Ron recommended that people begin to position themselves as a resource. Selling is self-focused but a resource is customer-focused.

Whether you're selling a product, or giving a status update, good presenters live by WIIFM-What's in it for me? They know that the audience cares only about one thing-their own self interests. In other words, it's all about outcomes.;=books&qid;=1263764153&sr;=8-1

Presentations That Lose Business. What Was Google Thinking?

Good presenters get better jobs, receive promotions, make more sales and get more business. They also build a strong brand reputation. Consider Steve Jobs of Apple.He uses the platform to launch his new products to an audience that's engaged, excited, and eager to hear his message.

Now consider the launch of Google's new Nexus 1 phone. Here was an opportunity to create buzz for the new technology with their presentation. Instead of opportunity, the company became the target of much ridicule. Why? Because of their presentation. It takes seven seconds or less to make a first impression and the visual impact was immediately negative. The presenter used an overhead projector. Why would anyone use an outdated way of presenting when they are touting the newest technology? This was a disconnect for the audience. In addition, the presenter appeared nervous and dispassionate.

When launching a new product, companies must choose the best presenters. Speakers who are confident, dynamic, and passionate sell products. The impact of the presentation was negative. News shows mocked the presentation and this affected the brand reputation.

Whether you're launching a product, seeking funding, or pitching business your communication must be congruent. And be sure to put your very best presenter forward!