Last month’s ‘Communicate Confidently’ eLetter article on practicing presentations generated several reader questions. Here’s a summary of some of the comments I offered in my email responses:
My good friend and COSE (Cleveland’s Council of Smaller Enterprises) colleague Diane Helbig helps sales people perfect their pitches. She advises this structure:
- Begin with a recap of the prospect’s goals and needs (as you heard them)
- Introduction of the product or service you are presenting
- Bulleted list of the benefits of that product or service to the prospect (based on the goals and needs you heard)
- Implementation schedule, if appropriate
- Request for confirmation from the prospect – as how it sounds to them; does it meet their needs as stated.
Sales is all about the prospect – not about you or your product/service.’
‘Lemonade Stand Selling’, Diane Helbig, Sales Gravy Press, 2009.
More from my good friend and COSE (Cleveland’s Council of Smaller Enterprises) colleague Diane Helbig, from her popular book, ‘Lemonade Stand Selling’. Here are some of her thoughts on sales:
Your customers have different preferences about how they prefer to communicate. Some would rather talk than write. Others would rather write than talk. Yet others have very higher response rate to text. No surprises here!
Regular readers know how much I love ranting about not letting the ‘Tech Tail’ wag the ‘Presenter Dog’, so here’s another example. How do you change those wonderful audience-centric speaker support slides you’ve created when you don’t have a remote available?
Answer – you or someone has to manually change them, but avoid those annoying or clumsy habits that can really reduce the positive impression you project on your audience or the impact of your message. Consider these lessons learned from some of the Varsity Presenters I’ve had the pleasure of coaching:
With most typical workplace presentation situations you’re likely to face, neither the size of the audience nor the size of the room is large enough to need voice amplification. So, simply speak up with your one-to-group energetic volume level and they can hear you fine.
On those rare occasions when you do need a microphone, don’t let the technology tail wag the presenter dog. But do make the most of the technology you have at hand: Read More
Here’s an example of a sales person who practiced the opposite of ‘Permission Marketing’; someone I immediately nominated for the ‘Networking Slug Hall of Fame’. I think she got in on the first ballot. Read More
A reader just asked me what I thought of using a laser pointer with his slides. I started the conversation with ‘Don’t let the technology tail wag the presenter dog’. The rest of my comments:
A client recently asked me for some advice about a common practice with handouts. He noted that presenters often give audience members hard copies of their slides so they can take notes or use as a handout. Excerpts from my response:
Last month, I ranted about why so many executives are such poor communicators. Several readers indicated they felt that pain and wanted to know what their organizations could do about the situation. I’d offer these suggestions, based on years experience as a workplace communication manager, consultant, trainer and executive coach: