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Unblock Your Mind: Overcoming Presentation Mental Block

Getting a mental block in the middle of your presentation isn’t the end of the world. Even the most experienced public speakers have had mental blocks at least once in their lives. However, the best pitches aren’t the ones that are pulled off perfectly. In fact, they’re the ones that speakers were able to rebound from successfully after a misstep.

If you’re having problems with your train of thought, you can still overcome it with a few simple techniques.

Look at Your Notes

Presenters often favor spontaneity over their script. Sometimes they even forego the standard outline. What they don’t realize is that without a solid guide, they become more prone to experiencing mental blocks. Not everybody can keep track of their thoughts and deliver a pitch at the top of their heads. Most of the time, presenters who come in totally unprepared fumble halfway through their speech.

To prevent the embarrassment of not knowing what to say next, it’s alright to refer to your notes occasionally, especially for your major points.Your goal is to communicate effectively with your audience, and you can’t do that if you’re rambling or if you’re too stunned to talk. If keeping notes at hand distracts you and limits your body movement, you can also memorize your script. Just make sure you wrote it with a natural delivery in mind. Otherwise, your stiff speech won’t convince anyone.

Pause for Effect

It may seem counterintuitive, but pauses in your speech can also help you get over your mental block. If you find yourself in a tight spot, don’t feel ashamed to pause and collect your thoughts. Instead of biding time with filler words, pausing creates anticipation for what you’re about to say.

RedRover Sales & Marketing managing partner Lori Turner-Wilson writes in her article on the Memphis Daily about how the human mind takes about eight seconds to make a firm first impression of you. The same eight-second rule may apply to your pitch, so use your moments of silence wisely.

Take time to stop before every major idea. You can also pause to punctuate your speech, making it seem more natural to listen to.

Don’t Forget to Breathe

One of the leading causes of presentation mental block is anxiety. Calming your nerves helps you remember anything you might have forgotten because of panic. Research shows that breathing helps relax the mind and increase productivity. Whenever you get tongue-tied on stage, take a deep breath. This will prevent you from stressing out over your loss of words.

At the same time, don’t be too hard on yourself for not remembering what you were going to say. Remember that the audience doesn’t know your speech the way you do. You have total control over your pitch, so be confident enough to handle yourself gracefully.

To Sum It Up: Relax and Regroup

Experiencing mental block is every public speaker’s greatest obstacle, and they can strike at any time. Be honest with yourself when you’re experiencing it during your speech. Instead of panicking and resorting to filler words, remember that it’s acceptable to look at your notes every now and then to keep track.

If you’re really out of words to say, pause before every important part in your speech. People won’t mind. They’ll just think you’re building up towards your next point. Finally, whenever you feel that your fear is getting ahead of you, take a deep breath. Deep breathing helps clear your mind to recall your next points.

Need help with your presentation? Contact our SlideGenius experts today for a free quote!

 

References:

Turner-Wilson, Lori. “8-Second Rule of First Impressions.” Memphis Daily News. n.d. www.memphisdailynews.com/news/2011/jul/20/8-second-rule-of-first-impressions

 

Featured Image: “King Conquers All” by Uddhav Gupta on flickr.com

How to Avoid Rambling in Presentations

Presentations don’t happen in a perfectly controlled environment. An audience member gets into a coughing fit. A baby starts to wail. A phone goes off, and a trail of conversations from afar can be heard. Each distraction comes with a perfectly choreographed moment of silence. And each second lost to distraction is a second gone to waste.

Some of the scenarios above do happen, but there is a preventable kind of distraction that often goes unnoticed. The unexpected sources of distraction are none other than the speakers themselves.

Who rambles?

1. Rambling as the Last Resort

The most obvious sign of rambling comes from unprepared speakers. Unprepared speakers struggle to deliver the message of their presentation. Their speech slows down, uh’s and um’s dot their speech patterns, and they disrupt themselves. There aren’t enough tips to help out unprepared speakers.

Core topics can’t be made up on the spot and there are a few options available to save the presentation and the speaker. Damage control needs to be done. Rambling only worsens an ill-prepared presentation. So stay on topic as much as possible. Relax for a few seconds and don’t show any more signs of panic.

When you’re in a state of anxiety, simply pause and take a breath.

2. Rambling Creates a Wall

A prepared, but anxious speaker shows the same signs of nervousness as the unprepared speaker. Take the same steps to calm down and relax. There’s no need to be nervous if the deck is crafted carefully and communicates clearly.

Rambling as a result of anxiety can be avoided by reframing a nerve-wracking experience in a positive light. So instead of fearing judgement from the audience, think of the positive reaction you’ll gain. And instead of worrying about the presentation, be proud from its inception to its completion.

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3. Rambling as the Unintended Effect

On the other end of the spectrum, we have the overly prepared speaker. You might exhaust all talking points and start talking about something completely unrelated. Eventually, you could have gone too far ahead to get back to your original point. As a result, you might ramble some more, creating a vicious cycle.

An unprepared speaker fills the air with silence while an overzealous one fills the air with too much information. According to career consultant, Lea McLeod, you should learn how to regulate rapid speech by having a measured pace. The average person talks at a rate of about 125-175 words per minute while we can listen at a rate of up to 450 words per minute.

Also consider the amount of attention and focus listening requires. Then factor in the other thoughts that could be distracting the audience. Combined, those 450 words that we can supposedly process can end up much less in reality. Control your pace and stay focused on your topic by slowing down.

Re-focus

Which one are you among the three? All these candidates can take steps to minimize winding along in their presentations. Preparation is the most important step in creating a deck. Confidence is the most important factor in delivering a speech.

For the benefit of the audience, don’t speak too fast or too slow, and remember to relax and just breathe.

 

References

McLeod, Lea. “3 Smart Ways to Keep Yourself from Rambling.” 3 Smart Ways to Keep Yourself from Rambling. Accessed October 5, 2015. www.themuse.com
“Speech Rate – Is Your Speaking Rate Too Fast, Too Slow, or Just Right?” Write Out Loud. Accessed October 5, 2015. www.write-out-loud.com

 

Featured Image: SD Zoo” by Stephen Kruso from flickr.com

How to Engage Audiences with Your Mirror Neurons

Body language helps significantly when delivering your message.

It doesn’t matter whether you have an interesting topic to tackle, an engaging PowerPoint deck to display, or a captivating story to tell. How you communicate nonverbally affects the entire performance.

Most people don’t see how observing others influences our actions. This is where the magic of mirror neurons takes place.

What is a Mirror Neuron?

A mirror neuron is a type of neuron that allows people to empathize with others’ conditions. This happens when someone observes another person, thus mirroring his behavior. If we notice a stranger who bumps into a concrete wall, our brain is wired to empathize and experience the same feeling the stranger does.

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When someone feels down, we tend to sympathize with the person involved, letting our brains respond with comfort.

We might be unaware of this kind of response, but for presenters, this is an effective technique to use when getting your message across.

What Makes it Effective?

Moving towards the audience doesn’t just help you physically interact with them. It also allows you to engage them using eye contact, facial expressions, movements, and gestures. In this case, you are more likely to convince your audience by reflecting some of their reactions.

This is useful when you want to connect with a large crowd. You might not be able to achieve it, but connecting with them without going near them physically is possible. Selecting a few members of your audience to engage, particularly those who are in front, will help you do this by activating their mirror neurons.

If one of your audiences look at another member, his brain tends to react the same as if you’re talking to him as well.

How Can You Apply This?

This technique can be used to create interest, focusing their attention on your performance. E-learning expert, Vicki Kunkel cites in her book Dr. Wayne Dyer, a well-known speaker and author, who is an expert at applying this technique to his performances.

Every time Dwyer presents, he’s able to make his audiences feel part of a story. He does it by describing the event itself and projecting body movements, showing people how it made him feel. Another way he manages this is by walking around in one part of the stage while tackling a subject.

When he changes or moves on to another topic, he transfers to a different area. This is to emphasize what he’s discussing and to make it easier for his audiences to follow the discussion.

Summing It Up

Master this technique to connect with your audience’s emotions, keeping them engaged and allowing them to fully understand your message. Take advantage of mirror neurons to influence your listeners’ reactions for a convincing pitch they can’t refuse.

To help you with your presentation needs, SlideGenius experts can offer you a free quote!

 

Reference

Kunkel, Vicki. Instant Appeal: The 8 Primal Factors That Create Blockbuster Success. New York: AMACOM, 2008.

 

Featured Image: Wikimedia

3 Ways to Make PowerPoint Presentation Notes Your Ally

Notes provide a convenient way to keep track of your speech, but depending on them hinders audience engagement. It keeps you from establishing eye contact, and communicating nonverbally through hand gestures and body movements.

So when are you allowed to use it all throughout your speech?

To Use or Not to Use?

If you’re discussing a complex topic that needs an in-depth approach, then there’s no problem with using it as a script. This is because there are certain subjects that can only be thoroughly explained with notes.

Ideally though, notes should be for recalling only main points and important data. While it’s still possible to keep audiences engaged with a script in hand, master your topic and give yourself more time to maximize your stage presence for a more effective presentation.

If you have no other choice but to use your script, here’s how you can best utilize your PowerPoint presentation notes:

1. Write in a Conversational Tone

According to presentation trainer, Gary Genard, you should write a speech with the intentions of delivering it, not reading it. Before you craft your speech, plan it with a natural delivery in mind. One way to do this is to construct each statement by using contractions. Instead of writing “will not,” you can compose it as “won’t” to sound more conversational.

Remember to use simple words as if you’re just talking to a friend. Simpler language makes it easier for your audience to follow your arguments and understand your points.

2. Know When to Pause

Learning how to pause allows you to emphasize each point, making it easier for listeners to digest what you’re discussing. When you type your script out, make sure to use double-spacing.

You can use these spaces to write notes on where you should be pausing for dramatic effect.

3. Project Your Voice

Strive for a voice that’s loud enough for the audience and venue, but still pleasant to listen to. Speech coach Lenny Laskowski advises that presenters take note of their tone, pitch, and inflection in order to stay aware of how audible they are to an audience.

Record yourself or ask a colleague to listen while you speak with your notes. Then, listen to how you deliver each statement, and pay attention closely to your voice’s inflection.

A measured, dynamic, and powerful voice projection keeps your audience at the edge of their seat and glued to your every word.

One More Thing to Note...

Practice more often to sound natural and conversational. By writing in a conversational tone, knowing when to pause, and projecting your voice, you can successfully engage your audience with your notes on.If you need to use a script, compensate with writing, delivery, and projection.

Do you need a well-designed deck to go with your speech? SlideGenius’ presentation experts can offer you a free quote!

 

References

4 Common Ways To Remember Material – Presentation Skills.” LJLSeminars. Accessed August 14, 2015
Genard, Gary. “How to Speak from Notes or a Manuscript in Public Speaking.The Genard Method. February 10, 2013. Accessed August 14, 2015

 

Featured Image: Friendship” by Nicola from flickr.com

Sales Presentation Q&A Tips: 4 Reasons to Master Negotiation

Your sales presentation is the last hurdle before you can seal the deal, but even that has a final step: the Q&A.

In every presentation, clients always have questions or concerns. These can be about how your company does business or the package options you have to offer.

Listening to and clarifying their questions will help them understand your position, making them more likely to trust you and close the sale. Experienced sales executives will always plan for these scenarios for 4 main reasons:

1. Clients Always Want Options

People will always look for a better deal to get their money’s worth.

You could be the best supplier of electronic gadgets in the industry, but if you don’t have any favorable options to offer your clients, like a bundle purchase deal with lower price points, or gadgets that they need, chances are they’ll give their money to the competition.

This is why having a fixed set of options rarely works: If you say you can’t give something to a client, you will have a harder time convincing them to invest in you. According to business consultant Larry Myler, giving alternatives is one of the negotiation techniques that salespeople use as a common ground for both their desired outcome and the clients’ desires.

2. Listening Lets You Learn Their Expectations

Our last article talked about knowing your audience’s expectations to help you give a more understandable pitch. While it’s good to know these beforehand, nothing beats getting these firsthand when you need to address their questions on the spot.

This lets you come up with better responses, whether it’s clarifying your previous statements in the pitch, or suggesting alternatives to the options you offered them. Listening also helps you get a better handle on what your clients expect from business partners.

For example, they may have objections to the pricing of your mobile service provider package, but if you let them explain why, you might have the advantage of using that information for either justifying the package or offering them something that fits their budget.

3. You Control the Argument

Learning to say no is another important skill in the Q&A. As the presenter, you need to be clear on what you can and cannot offer to remain in control of the deal. Let’s go back to that example of the mobile service provider: Your package may only be offered at a certain range, but a client might want to lower it further.

If your company knows that the proposed discount is unacceptable due to cost reasons, it might be better for you to refuse and suggest another package. While it’s true that you need to think about your client’s expectations, your company will most likely have their own standards to uphold, making an ultimatum necessary.

By dictating the terms of the offer, you make the deal profitable for both sides. It also boosts their perception of you as a reliable seller.

4. You Project Yourself as a Partner

In every presentation, the objective is all about offering solutions to a problem. This is why every seasoned sales executive takes time to know their clients as much as they can in order to solve their difficulties.

Getting clients to talk about what they need is always a good starting point. Keynote speaker Sherrie Campbell lists presenting yourself as a partner who’s willing to listen among her strategies for mastering sales negotiations. .

If your client can’t agree with your offer, you can always ask why, or replace your offer with a better one. This leaves a better impression than using a “take it, or leave it” approach because you involve clients in coming up with a solution.

The Lesson: Listening Always Helps

Handling the presentation’s Q&A is just as important as giving it. This lets you know your target market and what will convince them to invest in you. Listening to their concerns lets you adjust your offers as needed.

Instead of simply handing out a limited set of options, you give them more possibilities that can sweeten the deal for both sides. At the same time, you have to make it clear that there are things that you can’t compromise on, like a lower price for quality goods.

At your presentation’s last stage, you can impress your clients with your delivery. If you can give them that last nudge to bite into your offer by hearing them out, jumping that final hurdle will be easier for you. Handling this step needs every advantage you can get.

To sharpen your selling edge, take a few minutes to get in touch with a professional presentation designer and spice up your PowerPoint.

 

References

Campbell, Sherrie. “7 Psychological Strategies for Mastering Sales Negotiations.” Entrepreneur. November 6, 2014. Accessed August 7, 2015.
Myler, Larry. “Four Ways To Win Any Negotiation.Forbes. June 1, 2015. Accessed August 7, 2015.

 

Featured Image: “Signed Contract” by Mads T.F. on flickr.com

7 Deadly Presentation Sins: Envy (Losing Yourself)

Welcome back to our series on the Seven Deadly Sins of Presentations. Last time, we discussed sloth or failing to prepare for your speech.

Today, we’ll be exploring the sin of envy.

For speakers, this means lacking authenticity and losing confidence.

Let’s see what makes envy a speech killer.

What Is Envy?

Envy inevitably leads to personal harm and debilitation, affecting one’s physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being (Job 5:2; Prov 14:30).

Usually denoted by a green-eyed monster, it is characterized by jealousy over others’ traits, statuses, abilities, or situations.

Some studies claim that envy can be productive for encouraging personal growth. Indeed, data suggests envy boosts mental persistence and memory.

In public speaking, however, envy can be destructive.

Why Is It Bad for Presentations?

Admiring great speakers’ exceptional presentation skills isn’t bad when they push you to reach your highest potential.

It only becomes unprofessional when jealousy overpowers inspiration.

If you’re envious of a colleague or somebody’s speaking prowess, drop that negative feeling now.

It’s a bad habit that stops you from recognizing your own strengths and abilities because you overly focus on somebody else’s, losing sight of your own unique strengths.

It could also cause you to copy their speaking style, making you less authentic and confident.

How Do We Cure the Deadly Sin of Envy?

Curing the sin of envy takes one approach: self-affirmation.

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Listing down your weaknesses helps you figure out which one is the easiest to remedy—be it  writing your content, designing your slide or your actual speech delivery.

Knowing what your biggest weakness is also allows you to think of appropriate techniques that best work for you.

Summing It Up

Being envious of someone’s presentation aptitude is a sin that kills confident and authentic public speaking.

Instead of sabotaging yourself through envy, bring in compassion and motivate yourself to become a better presenter.

Don’t focus on somebody else’s strengths. Instead, look for your own strengths which no other person has.

Identify your weaknesses, too, so that you can address them and improve your own skills.

Once you’ve started focusing on your own capabilities instead of comparing yourself with other people, you’ll be able to hone your own work to the point that you’ll have people’s attention – the positive kind.

Are you in need of PowerPoint slides that match your presentation goals? Contact SlideGenius and we’ll help you design a deck with a selling edge!

References

Dlugan, Andrew. “The 7 Deadly Sins of Public Speaking.” Six Minutes, October 25, 2009. Accessed June 11, 2015. http://sixminutes.dlugan.com/7-deadly-sins-public-speaking/
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-new-brain/201109/eat-your-guts-out-why-envy-hurts-and-why-its-good-your-brain.

An Inside Look at How Clients Invest in Your Sales Pitch

Effective presenters take time to know their client’s expectations. This lets them select the best tactic for delivering their sales pitch so they can solve both their client’s problems and their own. Presenters have this advantage because they know how clients connect with their sales pitch proposals, giving them better PowerPoint presentation ideas.

It’s the same process that advertising agencies consider when making customers connect with the brands they advertise. This connection between brands and customers happens on three levels, the most powerful of which according to a study conducted by advertising giant McCann-Erickson, is Emotional Bonding.

1. Product Benefits

Business gurus George and Michael Belch suggest that on this level, clients connect with your brand based on the benefits it can offer.

At this stage, clients have the least amount of loyalty. They are most likely to switch to the competition if they offer something you don’t have.

2. Brand Personality

The next stage is when your clients assign a personality to your brand. This personality is based on the principles and beliefs your brand will stand for.

Brand communications expert, Carmine Gallo, presents a few examples: it can be the cozy hangout Starbucks is known as, the tough off-roaders of Jeep, or even the classic refreshing drink that Coke is touted as. This is when clients start to associate traits or values they share with your brand.

3. Emotional Benefits

At this stage, consumers and clients alike develop emotional attachments to your brand. This is the highest level, where clients constantly seek you out after you’ve done business with them repeatedly.

At this stage, your previous clients will have no problem looking forward to your future pitches, much like how Apple users always looked forward to the late Steve Jobs showing off his new gadget. This level of trust leads to a positive psychological movement towards your company.

It’s arguably the hardest to achieve, but you get the benefit of clients paying their undivided attention to you whenever you present.

The Main Connection: Develop Trust

Connecting with your audience with a business PowerPoint presentation doesn’t happen overnight. After all, repeat customers are what keep companies alive.

Offer a product with the benefits your clients need, define a relatable personality for your brand, and deliver consistently to help you gain your client’s trust in your company. That’s when the long-term emotional connections happen.

To help you get the most out of this advantage, get in touch with SlideGenius.com today!

 

References

Belch, George E., and Michael A. Belch. Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective. 6th ed. Singapore: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2003.
Gallo, Carmine. The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010.
Proprietary Research Technique Called Emotional Bonding.” ZABANGA Marketing. Accessed September 8, 2015.
Using Common Values in PowerPoint Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. April 21, 2015. Accessed September 8, 2015.

The Secret to an Effective Sales Presentation Rehearsal

The best sales presentations are planned weeks in advance, with rehearsals taking several hours.

Presenters refine several factors such as speech tone, body language, hand gestures, demonstrations, and even slide timing.

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The Secret

What’s the overarching secret to getting the most out of your rehearsal?

Deliberate practice.

According to brand communications expert Carmine Gallo, this is a form of training which involves setting specific goals (say, giving a sales pitch in five minutes), asking for feedback, and continuous improvement during your career as a professional presenter.

Setting Goals

Using this method of training means being specific down to the last detail.

How powerful will your tone be? What sort of emotions do you need to use for presenting? How long will your speech take per slide?

Gallo presents Steve Jobs as an example because of his meticulousness. Jobs spends several hours practicing the sales pitch’s every aspect, right down to how much lighting to use for showing his products.

Similarly, a skilled presenter notes his pitch’s every detail and how they’ll work during the actual show date. This lets you plan how your deck work, including your speech’s timing, for an effortless sales pitch.

Properly Using Feedback

Do the presentation rehearsal with your team, supervisor or even in front of a mirror.

If you have someone or something to help spot your errors, take note of your mistakes and avoid doing them during the actual pitch.

Note if there were likable things you did (ex. building rapport with the audience, poking good-natured fun at yourself) that you can repeat.

Sales strategist Marc Wayshak suggests that another effective way of getting feedback would be to ask prospects what works for them or what doesn’t. This won’t diminish your credibility. In fact, it will make you seem even more determined to connect with them and understand their needs.

Continuous Improvement

As simple as this sounds, improving yourself can take years. Practice is essential to a sales presentation, especially if you want to sound spontaneous.

Over the course of your career, improve yourself by studying both your performance and your audience’s feedback.

Combined with rigorous deliberative practice, you’ll eventually define and improve your mix of personal presentation techniques, letting you sell better than you ever could before.

The Bottom Line

Practice everything, down to the tiniest detail. If you’re as passionate about giving a presentation as Steve Jobs and the top TED speakers are, rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.

Learn from your mistakes and strengths to reach your fullest potential as a presenter.

Once you’ve honed your skills, work with a presentation design specialist to give you the right selling tools!

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References

Gallo, C. The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010.
Plan Ahead to Avoid PowerPointless Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. May 27, 2015. Accessed June 19, 2015.
Wayshak, Marc. “5 Tips to Giving the Perfect Sales Presentation.” Salesforce Blog. January 23, 2014. Accessed June 19, 2015.

Sales Presentation Tips from The Art of War: Know Your Craft

In their breakthrough book, The Art of War for Managers, business veterans Gerald and Steven Michaelson cite one of history’s greatest military tacticians, Sun Tzu.

Drawing from one of Sun Tzu’s famous lines, “…the general who understands war is… the guarantor of the security of the nation,” these business gurus suggest that if you spend time knowing your business well enough, you’ll lead it effectively.

The same principle applies to sales presentations.

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CEOs and sales teams take time to know their businesses and products before pitching. They also have a firm grasp of the public speaking techniques they need to sell.

As a presenter, here are three aspects you should master:

Your Product

Knowing your tools is the first step to building a selling idea. According to renowned author Jim Aitchison, learning every aspect of your product or service lets you explain its features correctly. It also helps you outline the benefits your prospects are interested in.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is it?
  • How does it work?
  • What benefits does it give to clients?
  • What situations can they use it in?

These should lead to what clients need to know, more specifically: how the product or service help their business.

Your Presentation Techniques

Once you know how your business and products work, rehearse. There is no shortcut.

As brand communications expert, Carmine Gallo, says, even some professional presenters spend several weeks rehearsing for a single pitch. They also take note of what works and what doesn’t so they can improve their public speaking.

Professional presenters deliberately practice until they get their pitch just right, almost as if their work was effortless.

Learn how to use the techniques and tools at your disposal before entering the boardroom to give yourself an immense advantage over others.

Your PowerPoint Deck

Once you know everything about your product or service and have spent hours rehearsing your speech, it’s time to prepare your third and most crucial component: your PowerPoint deck.

Your deck is not a script, but it’s there to help your audience visualize what you have to say, so keep it as simple and understandable as possible.

You can even hire professional PowerPoint specialists to help you design a deck that effectively sells your pitch.

Learn the Tools and the Trade

Presentation skills and techniques are acquired over time. Some spend hours practicing to gain them, while others have built them up over their careers. The same thing goes for knowing your business well enough to sell it.

Know every aspect of your product first. There’s nothing to pitch if you don’t understand your own offering. Rehearse until you master your tone, gestures, and timing. All the information you have is useless if you can’t deliver it clearly.

Finally, make your deck simple but packed with meaningful content. Don’t use them as your cue cards. Instead, use them to emphasize what you want to say. With enough practice, you’ll know how to best persuade a crowd by combining all these factors into a great sales presentation.

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References

Aitchison, J. Cutting Edge Advertising: How to Create the World’s Best Print for Brands in the 21st Century. Singapore, New York: Prentice Hall, 2004.
Gallo, C. The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience. New York: McGraw-Hill. 2010.
Knowing Your Products and Services.” Queensland Government. Accessed June 15, 2015.
Michaelson, G., and Steven Michaelson. Sun Tzu: The Art of War for Managers: 50 Strategic Rules Updated for Today’s Business. 2nd ed. Avon, Mass.: Adams Media. 2010.
The Secret to an Effective Sales Presentation Rehearsal.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2015. Accessed June 15, 2015.

 

Featured Image: “Chinese Brush for Writing Calligraphy” by epSos .de on flickr.com

Tips for Using Incentives to Sweeten Your Sales Presentation

Incentives are one way to sweeten the deal when you give your pitch.

Clients are always looking for the best benefits whenever they invest in potential business partners. According to marketing professors George and Michael Belch, offering them something extra gives them a reason to buy into your proposal.

Offering incentives is a special type of marketing tactic used in sales promotions. Often used to add value to the product or service that you want to sell, these help speed up your clients’ purchase decision.

At the same time, make sure to differentiate between features and benefits. Features are facts about the product being promoted while benefits are the results that consumers get in return.

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Here are four sales presentation ideas on how to include incentives in your proposals and to maximize your offers:

Keep It Specific

Discounts and rewards for purchases made within a set of time are some examples that allow companies to target different kinds of people.

In the same way, presenters need information about their clients’ expectations before they can offer the right kind of sales incentive.

For example, will your client be purchasing your products by bulk? Offer them a discount to save up on their expenses.

Is your client looking for a long-term partnership for supplying electronic parts? Offer them a discounted rate or free maintenance.

Knowing what your client needs is the first step to finding the right mix of sales incentives.

Brand Loyalty

Sales promotions are used to give occasional incentives that keep customers loyal.

Clients can sometimes invest in other presenter’s ideas if they see that the offers are equal.

To outsell your competition, offer your clients something others cannot.

This tactic is effective especially for clients that you’ve worked with before.

If there are special loyalty incentives that you can offer in your sales presentation, use them.

Encourage Them to Try Something New

Trial incentives are a good way to encourage investments from clients.

This works well especially if you have a new offer to present.

Even something as simple as a money-back guarantee goes a long way to establishing your credibility to your clients.

Whether you’re pitching a new product to loyal clients, or a startup company with a new product, offering them an incentive to try out your new offers are a good way to generate an interest.

Measure the Results

One benefit of using incentives is that they’re easily measured.

Try keeping a database to measure how effective your offers are for you to stay accountable to your clients.

This should contain a list of clients that accepted your incentives.

As you build this up, use this info as proof to other clients that your offerings are better than the competition’s.

As effective as incentives are, they’re only used to sweeten the deal. Clearly state the benefits that your basic offer has to give.

No amount of extra offers makes an unsatisfactory pitch worthy of investment.

To get more out of what your presentation has to offer, get in touch with a professional presentation partner for free! All it takes is 15 minutes to get a better PowerPoint presentation.

All it takes is 15 minutes to get a better PowerPoint presentation.

SlideGenius Blog Module One

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References

Ad Agency Tricks: Outsell Competitors in Sales Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2015. Accessed June 11, 2015.
A Presentation Expert’s Guide to Knowing the Audience.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2015. Accessed June 11, 2015.
Belch, G. & Belch, M. Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective. (6th ed). Singapore: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2003.
Marketing Features Vs. Benefits.” Entrepreneur. Accessed July 9, 2018.