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Manage Stress Before a Big Presentation

We’ve all had those days where stress pushed us to the edge, and we all know it’s not good to be around someone who loses their cool.

You won’t leave a good first impression if you keep a strained demeanor. Manage stress before it takes over your body and turns you into an angry presenter.

Stress by itself is a normal reaction that doesn’t go away until the perceived threat is gone, but delivering a presentation isn’t a real threat. Remind your body that you’re not in any danger. Relaxation will help calm you down and assure you that everything’s going to be alright. Here’s why you should regulate your stress and how to do it:

Likeability

When things keep going wrong, it’s important to know that there’s still tomorrow to look forward to. Stress skews our perspective towards fear and negativity, which makes it hard to even consider that things are going to get better. In addition to feeling terrified, our expressions project the anxiety we feel in response to internal pressure.

Stressing out before a presentation can lead to failure because the presenter may already be anticipating that something will go wrong. The audience can pick up on your emotions and will definitely sense if something’s not right. You’ll lose your credibility as a speaker if people sense you’re too stiff. Confidence in what you’re saying is needed for other people to trust in you, too.

Stress Management

Stress buildup can be mitigated in the first place by placing security checks. Identify what makes you feel threatened. Is it the fear of being judged or being in front of a large crowd?

Once you’ve identified them, step back and realize that none of them can really harm you. The audience is just there to hear what you’re going to present; none of them pose a real threat. Your body will start to calm down once it realizes that you don’t need to fear for your life, and you’ll have nothing to fear once you regain your focus.

Monitor Stress Levels

Some things are truly out of our control, but it doesn’t mean that we should lose our cool. Even if we’re not the best presenter, we should strive to give our best effort.

Doing some relaxation exercises can help release some of that pent-up stress. It will help empty your mind and introduce calming imagery in place of stressful thoughts. Also remember to breathe. Breathing helps relax muscles that become tense when you’re stressed. Pacing around and doing some stretches helps you unwind and prepares you to move your focus elsewhere.

Concentration

Conduct everything you do professionally, and you’ll get the respect you deserve. Don’t let stress get in the way of your ability to make a great presentation. After all, a stressed presenter doesn’t look good. It makes you look hostile, distancing you from your audience. Relaxation should come easily once you’ve identified and let go of what stresses you out.

Manage stress. Don’t let stress manage you.

 

Reference

“Stress Management.” Mayo Clinic. April 8, 2014. www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/basics/stress-basics/hlv-20049495

 

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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

Advertising PowerPoint Design Tips: Make Your Visuals Talk

In simple PowerPoint design, images visually support your words, creating a memorable image in your audience’s minds. However, you can play with this basic structure and create something more engaging. In Cutting Edge Advertising, Jim Aitchison suggests the use of metaphors, adjusting your text and images’ placement, or making a bent headline or visual.

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Center your messages on a clear, specific idea by making an interesting image and supporting it with a straightforward tagline (and vice versa). Once your listeners can picture your message for themselves, your product or service will stick in their minds long after you finish the sales presentation.

Sell more effectively by combining this factor with clear-cut messages.

Bent Images with Straight Headlines

Apply the twist here to represent your idea in the image. Show a metaphor, a comparison or a dominant image.

The Business Times and The Economist print ads both talk about giving you the whole picture when you read their news. The images—the text cut in half, the binocular-shaped magazines and the Rubix cube— are all twisted to prove their points.

Keep your message, font, and text size simple so your clients focus on the image without distractions.

Bent Headlines with Straight Images

You can also show your idea in the headline and support it with a normal image. Clever word puns and verbal metaphors all come in handy as seen in the Cigarillos and Timberland print ads.

The text needs to be interesting or provocative enough to get your audience thinking. Otherwise, you’ll get a bland and uninteresting overall visual.

The Secret: Be Consistent

Choosing between the two approaches depends on how you want to emphasize your idea. Once you decide to either bend your text or image, be consistent with your messages.

The Business Times and The Economist had one main idea, similar to how Timberland emphasized their durability.

Emphasize one main idea, stick to it and support it with relevant facts. Making a striking visual impact ensures that audiences remember you long enough to contact you for a business deal.

 

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.
Diaz, Ann-Christine. “The Economist’s New Campaign Dishes Out Real — and Metaphorical — Hot Potatoes.” Advertising Age News. November 11, 2013. Accessed August 3, 2015.
Fine-tuning Your Presentation’s Core Message.” SlideGenius, Inc. November 11, 2014. Accessed August 3, 2015.
PowerPoint Visual Design Tips From Ads: Text & Image Balance.” SlideGenius, Inc. July 22, 2015. Accessed August 3, 2015.

Developing an Introduction for Your Business Presentations

Introductions are crucial parts of business presentations, capturing the crowd’s attention before the presenter proceeds to his main topic. Your introduction should fulfill two purposes: to win your audience’s attention and clarify your topic and purpose.

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Favorable Attention Step

Communicologist Eugene White (1960) suggested the following tips on how to receive favorable attention:

  • Point out your subject’s significance to raise the stakes and demonstrate how your topic affects important factors. Attaching a sense of urgency to your presentation, directly or indirectly, makes your audience listen intently.
  • Use pleasantry, wit, and humor. This is a classic oratory flourish of master presenters who entertain while informing listeners.
  • Make a stimulating statement, refer to a famous quotation, or ask a provocative question to stimulate thoughtfulness and curiosity.
  • Mention common bonds with your listeners. People like speakers they can relate with. Bring out mutual traits, beliefs, life experiences, and goals to build the common ground between you and your listeners.
  • Pay the crowd a sincere compliment. A happy crowd is a crowd that listens.

Using one or a combination of the previous methods can guarantee you total audience engagement.

Clarification Step

After you have their eyes and ears, connect your opener with what you actually need to say. Clarify and link your introduction to your main topic with the following tricks:

  • State your speech’s point or purpose. Directly referring to your intentions immediately connects your introduction to your objectives and to your whole presentation.
  • Explain how you plan to develop your topic to give your audience a clue on your presentation’s length. This prepares them to gauge the amount of time you’ll be taking.
  • Provide necessary preliminary definitions and explanations especially if your topic requires a technical approach. When dealing with a lot of unavoidable jargon, get it out of the way before proceeding.

This phase acts as a transition that guides your listeners’ initial curiosity into rapt attention. You can’t simply jump from attention-grabbing straight into your presentation’s main body.

Tying Them Together

When used in conjunction, these two processes make for effective introductions that attract and engage while keeping in line with your message and purpose. They’re like a one-two punch combination, where you set up and measure the range before dealing the most significant blow.

Open your discussion with a favorable attention step that suits your audience, occasion, and topic. Afterwards, ease your listeners into the body of your speech by proceeding to the clarification step.

Conclusion

A well-designed deck and a well-planned presentation fall flat without an effective introduction for a lead-in.

Always begin by getting your audience’s attention. Raise the stakes, use humor, ask provocative questions, sympathize with your audience, or pander to them. Then, cap off the introductory stage by clarifying the connections between your main topic and your introduction. This way, you get an engaging and memorable opener that makes sure your listeners are all eyes and ears for you.

Practice crafting this part to hook your audience right from the beginning.

Need help refining your business presentation? Contact our presentation experts now and receive a free quote!

 

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References

Introductions: 5 Creative Ways to Start Your Presentation.SlideGenius, Inc. November 30, 2014.
The Role of the Introduction.” Boundless. Accessed July 20, 2015.
White, Eugene. Practical Speech Fundamentals. New York: The McMillan Co, 1960.

Presentation Skill: Improving Your Authentic Speaking Style

There’s no fixed formula when it comes to public speaking.

Presenters are concerned with following a set of rules and are often focused on what you should and should not do.

However, applying a few standards isn’t bad. In fact, learning and mastering the basics will help them acquire presentation skills to make them successful.

As a presenter, you need to understand that your presentation’s success isn’t determined just by how engaging you are, how powerful you speak, how you deliver your words, or how effective you project your voice in front of your audience.

It’s about being authentic when you present.

Show them that you’re trustworthy and sincere to bring them to a real human connection.

Being Perfect vs. Being Genuine

Every public speaker wants to be excellent in their field. Even professionals still strive to be the best presenters.

However, you can’t achieve this without knowing how to connect with your audience.

Doing it lets you draw them to your message. Emotions help us recall how a certain story can make us feel.

Since practice precedes perfection, consider these ways to improve your presentation skill in speaking:

Embrace Your Natural Qualities

List your strengths and potentials, then apply it to your performance. Avoid imitating someone else’s speech and delivery style. Doing so allows your audience to see that you’re similar to them.

Be Unique

Never compare yourself with others’ behavior or capabilities. Know how to value your own abilities to let your audience see that like them, you’re unique.

Let Your Style Flow Naturally

If you’re an introvert, don’t force yourself to act as an extrovert. Don’t let this instance manipulate you and push you to become someone you’re not.

Everyone has unique personalities and has different ways of expressing themselves, especially when it comes to presenting in public.

Speak Naturally

Think about how you will deliver your message to your audience.

Act as if you’re communicating with your friends or colleagues. Doing so helps you pitch more authentic and conversational.

Don’t Try To Be Perfect

Aiming for perfection can sometimes disappoint you. Perfectionism differs from excellence.

While the former can’t accept rejections or any failures, the latter strives to make their joy complete by doing their best.

Tell the truth and don’t be too focused on speaking perfectly. After all, not all effective presentations are perfect. They become successful once you engage your audience passionately and genuinely.

Conclusion

Your presentation’s success can be determined by how you authentically engage your audience.

Deliver your message naturally to make it sound conversational.

Understanding these ways will lessen the negative thoughts which convince you to become someone you’re not.

Start using your own authentic style of speaking and see how you become a successful presenter.

To craft an effective and powerful presentation, SlideGenius can help you out!

References

http://www.gingerpublicspeaking.com/public-speaking-art-form
http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Develop_your_Authentic_Public_Speaking_Style_Seven_Tips.html

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.

 

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Tips for Expressing Natural Body Language in Presentations

The fear of public speaking is a common obstacle that hinders you from delivering effective presentations. It affects your communication skills, making you more conscious of your words and your actions.

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Exuding a confident and relaxed image is important when presenting to a crowd. According to presentation trainer Olivia Mitchell, however, speaking with confidence doesn’t only involve your pitching skills, but also your body language.

Below are tips for best expressing natural body language during your presentations:

Pace Yourself

Walking and speaking at a slower pace allow you to move calmly.

Slower movements make it easier for you to get something across without looking nervous.

They prevent you from expressing boring and unnecessary body language like scratching your face, looking at the floor, and rocking back and forth, which can seriously undermine your speech and distract your audience.

Space Everything Evenly

The amount of space on your presentation stage is as important as white space in your presentation slide.

But unlike white space, you need to fill in the spaces of the stage with your movement. Don’t stand stiffly in the center. This creates a disconnect between you and your listeners.

Showing your audience that you’re comfortable in the spotlight builds up spontaneous movement and gestures.

Free Your Hands

You can’t naturally express nonverbal cues if your hands aren’t free.

Keeping them in your pockets, holding them behind your back, and folding them across your chest hinder you from making actions that complement your presentation idea.

The most natural hand position is hanging them loosely at your sides. This gives you total freedom to move them for emphasizing points or interacting with your audience.

Relax Your Shoulders

Your business presentation is an extension of your company, just as your hands are connected to your shoulders.

All those hand and finger motions are expressed gently and naturally if your shoulders are relaxed.

Maintain a professional stance that keeps the shoulders back, your head up, and hands up front to convey confidence, reinforce your message, and engage your audience.

Conclusion

Body language communicates assertiveness, appreciation, sincerity, and more.

Using nonverbal cues appropriately isn’t enough in presentations. They should also appear natural to mark an amazing speaking presence.

Need assistance with your PowerPoint presentation slides? Contact SlideGenius and we’ll help you start your deck ASAP.

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References

Public Speaking Anxiety: Facts, Stats, and Methods to Beat It.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2014. Accessed June 11, 2015.
The 5-step Cure for Boring Body Language.” Speaking about Presenting. Accessed June 11, 2015.

Canons of Rhetoric: Applying Invention to Presentations

Every presenter aims to craft a powerful speech that leaves the audience with lasting impact.

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The ancient Greeks and Romans were at the forefront of developing such effective speeches. Today, we’ve picked one canon of classical rhetoric to discuss how it can become the backbone of your presentation.

The History of Rhetorical Knowledge

Although the Ancient Egyptians were renowned orators, the Greeks were the first civilization to codify public speaking into what is now known as Rhetoric. It was the great philosopher, Aristotle, who introduced the basics of rhetorical knowledge. Speakers from Rome further developed the idea with further studies, which gave rise for the Five Canons of Rhetoric.

These phases were: invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery, these canons serve as principal outlines for designing a persuasive speech.

Let’s focus on the rhetoric of invention.

What about Invention?

Roman scholars Cicero and Quintilian described invention as the process of developing and refining your argument. In the twentieth century, researchers reinvented it, considering it the most crucial process since it sets your message’s direction.

Does science come to mind when you see the word “invention?” This canon is a presentation science that you can use for smoother speeches.

Invention controls the whole idea of your main discussion. It lets you classify your key points so you can deliver the right spin required for each idea.

Doing research streamlines your thoughts automatically.

Applying Invention

When planning your persuasive piece, the invention phase is the start of your main idea. It’s like devising a new gadget where you need to collate facts and perform research collectively.

We’ve listed a few of Aristotle’s rhetorical topics to help you form your arguments:

Comparison

Comparison comes after you’ve identified a specific issue to discuss. This is the stage where you can use playful language. Get the message across by using figures of speech like metaphors, similes, and even analogy.

Cause and Effect

The cause and effect relationship has been around for decades. Use this to establish a strong stand for your arguments, while also persuading your listeners to accept the whole idea.

Circumstance

The great thing about circumstance is that lets your audience determine what’s possible and impossible. Complement your argument with a realistic appeal by drawing facts and testimonies from reliable sources.

The rhetorical canon of invention offers a great framework for organizing your thoughts. If applied correctly, you’ll have fewer worries about delivering your speech with a more persuasive and effective lens.

Start your presentations right by mastering invention using the rhetorical way.

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References

Cicero’s Classical Canons of Rhetoric: Their Relevance and Importance to the Corporate Workplace.” Maryvican.worpress.com. April 23, 2008. Accessed April 29, 2015.
How to Organize Your Ideas with a Presentation Storyboard.” SlideGenius, Inc. September 1, 2014. Accessed April 29, 2015.
Improve Your Presentations with the Power of the Metaphor.” SlideGenius, Inc. November 17, 2014. Accessed April 29, 2015.
Newbold, Curtis. “How the 5 Rhetorical Canons (Invention, Arrangement, Style, Memory, and Delivery) Will Make You More Persuasive.” The Visual Communication Guy. April 6, 2015. Accessed April 29, 2015.
McKay, Brett & Kate. “Classical Rhetoric 101: The Five Canons of Rhetoric – Invention.” The Art of Manliness. January 26, 2011. Accessed April 29, 2015.

 

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Get Back in the Game: Regain Your Sales Presentation Skills

It’s challenging to get back on your feet after losing your touch. Failing to deliver is unacceptable when rejected sales pitches result in lost profits.

Humans are prone to mistakes and these happen with sales presentations, too. You might trip, lose your touch, and wonder how you even got there in the first place.

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While there’s no set timetable for recovery or a rock-solid formula to regaining your edge, there are three factors to assess if you want to get back in the game:

What defined your style?

Over time, presenters develop their own personal brand. These define you as a presenter.

Remember which presentation skills worked for you. Review your old PowerPoint sales presentations and identify what made them work.

Were your slide designs simplistic?

Did you share any relevant stories from personal experience? Did you connect to your audience with shared beliefs?

Find answers by looking at your past performances. Know your style, take notes on what you can improve on, and start practicing again.

How can you make yourself relevant?

Look at how successful brands sell their products through advertising.

According to Interbrand group chief executive, Chuck Brymer, effective branding techniques define what a business stands for.

Coke is a refreshing drink, Nike is for sporty go-getters, etc. They understand what their customers want and adjust their ads to stay relevant in the market.

As presenters, you also represent your company’s brand.

How you do your sales pitch reflects how your company does business with others, whether you speak professional or casually. You embody what your company stands for, so bank on those beliefs to re-establish a connection with your clients.

How can you rebuild credibility?

Successful companies stay that way is because they never compromise their core beliefs.

As cited in Jim Aitchison’s book, Cutting Edge Advertising, Avis consistently positioned its message as the number two brand for car rentals. This gave customers the impression of a hard-working company.

In order to stay relevant, companies continuously understand how their customers behave to pitch their products effectively. Take this same practice and apply them to your sales pitches. Remain consistent with what your company stands for and understand how these can relate with what your clients believe in. This builds up that relationship with promises and trust.

Regaining your edge shouldn’t be limited to these three factors. Keep practicing and trying out new ways to make yourself unique.

Focus on how you want your listeners to see you and what they’d miss if you quit.

To get that edge, call a presentation partner to help you out. All it takes is fifteen minutes.

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References

Aitchison, J. (2004). Cutting Edge Advertising: How to Create the World’s Best Print For Brands in the 21st Century. Singapore: Prentice Hall.
Brymer, Chuck. “WHAT MAKES BRANDS GREAT?Marketing Magazine. Accessed May 11, 2015.
Sales Presentation Skills: Stay Relevant to Pitch Ideas.” SlideGenius, Inc. May 11, 2015. Accessed May 15, 2015.