Slidegenius, Inc.

Winning Your Audience Over: The Keys to an Influencing Pitch

One of the most difficult things a presenter does is instill certain beliefs or convince the audience that their product or service is the best choice.

SlideGenius Blog Module One

Get hundreds of PowerPoint slides for free.

Sign up for your free account today.

Sign Up now

Apart from this, whether you hire PowerPoint presentation design services or create it yourself, you have to make sure that whatever shows up on the screen coincides with what you’re saying. Flow is important, as it contributes to how easy it will be to understand your pitch.

Winning the audience over may not be an easy feat, but it is, however, doable. Here are factors that make an influencing pitch:

Give & Take: Reciprocity

When you are pitching a fresh idea to an investor, provide a sample because not only would this make your presentation more memorable, but it will also help them understand your pitch better. In a way, it instills a sense of indebtedness, increasing their chances of complying to your request.

Reciprocity is useful in the world of sales, as this helps establish trust between you and your prospects.

What the Public Says: Social Proof

What makes you decide whether to watch a movie or not? Or if you should try the new restaurant in town? Usually, people take to Google and search for reviews before they try something new.

Most of the time, these influence decision-making and this is proof you should use social media to win your audience over.

Testimonials from previous clients give you an edge, as these showcase unique experiences provided by your product. In a way, these help your clients make informed decisions.

The 3 Cs: Commitment, Consistency & Credibility

The hardest part during a sales pitch is getting your audience to say yes. Gaining their approval contributes to the success or failure of your presentation, which is where learning the art of persuasion comes in handy.

Once you get your audience to comply with small requests, it will be easier for you to make larger requests, as they will be more likely to be receptive of these. Given that these are similar in nature to the original inquiry.

This was proven in a study conducted in the 1980s, where the “foot-in-the-door” technique was used. Martin Sherman called residents in Indiana and inquired about hypothetically volunteering and spending three hours collecting for the American Cancer Society. His associates called the same people three days later and actually requested help for the ACS. Thirty-one percent of those who responded to the earlier request agreed to help and this number is much higher than the 4% of people who volunteered when approached directly.

Your confidence and the trustworthiness of the content you are presenting invoke authority, reflecting your expertise on the subject, hence, making you credible. This convinces the audience that you are the right person to discuss a certain topic.

Moving forward, your custom PowerPoint presentation should coincide with your speech and vice versa. Not only do these factors apply to your speech, but these should also resonate with your visual aid, that way, your audience will be able to follow the discussion with their eyes and ears.

SlideGenius Blog Module One

Download free PowerPoint templates now.

Get professionally designed PowerPoint slides weekly.

Sign Up Now

References:

Swanson, Elizabeth; Sherman, Martin & Sherman, Nancy. “Anxiety and the Foot-in-the-Door Technique.” The Journal of Social Psychology. June 30, 2010. doi.org/10.1080/00224545.1982.9922806

McLeod, Saul. “The Psychology of Compliance.” SimplyPsychology. 2014. www.simplypsychology.org/compliance.html

 

Get On the Public Speaking Treadmill: Shaping Up Your Speech

So you’ve polished your content to near-perfection. Now comes the tricky part – how do you sell your pitch? Delivery often serves as the presenter’s Achilles heel. Even the most experienced public speakers need practice every now and then.

Fortunately, public speaking skills can improve over time through proper training and determination. Speech training is available for professionals who want to develop their speaking skills.

But if you’re on a budget, here are three ways you can practice at home:

1. Explain Yourself

Put aside your big ideas for a second and focus on improving your thought process. Renowned speaker and professional public speaking coach Brian Tracy provides tips on how to reduce public speaking anxiety focusing on organizing your thoughts away from fear of rejection to positivity and achieving your goal.

Among the positive ways Tracy cited on his personal blog to overcoming the fear of facing a live audience is performing your speech in front of another person. It can be anything from the mechanics of your favorite game to the instructions for assembling a chair. Let yourself be comfortable talking about random things to other people. After all, you have to expound on your points in front of an audience eventually.

Start with someone you’re comfortable with, like a friend or a family member. This prepares you for those Q and A portions after your actual presentation. The important thing is that you’re successful in relating an idea to a person learning about it for the first time.

2. Practice Conversing

Before you get to the level of inspirational speaker, you have to get to know your audience first. One of the most intimate forms of speech communication is the art of conversation. In fact, sounding conversational during a presentation is highly encouraged. This tone eases any lingering tension between speaker and listener, and establishes a stronger connection between them.

It convinces people that while presenters are set on getting their message across, they are also interested in knowing the audience’s thoughts. In order to apply conversation in a large group, you have to master talking with others face to face.

You can start with small talk before moving to more abstract topics. Just make sure that you keep your companion engaged. Otherwise, you’ll end up boring them.

3. Record Your Speech

This is a technique often applied in professional speech training. Aside from getting feedback from others, getting feedback from yourself is important as well. Recording yourself, or watching recordings of your speeches is one way to observe any bad speech habits you may not notice when you’re talking.

Whenever you start feeling self-conscious in front of a camera, you can also watch yourself in the mirror. You can gauge how your facial expressions, body language, and movement appear to someone looking at you.

Once you’re aware of your behavior, you can work on correcting them. Of course, deeply ingrained habits aren’t things you can easily correct overnight, so practice is necessary.

Conclusion

Most public speaking techniques are based on fundamental human rules of interaction.  Connecting with other human beings is essential for your improvement as a presenter. Simple activities like explaining things and conversing with others can develop your skills further.

If you need any insight on your performance, you can record yourself or ask other people to watch you speak. This makes you aware of how you look as a speaker as well. A good speaker is one who constantly strives to be better. Practice consistently, mind your audience, and track your progress to grow into a respectable presenter.

Need a professional PowerPoint to accompany your presentation? Contact our SlideGenius experts today for a free quote!

 

References

“27 Useful Tips to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking | Brian Tracy.” Brian Tracys Blog. March 4, 2015. Accessed October 8, 2015. www.briantracy.com/blog/public-speaking/27-useful-tips-to-overcome-your-fear-of-public-speaking
“Better Public Speaking: Becoming a Confident, Compelling Speaker.” Mind Tools. Accessed January 5, 2016. https://www.mindtools.com/CommSkll/PublicSpeaking.htm

 

Featured Image: “Microphone” by Paul Hudson on flickr.com

Failure to Communicate: PowerPoint Verbal Crutches to Avoid

“What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.”

While PowerPoint presentations are more visually oriented, your words can still prove to be powerful. Wield them properly and you’ll win your audience.

Give into these well-worn crutches and you’ll hardly make an impression.

Enter the Jargon

Jargon is a type of language composed of words and phrases that can be very informal and restricted to a particular group of people. Many people make the mistake of using industry jargon whenever they deliver a presentation, thinking they will sound smarter and more “businessy.”  The problem, however, is that you risk alienating, or even irritating, your audience if they didn’t understand what you are talking about.

Instead of saying, ““In the past fiscal year, we’ve leveraged strategic thinking to maximize our savings and capitalize on double-ply bathroom tissue as a substitute for the singly-ply variant.” You can just say, “We saved money last year by using double-ply bathroom tissues instead of single-ply ones.” That isn’t so hard, is it?

Cliché of the Titans

Clichés are nothing but tired metaphors. They aren’t just products of laziness, they also stem from the presenter’s lack of respect for the audience. If you value the audience’s attention, you’d do better than spit out uninspired phrases.

For what it’s worth, avoid clichés like the plague. If you can’t think outside the box, then go the extra mile by tweaking the phrasing to make them less cliché sounding.

In addition to verbal clichés, you may also want to avoid “visual clichés.” Visual clichés don’t do anything to let your presentation stand out.

Such images are now so common that it’s likely your audience expects to see them on your slides. Subvert their expectation by showing something new or different. So instead of showing a handshake stock photo, think about using a picture of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson instead.

Terminal Verbosity

Instead of saying “meeting,” you say, “organizational strategic planning and assessment.” Because you believe that big, intimidating words make you sound important. You may be overly compensating for something but this will simply leave your audience with the impression that you are arrogant and pretentious. Besides, adding more to your words only diminishes clarity.

Mark Twain had said it better, “The more you explain it, the more I don’t understand it.”

The point of your presentation is to share information and be understood. Alienating your audience with these verbal crutches would defeat your purpose. Leave a great impression by bringing original thoughts and  elegant simplicity into your presentation.

Conclusion

When it comes to the boardroom, say what you have to say. Avoid padding it with too much rhetoric. You may use jargon in conversations with colleagues or when writing business letters.

But your presentation is not the place for them. Pausing just to explain specific terms can take up much of your presentation time. So why not use plain, understandable English instead?

 

Reference

Financial Buzz Words Terms.” Investopedia. Accessed June 12, 2014.