We all know the required elements of an effective presentation. Unfortunately, in competitive sales situations, everyone likely will be effective. If you want to stand out with a presentation that knocks it out of the park, consider these three keys to a truly outstanding presentation:
#1 Know your role
Your role (presenter) = expert and narrator, focal point of the presentation
PPT Presentation = prop to support your message
Customer = focal point of your presentation content
Clearly define your role as presenter versus that of your presentation tools. PowerPoint and other visuals should be used to reinforce the insights you provide. Too often presenters allow PPT to become the sales presentation, providing only voice-over and thus casting themselves in a supporting role to their slides.
You must also understand the distinction in your role versus that of the customer. As the presenter, you are the focal point of the presentation, but the customer should be the focal point of your content – the star of the story you are telling. The most successful presentation is one in which the presenter holds the rapt attention of participants with their compelling insights and their plan for delivering benefits to the client organization.
#2 Natural, Knowledgeable is a Great Style
If you think a boasting, preachy style is the way to gain credibility and demonstrate your expertise, think again! Super star presenters have a style that is confident, but also relaxed, natural and conversational. The best way to look completely natural is to practice, practice, practice until your presentation is second nature. Most individuals don’t invest the time necessary to get to this point. Those who do are the presentation super stars we all envy.
#3 Make It a Sprint, Not a Marathon
A nearly universal flaw in presentations is time management – either running over the time allotted or trying to cram too much information/detail for the timeframe. Make your presentation a sprint – succinct, intense and impactful. Leave them wanting to hear more, not begging for mercy to end the pain.