Making effective and impactful sales presentations can make or break an opportunity with a client or prospect. When the stakes are high, and the competition for the business is heated, preparing and planning the key elements of your presentation is essential. If you want to consistently deliver high-impact presentations and put yourself in the best position to win more business, consider these three keys to making sure your message is delivered the way you intend.

Know Your Role

Clearly define your role as presenter versus that of your presentation tools. PowerPoint and other visuals should support the insights you provide, not tell your story. Too often, presenters allow their PowerPoint 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 of 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 grabs the attention of participants with their compelling insights and their plan for delivering benefits to the client organization.

Natural, Knowledgeable is a Great Style

If you think a forced, preachy style is the way to gain credibility and demonstrate your expertise, think again. Outstanding presenters typically 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 do not invest the time necessary to get to this point. Those who do are the presentation superstars we all envy.

Manage Your Time with a Functional Process

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.  

Not sure how to do this? The Presentation Diamond, taught in Carew’s Dimensions of Professional Selling® workshop, is a functional process to make sure your presentations are organized, customer-focused, and provide maximum impact in a timely manner. Having a working model to help you plan your presentation will allow you to effectively start presentations, stay on track, involve your customer, and ensure you ask for the business.

It’s important to note that any sales presentation will fall flat if you don’t thoroughly understand your client’s desired outcomes and overall needs before presenting solution(s). If you do the leg work before you present and follow the three tips above, you are well on your way to becoming a superior presenter.