The 3 elements of a fascinating presentation
You’ve been doing the same old shows, year after year.
The same slide deck with the same cute cat clip art.
The same old brochures … the same old proposals …
You know it. I know.
What you may not know, however, is that while your presentation may not have changed, your results have.
Same presentation: diminishing returns.
No, putting a new cover on your brochure every year is not enough.
Nor does a new cat photo appear on slide three.
That is not an update!
The same material delivered in the same style will get average results … and average results will decrease actual annual returns throughout the year due to increased costs and increased competition.
Face it. You are in a rut. A very expensive routine.
Here’s how to get out of that presentation routine without feeling overwhelmed or spending a lot of money.
Why your presentation is failing you
The first reason why the same presentation above is failing you is yours.
You are boring. Most importantly, your audience may notice that you are bored.
When you give the same memorized presentation with the same support materials over and over again, it becomes routine. You are no longer thinking about what you are saying or paying attention to how your delivery is affecting your audience.
You are not involved in your presentation, so why should your audience be involved in it?
Think of that lullaby your mother used to sing to you when you were a child. Now sing it to your children as you put them to bed at night. It’s a cute lullaby. But it is also routine. When was the last time you paid attention to the words you were singing?
Repeating the same memorized presentation is like singing to the audience to sleep.
The second reason your presentation is failing you is because you are not keeping up with the changes your business is experiencing.
Change is the only constant in business. Since you created that presentation, your business has certainly changed. Maybe you have new offers, a new customer service team, or a new buying process. If those changes are not reflected in your presentations, you are missing a great opportunity to share what is new and exciting in your company.
And you’re also missing an opportunity to get your audience excited.
The third reason your presentation is failing you is because a predictable old presentation delivered by a listless speaker is a recipe for a stagnant performance.
A good presentation is dynamic. The hall, the stage and the audience influence the delivery.
A stagnant performance encourages the audience to tune out. It also makes your audience less likely to remember anything you say. In fact, people do not remember anything if they are not paying attention, and the average attention span of an adult is only five minutes.
There are three elements to correcting a flawed presentation and engaging your audience …
Element n. # 1: Conversation, and it only happens when prospects participate
A successful presentation is a conversation.
And the conversation only happens when the dialogue goes both ways.
Whether you’re giving a sales pitch to a buyer or presenting your quarterly business report to your organization, no presentation should be “shut up and listen to me speak for 30 minutes.”
Your audience should feel like they can step in and ask a question at any time. And you should feel like you can shift gears to accommodate those questions and give an excellent answer at any time.
Part of this comes from practicing dynamic speaking skills, which you can learn more about here. But you may be surprised to find that part of this also depends on your choice of support materials.
You are only a human being, and you can only remember up to a point. You will need to attend each presentation opportunity prepared with supporting materials, such as brochures, specification sheets, and discretionary slides. If someone in the audience asks you a question you can’t answer, stopping the presentation to go through a stack of papers or scroll through dozens of digital files will be an incredible distraction for everyone involved.
And sometimes saying “I’ll get in touch with you about that” isn’t enough.
So keep everyone on track and engaged by having your support material well organized and instantly accessible in a dedicated app. At Stun, we use Showcase Workshop for this.
Element n. # 2: Emotion: The Secret To Awaken Your Audience
The secret to an engaged audience is emotion. Yes, that means keeping the presentation dynamic and having your supporting materials easily accessible.
It also means rethinking your story for your current audience.
What’s new? Different? What is exciting in your world? How has your product changed lives? What do your quarterly results mean for the future of your organization?
These are the stories your audience wants to hear.
Element n. 3: Encourage dialogue: leave them wanting more
You now understand the need for conversation and enthusiasm to keep your audience engaged.
The third element of a presentation that doesn’t bore the audience is to encourage dialogue.
Don’t just prepare for the questions, encourage them. Tell the audience that you want them to ask questions. Don’t wait until the end for a formal question and answer session. No one will be awake for it.
And ask your own questions. Encourage two-way dialogue by asking your audience questions that trigger the answers you’re ready for, so that you can use those answers to smoothly move forward through your presentation.
The most important thing is to tell the right stories to elicit an emotional response from your audience.
If you’re telling the right stories, your audience’s response will be “me too!”
They will want to jump in with their own examples of why what you say is on target.
They will seek you out for more information because what you are saying resonates so deeply.
They will tell you why they need your solution.
Tell the right stories and your audience will be eager to hear more.
Do not worry. You are not just creating these stories. That is exactly what we do here at Stun Sells. We help you uncover your story and then build the highest quality digital sales assurance to drive that story forward. Hear how other companies have gotten better at their presentations with better stories.