- October 6, 2016
- 0 Comments
You’ve been making the same old presentations, year after year.
Same slide deck with the same cute cat clip-art.
Same old brochures… same old proposals…
You know it. I know it.
What you might not know, however, is that while your presentation may not have changed, your results sure have.
Same presentation – diminishing returns.
No, putting a new cover on your brochure every year doesn’t cut it.
Nor does a new cat pic on slide three.
That is not a refresh!
The same material delivered in the same style will garner average results … and average results diminish your actual returns year over year due to rising costs and increasing competition.
Face it. You’re in a rut. A very costly rut.
Here’s how to snap out of that presentation rut without getting overwhelmed or breaking the bank.
Why your presentation Is failing you
The first reason why your same old presentation is failing you is all on you.
You’re bored. Most importantly, your audience can tell you’re bored.
When you give the same memorized presentation with the same supporting materials time after time, it becomes rote. You’re no longer thinking about what you’re saying, or paying attention to how your delivery is affecting your audience.
You’re not engaged in your presentation – so why should your audience be engaged in it?
Think about that lullaby your mum sang to you when you were a kid. Now you sing it to your kids as you put them to bed at night. It’s a nice lullaby. But it’s also a routine. When was the last time you actually paid attention to the words you were singing?
Repeating the same memorized presentation is like singing your audience to sleep.
The second reason your presentation is failing you is because it’s not keeping up with the changes your company is going through.
Change is the only constant in business. Since you created that presentation, your business has certainly changed. Maybe you have new offerings, or a new customer service team, or a new purchasing process. If those changes aren’t reflected in your presentations, you’re missing a huge opportunity to share what’s new and exciting at your company.
And you’re missing the opportunity to get your audience excited about it, too.
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 room, the stage and the audience all affect the delivery.
A stagnant performance encourages the audience to tune out. It also makes it less likely that your audience will remember anything you say. In fact, people recall nothing if they’re not paying attention, and the average adult attention span is only five minutes.
There are three elements to fixing a failing presentation and engaging your audience…
Element #1: Conversation – and It Only Happens When Prospects Participate
A successful presentation is a conversation.
And 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 talk for 30 minutes.”
Your audience should feel like they can jump in and ask a question at any point. And you should feel like you can shift gears to accommodate those questions and give a great response at any point.
Part of this comes from practicing dynamic speaking skills – which you can learn more about here. But you may be surprised to discover that part of this also falls to your choice in supporting materials.
You’re only human, and you can only remember so much. You’ll need to come to every presentation opportunity prepared with supporting materials, such as brochures, spec sheets and discretionary slides. If someone in the audience asks you a question you can’t answer off the top of your head, stopping the presentation to shuffle through a stack of paperwork or scroll through dozens of digital files will be incredibly distracting for everyone involved.
And sometimes saying “I’ll get back to you on that” just won’t cut it.
So keep everyone on track and engaged by having your supporting material well-organized an instantly accessible in a dedicated app. At Stun, we use Showcase Workshop for this.
Element #2: Excitement – the Secret to Waking Up Your Audience
The secret to an engaged audience is excitement. 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’s exciting in your world? How has your product changed lives? What do your quarterly results mean for your organization’s future?
These are the stories your audience wants to hear.
Element #3: Encouraging Dialogue – Leave ‘Em Wanting More
Now you understand the need for conversation and excitement to keep your audience engaged.
The third element to a presentation that doesn’t bore the socks off of your audience is to encourage dialogue.
Don’t just prepare for questions – encourage them. Tell the audience you want them to ask questions. Don’t wait until the end for a formal Q&A. No one will be awake for that.
And ask questions of your own. Foster two-way dialogue by asking the audience questions that trigger responses you’re ready for, so you can use those responses to move seamlessly forward in the presentation.
Most importantly, 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’ll want to jump in with their own examples of why what you’re saying is on-target.
They’ll pursue you for more information because what you’re saying is resonating so deeply.
They’ll tell you why they need your solution.
Tell the right stories and your audience will be anxious to hear more.
Don’t worry. You’re not on your own creating these stories. That’s exactly what we do here at Stun Sells. We help you uncover your story, and then construct the highest quality digital sales collateral to power that story. Hear how other companies have gotten better results from their presentations with better stories.