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Newsletter

September 2012

 
Vol 6  Issue 4    

Welcome

What does Autumn mean to you?

  • The holidays are over
  • The kids are back at school
  • There only 3 months before Christmas
  • Every one is back at work
  • It is the prime time for conferences, seminars and presentations
     

The next three months provides your best opportunity for talking to your prospective customers.

 

My question is "Are all you team ready, willing and able to make the most of this opportunity?"

 

Do they know how to influence your prospects with their presentations? Do they know how to build rapport and wow their audiences?

 

For technology companies are your pre-sales teams ready to give effective demonstrations which target the needs of your individual prospects, showing them a vision of what their future could be? 

 

The A to Z articles this month is:
F for The Function of a Presentation


My daily Twitter tips, or twips are still going, follow me, @youngmarkets on Twitter and I'll follow you back.

Follow me on Twitter

Yours sincerely,

Graham Young
+44 1276 502257

Presentation TrainingPresentation Skills 

 

There are three main barriers to giving a good presentation.

  • Knowing what to say and how to say it
  • Having the confidence to say it
  • Having visual aids which reinforce what you are saying
     

That's all there is to it!

 

If you need some assistance in working out what to say and the structure of your presentations, I can help.

 

If you feel nervous about giving a presentation and need a confidence boost, I can help.

 

If you would like to create some effective visual aids rather than textual notes on what you are talking about, I can help.

 

Book a place on one of my Effective Business Presentation Courses which are running near you this Autumn.

 

Demonstration WorkshopDemonstration Skills

 

Do your pre-sales guys keep turning out the same old canned demo, regardless of the prospects needs? A demo which shows them how the technology works?

Wouldn't it be better to demonstrate what your technology could do for this individual prospects business? To create a vision of a more efficient, more effective, more profitable business that is possible through the use of your technology.

My Effective Demonstration Workshops show pre-sales consultants and system engineers exactly how to demonstrate your technology for maximum effect. Shortening the sales cycle and actively helping your sales force to close deals.

 

Both my Effective Business Presentation skills courses and my Effective Demonstration course cost 375 (+VAT) per delegate with a 10% discount for multiple bookings. They are being run in a town/city near you this autumn, see below for dates and locations or check out my web site for more details.

 

Upcoming Courses

My presentation skills courses are being run on the following dates and locations:

Effective Business Presentations:

 

Effective Demonstrations:

 

 

For more information or to book, click on your preferred location above. 

 

Go on schedule a day in your diary now, and I'll change your presentations and demonstrations for ever. 

 

Alternatively please file this newsletter with your training information so you have the dates to hand when you do need them.

Google+1  Google+1 button

 

As you may be aware Google has added yet another way in which Web sites can climb up the results pages from searches. Akin to a "LIKE" on Facebook or Linkedin the Google+1 icon enables people to like a particular page on the net.

 

If you have been on one of my courses, or you are just a nice friendly person, please could you do me a favour and click on the Google+1 button at the top of this article, this will take you to my website, then click on the Google+1 button above the main menu.

 

It should only take a couple of seconds and should help my website appear further up the page when people are searching for presentation skills training on Google.

 

If you would like me to reciprocate just let me know, drop me an email at graham@youngmarkets.co.uk.

 

Thanks very much.

 

 

The A to Z of Effective Presentations

F is for The Function of a Presentation

 

In this article we get back to the basic question of "Why do you give a presentation?" and "What function does it perform?"

  

I believe that there are only three basic functions of a presentation and every presentation is a mixture of these three basic types.

  

The 3 Possible Functions

  

The three functions of a presentation are:

  • To entertain - as in an after dinner speech, or a best man's speech
  • To educate and inform - as in a training session or lecture
  • To influence - as in a sales or business presentation

 

Entertaining

These three styles are cumulative. We start at the base level of entertaining your audience, this level is fundamental to every presentation. If you do not entertain your audience, if you do not make it interesting for them to listen, you are unlikely to achieve anything with your presentation.

  

Educating

As we move up the chain, presentations that have the primary purpose of education and informing your audience are all about telling people things they didn't already know. For this type of presentation to succeed the two most important aspects are:

  • Knowing what your audience already know
  • Keeping your audience entertained and interested

Without a good handle on what your audience already know you may end up teaching them to suck eggs or skip over important foundations for the understanding of further learning. Reeling of a list of dry facts is never likely to maintain the interest of your audience. So to educate you must also entertain.

  

Influencing

The next and highest level of presentation is one which attempts to influence the audience. To get them to change the way they think about a particular topic or to encourage them to take a particular action. Invariably this type of presentation includes some educational elements as well as the persuasive parts and of course still needs to keep the audience entertained.

  

The three most important parts of this type of presentation are:

  • Knowing what your audience already know
  • Keeping your audience entertained and interested
  • Having a clear objective of what you want your audience to do

 

Business Presentations

In business, the vast majority of presentations set out to educate people, about the company and its products and services or about the status of a particular project. However I believe that a business presentation should invariable do more then just educate people. It should set out to influence people into taking a particular course of action, to adopting a particular way of thinking or buying into a particular solution.

 

Internal presentations at work are probably the most susceptible to this misapprehension of their purpose. Many people give internal presentations on the basis that they are just to let their colleagues know what is going on, what they have done recently and what their plans are for the future.

 

The key question here is to ask "Why do they want/need to know this stuff?" quickly followed by "What to you want these colleagues to think or do differently after the presentation?"

 

If the answer to the second question is "Nothing" I would question the whole rational for giving a presentation. If you don't want/need then to think or do something differently from what they would have done without the presentation then why bother going to all the time and trouble of creating it and giving it, just send them the information in an email.

  

On the other hand if you do want them to do something, this becomes the objective for your presentation.

  

The Objective

Having a clearly defined, timely and measurable objective is very important. At the start of your presentation preparation you need to decide exactly what you want your audience to do after they have heard your presentation.

 

The more clearly defined this action is the better. As you probably know all objectives should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely).

Now for a sales presentation you may have an objective of the audience buying your product or service. This is certainly specific, measurable, attainable and relevant but unfortunately for most business to business sales it is not timely. Typical sales cycles may be 3 months or longer, so by the time you have made or lost the sale you will have forgotten all about the presentation you gave at the outset and certainly will not relate it to the objective.

 

A good objective is one which defines a measurable action which should occur shortly after the presentation has finished. For a sales presentation this may be one which moves the prospect on to the next stage in your sales cycle. For instance, adopting a pilot project or getting the prospects to write down three ways in which they could benefit from your solution. If they do not have an immediate demand for your services you may have an objective of getting them to put your number in their mobile, for when they do.

 

For a project update presentation, think about what support you may need, from your audience, for the next part of the project, explain why and then at the end ask them for it. Alternatively, the sole objective may be to ensure that they know the project is in capable hands.

 

For many conference style presentations, where the overall objective is to generate awareness of your company, solutions and knowledge, you may decide to have a objective of creating an interest in what you are talking about. A good way to measure such interest is by the number of questions you are asked after the presentation. You may formulate an objective of "I want x people to come up to me afterwards to ask questions and discuss some aspect of my presentation".

 

Having established your objective you can now set about creating a presentation which will encourage your audience to meet and satisfy that objective. Start by asking yourself, "What do I need to do/say, to get this audience to meet my objective?"

 

As you prepare the presentation, ask the question for each section of the presentation "Does this help people to meet my objective?", if the answer is "No", take it out.

 

Call to Action

Finally, at the end of your presentation, tell your audience explicitly how to meet your objective. After all this is the whole purpose of your presentation and if you don't tell them how to do it, they probably won't.

 

This "call to action" should be the very last thing you say, before you sit down. If you are expecting a question and answer session after your presentation then keep it for after that. Have the Q&A and then state how they can meet your objective.

 

You don't need to tell people what your objective is, just how to meet it.

 

 

This is the second time through the alphabet for me, you can see the previous entries on the A to Z of Presenting blog
 
More new tips under the letter "G" in the next newsletter.
 

    Improve Your Presentations

    I hope you have found this newsletter useful and interesting. You can learn a lot more about how to structure and give an Effective Business Presentation, by:

    • Attending a Young Markets Effective Presentations Skills training course
    • Reading my ebook "The A to Z of Effective Business Presentations" which you can download from my website today.
    • Taking my on-line course which is just one of the many sales related training modules at www.salestrainingonline.com
    • Reading my blog
    • Following me on Twitter
    • Check out the Young Markets channel at www.youtube.com/youngmarkets

    Please feel free to forward this on to your friends and colleagues. If you have received this second hand and would like your own personal copy of future issues, please click here.

 


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