Making an Effective Presentation

The lavish presentation appeals to me, and I’ve got to convince the others.
Freddie Mercury

As you design your presentation, start by assuming that everyone who has qualified as a prospect wants to buy and buy now. This may eventually prove to be incorrect, but assume it anyway. Many people who are on the “edge” will make the decision to buy without your having to make a great deal of extra effort simply because you are so confident they want what you have to offer and today is the day they should buy.

Getting the Audience Involved in the Action
The more senses you can bring into play during the presentation, the better your chances of making a sale. Use sight, sound, feel, smell—anything you can to get prospects involved in your presentation.

Using Questions for Involvement
Questions can be an important part of your presentation by getting the prospects involved with your points. Prospects can’t just sit back and pretend to listen when you ask them questions. And often, even if they wanted to remain detached, good questions will “hook” them into considering your proposition more seriously. Open-ended questions—questions that can’t be answered yes or no—are best. Ask questions that get them talking about things that relate to features or benefits of your product or service.

The Points You Need to Cover
Many people think that giving a great presentation requires a gift of gab or a certain type of personality. Not so. There are many ways to give a winning presentation, the best of which is to write a script and practice it until you can deliver a legendary performance. A good presentation script will read a lot like a good direct mail letter. It will be full of features and benefits. While features are more objective, your emphasis should be on the benefits. There are usually more benefits than you think, and many of them are several levels deep.

List the features of your product or service that you want to cover in your presentation. Here is a good example from a country club to give you an idea of things you might include:

• history
• regional points of interest (for recent movers)
• types of members
• social activities
• the clubhouse
• the course(s)
• tournaments
• other facilities like tennis or swimming pool
• membership costs and financing programs

Now list the benefits that come from your features. (You may skip many features and go straight to benefits in your presentation.)

• family recreation and togetherness
• safe place for the kids
• relaxation
• new friends
• more social life
• exercise
• business contacts
• status
• meeting the “right” type of people
• a place to take customers
• money saved on vacations and entertainment

Simply spell out each benefit you want to convey on index cards or post it notes on your laptop and you have your basic presentation. Organize the cards from top to bottom with the lead benefits first (these may change depending on the prospect). Add a few testimonials from happy customers and you’re well on your way to a great presentation. Time to start practicing.

Script your presentation just like a great movie. Develop the perfect script and the perfect delivery.

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