The Story About Presentations
Presenting to a potential client? If you’re looking to win new business, get your story straight. While you may feel you’ve already ‘got it in the bag’…be prepared for picky buyers and selective decision makers.
In today’s economy, you must be on your toes in presenting. Appearing unprepared, presenting on the fly, and improvising is extremely risky. Rather than risk losing potential business, take a moment to review your presentation.
If you notice any of these glaring holes…fix them. Fast. Before you present to your prospect or client.
If you are presenting to a lot of clients in a short period of time, you have a lot of different presentations. The temptation is great to cobble together a bit of this and a bit of that.
Don’t do it! Cobbling together different presentations always shows. And it’s not the kind of impression you want to make!
2. Stock photos
There’s nothing that screams ‘unprepared’ as loudly as a stock photo with a big “X” across it. If you’re using photos, make sure they are specific and appropriate. Avoid using stock images.
(If your prospect has seen a lot of presentations…they’ll recognize the frequently used images from other pitches. This devalues your presentation before you ever speak.)
3. Proprietary Data
People are very sensitive about proprietary data and intellectual capital leaks. If you’re sharing information from another client, guess what your prospect is thinking? Most likely, “If they do that for them…they could do it with my data.”
This is definitely not the message you want to send.
In addition, if you stop your presentation because it contains proprietary data from another client…you also signal that you are unprepared. This isn’t too appealing either.
4. Mismatched Numbers
Call me picky. But if you have raced through preparing your presentation, you may have pulled data together from different sources. This often shows up in the numbering before bullet points.
If all the items on your list are labeled “1” it signals that details are not your strong suit and you did not prepare effectively.
5. Mushy Metaphors
If you’re casting about looking for different metaphors, what happens to your audience? More often than not…they get confused. Confused audiences are less likely to understand your message and make a decision.
Mushy metaphors are often the telltale sign of the first point: cobbling together different presentations.
6. Too Much For Time Slot
Sometimes presenters attempt to pack in loads of information into a tiny time slot. Sound familiar? It should. It is one of the most commonly occurring problems in presenting.
The best way to plan your time slot is to rehearse. Organize your ideas in chunks. Be ready and willing to remove one chunk or more, based on delivery. View your content in modular bits, so that you can select or delete based on time and audience input.
Are you getting ready for a big presentation? Take the extra moments to review your story and plan for success. With a tiny effort, you’ll build a radically better presentation for your clients and prospects.