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Presentation and Pitch Tips

Making the most of your presentation and pitch opportunity

If you have a presentation coming up you will want to make the most of the opportunity that it offers.

So here are some tips to help you deliver an engaging, confident, knowledgeable and competent presentation that will win you business.

Big Start

Next time you attend an event with multiple presenters check how many of those speakers start with an apology, usually something about their voice, the cold they have just been struck down with etc… and then check how many make a tottering start by rambling on about nothing in particular or decide its a good idea to tell a joke or those who spend the first minute or so of their presentation checking everyone can hear them and working out the clicker works.

If you want to deliver a really good engaging presentation then don’t do any of the above!

Instead go straight in with a dramatic, bold statement or image that will immediately get the attention of your audience – “Did you know 64% of people living in this city don’t ….”

Your Promise

After the big start immediately follow up with your promise which is essentially what you are going to deliver to the audience during your presentation and why they should be interested in giving it and you their full attention.

“Ladies and Gentlemen over the next 15 minutes I’m going to show you three ways in which you can attract more customers to your business”.

Keep slides and words on slides to a minimum

I feel like I’m now on some sort of personal crusade to encourage all presenters to be ruthless editors when it comes to the use of slides. I just can’t see the point of filling a slide with words, words that most people in the audience may not be able to read because they are too far away from the screen.

If they can read the words they will do so rather than listening or looking at you.

And there is a temptation for you as the presenter to also start reading the words!

Slides should be seen as a prompt for your audience not a script for yourself.

Every slide and every image and every word on those slides has to earn its right to be part of your presentation. Be ruthless. If a word or image or slide is not needed  then drop it from the presentation.

If you are going to use slides my advice is start each slide with one word on it and then add more words if you really need to. This neatly leads me into my next tip:

Look at your audience

Try wherever possible to keep your eyes on your audience and not on the screen. Many presenters have a this natural tendency to keep looking at the screen even though their slide hasn’t changed and then they end up talking to the screen and not the audience. Eye contact with your audience will help you engage with them. What’s the point of you engaging with the screen!

Use your best presenter

If your presentation is a pitch to win business then you need to use the best presenter at your disposal. Usually that will be someone from within your company, but it might not be the person with the highest ranking job title.

More than one of you presenting

If your presentation involves more than one presenter then it’s really important that you have a clear understanding as to who is doing what, otherwise you can give the audience the impression that you are not a particularly organised company and that your people don’t work together very well.

My advice is that if you have two people on the presentation that one of them focuses on the introduction, the opening, the summary and handling the questions whilst the other person delivers the core messages and the detailed content within those messages.

If you have three people involved in the presentation I would stick to the same structure as above but share the key messages between two of the presenters.

And finally regardless of how experienced you are as a presenter or how easy you think it will be to deliver the presentation or win the pitch you need to set aside plenty of time for Preparation and Practice

When I work with individuals and companies helping them deliver really great presentations I bang on about just how important Preparation and Practice are.

So much so that they top and tail my 8P’s of presenting model which covers:

Preparation, Purpose, People, Promise, Plan, PowerPoint, Performance, Practice.

If you would like to enhance the presentation skills or you or your company in readiness for your presentations and pitches in 2018 I would be delighted to help.

Call me on 07785 390717 or email me via trevor@trevorleemedia.co.uk

How to avoid delivering a boring presentation

‘Death by Powerpoint’!

We’ve all experienced it!

So how can you avoid delivering a boring presentation?

Here are some thoughts and ideas:

Immediately engage your audience

Your audience will be making a decision within the first 30 seconds of your presentation as to whether they think you are worth paying attention to so you need a dynamic and exciting start.

So why do many presenters start by fiddling around with the clicker, making excuses for their voice, trying to crack a joke, checking if everyone can hear them or mumbling along about nothing in particular?

Launch straight in with a bold statement, a thought provoking observation, prop or image. Use your voice and body language to create a positive, audience engaging environment right from the start.

Slides are boring

Or at least having too many can be. Do you actually need slides? If you do then be a ruthless editor and ensure each slide earns its place in your presentation.

Words on slides are really boring

Why oh why do so many presenters feel it necessary to fill their slides with so many words? As an audience member I don’t want your script on screen, I want the odd word that reminds or prompts me as to what you are talking about. So start with one word per slide and add others only if necessary.

Do you really need a slide template?

Bigger companies and organisations seem to deem it necessary to have a slide ‘template’ which usually means their logo, name and some fancy colour scheme or subtle (or not so subtle ) background on every single slide!

It’s as though they are paranoid that between slides you as an member of the audience will completely forget who they are!

Templates make slides look identical to each other – and guess what – constant repetition is boring!

So ditch the templates and be creative!

Put on a show

Like it or not a presentation is a performance. You want to be memorable. Your audience may not remember all or even most of the detail of your presentation but you do want them to remember you.

I do a presentation called ‘5 top sales tips’ – I don’t use slides instead I use an old suitcase full of props to illustrate the 5 tips. It’s amazing how many people mention the suitcase long after the presentation. How many people remember your presentations?

Use Props

Ditching the slides or supporting them with props will make you more memorable – and a presentation with props is rarely boring!

Use your best presenter

Many presentations are executed by senior people within an organisation. Rarely are they the best presenters often because the higher their seniority the less inclined they feel the need to prepare and practice.

Your best experts or most senior people are not always your best presenters. If you were the CEO or Chairperson of a football club you wouldn’t take a crucial penalty would you? Of course not. It would be taken by the club’s best penalty taker. So find out who the best presenter in your company or organisation is and let them do the presentation.

Don’t use A4 notes

Presenters who turn up with A4 notes send out one of two messages : ‘I haven’t prepared for this so I need a script’ – ‘I don’t know anything about this so I need a script.’

There is a often a link between the size and length of notes and boring presentations. Generally speaking the more notes the speaker has the more boring the presentation. I would recommend a couple of postcards for your prompt words.

Make it fun

If the first reaction of your audience is ‘Oh no not another PowerPoint presentation’ then aim to make your presentation an enjoyable experience for everyone. Too many presentations are too serious in both their content and delivery.

Prepare well and Practice

Good preparation and some practice will make you feel more confident when delivering. That confidence in itself will make you more engaging and thus reduce the opportunity to be seen as boring.

If you need help preparing and delivering engaging presentations that get results please give me, Trevor Lee, a call on 07785 390717 or email me via trevor@trevorleemedia.co.uk.

Things I have learnt during 5 years in business

Monday September 18th marked the start of my sixth year in business so I thought I would share some of the things that I’ve learnt during the first five years.

Hang on in there:

After the initial surge of work from a mix of people I knew and my previous company my ‘order book’ came to a grinding halt. In the second quarter of my business existence (Jan-Mar 2013) turnover was a big fat £0! It would have been very easy to jack it all in at that point. On May 1st 2013 my first regular client came on board (still with me) and I was up and running.

Get Known :

If you operate in the business to business sector as I do then networking, speaking, sharing advice and expertise (through email marketing, social media and getting published) are all great ways to get known and to meet people.

What do you do: It is the question most asked when you go networking. It took me a long time to work out what I ought to be saying. Think of it as a ‘Twitter Pitch’ – i.e describe what you do in 140 characters or 15-20 words.

Linked In: I was on Linked In 5 years ago but had no idea how to use it. I’ve listened to and read articles by Linked In experts and it has transformed the way I use and benefit from it.

Keep Learning: After a 29 year B to B career, most of which was in management I thought I knew everything. How wrong I was!  In the last 2 years I’ve read more business books and articles , sat in on more webinars and listened to more podcasts than ever before. You need to constantly keep learning.

Staying ahead of your Customers: You can add value to your customer relationship simply by being aware of and on top of the latest trends and developments both in business in general and your customer’s particular sector. It requires a lot of time but its well worth it.

Mix and work with like minded people: Easy to say this, not so easy to make happen.  I’ve been very lucky that all the businesses I work with are on an upward growth curve. Life is very exciting when that is happening.

Enjoy what you are doing: It does rub off. I love what I do and I suspect people enjoy working with me.

Be fluid with your offering: The services I listed on my very first business card have since been improved, expanded or dropped. None of them are the same as they were back then. I have learnt to adapt my offering to suit customers needs and market trends.

Be relentless with your own marketing: I remember listening to someone who said that as a start-up business you need to spend 20% of your time marketing your business. I took that onboard and still today aim to keep that up through writing articles such as this, networking, speaking, Linked In, attending events, and coming up soon my own podcast!!

Don’t try and do everything: I had the good fortune a few years ago to spend some time at the Ashridge Business School. I remember three pieces of top advice:

Get Real : about the market and business you are in

Get Connected : with those who can make a difference – contacts, customers, etc…

Get Help : you can’t do it all on your own.

‘Get Help’ I implemented from day one by engaging an accountant and a web designer. I’ve since added an email marketing company and I seek advice wherever and from whomever I can get it.

It is about People: 

Ultimately the biggest lesson I’ve learnt is that regardless of the digital age that we live in people still buy from people. I have little doubt that most of the people who have engaged my services have done so because there exists between us a good ‘people connection’.

Don’t forget to say thank you:

A simple ‘thank you for your business – it is much appreciated’ can be a really powerful way of maintaining customers and growing their spend.

So a very big thank you to the numerous people who have given me the opportunity to work with them over the last 5 years. Your business is very much appreciated.

And now its time to crack on with the next 5 years……..

Business learnings from Mo Farah’s 10,000m win

If like me you were glued to your screen for 27 minutes on Friday night as Sir Mo Farah produced what the experts have subsequently described as his greatest ever 10000m major championship win you would no doubt have been enthralled by the tactical battle and the ultimate determination to win.

The race itself and subsequent analysis from the trackside experts Steve Cram and Brendan Foster spurred me to think about what as business owners and managers we could learn from Mo’s triumph. So here are a few thoughts and ideas which I hope you will find useful:

Preparation

Cram and Foster made mention several times of the meticulous preparation Mo undertook, not only the quantity and quality of his training – note the fast 400m runs – but also the focus on race tactics including those of his competitors desperate to try and find a way of beating him. In business preparation is a vital component of success particularly when we are looking to win new business, or grow the spend of an existing client whilst being aware of what our competitors are up to and how they might react to whatever we do.

Patience

For much of the race Mo was happy to sit towards the back allowing those in the front to dictate the tactics and pace.

In business we often don’t have enough patience – we just want to ‘get the deal done’. Sometimes taking our time to build a relationship with a potential customer can prove to be the most lucrative medium / long term approach. As the prolific American business podcaster Brian Burns says ‘It is best to go slowly to a Yes than be racing to a No’

Presence

There were times during the race when Mo suddenly put on a spurt and pushed himself right to the front. According to Foster and Cram this was to remind those at the front of the race that he was around, that he was in good shape, and that their tactics to try and see him off weren’t working. In business we need presence (usually in the form of personal contact or marketing messages) to remind our existing customers of the great things we do, and to ensure potential customers are aware of us and the benefits they will enjoy by working with us.

People

On the first lap Mo was urging the crowd to get behind him knowing that their support could be the vital extra ingredient he would need on that final lap when he was going for gold. The crowd’s response was tremendous. And as soon as he crossed the line he was seeking out his family and others who had supported and encouraged him throughout his incredible journey. In business we need people to help us succeed whether they be members of our team, our family or the people we turn to when we need advice and support. Successful people usually have a great team behind them. Let’s make sure we recognise and acknowledge our teams.

Problems

Remember that moment on the last lap when Mo stumbled into the kerb and for one horrible split-second it looked as though he might fall over? Fortunately he recovered brilliantly as he had done on three previous occasions during the race when he accidentally got tangled up and could easily have fallen over. Mo dealt with those problems and didn’t allow them to prevent him from achieving his goal. In business there is rarely a smooth passage to success and those that are successful are often the ones who are best at handling the problems and issues that they face and not allowing those problems to distract them from the pursuit of their end goal.

Persistence

When Mo Farah won double Olympic gold in 2012 it was an amazing achievement. But winners like Mo don’t sit on their victories but persist in their pursuit of greater success. Being persistent in business is not always easy as you have to constantly maintain your energy, drive and enthusiasm but like with Mo being persistent will bring its rewards.

6 everyday marketing opportunities that are easily overlooked

It’s easy when it comes to marketing to focus on the big stuff – the advertising campaigns, the updated website, the new 32 page brochure etc and forget to keep an eye on the things that cost very little in time and money.

So here are 6 things to keep an eye on:

  1. Your voicemail message. What does your voicemail message say and how long does it take to kick in? I left a message for someone recently who’s message said they would be back in the office on February 12th. Likewise I rang a potential supplier and it must have taken 15 rings before the messaging service kicked in. Most people would have hung up by then.
  1. Your email signature. We all have them on all devices. What does your say? I imagine on your desktop it’s packed full of logos and on your mobile it might say ‘Sent from my iPhone’. Email signatures ought to be consistent across all devices – and be up to date and relevant so check yours on every device you email from.
  1. Social Media. You are on social media but is your profile up to date? If someone sends me a Linked In connection and they have no photo and very little information about themselves it makes me think they are not that interested in Linked In. There connection invite feels a bit like a random cold call. Make the most of social media by staying up to date, adding content, sharing your expertise and personalising connection invitations.
  1. Clean your Van. Our roads are full of branded vehicles. What does a clean, smart looking vehicle say about your business? Invest in a sponge! Top tip – one of my business associates runs a fleet of vans and every time he goes to a business event he aims to arrive first and park his clean, branded van in the parking spot closest to the event entrance so all delegates have to walk past it. Great marketing!
  1. Always carry a business card. You never know who you might meet or have a conversation with, so always carry a business card 24/7. Make sure your card reflects you and your business. Better to print 100 really good looking cards than 500 cheap looking ones.
  1. Keep your website up to date. Ideally you should be running a website which has a content management system you can easily manage yourself, particularly the simple things like adding ‘news’ items, keeping any dated events up to date etc.. Google also likes active websites so making regular tweaks can help your search engine ranking.

The key ultimately to marketing success is having the right message reach the right people at the right time.

A regular quarterly marketing review will help save you time and money by identifying marketing activities that are working / not working and as such those that need either eliminating or reducing and those that need starting or increasing.

If you need help kick starting this I can facilitate your first quarterly review and on the back of it I’ll create for you, if you haven’t already got one, a simple 4-5 page marketing plan.

I’ll also come back six weeks after the review to see how you’re doing and help you prepare for the next review which you should be able to do for yourself.

To book your Marketing Review and Plan and take the first steps to ensuring you are making the most of your marketing simply call me, Trevor Lee, on 07785 390717 or email me via trevor@trevorleemedia.co.uk

Are you making the right first impression?

It is reckoned that 70% of customer decisions about the purchasing of products or services are made before any direct contact is made either in person, on the phone, or by email with the company the potential customer is looking to purchase from.

Which means by the time they make that first contact with you there’s a good chance they’ve already decided that yours is the product or service they want to purchase and essentially they are seeking confirmation that they made the right choice in selecting your company to buy from.

So when that call, visit, email or direct message comes in you need to ensure that the first impression the potential customer receives is delivered in such a way that it confirms to them in their own mind that yours is definitely the company they want to buy from.

So if I’ve decided yours is the company I want to buy from and I phone you up and you don’t answer your phone or you don’t answer it in the way I was expecting you to answer it then there is a good chance I’ll change my mind and go elsewhere. And if that happens you may never know just how close you were to acquiring a new customer.

Which means all the time and money that you invested in your marketing activity to attract that customer in the first place is wasted, simply because the first impression you gave when it really mattered fell short.

So the fact that you didn’t answer the phone, or you didn’t answer it very well, or you didn’t return a voicemail very quickly, or the greeting that was given when someone arrived at your premises wasn’t very good, or you were slow to acknowledge and respond to the email or direct message that you received has cost you a customer, wasted your marketing investment and potentially cost you other customers as no doubt that person  will tell others ‘I was going to buy from company X but the way they handled my initial enquiry was very poor so I didn’t go there and I would recommend that you don’t either’.

So how do you ensure this doesn’t happen to your company?

It’s very simple. Assume every time the phone rings or someone you don’t recognise walks into your premises, or you receive an email or direct message from someone making an enquiry, that the person contacting you is someone who is ready to buy.

If you and all the people in your organisation adopt that attitude it could make a huge difference to the number of new customers that you end up dealing with.

And because customers can be great marketeers on your behalf, telling their connections, contacts, friends etc… how great your company was in providing the product or service that they were after, a new customer is a valuable asset. Word of mouth marketing remains one of, if not the best, form of marketing.

It is well known that it costs seven times as much time and money to attract a new customer as it does to retain an existing one, so you can clearly see how important it is not to mess up when the opportunity of a new customer arises.

So here’s a quick checklist to try and help you ensure you don’t miss an opportunity to create a great first impression and secure a new customer:

  1. Create a culture within your organisation that when the phone rings it is assumed it is a new customer who is ready to spend money with you.
  2. Make sure that attitude is not just conveyed to the sales team but everyone in the organisation, and in particular those people who take the initial call.
  3. Make sure that if someone leaves a voicemail you return it as quickly as you can.
  4. Ensure that email enquiries are dealt with within a couple of hours of them arriving in the inbox.
  5. If someone walks in the door of your business make sure they receive some sort of immediate welcoming greeting, and if everyone is fully occupied with other customers at the time you can still make eye contact, smile, and offer a brief verbal greeting.
  6. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer. How would you like to be treated and greeted?
  7. And finally consider some mystery shopping. It’s a great way of gaining feedback on how your company is dealing with that first contact.

First impressions and the customer experience are fast becoming the most important aspects of both attracting and retaining customers. No matter how great your marketing activity is if potential customers receive a poor customer experience that creates a bad first impression then your business will be wasting opportunities to grow revenues.

First impressions and the customer experience is something that all businesses should continually review and seek to enhance.

If you need help kickstarting an enhancement to your customer experience activity then please get in touch with me, Trevor Lee, on 07785 390717 or email me via trevor@trevorleemedia.co.uk.

Is your marketing keeping up with your customers?

One of the challenges for all companies, regardless of size, is trying to ensure their marketing keeps up with customers.

The world is ever changing and so are the buying decision making processes and marketing response patterns of individuals, groups and businesses.

Small to medium sized businesses, regardless of their in-house marketing resource, will find a quarterly review which challenges all current marketing activity really useful. To help you here are some of the questions to ask at that review :

1. Who right now are your potential customers? – i.e who are you trying to reach with your marketing messages and how has that changed in say the last 12 months?

2. Where are you currently investing your marketing money and are you confident that these places are the still the right ones to reach your potential customers? – it is very easy to continue on doing the same old marketing using the same old mediums.

3. What is your current marketing message? Is it the right one for your company today and will potential customers understand it?

4. Are your marketing messages consistent across all the mediums you use? – including website, social, email marketing, advertising, printed materials, signage etc…

The key ultimately to marketing success is having the right message reach the right people at the right time.

A regular quarterly marketing review will help save you time and money by identifying marketing activities that are working / not working and as such those that need either eliminating or reducing and those that need starting or increasing.

If you need help kick starting this I can facilitate your first quarterly review and on the back of it I’ll create for you, if you haven’t got one, a simple 4-5 page marketing plan.

I’ll also come back six weeks after the review to see how you’re doing and help you prepare for the next review which you should be able to do for yourself.

To book your Marketing Review and Plan and take the first steps to ensuring your marketing is keeping up with your customers simply call me, Trevor Lee, on 07785 390717 or email me via trevor@trevorleemedia.co.uk

Can regional media sell more local advertising?

Advertising revenues are the core income stream for local newspapers, whether those ads appear in the print or online version of the newspaper.

But times are tough.

Hardly a week goes by without a newspaper group or company reporting significant declines in advertising revenues, especially in print.

And it’s a competitive world. There seems no end to those keen to secure advertising spend from local businesses whether it be highly targeted magazines, leaflets, sponsorship, digital screens, commercial and community radio, poster sites, cinema, transport, and of course the ad platforms run by the digital giants : Google ad words, Facebook ads, Instagram and Twitter ads etc…

For the local business who doesn’t have an advertising expert it can be a daunting experience being bombarded with calls and emails from would be ad sellers, many of whom have a ‘fantastic offer’ that is ‘just right for their business’.

So how can ‘traditional’ regional media companies differentiate themselves from all other players and re-establish themselves as the turn to place for local advertisers?

Here’s six ideas:

1. Be the local advertising experts

Most local businesses don’t have any in-house advertising expertise. They often buy advertising on the back of five criteria:

1History – they’ve always used a particular advertising vehicle.

2Awareness – are they familiar with the advertising medium being offered?

3Personality – do they like the sales person?

4Price – does it sound like a good deal?

5Ease of Purchase – how easy is it to buy the ad?

Being seen as the local advertising experts and sharing that expertise with potential and current customers could be hugely beneficial. There is work to be done though.

How many regional media advertising sales people understand all of their competitor offerings, are comfortable talking about advertising generally, and sketching out ideas for current and potential advertising customers?

2. Focus on relationships not transactions 

In the business to business sector relationships play a really important part in the decision-making and long-term purchasing process.

If people like you, and then trust you, you’ve got a very good chance that they will buy from you.

What tends to happen though in my experience of being sold advertising is that the person trying to sell me the advertising is more often than not focused entirely on achieving a sale there and then of a single ad rather than trying to build some sort of ongoing relationship.

Most of the calls I get go like this:

•This is who I am

•This is my publication

•I saw your ad in a different publication

•We got lots of readers who would be interested in seeing your ad

•We’ve got a great offer on a space the same size as your ad in our publication next week

•Do you want to take it? – we could lift the ad – I need to know today

As sales coach Brian Burns would say what is happening here is that the salesperson is ‘racing to a no rather than going slowly to a yes’

Advertising sales people need to ask high-value questions, they need to be good listeners rather than non-stop talkers and they need to develop relationships.

3. Make it easy to buy advertising 

The businesses regional media are targeting are often put off by the thought of the time it’s going to take to organise the advertising.

It’s easier for them not to advertise than to advertise, even if the advertising that they are being offered is likely to be of real benefit to them.

The most straightforward way of making it easy for people to buy advertising is visuals.

Three ideas presented or emailed with some personalisation will attract the interest of the potential advertiser. Few people won’t look at ideas.

Why three ideas? It means the business can make their own decision as to which one would be best for their business. If you only offer one idea it’s much easier for the customer to say no.

How many local regional media websites carry advice and tips on how to make the most of your advertising spend or send out personalised mail-shots to customers offering advertising ideas or organise advertising seminars?

I’ve yet to find one.

4. Change the offering

I think most local newspapers have far too complicated advertising price and size structures.

As a potential advertiser how do I decide whether I need a10x3, 7×4, 6×2, 10×1, 5×3, etc… How about running with no more than nine ad sizes – three small ones, three medium-sized and three large ones – it’s back to the three alternatives – ‘You just want a small ad – that’s great – we have three for you to choose from’ – and then after a few small ads use a couple of new ideas to seek an upset to a medium sized ad.

The same applies to prices. Why do local newspapers still charge more for certain sections of the paper? All that says to me as a buyer is either some sections aren’t worth advertising in or some are vastly overpriced.

Here’s a thought – what would happen to the job ad sections if the job rate was the lowest in the paper?

5. Think ‘Customer’ not ‘Advertiser’

If I buy furniture I’m a customer not a sofa buyer, if I stay in a hotel I’m a guest not a room occupier, if I hire a lawyer I’m a client not a hirer, so why if I buy an ad am I still called an advertiser not a customer?

And my point is?

Everyone who hands over money for advertising needs to be treated as someone special not someone who has just bought some space. Customers need to be cherished and feel valued and not just by the ad sales team but by everyone in the regional media organisation.

6. Don’t employ ad sales people

Instead employ highly skilled marketeers and creatives who between them will provide highly targeted communication to existing and potential customers, create inbound leads and provide stunning advertising ideas that local businesses will love.

A touch radical? Maybe but something needs to happen if regional newspapers are to start selling more ads.

Presentation coming up? Make sure you know the equipment!

First rule of using equipment when presenting?

Check it beforehand – and ideally not on the day – so you know what you’re working with in terms of screens, projectors, laptops, clickers, microphones etc…

I was at an event recently with about 130 others.

The screen was pretty large but even so it was not one that was easily seen by most of the room. The speaker then suddenly discovered to her horror that not only was the glorious sunshine affecting the screen but the words on the slides weren’t visible.

It was clearly one of those cases where they looked great on her laptop but obviously didn’t work on the big screen in a sun filled room. Credit to her that she carried on irrespective that no one could see her slides but it did become a wasted opportunity.

Watch out also for overhead projectors.  

At one event I attended earlier in the year the main speaker managed to continually stand in a position so that the light beam was hitting him on top of his head and therefore not only reflecting his shadow on the screen but also lighting up his head! He had no idea this was going on. Check where the beam will be and thus where not to stand!

If there is a microphone available then use it. Most people who think they don’t need a mic actually do.

Check in advance how your slides will move forward. You don’t want to be fiddling around with the clicker when you are supposed to be delivering an attention grabbing opening.

In terms of low tech kit I always have a few postcard size notes with me with just a few headings on just in case I lose my place when I’m presenting.

They provide a confidence boosting safety net and and also give me something to hold in one of my hands. I was at the event recently where the no doubt highly paid guest speaker decided to go noteless but his backup was a series of A4 size scribbled sheets. He lost his place a few times towards the end of his presentation and he kept looking down onto a table and flicking through his A4 notes to try and find where he was. It wasn’t very impressive.

Similarly I witnessed someone who started off with postcard sized notes in their hand but then halfway through for some reason put them on a table at the side. What had started as a really good engaging presentation suddenly became very disorganised as she lost eye contact with the audience in trying to read the notes over her shoulder.

Finally if you are going to use slides don’t fill every last square inch on the screen with either a word or logo or some branding etc.. One of the common problems with presentations is that the presenters insist on filling the screen with tons of words or complex diagrams or lots of images on the same slide.

Inevitably presenters then spend most of their time looking at the screen and pretty much reading what is on it. Minimise the content on the slides – it will be much more impactful.

Remember the screen is there is a prompt for your audience not a script for yourself. 

Of course the best way to not have to worry about equipment is to ditch the slides. More on that in my next blog.

Thanks for reading and please feel free to share.

 

5 top tips to help you gain sales

If you are in business you are sales, simply because without sales you have no revenue and no revenue means no business. To help you achieve more revenues here are 5 top sales tips:

1. Wetsuit or T-Shirt – how easy is it to buy your products or services?

Is it as easy as putting on a t-shirt or is it as tricky as trying to get into a wetsuit?’  To discover if you are a t-shirt or a wetsuit company try buying from your own company via all the channels your products or services are available.  You may be surprised by how many ‘barriers’ there are that will potentially prevent people buying from you. In an era where ‘selling’ is increasingly about making it easy for people to buy you need to identify those barriers quickly and find ways to remove them.

2. Be seen as an expert

If you are recognised as an expert in your field you will attract more enquiries. Promote and share your expertise through articles, posts, newsletters, video, speaking and networking.

3. Be ready to respond

It is reckoned that around 70% of buying decisions are made before any direct contact is had with the potential supplier. If your phone rings or an email arrives or you receive a direct message via social media or someone walks in through the door you need to be ready to respond quickly.

We live in a world of high expectations and that includes speed of response. Make sure you respond quickly to all inquiries – even if that means a holding response ‘Sorry I can’t take your call / answer your email but I will get back to you….’ Other top tips : Check how long your phone rings for before it jumps to your voicemail and check what your voicemail message is as well as your ‘out of office’ email message.

4. Offer Alternatives

If your proposal to a potential customer has only one option it’s very easy for them to say no to it. And where does that leave you? On the basis that your potential customers prefer to buy rather than be sold to offer them more than one option when presenting your proposal. Three alternatives offers a choice and significantly increases your chance of gaining an order. The three can be similar but with variations which could be based on a number of factors including quantities, timings, price levels, level of back up service, etc…    Try it – it does work.

5.  Know when to press the Mute button

The vast majority of us like buying but we don’t like been sold to. Therefore salespeople who just talk are the ones we are likely to be put off by. Today’s best salespeople ask really good questions, listen to the answers and then steer the customer towards the product or service best suited to their particular needs, via three alternatives within their proposal.

And then they know to press the Mute button.

They know when to shut up!

Most ‘salespeople’ find it hard not to speak and have an uncontrollable desire once a silence occurs to break it. Don’t do it!

Interrupting is also a sales preventer. Let the buyer do the talking. Then ask for the order. Then don’t speak!. Give the buyer time to think and respond. It’s not easy to do (being on mute) but it will be worth it.

Need some sales energy and momentum?

If your sales effort or sales team needs re-energising please get in touch with me, Trevor Lee, on 07785 390717 or email me via trevor@trevorleemedia.co.uk.

I will create sales momentum for your company through my highly interactive ‘Sell More’ workshops, as well as through speaking at or being involved with your sales meetings or business conferences.