In order to grab and hold your prospects’ attention and get buy-in into the vision you are presenting for them with your sales presentation, you must inhabit your sales stage – whether it’s a an actual stage or a corner of a business office — with the complete conviction and confidence of a great performer. How do you do that day after day, prospect after prospect? You can learn to deliver an effective and compelling sales presentation each time by following these tips from performers on taking command of the sales stage:
Tip #1: Banish self-consciousness.
Self-consciousness often results in distracting movement that pulls the audience out of the performance. Doing some sales warm-up exercises will help to loosen up and channel some of that nervous energy into a positive force. ( Download your free warm-up here.) In addition, focusing on your purpose—to communicate your message in a way that affects your customer’s thoughts, attitudes and/or behavior—will help relieve some of that self-consciousness and make your delivery much more impactful.
Tip #2: “The reason for walking is destination!”
There’s no rule that says you have to stand in one place to deliver a business presentation but neither do you want to wander aimlessly around the stage. Don’t gesture just to gesture or walk just because you’ve been standing in one spot too long. Make sure when you move it is intentional and connected to a purposeful thought or action, i.e., walking to the whiteboard in order to write down a key point or moving toward your prospects to acknowledge their response. Although there’s no need to pre-plan your every move, you still need to know why you are moving and where you are going.
Tip #3: Keep Smalking.
“Smalking” = Smiling While Talking
Sure, much of your message may be serious, but a presentation delivered by the grim reaper can be pretty wearing. Find places to smile when you’re speaking. Delivering a benefit? Solving a problem? Smiling while talking, is an engaging, learned skill and highly contagious. Practice it in other areas of your life so it comes naturally in your presentation.
Tip #4: Do-Re-Mi your vocal pitch.
Think of your voice as floating on a scale. Are you using only middle C? A good place to change pitch is when you want to emphasize a word or make a point. “Imagine if you could save five hundred dollars every year just by flipping this switch!” Your words come alive when you vary your pitch and tone. Tips for vocal improvement here.
Tip #5: Break it up into 7-minute stretches
Studies show that the average attention of an adult fades after 10 minutes. Performers don’t wait until their audiences’ attention is at its lowest – why would you? Try one of these ABC’s every 7 minutes during your presentation to shake things up and re-engage them. It’ll reenergize you as well!
- A) Amuse with an anecedote.
- B) Bring out a prop.
- C) Challenge with a question.
With these same techniques actors use to command the stage, now you can present with greater confidence and impact — and start winning more business!