Here’s some news worth celebrating: The number of presenters tediously reading every slide and bullet point to their audience appears to be on the decline. But hold off on popping the champagne just yet. The pendulum is swinging dangerously towards the other extreme – presenters are ignoring their slides altogether. Here’s an example from a presentation I recently observed: On the screen in front of me a slide with a statement in 60 point Arial Bold all but screamed at me. Naturally I expected the salesperson to mention it. He did not. The next slide featured 5 bullet points. The salesperson brushed them all aside with a quick “you’ve expressed a number of goals in this area” before jumping to the next slide, a short quote. As I read the quote (I assumed that was what I was supposed to do), he started talking about something else. I’m not sure Read More
Set aside the violence, the snarky humor and the profanity in Deadpool 2, and look for this surprisingly compelling technique Deadpool uses to connect with the movie-going audience. Those comments the superhero directs straight to you – and not the other actors – is an acting technique called “Breaking the Fourth Wall.” And it can be used for great effect in presentations, meetings, speeches – any time you need to grab your audience’s attention. And you don’t even need super-powers to do it! Breaking the Fourth Wall with your Audience During a performance, an actor typically places an imaginary wall (the Fourth wall) between himself and the audience, going about his business on stage or on camera with the audience acting as passive observers. That distance is fine for drama, but it’s detrimental if you want to move your audience — your prospects — to take action at the end Read More
Delivering an Oscar-worthy performance is one-thing, but what about an Oscar-worthy presentation? Each year I hand out (not literally) awards for the Oscars Best and Worst Presentations in a variety of categories, along with some helpful tips for us less famous presenters. Here are my top awards from this year’s Academy Awards. See if you agree. The Oscars’ Best and Worst Presentation Awards from the 2018 Oscars Best Acceptance Speech (TIE) Frances McDormand, Best Actress Jordan Peele, Best Original Script If there was any doubt Frances McDormand’s speech was going to be standard fare, that was quickly dispelled with “I’ve got a few things to say” opening. McDormand was passionate and expressive in words, face, and body. Even so, she was able to channel her big personality and excitement enough to deliver a powerful message of change – along with specific instructions! While Jordan Peele’s style was certainly more contained Read More
What does your team remember from last year’s Sales Kickoff? The theme? The awards ceremony? That awkward moment when the VP of Marketing tripped walking toward the podium? What about all those great new selling tactics your sales team was introduced to? How many of those are actually being used 10 months later? Here’s a sobering fact you may have heard: 77% of what we learn within a week is forgotten. While the opportunity to bond and soak up company culture is important for a healthy sales organization, ultimately, you’re investing time and money in a Sales Kickoff with the goal of impacting the bottom line. You likely have speakers and breakout sessions lined up to arm your salespeople with new tools and tactics. Which 23% would you like them to remember? If you want to get greater ROI out of your Sales Kickoff, you need to make sure your Read More
Robert Downey Jr.s’ got it. So does Emma Stone. Orlando Bloom? Not so much. What is “it?” Presence. If you’re alive and taking up space, you have presence, too. It’s simply a matter of degree. Do you have enough presence to command the attention of one, two or twenty people? For how long? Ten seconds? Twenty minutes? Two hours? Presence is not just an important quality for actors. It is a critical component in sales where your success depends on engaging and motivating others. So can sales be developed? It’s helpful to know what presence is. Here’s a definition: The state or fact of being present (don’t you love it when the dictionary defines a word with the root of the word itself?) An impressive quality, personal appearance or bearing An invisible spirit felt to be nearby When the dictionary struggles to pin it down, you know it’s hard to Read More
Long buying cycles and increasingly complex sales mean most of today’s presentation or demonstration ends don’t end in a signed contract. But they do ensure the sales process moves forward – IF – the buyer can remember them!
In this audio you’ll learn how to make sure that your message is remembered after you walk out the door – and not confused with that of your competition? You need to make your presentation sticky.
What comes to mind when you think of the word “status?” Many people (myself included) tend to think of Facebook labels: single, married, none of your business… But status can also mean how we perceive ourselves in relation to others. This often unconscious perception is proven to have a profound effect on the quality of our relationships, the way people respond to us and the amount of influence we are able to wield. In other words, status effects your relationships with prospects and in turn, whether you’re successful in sales. How status effects your relationships The way you feel about yourself in relation to a prospect is expressed both nonverbally and verbally. Your posture, the way you move, the amount of eye contact you make – together these things convey status subconsciously to your prospect before you ever open your mouth. High status people stand up taller, their eye contact Read More
You voted with your mouse on what sales issues mattered to you this year, so in case you missed them or want to re-read, here are your favorite Top 10 Sales Blog Posts from 2016! P.S. Be sure and read to the end of this post for an opportunity to jump start your sales success in 2017. 10 Quick Tips for a Winning Sales Presentation: You have to think differently today to keep busy audiences engaged. Here are 10 quick tips to start you on your way! 2. 5 Must Know Tips for Presenting with your i-Pad or Tablet: i-Pads and tablets came on the scene so quickly, most salespeople haven’t learned any best practices for using them in a presentation! Fill that knowledge gap here. 3. 5 Reasons to Tell a Story in your Sales Presentation: Stories can be very effective in sales if you tell them for the right Read More
You probably don’t consider what you sell to be a commodity, but the truth is, if your prospect can’t clearly distinguish why he should pay more for your product or service than the competitor’s, you may as well be selling water or pork bellies. Most sales people recognize the need to have a tailored and specific value proposition in a presentation or demo given today’s competitive environment, however they often falter when it comes to delivering that value proposition, missing key opportunities to highlight and reinforce it. Many times the value proposition isn’t even mentioned until the closing, which is way too late (read this article and find out why). Value deserves special attention in several sections of your presentation. Following are 3 ways to highlight your value proposition in a presentation or demo: Your Opening: Your value proposition should make an early appearance in your presentation. It’s more important Read More