It’s 2pm and you’re next on stage at a one day seminar aimed at small business owners. There’s over 200 delegates and they’ve had a great morning’s learning and a nice lunch and opportunity to network. How do you walk on stage and grab their attention before they slowly nod off?
There’s no worse time for anyone to be presenting at any seminar – straight after lunch. Why should they come back into the main auditorium anyway and listen to you? What’s so interesting and relevant to them that they should stop talking to that really interesting business owner they met over lunch?
This is it folks – it’s crunch time and all that work you’ve put into preparing your presentation is about to pay off. Or is it? Are you about to start preaching to them or selling them something they don’t really want or at least they don’t want yet? Are you going to literally turn them off at a stroke because you’ve got too many slides with too much information on them? Is your presentation just like all the others that you see and hear when you’re in the audience?
If you want to be remembered by the delegates, you’ve got to be different – and by different I don’t mean wacky or bizarre! I mean that your whole approach has to be different.
Top Tip Number 1 – Create a buzz about your presentation beforehand.
Have someone hand out leaflets to delegates telling them they simply can’t miss the next presentation and that it’s going to be highly relevant to growing their businesses or developing themselves. Tell them that there’s a great offer for them for free or for half price or whatever – just get them in there.
Create a Twitter #hashtag for your talk and tweet about it for weeks beforehand to delegates. Get the organisers to publicise it too in their pre-seminar marketing.
Just get people talking about it so that when they sit down to listen, they want to see what all the fuss is about. That means that you’ve got to deliver then of course… so
Top Top Number 2 – Tell a story about yourself and others rather than opening promoting your product or service
You’ve been asked to present because you have something relevant and interesting to say to the delegates, but unless you are really good at what you do, the best way to engage with your audience to to open up and tell them a story as part of your presentation. People buy from people they like and know and the best way to help people get to know you is to tell them about yourself.
I’m not talking here about the establishment of your credibility bit – your ‘marketing piece’ about why they should listen to you or buy from you. I’m talking here about what makes you tick – what your motivation is in business – why you work so many hours – who or what is special to you – perhaps even a story about why you went into business. If you inspire people with what you say – people will buy from you. If you just promote your product – most people will be turned off.
Top Top Number 3 – Don’t be afraid to tell it how it is – you’re not there to be liked by everyone
If you try to get everyone to like you – your presentation will be ‘middle of the road’, bland and potentially boring. You’re not there to be liked. You’re there to be thought-provoking, relevant, alternative perhaps, but never bland. Now there’s a difference between being rude and thought-provoking, but having the guts to stand up and say what you know is right even if it might offend some people is definitely the right thing to do.
If you know that being overweight for example is medically proven to increase the chances of cancer, diabetes, heart attacks, strokes and a whole host of other diseases, why would you hide this fact just because half your audience is overweight? You might ‘offend’ them but you might also get through to them.
If you know that most businesses fail because their owners don’t do enough of the right things, then say so – it’s absolutely true by the way!
Don’t pretend things are easy – most things require hard work and a plan and plenty of effort.
Top Tip Number 4 – Use video, pictures and images instead of words in any slides you use
Slides that replicate what you are saying are unnecessary and desperately boring. Videos, images and photos that are relevant to your talk keep the audience engaged and interested.
Keep the number of slides short and sweet even to the point of getting rid of them if you are engaging enough without them.
Top Tip Number 5 – Offer value in advance
If you want to establish credibility, offer your audience something of value to them for free – perhaps by getting them to text you before the end of the day in return for a free ebook or a free product. Anyone who does gets a free report or ebook or something that is useful to them is far more likely to buy from you.
Top Tip Number 6 – Don’t try and sell your ‘BIG’ product on stage
These days, not many people will spend £100s buying something from you unless they’ve checked you out first – perhaps by buying something cheaper and seeing what it’s like. If they like it – then you can always upsell to them later. Make a sale to get a customer and sell to that customer forever if you deliver great value and service. A customer is worth 20 times what he or she may pay for the first product they buy from you so don’t push them into a corner and insist they buy the ‘biggie’ first. Offer them something on stage that is relevant, useful and with a great deal attached to it. If they like it – they’ll come back for more – assuming you follow up of course! You will be following up won’t you?