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Balance: The Key to More Persuasive Presentations

As sales professionals orbusiness executives, most of us make presentations to introduce or promote our organizations. When we ask people about this component of their day-to-day work life, most say they would like their presentations to have greater persuasive impact. Here's a simple tool that will help...

The best sales presentations contain the right mix of information flow and interactivity, and are uniquely balanced to best fit audience interests, needs and priorities.

However, while this approach might seem straightforward, people on the listening end frequently report a high percentage of presentations are woefully out of balance. Some are weighted down with too many facts and figures, while others lack supporting examples or testimonials; most are too long and contain few, if any, questions; and far too many conclude without a call to action or consequential next step.

Assuming sufficient preparation and effective delivery that is, appropriate levels of enthusiasm, eye contact and tone variation the ideal selling presentation, regardless of length, should contain a strategic balance of seven key ingredients:

  1. Statement of purpose or clear objectives
  2. Information: features, facts and data (properly researched)
  3. Benefits: how the information will solve audience problems, satisfy needs or improve situations
  4. Supporting documentation: examples, stories and testimonials
  5. Interactivity: questions to engage listeners and to confirm their understanding and buy-in
  6. Summary: a concise reminder of objectives and identification of conclusions
  7. Call-to-action: the specific next steps we would like our audience to take. It's not a selling presentation if it doesn't include a close!

Whether making an "elevator pitch" or a formal presentation, we will be significantly more persuasive and will most assuredly enjoy greater success if these seven elements are incorporated into our delivery.

Balancing Worksheet
If you'd like to measure the degree to which your presentations are balanced, you might use the worksheet below. While the best mix of "ingredients" will vary depending upon the audience and circumstances, approximate guidelines are shown on a percentage basis.

Goals or

Objectives

5%

Facts

20-25%

Audience

Benefits

20-25%

Examples

20%

Questions

15-20%

Summary

5-10%

Call to Action

5%


Download full-size worksheet

The easiest evaluation method is to record a presentation and, while listening to the recording afterward, enter a check mark into the appropriate column on the worksheet each time a fact or benefit is stated, a story or example related, a question asked, and so on. Alternatively, or as a quality check, a trusted colleague or friend can be invited to listen to a presentation (or ride along on a real sales call!) and make notes on the worksheet while doing so.

Either way, the objective is to increase awareness of the actual degree to which current presentations are balancedPsychology Articles, and to continually improve delivery and communication skills so it becomes natural to incorporate all of the elements into every selling presentation.

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


As President of Paul Charles & Associates, Paul Donehue consults with business owners and senior level managers to help establish and implement the most effective sales, business development and sales management strategies. He regularly conducts training and coaching programs, and has spoken at many corporate and association events.



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