A three-part mini-series on generating sales through smart technology and stunning presentations – featuring Greg Ellis from Creative Sales Agency Stun, specilaists in winning presentations.
PART 1: Harnessing that story and ‘wow factor’ to impress and convince potential customers.
Are you guilty of overstuffing presentations? Putting so much content on screen that there’s little the presenter can add?
“Remember it’s not the presentation that people will deal with later on, it’s the salesperson,” says Stun’s Greg Ellis. “They need to have rapport with their client; to make the connection and seem capable and knowledgeable – not the presentation.
“Slides act as headings to break up the flow of talk and introduce new points – not deliver everything.”
Lots of slides don’t necessarily make a presentation boring either, he adds.
“Plenty of well-crafted slides rich in images but containing only carefully chosen, minimal text are very effective. Keeping things moving through lots of quick slides gives an impression of movement, purpose and excitement.”
People experiment with ways of delivering presentations, but Ellis believes that can be counter-productive if the technology behind them is not bullet-proof and well understood by those involved in its preparation.
A story is vital to any presentation – one with a beginning, middle and end, and emotionally hooks people in. But don’t just talk about product features and benefits – talk about how your product helped an overworked business achieve its sales goals. It’s far more compelling, says Ellis – as is using images that evoke an emotional response.
The story must involve real characters too – people with an obstacle to overcome.
“Even a quarterly financial report can have a story attached to it.
At Stun we help clients draw out the story.”
Once the story is there, Ellis says it needs to be supported with great visuals to help signpost key points and create that emotional connection.
The last part of the puzzle is in the telling. You don’t have to be a great public speaker but you do need to know the subject and the story.
There are simple tricks people can use to help with delivery too.
“We can help with all of these aspects – from crafting the story, right through to design and preparing presenters,” says Ellis.
Attention spans decline quickly after 20 minutes – so maximise your time.
Ask yourself ‘what is it the audience needs to hear from me?’
Often supporting statistics, graphs and charts aren’t those things, explain Ellis. “There are other ways to deliver those later.
“Coco Chanel said “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” Same thing goes for presentations, although you could extend that to three or four things!”
Jargon has no place in presentations either. The courage to leave space is vital too.
Leave space on the screen (white space and uncluttered slides); space in the schedule (20 minutes remember); and space in the delivery (asking the audience to think about, or discuss, something – or showing a video).
Video is a great way to summarise key points or introduce external points of view – but keep videos relevant, consistent with current branding, and short, says Ellis – “no more than 90 seconds or you’re in danger of losing that personal connection”.
Engaging video can also reignite attention – and if short and sharp it will help overcome the 20-minute attention lag.
STUN can be found at: www.stun.co.nz