I met leading presentations and sales speaker Anne Miller at the 2nd Annual Sales Shebang in Minneapolis this week. While I recommended her 67 Tips for Presenting Like a Pro, I really didn’t say much about it. After an airport delay I had the pleasure of reading all 67 tips and will give an example of two that really struck home:
#5: Be inclusive rather than exclusive. Say “In our discussion (or meeting, or conversation) this morning, we will be covering…” instead of “In my presentation” “My” puts the spotlight on you, increases your anxiety, and turns you into an unnatural, stiff “I will now become a boring business person” presenter. It also puts the audience in a passive mood. The inclusive pronoun “our” together with the substitute word of your choice for “presentation” connects you and the audience together and sets the stage for a more dynamic experience for everyone.
#67 Debrief your presentation. Improve your performance the way sports and performing artists do: look at a replay of your game/show. Use the checklist in the booklet to evaluate even more most successful presentations to continuously improve your own presentation game.
Presenting to bring a sales opportunity to closure is a critical step. Be prepared and be educated on ways to improve. Get some feedback from your colleagues, peers, or from a mentor. Practice ahead of time – and hone your skills to get the business.
Get Ann Miller’s book Metaphorically Selling