Master Your Message Blog

The Biggest Challenge in Persuasive Presentations

MH1633I delivered a workshop on the weekend that was about crafting a persuasive message for video—more specifically, a short, sales-related, direct appeal on camera. The participants were working through the first two steps in the process and having a challenging time.


Because we’re not often fixated on our audience and their pain. But, for video, you have to be. In fact, for any persuasive presentation, you have to be. But video … it’s critical.

That’s because you have to talk through the camera to that person. And, if you don’t have a really good image in your mind of who that person is, you won’t be personal enough; you won’t connect with your eyes; you won’t be passionate; you won’t be persuasive.

You have to know your audience. You have to understand their pain.

The top advertisers know their audience … right down to how much they make, how many kids they have, what kind of car they drive … I’m not kidding—it’s that specific.

On top of that you have to know what’s bugging them … where’s the pain?

I worked with a company a few years back that called me because they were losing bids. They were continually coming in second for large multi-million dollar engineering projects.

It didn’t take long to figure out why: Their presentation was all about them and the project and not about the client’s pain. We fixed that and they won the next project.

So … do whatever you can to figure out who your client is and what they’re concerned about. Fixate on their concerns and find ways of countering them.

I kid you not—this is the biggest challenge in persuasive presentations. Overcome it and you win … consistently.

Got any great example of how you won a big contract by focussing your prospective client? I’m all ears … and eyes …

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