Master Your Message Blog

ask for the order

The closing is second most important part of your persuasive presentation. I say that because if you don’t have a great opening, you will have lost them by the closing and so your closing won’t matter.

It would probably be helpful here to review the opening of your persuasive presentation:

  • Start with the situation, opportunity, or problem.
  • Then describe your credentials – what makes you the ideal one to provide the solution.
  • After that, your proposed solution.
  • Finally, state the agenda. In other words, tell your audience what you intend to present in support of your solution.

For the closing, the structure is almost a mirror image of the opening.

First step is to restate the SITUATION, opportunity or problem – the reason you Read More …

This past week, I attended a “pitch” competition called “The Doghouse” at the Global Petroleum Show, in Calgary. It was for start-up companies to try their pitches in front of potential investors.

Five different companies on two consecutive days pitched their product or service to five potential investors. They were each evaluated and one winner was picked from each group. But here’s the kicker—each presentation could only be three minutes in length. They really had to have their acts together!

It was gratifying for me to see that the ones that followed the “tried and true” persuasive presentation structure won. They had done their homework and had specifically targeted their presentations to that particular investor audience. The others—not so much.

As I’ve helped take a number of well-known Canadian companies public (some of them are listed here), I sat in the audience, taking notes. I sent a short evaluation to each of the presenters afterwards by email to let them know what I thought they had done well and what they might do to improve their message. Read More …

presentation-small-webHere are the remaining four keys to getting what you want. Use them every time you present and be more successful!

3. Be crystal clear when you ask for what you want—what does success look like? 

I really learned this lesson as speaker/trainer for National Seminars (the largest public seminar company in the US). As part of the program, we would offer pertinent resources (books, DVDs, etc) that participants could buy as a reduced rate during the session.

I’m a huge proponent of reading and owning lots of book so that you have good, solid, well-researched information on hand when you need it. The other concern, of course is that as soon as participants in the seminar leave the room, all but the key points Read More …

presentation-small-webThere are a number of reasons presenters get frustrated with their results. The most common is not getting the response they want. They spend hours putting together all the pertinent information, support it all with gorgeous visuals, work on their performance, and get what seems to be an energetic, positive response from the audience.

But … “no cigar,”as they say. They don’t win the project, make the sale, or get the action they want at the end of their talk.

It could be the structure of without a doubt, the most important part of the presentation—the closing (or “asking for the order”). If you don’t get this right, it really doesn’t matter how the other 98% of your presentation went!

So, let’s take a look Read More …

Cost of an ineffective presentationHere’s a fact that I often marvel over—the staggering cost of ineffective business presentations.

I’m not talking about external sales presentations where we can fairly easily figure out the cost in lost business (these numbers can be even more heart-stopping than what I’m going to talk about here). I’m talking about internal presentations—presentations that are delivered by middle or senior managers to others within the same company.

The cost is often overlooked.

But, before I get to an example, let’s just attempt to define what we mean by “ineffective.” I’m including persuasive presentations that don’t result in immediate action of any type or do not meet their intended objective. I can tell you through experience that probably 40% of presentations in an organization don’t have Read More …

At a talk I gave last week on presentation structure (it was a little more exciting than it sounds!), I got asked a fabulous question during a break by one of the students in the audience.

She was preparing a presentation to a government body and wanted them to take action on an issue regarding immigration policies. She wanted them to change their policies — that was it. That was the intended action she was going to ask for.

Imagine if you were asked to change something you were doing that infringed on someone else’s rights, or was simply a workplace improvement. If you were left to try to figure out an appropriate action, you likely wouldn’t move forward with any great amount of gusto. Read More …