Master Your Message Blog

objective

Features and benefits – two key elements of any sales course. After all, understanding them and the differences between them is part of the foundation of making a sale.

If you want to be persuasive, benefits have to be at the core of your presentation – the tastier the better. Let me explain:

If you’re like me, you learned earlier on that …

features are what a product has; benefits are what it does.

But sometimes, what you think are benefits aren’t. They’re often not personal enough. They’re not compelling.
To REALLY sell, your benefits have to be specific. They have to give your audience a specific gain . . . one they can personally feel, or imagine.

Benefits have to personally and emotionally affect Read More …

Virtually every presentation has to persuade someone of something.

Now you might argue that point by saying that some presentations are informational. That may be true. But there’s usually a desire on the part of the presenter to persuade the audience that the information is important, or that they should do something with that information after the talk is complete.

Setting up a persuasive presentation is actually relatively easy. You want to make sure your audience knows why you’re all assembled there – usually there’s a problem or opportunity. It’s your job as the presenter to state what it is so that you and the audience are “on the same page.”

Once the problem is on the table, it’s time to deal with the solution. Read More …

There is nothing quite like a beautiful body. Perfect form and an end that sells the whole package.

Hey, I’m talking about presentations!

Your presentation can take a number of different forms. You’ll find a list of the most common ones here. For more in-depth information and examples of how to use them, you’ll have to take my online, self-paced video course, Persuasive Presentations 2.0.

Persuasive presentations always have a strong open and close – they’re the most important parts of your presentation … but the middle of your presentation is called “the body” and it has to be “just right.” It’s where you get the chance to really be persuasive.

The body is where you make your key points. And the beauty Read More …

Dr. Martin Luther King speaking, "I Have a Dream"The key to having impact with your persuasive presentation is practicing the Rule of One.

The rule of one is simple. If your presentation is about more than one thing, you’re wasting your time. Nobody will ever remember what it was about. I’m serious!

Let’s say you did a half-hour presentation starting at five o’clock in the afternoon. You finish at 5:30. Surveys show that at 6 o’clock, a half hour after you’ve finished, your audience will remember a mere 50% of your content.

Next morning … when you get to the office, ask around and you’ll find that most remember 25%. A week later, if you were to do the same survey, the result would be 10%.

This is a great example Read More …

Attentive audience membersDo you want to win more business – have more successful persuasive presentations?

The secret: Know your audience.

It’s amazing how many presenters don’t properly research their audience.

I often use the phrase “get under their skin.” In fact, it’s the title of one of the modules of my online presentations course, “Persuasive Presentations 2.0.” It’s so important, I dedicate one of eight modules to it alone.

Here’s why: If you understand your audience’s pain and can alleviate it, your chances of success go through the roof. By “pain,” I mean what’s really bothering them. What is their major concern in the area you’re addressing? Get “under their skin”— really understand them and their challenges. That allows you to deliver your solution more Read More …

The most common question I get in seminars is “How do I begin to put together a presentation? Where do I start?”

And I always say “Start at the end.” And that usually gets a big, blank stare.

What I mean is: start with what you want your audience to do.

And to figure that out, think about the moment at the end of your presentation when your audience has all the information you’ve presented … what is it you want them to do … to think … to understand? It needs to be one action or thought and you should be able to describe it in a short sentence.

One short sentence … your objective. And you absolutely, positively need to write it Read More …

older-man-using-strategy-playing-chessLately, I’ve been finding more eyes glazing over than usual when ask about presentation strategy. The question I ask is the title of this article.

Or there’s a tone of bewilderment, accompanied by the question, “Why do I even need one?”

In truth, maybe you don’t. If you’re delivering a presentation that’s main purpose is to impart information and has no other goal, you probably don’t. But with a persuasive presentation, your strategy is key.

Your strategy is the most important contributor to your success.

Persuasive presentations are sales presentations. They’re corporate presentations designed to change behaviors, or attitudes. They’re any presentation with an objective of getting someone to do, think, or believe something after the presentation is over.

The most important element in determining success (other than structure, content, and delivery), is strategy. Now, you might be thinking, “Well then, strategy is a very small part of ‘the mix’ then.” No, not at all. 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 …

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 …

SOLD Magazine front coverSOLD Magazine is a free monthly online resource that’s particularly valuable for anyone doing persuasive presentations.

I have a vested interest in bringing you this info, as I have an article in the July issue on page 42. It’s on the Riveting Opening (my favourite way to open a presentation). While I wrote it as an online article, I’ve just embellished it and added it to my blog here.

SOLD Magazine “is a monthly digital publication dedicated to helping sales professionals
Sharpen their selling skills
Improve their selling process
Increase their confidence, empowering them to close more sales, rise above their competition and earn larger commissions.”

Even though its primary focus is on sales, it has a whole section on presentations, starting on page 35. Read More …