Master Your Message Blog


This is right up there with the most important things I’ll ever tell you about persuasive presentations:

To be a successful persuasive presenter, you absolutely have to believe in your message. And you have to display passion.

Being persuasive requires understanding the audience

Mehrabian’s chart

You may have seen this pie chart before. It’s usually misinterpreted.

It comes from the work of Albert Mehrabian, Ph.D. He was measuring what happens when someone you know gives you mixed messages.

That’s like me telling you that “The weather’s not very good but I know you’re going to have great vacation” and saying it with a slight look of doubt on my face. You won’t hear anything about “great vacation.” My look of doubt reinforces the fact that the weather isn’t very good and, Read More …

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 …

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 …

Continued from my previous blog entry of the same title …


Now, let’s talk about emotion. And there are some that say there should be no emotion in business decisions. They’re the ones that build PowerPoint presentations filled with fact after fact after fact – and then wonder why they don’t win the bid, or nobody can remember what they talked about, because there’s no emotional attachment.

The problem with that approach is that we’re all humans – just a small monkey wrench thrown into the mix. It’s why, by the way, economists are always wrong about the economy. Because people make up the economy and if they don’t feel good about the future, the economy suffers. Decisions are made based Read More …