As a part of a special series to help launch Duct Tape Selling we’ve asked the marketing experts at many of the valuable resources mentioned in the new book to teach us a thing or two about selling. Prezi is mentioned in chapter 9 – Become an Authority. Enjoy the below post from Patrick Wenger from Prezi.
How you perform in the fleeting moments when you have the platform to speak in front of others is pivotal to your chances of success. This is true for every industry, but for anyone in sales, it’s at the very heart of the experience. Getting on stage in front of a crowd of potential customers, contacts, and influencers is the best way to build a reputation and become a credible, respected authority. But for some, it can be a bearpit where bad first impressions are left ingrained in the minds of unforgiving audiences.
It doesn’t have to be this way. In my time working on the sales team of a company dedicated to turning more people into great presenters, I’ve met and seen enough people on stage to learn a few things about how you can seize every chance you get to leave a lasting impression on a crowd.
1. Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail
It’s a well-worn cliche (and there are a few more in this paragraph), but it’s the foundation of every positive experience on stage. There may be plenty of people who can use their natural talent and charisma to “wing it” and get away with a decent presentation, but I’ve never seen anyone knock it out of the park without putting in the hard yards first. Know your audience, set your goals, and plan the best way of reaching them. Give yourself time to brainstorm your topic, and then create your content based on what you produce. Simply trying to knock out a presentation straight off the bat will most likely result in you losing sight of the bigger picture.
2. People like a good story well told.
Do you remember all the details of last year’s fiscal report? How about the bedtime stories your parents read you when you were a kid? Granted those books were probably a lot simpler than your annual sales figures, but the impact of a compelling narrative can stick with you for years. Tell the people the tale behind your numbers and take them on a journey through the key parts of your message. With definitive, logical connections between the elements of your presentation, people will stay engaged during the moments you might otherwise lose them.
3. Stand up, stand out
People who regularly give presentations spend a lot of time on stage. But people with money, power, and influence spend a lot more time watching pitch after pitch. If you don’t have something to set you apart from the crowd, you’ve failed. One great way to stand out is with your visuals. Working for Prezi, it goes without saying that I believe you can do a lot more on stage than just stand in front of a bunch of simple slides. You don’t need to be a designer to create something beautiful, but you can make everyone think you went to art school if you keep your visuals simple and relevant.
Patrick Wenger is Sales Manager at Prezi, the cloud-based presentation tool that’s helping millions of people become great presenters. The combination of working in sales and for a company devoted to giving the world better presentations means he has seen countless first-hand examples of people succeeding on stage.