Whatever you call it, speech, talk, address, lunch and learn, presentation, the scenario is the same. You have somewhere between fifteen minutes to an hour to be in front of a live audience and deliver your message. If you're not currently taking advantage of this marketing tool, you're missing out on one of the most effective ways for professionals to market themselves, their services and their products. 1. Presentations cast you in a different role.
Instead of being seen as a salesperson or a marketer, you're seen as a teacher or advisor. Your prospects see you as an expert, an educator and an advisor. With the right presentation, you immediately establish your professional reputation and credibility. 2. Presentations are interactive.
Whether educating or persuading, the interactive nature of presentations works to your advantage. In a face-to-face setting you can engage all three channels of communication-the verbal, the visual and the vocal. When these three channels reinforce one another, you'll be even more effective in making your message heard.
The feedback you receive allows you to adjust your material and tackle objections as they arise. 3. Presentations are cost-effective. Compared to almost any kind of advertising, presentations produce a higher ratio of qualified prospects.
What would 30 minutes of airtime on a radio or television station cost? When you send out 500 pieces of direct mail, how much of it ends up in the recycle bin? There is an investment in time, but if you plan properly, you'll receive a very high return on that investment. 4. Presentations provide you with a captive audience. Imagine having 30 minutes to educate your prospects about your services with no interruptions! Your audience often contains highly-qualified prospects. Wouldn't you rather talk to an interested audience than one who hears or sees a message that has interrupted their favorite entertainment program? 5. Presentations allow you customize your material.
Unlike a print run of brochures or postcards, you can customize your talk for each specific audience you address. You can take advantage of a system of marketing that highlights the most effective approach for particular audiences. You can choose when to use examples, case studies, or testimonials that will appeal to very specific audiences. 6. Presentations showcase your leadership abilities. Business coaches, corporate mentors and leadership specialists all agree: Excellent presentations are the number one way to drive personal and career success.
The ability to communicate your message with enthusiasm, conviction and clarity is one of the hallmarks of effective leadership. In fact, the ability to present ideas clearly is often a key indicator of leadership potential. Most leadership training programs contain one or more modules on effective presentations. Good presenters can motivate others to action.
Whether you're trying to get employee buy-in to the new productivity program, solicit donations for your organization's United Way campaign or secure new buyers for your product or service, your skill in presenting a compelling case will be directly tied to your success. 7. Presentations help build your credibility. Just as writing a book or article lends credibility to the author, speaking helps you build your status of expert.
There is a viral replicating effect at work-the more you speak, the more people see your name. The more people see your name, the more positioned as expert you become. The more positioned as expert you become, the more you speak and so on. If you're successful in getting media coverage, being covered in the news builds much more credibility than buying advertising space. 8. Presentations are a differentiator from your colleagues and your competition.
The person who can clearly express her ideas is seen as more intelligent and more self-confident than the person who stumbles through a disorganized presentation. When you're competing for business, a well-crafted presentation can give you the advantage. Better presenters are more persuasive. An architect once reported that he was sure his firm was more successful in getting business because the people they chose to make the presentation were highly trained in presentation skills.
9. Presentations offer excellent opportunities for publicity. When you speak to a group, you'll often get three opportunities for publicity. First, when the event is advertised, you can provide a brief synopsis of your talk for brochures, mailers, the Website and even a newsletter.
Second, if your talk is newsworthy, you may receive some media coverage during the event itself. Third, there is an opportunity for exposure in a report or summary of the event for the organization's newsletter or annual report. 10. Presentations are great marketing research tools.
For the salesperson, you can elicit information about your prospects' concerns and objections and adapt your presentation accordingly. You can find out what issues are of greatest concern and deal with them. When you're trying to teach a skill or process, you can ask questions to test comprehension and spend more time explaining concepts that are unclear or confusing. You'll learn quickly how to drive value for each audience. The feedback you solicit after each presentation will point to areas where you need to adapt and adjust for next time.
Presentations may be low-tech, but if you plan carefully, design strategically and deliver effectively, they're guaranteed to be high-impact. ©2006 Peak Communication Performance.
Dr. Joseph Sommerville shows professionals how to increase visibility, credibility and sales through more persuasive communication. He is President of Peak Communication Performance and a professional speaker. Download the Special Report-Rainmaking Secrets Made Simple from http://www.PeakCP.com