What’s the best way to close a sales presentation?
If you want to persuade your audience to act, then almost every presentation is a sales presentation. You might not be asking for money but you still want your audience to do something. Perhaps you’re selling your idea, cause or perspective.
The best way to end that type of presentation is with a call to action. Remind people what you want them to do.
This might be:
• Get out and vote
• Donate to the cause
• Join the team
• Express your support
• Teach your children
• Don’t drink and drive
• Exercise every day
The call to action is a simple, powerful and effective way to close your sales presentation.
How should I close my presentation?
The close is an important part of your presentation even if it is only 5 to 10 percent of the duration.
It’s important because it is the last thing that people hear – and hence the thing they might remember best. For that reason you need to deliver a strong and memorable close to your speech.
Here are three effective ways to close:
1. Summarize your key points. This works well when you have three to five points.
2. Repeat your opening phrase. This works well when the opening phrase was provocative. This style of close seems to tie everything together.
3. State your call to action. This is a simple yet highly effective close because most of the time the purpose of your speech is to persuade people to act.
Be sure to look at your audience when delivering your close. You should not read your close. You need to be connected with them in these final moments.
After you have delivered that closing statement, pause and look confidently at your audience. Accept the applause if you are so lucky. If no applause, walk confidently to your seat.
When is it okay to use a flipchart?
It’s old technology yet a flipchart can still be an effective presentation aid. Don’t shy away from it just because you think it’s old fashioned.
A flipchart works best in certain settings.
You can use a flipchart with a maximum of 30 participants. It depends on the room, but the key criterion is that everyone must be able to clearly see and read what’s on the chart.
This means that you must print neatly in a large hand. This could be a major challenge for some folks. There’s no point in writing something that people can’t easily read.
If you’re only sketching diagrams you might have a little more poetic license.
Flipcharts work well when you want to capture ideas from your audience. Asking for ideas from the audience and then writing them on the flipchart conveys the feeling of action and urgency.
How to use a flipchart
When you write on a flipchart, stand on the side that allows you to write without turning your back completely to the audience. They don’t want to stare at your backside while you’re writing.
Where to stand
If you are right handed, stand on the left side of the flipchart so you only need to make a quarter turn to write on the chart. If you are left handed, stand on the right side for the same reason.
If you are putting words on the paper, be sure to print neatly and large. Slow down to print neatly. If you’re uncertain how large to print, test your printing before people are in the room. Print on the paper then stand at the back of the room to see for yourself.
Use chisel-point markers and print with the widest edge so people can read it easier.
Use dark colors for words or numbers – black, navy blue and dark green work best. Use red for underlines, circles and boxes to draw attention to certain parts. Don’t use red for words or numbers because it’s more difficult to read. Avoid pastel and fluorescent colors because they are difficult to see and often annoying.
Don’t write on the bottom third of the page because people behind the first row might not be able to see it.
Check the writing pad before you start to ensure that there are enough pages for your presentation.
A flipchart is still a useful presentation aid for facilitating a session with a small group. Pay attention to the details to do it well.
What is the role of the introducer?
The person who introduces the speaker has three key responsibilities. Each must be done to help make the presentation a success. Miss any one of these and you might handicap the speaker and hence the presentation.
1. The introducer needs to get the audience ready to listen. That might mean calling the audience back from their break or quieting them down. This is mostly logistical and it is important. Just imagine the impact if the speaker starts speaking while people are still wandering into the room or talking.
2. The introducer needs to convey the relevance of the presentation to the audience. Why should they listen? What might they learn? Why is this speaker the right person to speak? A well written introduction will cover this step. If the introduction is too long and boring, the introducer might need to shorten it. Another point to keep in mind is that the audience didn’t gather to hear the introduction. They came to hear the speaker.
3. The introducer needs to make the speaker feel welcome. It doesn’t matter how many times this speaker has presented – he still needs to feel good about speaking to this audience. The introducer meets with the speaker before the presentation to get acquainted and confirm signals. The introducer is the host that encourages the audience to welcome the speaker with applause.
The role of the introducer is important and should be taken seriously.
What’s the difference between a speaker’s bio and an introduction?
Many people don’t realize the difference and often say bio when they mean introduction. And many non-professional speakers mistakenly supply their bio as an introduction.
There is a big difference between these two documents in their purpose and hence their form. Function always drives form. Continue reading
Should I thank the introducer?
It’s your turn to speak. The introducer just gave you a warm and flattering introduction. Should you thank the introducer for that introduction?
Three reasons: Continue reading
What to do if you don’t believe you’re the expert
I’m not the expert on the topic. How should I present myself to this audience?
Okay, so you’re not Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking.
No one expects you to be the world’s greatest expert on the topic – unless you described yourself as such in your self-promotional messages. I recommend that you don’t do that even if you think you walk on water. Continue reading
This is a common question. The first point is that the piece of furniture that speakers often stand behind is a lectern not a podium. A podium is a small stage that you stand upon while a lectern is a high desk upon which lecturers place their notes and stand behind.
Should you stand behind the lectern? Continue reading
Prepare to answer tough questions
If you speak in public you will be asked tough questions. You won’t always know when the tough question will hit you but you know that it eventually will – so you might as well be prepared to handle it.
It’s a mistake to hope that they won’t ask you a tough question, and it’s a bigger mistake to believe that you can wing it.
The best way to answer tough questions is to prepare.
Use these three types of preparation: Continue reading