Yesterday I wrote about how you didn’t need to use a slide deck in order to remember what to say in your presentation. Rather, I said it was okay to hold 3 x 5 note cards if you need them. And that’s true. BUT, note cards aren’t a substitute for major rehearsal!
When you’re preparing a sales presentation with your team, you should be telling a story. You need an introduction, and conclusion, and a middle that reinforces three main points.
Three is a magic number because three points (or three outcomes or three reasons) are memorable. Two is not enough, and four is too many. Your audience–your buyers–will remember your presentation if you tell a story that has three primary parts.
When you’re planning your presentation, organize an outline around your three main points. Remind your listeners as you go along. Introduce them as “your first requirement is _____________________________” and “this is how we will meet it.” Or, the first part of our plan is to _____________________________________________. Or, there are three main reasons to choose us for this project. The first one is _____________________________________________.
Now I know you will have more than three things to say. But if you organize around main points or concepts or deliverables or reasons, you can cluster or classify related points under one. Here’s an example:
Your customer wants a project that (among other things) will be finished on time, that will cost what you said it will cost, that will not require a lot of extra time on their part to manage it or fix it, and that will not get them into trouble of any kind (with their boss, their bank, regulators, shareholders, co-workers, etc.) You may want to address each of their concerns. But if you make a major point about “Mitigating Risk” or “Eliminating Risk” or “No Risk” you can remind them of all the various risks you will manage and overcome. And they will remember “No Risk” if they choose you.
So the first part of remembering what you are supposed to say is to create a memorable presentation. If you can easily remember it, it will also be memorable for your audience!
The second part of remembering the presentation is to decide ahead of time who is responsible for what content. If you are presenting with a team, you’ll need to have all the kinks worked out ahead of time. And, if you are not using slides (as I’ve suggested), you’ll each need to know when is your turn as well as what you’re to say in your turn. If you have a director (organizer) in the presentation, that person can thank the one who just presented and call on the next one. Or, each person in turn can introduce the next. Or, each person can simply be prepared to follow the one before. Just rehearse it until it’s seamless.
The third part of remembering is to create your cues for the 3×5 cards. You can’t write down whole sentences. Use a word or a phrase to remind you. That means, of course, plenty of rehearsal so you know the whole of what you want to say. Put one cue per card–or just list two or three bullets on one card. Either way, with sufficient rehearsal you will only need a general reminder to keep you from the worry that you might forget.
The more memorable your presentation becomes, the easier it will be for each of you to remember your parts.
Now, I want to invite you a special webinar on video role play as a great tool to rehearse presentations:
Webinar May 29th 8 AM Pacific, 9 AM Mountain, 10 AM Central, 11 Am Eastern
Please join me as I present Darik Volpa, founder and CEO of Rehearsal Video Role Play, who will demonstrate how his exciting new platform supports role play training for sales and customer service people–in fact, for all of your SMEs who interact with customers. I think this service is the perfect way for teams to prepare for presentations. In fact, I am enjoying it so much I have signed on to be a licensed reseller. I can’t wait to show you this outstanding new tool for whale hunters! More information and registration here.