from Axia Value Solutions 
There’s no need to die……!
When it comes to presentations you will not need reminding that some people would rather die than give one. These are not the best people to choose to present your proposal. In many situations the decision as to who is getting the business has often been made by the time the presentation arises. At this point the presentation becomes the opportunity to lose it.  However, there are some businesses for whom the quality and content of the presentation is a key part of the clients’ decision making.  Either way, it’s not the best place for a novice presenter to be cutting their teeth.
There has been so much written about presentations, how to do them, how not to do them, whether to use PowerPoint, whether to shoot anyone who uses PowerPoint.  I just want to highlight some of the key areas for consideration when you are making a presentation that is a part of a major sale process.
In general, the presentation is, or should be, the culmination of a good deal of preparatory work and effort.  Over the preceding few days/weeks/months you will have had numerous meetings with the customer and by now should have a real understanding of them, both as a business and as individuals.  You should know the issues they face and wish to address and what, for them, are their key value drivers.
It might be serious – it doesn’t have to be dull!
bored-audience-cartoonJust because it is a serious presentation being made for serious reasons, it does not have to be dull.  There is no reason why it shouldn’t be entertaining, depending on the audience of course!
By the end you will want to have impressed, Informed, convinced, and reassured your audience.  You will want to have convinced them that the decision that they may already have arrived at – that you were the right choice – was correct.  They will want to know that you really are the sort of people they could do business with.

Opening the Presentation

 “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
The first few moments of any meeting, interview or presentation are vital.  They will set the tone for all that follows. Accepting this, it is clearly important that this opening phase is thought through carefully, and subsequently actioned effectively.  If there are a number of you on the team each member must be introduced and their role in the session outlined.  “This is John who does the logistics” is no good.  “This is John Smith our Logistics Director.  He has many years of experience handling clients just like yourselves, and he will be personally responsible for looking after our arrangements with you” is much better.  It builds credibility.
 Simple, but forgotten:
RULE 1 Remember to smile.  Smiling is infectious, like enthusiasm, and no one wants to deal with a misery-guts. Just because the nature of the situation is a serious one, it does not mean you cannot smile.
RULE 2 Dress well.  First impressions are very often lasting impressions.  If you are smartly dressed, neat, well groomed and tidy, not only are you likely to feel more confident, it is also likely to command more respect from the potential “Buyers”.
RULE 3 Open positively.  Your audience must be given a good reason to listen to what you have to say and discuss.  This statement needs to be made in the first few moments of the presentation.  It should answer for the buyer(s) the questions: “Why are you here?” and “What’s in it for me?”  This is where the work on the Key Message or Value Proposition comes into its’ own.
message-in-a-bottle_smlIdeally your opening should be your Key Message – the short, concise statement of why they should choose you rather than a competitor.  “Ladies and gentlemen, many thanks for the opportunity to talk to you about our approach.  In the next (x minutes) I would like to demonstrate to you why we believe we offer the very best solution to the issues you face and why choosing us will deliver significant overall savings and increase your revenues and profitability”. 
NOTE:  In an ideal world it would be perfect to put some numbers here – cost savings, revenue growth, profitability improvements of how much? Monetise your value! Anyone can say they can save you money, make you money – what you really want to know is:
  • How much?
  • By when?
  • How do I know I can trust you?
This is all about communicating your value powerfully and effectively.  Make sure your key message packs a real punch and that you can deliver it while looking into the eyes of your audience.
A Diamond Presentation
Like a diamond, presentations should have a beginning, a middle and an end.
  •  A beginning, to introduce the presentation, what the audience will get out of it and broadly what you will cover.
  •  A middle to cover what you said you would! (Persuasively and interestingly – don’t want the audience nodding off!)
  •  And an end to pull the threads together and to confirm your Key Message – and don’t let the audience guess what you want them to do next, tell them!
My Key Message?  Ladies and gentlemen, many thanks for reading this blog. You can now make huge amounts of additional revenue and profits, making you feel wealthier, happier and more fulfilled!
And what I want you to do next?……….For more information on improving your margins and profitability go to our website www.axiavalue.com  or contact me at mw@axiavalue.com

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