7 Mistakes that Kill Sales Presentations & Free Talks

sleep disorderBuilding a sales pipeline or broadening prospecting activity for many of us uncovers speaking opportunities in front of potential prospects. Here are 7 reasons why some SalesAmbassadors can unknowingly induce blind hatred & venom from even the gentlest, mildest mannered supporters

Most of us use presentation time as an opportunity to impress. Once in full flight however, some people’s brains miraculously camouflage the looks of hate, sleepiness and disregard in their captives, replacing them with faces awash with wonder and awe. It can be the only explanation why the worst offenders can sleep at night.

Here’s the 7 most hated offences voted for by over 50 clients, experienced in networking events throughout Beds, Bucks & Herts. Some are surprising:

  • The speaker doesn’t OWN the material. “These aren’t my slides but…..”.
    • True possibly but doesn’t make it right. Do what you need to and own your talk.
  • Colourless, dry, insipid, lacklustre, tedious, uninspired, vapid & wearisome.
    • Words drawn up whilst a decent pensions talk was being slaughtered. ‘Get a life!’ ‘Have more Sex!’ ‘Adopt a Canary'; but do something to invigorate yourself. Tonality and body language make up most of communication. If your soul has died, your presentation’s fried.
  • A ‘Pitch’ that’s irrelevant to me.
    • Listeners make an instant choice. ‘Are you relevant or not?’ A talk that’s self centred (clue, does it list your features & benefits?) pushes prospects away. Wrap topics into relatable, immersive, memorable stories and it will make you relevant every time.
  • ‘Time travel’, the miracle of compressing 120mins content into 15.
    • Epilepsy inducing PowerPoint is hypnotic. It’s the way Zombies are created. One or two key points offered properly gets you invited back.
  • Reading out the words on their own slides.
    • We read quicker than most people speak (hopefully). Props? Flipchart? A picture?
  • Too quiet? Too fast or eating dry biscuits?
    • Rule #1 Make sure you enunciate appropriately to everyone in the room
  • Overrunning the allotted time
    • Organisers LOVE speakers who keep to time. The only reason outside of poor preparation for over running is to massage under inflated, unappreciated egos. Unless of course the crowd is chanting for more?

There’s more I’m sure, what are your worst experiences? Interestingly nerves and inexperience wasn’t mentioned by anyone.

Speaking engagements are an effective way to prospect for new business. Just like a sales call, in 2016 leave ‘winging it’ for the birds as it’s the fastest way to blow all that effort and send prospects straight into the arms of your competitors.

Chris Davies

Chris Davies

Chris Davies has spent over 35 years in both sales and leadership environments with companies such as Sony, Toshiba, IBM and others. Observing first-hand the declining effects of traditional, much copied selling methodologies. Typically, Chris works with business leaders, partners and top producers who are ready to work smarter and commit their time, money and energy to attract new clients, sell more products or services and generate more profits with integrity. Tel: 01525 280777 Mobile: 07891 055925

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