Advancing Persuasive Presentation Skills
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Advancing Persuasive Presentation Skills

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A presentation on how to make better presentations and how to overcome stage fright. For people in communication services, eg, advertising, PR, professional education, Web, design, branding, etc.

A presentation on how to make better presentations and how to overcome stage fright. For people in communication services, eg, advertising, PR, professional education, Web, design, branding, etc.

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  • Thanks for all the kind comments. If you like this, you won't want to miss my new publication, The Pitch Book, available in paperback or Kindle from Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/The-Pitch-Book-Thinking-Business/dp/1482519410/
    I look forward to your feedback! -- Rob
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  • hey.. may i have a copy too.. thanks.
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  • Fear of vs. Fear for
    Manipulation vs. Cooperation
    Presentation vs. Conversation
    About you vs. About them
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  • great
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  • good job!
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  • The fear of speaking in public is nearly universal, particularly among people who seldom do it. <br /> Yet speaking publicly loses much of its terror when the misconceptions at the root of the fear are examined and challenged. You can even grow to look forward to making presentations, for the opportunities they provide to connect with others and share your interests and passions. <br />
  • So to get more comfortable and adept at presenting to groups, it can be helpful to start by exploring your own feelings and preconceptions. <br /> You can use the space here to write down what you experience when you anticipate and make presentations. <br /> You can also write down the feelings about presentations that you’d like to have as a result of learning more about persuasive presentations and the skills involved in making them. <br /> How I feel about making presentations: <br /> How I want to feel: <br />
  • Let’s look at presentation anxiety and the beliefs that it arises from. <br /> A very common source of anxiety is the belief that audiences are sitting in judgment of us as we speak, silently criticizing what we say and how we say it. (Maybe they’re also criticizing how we look, dress, move… ). It seems like it’s them versus you (see Fig. 1). <br /> And if you set out to look for it you can find what seems to be evidence to support this belief. Someone frowns. Another consults his watch, or Blackberry, as you speak. A particularly rude pair in the corner shares a whispered comment and a chuckle. While you stand there wondering, and sweating. You hear every stumble in your voice, every statement you make that isn’t quite what you planned to say, and pray that your part of the presentation will be over soon. <br /> Ouch. <br /> It doesn’t help, either, that there sometime truly are clients and audiences who enjoy sitting in judgment of others. (Luckily for you and the rest of the world, most clients have much more urgent and closer concerns to be worrying about while you’re making your pitch.) <br />
  • To understand this better, think about when you’re the buyer in a relationship. <br /> What does it feel like for you personally to be a buyer? <br /> When you buy from another person (as opposed to the Web, or a vending machine, or picking something off a grocery shelf, what about the experience makes it good or bad? <br />
  • David Maister, a world-renowned expert in the marketing of professional services firms, has interviewed hundreds of their clients to find out what it feels like to be a buyer. <br /> Here’s his list of what they’ve told him. How does this compare with your own feelings when you’re the buyer? There’s often a lot at stake, isn’t there, especially if what you’re buying is vital to your success. If clients make a mistake, it will reflect badly on them in their work and careers. They’re often under time pressure, too. And they’re expected to choose well -- even though they may not have a lot of information to base their choice on. <br /> So what they’re paying attention to isn’t you as much as their own needs and feelings. And what makes presentations feel good to them is getting these needs and feelings addressed. <br />
  • Let’s look at presentation anxiety and the beliefs that it arises from. <br /> A very common source of anxiety is the belief that audiences are sitting in judgment of us as we speak, silently criticizing what we say and how we say it. (Maybe they’re also criticizing how we look, dress, move… ). It seems like it’s them versus you (see Fig. 1). <br /> And if you set out to look for it you can find what seems to be evidence to support this belief. Someone frowns. Another consults his watch, or Blackberry, as you speak. A particularly rude pair in the corner shares a whispered comment and a chuckle. While you stand there wondering, and sweating. You hear every stumble in your voice, every statement you make that isn’t quite what you planned to say, and pray that your part of the presentation will be over soon. <br /> Ouch. <br /> It doesn’t help, either, that there sometime truly are clients and audiences who enjoy sitting in judgment of others. (Luckily for you and the rest of the world, most clients have much more urgent and closer concerns to be worrying about while you’re making your pitch.) <br />
  • Let’s look at presentation anxiety and the beliefs that it arises from. <br /> A very common source of anxiety is the belief that audiences are sitting in judgment of us as we speak, silently criticizing what we say and how we say it. (Maybe they’re also criticizing how we look, dress, move… ). It seems like it’s them versus you (see Fig. 1). <br /> And if you set out to look for it you can find what seems to be evidence to support this belief. Someone frowns. Another consults his watch, or Blackberry, as you speak. A particularly rude pair in the corner shares a whispered comment and a chuckle. While you stand there wondering, and sweating. You hear every stumble in your voice, every statement you make that isn’t quite what you planned to say, and pray that your part of the presentation will be over soon. <br /> Ouch. <br /> It doesn’t help, either, that there sometime truly are clients and audiences who enjoy sitting in judgment of others. (Luckily for you and the rest of the world, most clients have much more urgent and closer concerns to be worrying about while you’re making your pitch.) <br />
  • That makes the task of persuasion much less about performance and speechifying, and much more something you’re already very good at: learning. <br /> To be persuasive, you need to become adept at learning what’s on the client’s often-changing mind. It’s like a sailor constantly trying to read the changing wind in order to know where to point the sailboat. <br /> Jay Conger, an expert in organizational behavior and persuasion, says, “people must understand persuasion for what it is—not convincing and selling but learning and negotiating. Furthermore, it must be seen as an art form that requires commitment and practice, especially as today’s business contingencies make persuasion more necessary than ever.” <br />
  • How do we learn what are our clients’ interests? It helps to come up with some good hypotheses before you’re actually in the same room with them. That gives you more time to think about ways to address these interests and create value for clients. What might be some of the ways you can research the clients in advance? Write your thoughts here: <br /> Bear in mind that you’re after specific information about the individual clients, as well as general information about the client organization. It will do little good, for example, to settle for generalizations about a client company, its climate, its characteristics, etc. when you’re dealing with an iconoclastic individual who prides herself on independent, out-of-the-box thinking.Today’s Internet search engines make some of this desk research easier. It can help, too, to poll people who also know the clients well professionally or socially. <br /> The best way, however, is to ask clients themselves. This is where appreciative questioning and listening skills really pay off. Starting with pre-pitch briefing meetings and telephone Q&A sessions, and right through the presentation itself, you can get this vital information right from the source, through what you see, what you ask, how you listen, and how you respond. <br />
  • One important and often overlook means of signal amplification is proxemics: the study of person space. By getting close to your audience, you make it easier for your signal to get through. At the same time, you make it easy for them to communicate with you—about their reactions, ideas, feelings—so that you’re having more of a dialogue than a monologue with them. <br />
  • Remember, there’s no substitute for learning about client interests right from their own lips. Based on experience, however, it’s safe to say that most clients of service firms will have a strong interest in each of the five areas shown in this star. (They all start with the letter A to make them easier to remember). <br /> Affability: Clients want to work with people they like. If the offerings are similar from different vendors, clients will give the business to the people they like. Wouldn’t you? <br /> Authenticity: Given the vulnerability clients may be feeling, they’ll gravitate toward people whom they feel are genuinely looking out for their best interests. Trust is key. <br /> Authority: Expertise is a key part of what clients buy. Even if they themselves are experts, they’re counting on their counterparts to execute expertly. <br /> Ardor: Often, working with people who love what they do rekindles the love clients have for their own work. And the enthusiasm the vendor brings provides assurance of ongoing follow-through. <br /> Accessibility: Will you be there when they need you? Is your commitment to them as deep as the commitment you’re asking from them? <br />
  • Think of ways you’d be comfortable demonstrating your affability in the course of communicating with clients. List some of them here: <br /> Welcoming <br /> Sharing <br /> Happy <br /> Generous <br /> Appreciative <br /> Some principles to keep in mind: <br /> Find things you have in common with your clients <br /> Smile and find things to be happy about—regarding the subject, the client, the situation <br /> Invite participation and welcome involvement of your audience <br /> Show generosity: praise things you respect and admire about your colleagues, your clients where opportunities arise. <br />
  • What are useful ways to demonstrate your authenticity when speaking with clients? Think about what makes other people seem genuine to you: <br /> “… you are either 100% honest, genuine, real, speaking from your heart or ou are not. There is no 99 per cent.” <br /> Richard Greene <br /> Some guidelines: <br /> Openness and disclosure of personal information <br /> Talking about feelings, not just facts <br /> Be selective, however… don’t overwhelm people with your personal life story <br /> Asking your clients about their concerns <br />
  • Presenting from memory <br /> Dramatizing context <br /> Documenting sources <br /> Being specific and selective <br /> Separating opinions from facts <br /> Expecting skepticism <br /> To be authoritative to clients is not to be authoritarian. That is, your clients want you to know your field of expertise inside and out as well as know their business… but they want to be the boss. It’s more about expertise. Think about what confers authority when you’re the buyer. If you’d like, write your thoughts down here: <br /> One of the most authoritative things you can do is present from memory instead of reading from slides or visual aids. After all, anyone can read a slide, expert or not. Real experts, however, have the knowledge in their heads, and clients know this. So keep visual aids visual, not cluttered with words. <br /> Where possible, bring ideas to life by describing their context. If a fact emerged from market research, describe the person who disclosed it, the date, and the setting. That’s living proof you were there. (A little of this goes a long way.) <br /> Be specific, especially about hard-to-come-by nuggets of information that only experts know. But be selective and relevant to client interests, not a know-it-all. <br /> If you have a point of view, state it — but make it clear that it’s opinion, not fact. Clients value both, but not when they’re muddled together. <br /> Expect skepticism, and rehearse the Q&A. You’ll gain the most authority with what seem to be unscripted but impressive answers to tough questions. <br />
  • Having a vision <br /> Being energetic in voice and gesture <br /> Being intent on getting through <br /> When client tell a firm they’ve won a pitch for business, they often say that what won them over was the passion the team showed for their work and for the client’s product. In a great presentation, it seems like the presenters have a calling more than just a job; an ardent advocacy of principles and ideas will often tilt the balance in an otherwise level competition for work. <br /> You need to find your own belief in the value of what you offer your client, and to communicate this, or your ardor won’t be authentic. But once you’ve found it, you can’t expect others to see it unless you make it clear to them. Some ways to show passion in presenting include: <br /> Having a compelling vision for the client’s success and sharing it with them <br /> Speaking and gesturing with energy and purpose <br /> Constantly checking with your audience to see if your ideas are getting through, inspired by a sincere belief that it’s important to the client’s success that they indeed get through <br />
  • Last but not least, clients today expect the team that’s pitching to be the team that will do the work. Agencies sell highly customized, one-of-a-kind solutions to their clients, not products off a production line. We need to be certain to give appropriate cues and assurances that we will be part of the ongoing solution for our clients, not a high-powered “A-team” that pitches the business and switches it to others once won. <br /> Taking responsibility <br /> ‘I’ vs ‘We’ <br /> ‘Will do’ vs ‘Can do’ <br /> Saying when (timelines) <br /> Documenting expectations <br /> Some of these cues can include: <br /> Using the first person singular (“I”) to take responsibility for commitments—after all, which sounds more committed, “I will” or “We will”? <br /> Expressing certainty in our commitments, eg. “I will do that” versus “I can (Might? May? Could?) do that” <br /> Committing not only to what will be done, but in what form and when; documenting expectations so that everyone’s clear. <br />
  • A presentation’s effectiveness is a function of not just what’s included — its content — but the form in which you put your ideas forward. <br />
  • The first step in preparing your content is to focus on your intentions. What one, two, or three main ideas about you and your firm do you wish to leave with your audience? <br /> What are the benefits of your proposals that have value for them? <br /> These questions are useful to keep uppermost in your mind as you prepare your remarks and visual aids. <br />
  • As you develop your remarks and visual aids, plan on getting your audience’s attention in the crucial first 30 seconds or so. That’s about as much time as they’ll take to decide whether what you’re saying is important to them and whether you’re likely to be valuable to them. Grabbers can include: <br /> A declaration or vision <br /> A short, true, and meaningful/relevant story <br /> An apt quotation from a relevant third party <br /> An analogy or parable <br /> A provocative question that gets to the heart of an interest, concern, or need <br />
  • Whichever structure you choose, it’s important to include in your remarks appropriate reference to your teammates and to the ideas and work they’ve put forward. That helps audiences see the bigger picture and the overall flow of the presentation, with the key themes that define your firm’s work. It ties up loose ends that an earlier speaker might have left open. And when you name the specific individuals involved, it creates a stronger feeling of teamwork. <br />
  • Once all the presentations are over, audiences have leaky memories; it’s hard for them to pin down who said what, when, and whether it mattered. They remember, instead, the way the presentation felt to them, largely through the way you looked and sounded. So delivery is even more important than pure content. <br />
  • It’s useful to think of delivery the way engineers do: that your intentions are a signal that has to compete with noise in order to have an effect. Some of the noise is external, from the environment you’re presenting in. Some of it is internal to your audience: their individual thoughts and wandering attentions. Some of it, however, is noise we create ourselves. The goal is to increase our signal to noise ratio so as to increase our success. <br />
  • Ensure that your visuals are easy to read. There’s no excuse for someone in the communications industry to apologize for a ‘busy’ slide; if more detail is important, hand out the material so your audience can follow along easily. <br /> Do whatever you can to eliminate the visual and sonic ‘noise’ that so often gets in the way of your message. Stand comfortably with your weight balanced on both feet, and move purposefully if you feel the urge. Avoid fidgeting with jewelry, pens, pointers, slide clickers, or clothing. Eliminate ‘ums’, ‘you know’, and other filler words, replacing them with pauses to allow you and your audience to take in your thoughts. <br />
  • Speakers today often speak faster than audiences can take in their thinking. It’s a balancing act: increased rate of speech can communicate enthusiasm, but it can also garble you message and make you seem out of control. <br /> You can rarely be too loud for an audience these days, but you can easily be too quiet. Make sure everyone in the room can hear you without straining. Don’t be afraid to be suddenly quiet if it helps establish a mood, but return to normal volume soon after. And practice saying each word distinctly without sounding stuffy. <br /> Use pauses liberally. They give you (and your audience) air, physically and mentally, to refresh body and mind. <br /> Vary your inflection and pitch to communicate the emotional value of your thinking. Change creates drama and excitement. <br /> Don’t trail off as you finish a point or a slide, in a rush to get to the next one. Finish strong. Then move on. <br />
  • Eye contact, too, is vital for ensuring that the signals you’re sending are strong. Your eyes are among the most expressive parts of you. If you need to read a complicated slide, use this “grab-a-line” technique to help your audience see your expressions as much as possible: <br /> Without talking, turn to the screen and look carefully at the next line you want to address. <br /> Face the audience. <br /> Begin speaking about that line until you’ve completed the thought. <br /> Pause to see how your audience has reacted. <br /> Repeat with the next line. <br /> It’s important to complete a full thought while looking at an audience member; otherwise, speakers can look ‘shifty’, as if they can’t bear the gaze of someone for very long. It’s also important to complete a slide with full eye contact before moving on. Learn to love pauses that allow your audience to take in your ideas as you gather your thoughts for the next ones. <br /> When you give eye contact, avoid the tendency to favor one side of the room. Think about whether what you’re saying is valuable to just some of the audience, or all. Then you’ll naturally want to give everyone a chance to hear and see it. <br />
  • For many audiences, question time is the first chance they have to clearly put on the table their own agenda—and to see how well you respond to it. Audiences typically give a lot of weight to what they hear in the Q&A, because it’s the part of the presentation that they have the most participation in. <br />
  • Think about your own assumptions and biases about client objections and questions. How does it feel to you? <br /> What are the positive feelings? <br /> What are the negative feelings? <br /> How might the negative feelings affect your ability to bring about the desired client beliefs about you? <br /> It can be very useful to look at objections and questions as gifts. Clients typically give you very direct messages about their interests, concerns, and needs when they state them in the form of objections and questions. Rather than having to infer these issues as we usually do, hoping we’ve got it right, they’re right in front of us. That makes it a lot easier for us to create great solutions. And it makes it a much quicker matter to achieve client satisfaction. <br />
  • To find the gifts inside client questions, first make sure you understand what they’re asking. Clients may have difficulty articulating their questions Give them a little time and space. Don’t hesitate to ask them to clarify if it’s confusing; far better that than answering a question they didn’t ask. <br /> If you hear an underlying interest behind the question, it can be useful to acknowledge that, and address it as you address the specific question itself. This also may give you a way to answer an interest even if you don’t have the specific solution asked for. <br /> Avoid going on an on; give a concise answer and get some feedback. Did it answer the question? Was the interest addressed, need met, concern satisfied, etc? <br /> If you’ve in a team, avoid adding on to another team member’s answer, even if you think it was wrong. The client may not think so, or it may not matter. And by rushing in, you undermine the authority of your co-worker (and, by extension, your whole team). <br /> If you’re asked a question directly and you believe another team member is better able to answer it, say so. But get his or her attention first— saying his/her name and repeating the question as you ask the client permission to re-direct the question. <br />

Advancing Persuasive Presentation Skills Advancing Persuasive Presentation Skills Presentation Transcript

  • Workshop/Seminar 2009 Developed by Rob Buccino www.neocortexconsult.com Advancing your Persuasive presentati on skills
  • “… at a funeral, most people would rather be the guy in the coffin than have to stand up and give a eulogy.” Jerry Seinfeld
  • What are your dreams of presentation success? What’s your presentation nightmare?
  • Agenda Form Feedback Roles and goals Content Fear
  • “Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change” -Sun Tzu
  • criticism we fear
  • How do you feel when
  • Clients feel Worried Insecure Personally at risk Impatient Exposed Uninformed Skeptical Suspicious apted from D. Maister, Managing the Professional Service Firm, 1993
  • failure clients fear
  • Let us be afraid for them, not of them
  • changes Fear of……………………………… Manipulation………………… About you…………………….. Presentation………………… Fear for Cooperation About them Conversation
  • Clients and you vs together What they fear
  • “persuasion… is not convincing and selling, but learning and negotiating” —Jay Conger Jay A. Conger, Professor of organizational behavior at USC Marshall School of Business, “The Necessary Art of Persuasion”, Harvard Business Review May-June 1998, p 94.
  • You can’t sail anywhere until you learn which way the wind wants to blow
  • How do we discover/learn client interests, needs, and concerns?
  • Pre-work Desk research Networking Inquiry
  • In the moment Observing Asking Listening Responding
  • close The Ten Commandments of Presentations. Harvard Management Communication Letter. Reprint No. C9907C. “…shift your focus from your own symptoms to the audience’s reception of your presentation” Move in
  • interests Five key client
  • Affability
  • Authenticity
  • Authority
  • Ardor
  • Accessibility
  • Your performance content FORMFORMFORMFORMFORMFORM FORMFORMFORMFORMFORMFORM FORMFORMFORM FORMFORMFORM
  • Start with intention • What beliefs should linger? • What’s in it for them?
  • Open with a grabber Declaration/Vision Short true story Quotation Analogy/parable Provocative question
  • Tie it all together • Link to team- mates’ ideas • Name names • Avoid loose ends
  • Finish with a call to action
  • Form
  • Source: Albert Mehrabian, Nonverbal Communication. Chicago; Aldine-Atherton, 1972, p 182. looked like said Clients will remember what you more than what you
  • Signal Noise
  • Noise Busy slides Filler sounds Fidgets Environment
  • Signal: voice Rate (pace) Volume Articulation Pauses Inflection and variation Finish
  • Eye contact“Grab-a-line” Complete each thought Include everyone
  • truth Q&A: The moment of
  • How do you feel when clients raise objections or ask questions?
  • Q&A guidelines Understand Explore Answer once Get feedback No add-ons Call for help
  • Summary
  • • About them—not you • Learn how to be on their side • Apply the five A’s • Know your intentions • Grab, tie together, and call to action • Increase signal/noise ratio • Find ‘gifts’ inside questions Be part of a conversation
  • It’s not just, “know your audience.” love It’s your audience
  • If you found this useful, there’s even more like it that you’ll find in The Pitch Book www.neocortexconsult.com Available worldwide in paperback and for Kindle readers from Amazon.com List price: paperback $14.95/£9.51/€ 11,87 Kindle $9.95/£6.52/€ 7,69