Public speaking is one of the activities people fear most. If you add the responsibility of using your public speaking skills to sell something, the pressure can be telling. Successful sales presentations do not have to be something that you only dream about, they can be achieved. Here are two areas of preparation you can focus on in order to reduce your stress levels and improve your chances of success.
1) Prepare yourself.
This is probably the most important step to executing successful sales presentations. It is imperative that you have thoroughly researched your topic. You never want your audience to be more knowledgeable about your product than you are.
If possible, know your product and presentation thoroughly enough that you do not have to use notes or cue cards. If there is any possibility that you will need notes, it is better to use them than to forget important material or appear unorganized in your thoughts. If you are using presentation tools, be sure not to read from them as this may cause you to turn your back to your audience.
It can be helpful to videotape your presentation in advance so you can see your presentation through the eyes of your audience. This can also help you to make changes in areas such as content, body language, and voice inflection.Videotaping can improve your presentation immensely because not only does it help you prepare, it can help decrease your stress levels.
2) Prepare the room.
All distractions should be removed in order to keep the focus on you. If your audience is uncomfortable, it will be difficult for them to pay attention. Preparation of the room includes having the room at a comfortable temperature, not too warm and not too cold. Tables and chairs should be arranged in a way that is most beneficial for your audience to receive your presentation. Depending on the number of participants, determine the best possible layout. In addition, make sure the room has proper lighting. It should be well lit if using a whiteboard and you should be able to dim the lights to the proper level if using an overhead or giving a slideshow presentation.
If possible provide a selection of different beverages such as coffee, tea, water, and juice. As well, provide a light snack such as crackers and cheese, veggies and dip, or a fruit platter. It is difficult for an audience to concentrate on a presentation if they are thirsty or hungry.
In a nutshell, preparation is the key to effective presentations!