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Presenting to a group
Guest articles > Presenting to a group
by: Niall Devitt
Presenting to a group can potentially be a daunting experience even for the most confident of sellers. It is easy for these nerves to contribute to basic mistakes so a little preparation and a few simple guidelines are key to success.
You will have a chance to prepare, and this is crucial particularly if presenting is not one of our strengths. Try to find out what will be important to those attending and plan your structure and content accordingly.
Get there early
Arrive early so that you have a chance to set up and familiarise yourself with the layout and structure of the room.
When you are introduced, slow down, take time to remember each person by name. One of reasons that we don’t remember names is that we rush through this piece. Before you start, check that you can be heard and that tools can be seen. Briefly introduce your objectives, the topics and the running order of the presentation.
Speak more slowly than you would with your friends but remember to also mix up both the speed and tone of your voice, slowing down to emphasise important points and speeding up when giving less important details.
Most of us still rely on power point as our delivery tool. The big problem being that it is one-dimensional so much that it non interactive as far as the audience is concerned. Its up to you to compensate and encourage interaction.. No one wants to hear power points slides being read word for word unless they have trouble sleeping, so my suggestion is to only use it as a guide or prop and where possible use your own words and meaning to communicate the message.
Make sure that you move around. A moving person is a much more stimulating target to our eyes than a stationary person.
Be aware of both your own body language and of those attending. Ensure that you spread your eye contact and focus involving everyone not just the DM.
Q & A
Encourage questions and in a situation where you don’t have the answer at hand, tell the person you will find out and come back to them with the answer at a later date.
Sometimes one person can be very difficult or using a disruption behaviour pattern. Agree to park this issue for now by promising that you will speak with them one to one at the end of the meeting and resolve the concern.
If there is a disruption, e.g. someone needs to leave the room etc. Simply just stop and wait for them to return.
Finish with Actions
Before you leave, agree a next or serious of next steps tying in a time frame. Thank everyone for their input and shake hands with all present.
Presentations to groups need not be the daunting experience that we sometimes expect. It is important to inject our own personality into the task and to not depend solely on tools such as power point. You never know, you might start to enjoy it.
Niall Devitt is a training consultant and business mentor. With over a decade of experience working as senior sales manager and trainer for some of Ireland’s top companies his expertise lies in creating and implementing performance driven sales programmes. Niall is regularly asked to contribute business articles and his advice has been published through the Irish National Press and broadcast on Radio. Visit his blog on business know-how at www.btbtraining.com.
Contributor: Niall Devitt
Published here on: 30-Mar-08
Classification: Sales, Communication
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