Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Million Dollar Slide

In sales presentations using PowerPoint, we all hope to have that million dollar slide. The one that enhances our presentation and leaves an image with audience members that they can't forget. We have talked about the million dollar slide before in this post.

I wanted you to see this post from David Garfinkel-He is an excellent copywriter and a great read. Here is his post on Selling With Humor. The humor is a little dark but so are financial presentations about ending up busted and disguisted!

Update-We should have our new site completed this week and will make sure that you have a seamless transition. Thank you all for your patience.

Steve Mertz
Searching the Globe for Humor!

Technorati Tags:
, , ,

Friday, July 28, 2006

Sales Presentation Question

I recently had an investment advisor send me an email and ask : "If I tell them everything I know-what is their incentive to make an appointment?" A little back ground might be in order. This gentlemen gives one hour presentations, loaded with PowerPoint slides, to retiree's. His ultimate goal is to have them make an appointment so he can present the benefits of immediate annuities.

Everyone in the financial services industry has had this question run through their mind at one time or another...Haven't you? Here are a couple of my observations:

1. You only have an hour, don't overwhelm your audience with all those great facts.

2. Engage the audience and let them participate in the presentation-He was just getting up there and "telling them the facts."

3. Be very candid about the pro and con of the products-Tell your audience who would be the ideal candidate and who would not.

4. Anchor your major points with compelling human interest stories that your audience will remember-not a slide showing what the Dow Jones Average has done since 1926.

5. Tape and or video your presentation-If you can't stand to watch and hear yourself for an hour-Imagine how your poor audience feels!

6. If your product and your "pitch" is a "me too" then it becomes a beauty contest-and you had better be one good looking dude or you will starve!

Any more questions? Write them in the comments section or send them via email.

Steve Mertz
Happy Friday!
Technorati Tags:
, ,

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Humor in Presentations

My buddy, Brad Montgomery, good looking guy on the left, made a simple but astute observation: Want to be Funny? Hang with Funny People! Brad is a great comedian and also a fellow Colorado blogger.
Many business presentations don't incorporate any humor-and that's a shame becasue audiences today are demanding great content delivered in a humorous way! The big shift is on. Last week I was talking with an owner of a speakers bureau. He told me that in the future he was going to emphasize speakers who could deliver great content with humor. I was glad to be included in this group-and really couldn't we all use a lot more humor in business presentations? You don't really want to look like Alan Greenspan, on the left, as you are presenting your brilliant sales presentation do you?

Here are some tips to get you thinking about adding some humor to anchor your key points:

1. When you see a cartoon or hear a comic say something, do you laugh out loud-even if you are by yourself? That's a good sign that you may be on to something.

2. Practice your humor attempt on a few folks who won't laugh just becasue you are the boss. Novices tend to step on the punch line so practice until you can snap that baby off!

3. Only use the humor if it anchors a point that you want the audince to take away-otherwise it could distract from your main points.

4. When in doubt-keep your humor short and sweet-don't take 5 minutes to make a humorous point!!

5. Don't tell your audince you are going to humor them-just surprise them with your comic brilliance as you make those fantastic points :)

I will be the first to admit that it is challenging to find clever and concise humor in many business presentations but it's there you just have to dig it out. But if you are humor challenged remember my buddy Brad Montogemey's advice: Hang With Funny People and have them give you some pointers! Good Luck.

Steve Mertz
Did Alan Greenspan Ever Smile??
Technorati Tags:
, , ,

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Public Speaking Tip: Know Your Audience

At my favorite Starbucks this morning I couldn't help but notice the disheveled gentlemen going around asking strangers if they were "Mark". It looked to be a business meeting and I can't think of a worse way to start a meeting-assuming he ever figures out who is "Mark".

I've seen public speakers during their presentations who gave me the same impression. They had done nothing to learn the character of their audience. The easiest way to accomplish this is to ask the meeting planner for the names and phone numbers of five people that will be in attendance of your presentation. Call them and tell them they were recommended for you to interview. By doing this simple thing you can learn volumes about your audience and can customize parts of your presentation to your audience. Your audience will love you for it!

As far as the guy in Starbucks this morning-try going to Google and putting the persons name in Google images! Or, ask the person to describe themselves or what they or you will be wearing. If you don't do any of that it appears that you didn't have enough interest or respect for the person you are meeting.

Steve Mertz
Make Your Audince Feel Special!

Technorati Tags:
, , , ,

Monday, July 17, 2006

Thank You For Reading Sales Presentation Training!

Thanks to all of you who have helped to make Sales Presentation Training a Success. Google recently ranked this blog with a page rank of 4-coming from a (0) I am very pleased! I also notice that when you do a search in MSN for "Sales Presentation" this blog is coming up number 2 in search results of 2,789,322! Thank you all very much for using Sales Presentation Training as a resource for your public speaking and sales presentations.

I am also instituting some changes to make this site more useful and user friendly. I will be converting to a different format that will have all this information categorized for easier viewing. You will not notice any interruptions but just wanted to let you know what the heck I've been doing. I should have this project finished by weeks end-Yeah!!

For the balance of the week Christie and I will be happy to answer any and all questions you may have about public speaking, sales presentations, openings and or closings for your presentations-whatever you would like us to answer. Please make your questions specific and to the point! Bring the questions on!

Steve Mertz
Thanks for All Your Support!

Technorati Tags:
, , , , , ,

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Presentation Skills and Barbecues

David Hornick, one of my favorite venture capitalist writers, has a great post on his blog Venture Blog. Hornick was at a conference discussing vertical search. Someone asked if there was anything left in the search engine arena and Hornick replied that he had spent the week searching for information on the best barbecue for Dad's Day but had come up with little useful information.

Next week an entrepreneur was in front of Hornick to pitch his product. He told Hornick "I understand you are looking for the perfect bar-b-q--We'll I've got it right here." The brochures were a joke but immediately he had captured Hornick's attention.

The entrepreneur had done several things right:
1. He had done his homework.
2. He had caught Hornick's attention
3. He displayed a sense of humor
4. He was able to relate his search product to one of Hornick's problems

A perfect example of what all good public speakers should include in their sales presentation. It doesn't matter if we are pitching an venture capitalist or convincing our financial representatives on the benefits of becoming a wealth manager.
Read Hornick's post here.

Steve Mertz
Barbecues and Search Engines!

Technorati Tags:
, , , ,

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Public Speaking Tip: Don't Speak Off The Cuff!

Last week I was speaking with a potential client who wanted executive speech coaching. He has an important meeting coming up and needs to convey an important shift in corporate culture. He told me: " I feel I speak pretty well off the cuff."

Here are some of my top reasons on why you might not want to speak off the cuff when you are delivering a very important public presentation:

1. You will have a tendency to waffle on your opening and not have a killer opening.
2. It's very easy to forget key points.
3. It's easy to dilute your message by leaving your key points and speaking completely off topic.
4. You are thinking too much about making your presentation and forget to engage the audience in a meaningful way.
5. By jumping around from point to point without an orderly transition and tie in-your audience becomes confused and then bored!
6. You have a tendency not to anchor key points with memorable stories.
7. You forget the "call to action"
8. You don't have a strong close for your presentation.

The art of great public speaking is having a fabulous presentation that you have rehearsed until you are blue in the face and having your audience feel that you were speaking "just to me" in a conversational manner!!

Steve Mertz
Public Speaking is an Art!

Tags: , , , .