Here is a Keynote presentation made by Steve Jobs when he introduced the iPod back in 2001. It pretty much set the standards for good presentation. Not a single bullet point in sight. The most complicated slide is at around 2:50 when he showed a 4 x 4 comparison matrix that is easy to read and elegant. It is a joy to watch. We should all study it and learn from it.
See for yourself. As they say – the rest is history.
I just love Tom Peters. He is the best speaker (sorry – I meant to say salesman) I know. Bar none. Listen to what he has to say about sales:
When you make a presentation, you are selling something to someone. You are selling an idea to your colleagues. You are selling your business proposal to potential clients. If you are a teacher, you are not really teaching – you are really selling your knowledge to your students. If your presentation sucks, your students turns you off and nothing is taught.
The term “salesman” or “sales” has gotten a bad rap. It is not cool to be called a salesman. We sometimes associate sales to used car salesman. And that’s not fair to sales. We refer to used car salesman as those people who are too slick and too unethical in their dealings with customers. It is the same in the presentation world. If a presentation is too slick or comes off too smoothly, we become suspicious of the speaker. We think he is not one of us – and rightly so too.
So that’s another reason why you should never over-rehearse your presentation to the point where people think you are too slick. It needs spontaneity. And from it comes sincerity and credibility. Without credibility, no one will buy from you.
At our last webinar, someone mentioned during the Question and Answer period that sometimes his firm has over 10 people on their presentation team to their potential clients. With this large number of speakers, you really need to do a good job in coordinating the presentation to prevent it from turning into a 10-ring circus.
I would spend no more than a few minutes introducing the team members specific background and expertise that are RELEVANT to sloving your clients’ problems. Do not allow them to talk ad nausea about themselves when they get their turn. The only time they talk about their past would be somethign like:”I just finished a big project that is very similar to yours and our clients ars saving millions of dollars as a result of our work.”
There will have to be a leader in your group to direct questions from the audience to the one with the most experience and best oratory skill. Jump in any time when the answer is not heading in the right direction and re-direct it or answer it yourself. Sometimes you may have to speak to the overall understanding of the question and ask the most technical person in your team to supply the nuts and bolts portions of your anseer.
Another thing to watch for is continuity of lack of it in most presentations with multiple speakers. There is nothing more irritating and disjointed to hear five persons speak to the point of their expertise without makign reference to one another’s presentation. As the Master of Ceremony, you must make sure Speaker A explains how his topic relates to what Speaker B is about to say.
Rememvber: Every presentation is a story. You must have Act 1, Act 2 and Act 3 relate and feed to the main thrust of your story. Instaed of spending you time rehearsing each speaker’s talk, spend your time rehearsing the transition.