​PowerSpeaking Blog: Tips and strategies for crafting presentations

The Fine Art of Drinking Wine from a Beer Glass (or, Knowing What a Customer Wants)

Say your company is offering a new line of artisanal beer glasses designed by local glass blowers. You’ve just stepped in front of the C-level team of a large wine and spirits firm to wow them with your product.   You don’t want to waste any time, so you launch right into your pitch. Three minutes into your presentation, the CEO stops you and says, “Wait. We’re discontinuing our beer line this winter.” Uh-oh. Wrong product, wrong time? Not necessarily.  Listening more upfront, establishing the need before you advocate, or having an internal coach can avoid wasted time.

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It’s a Conversation, Not a Pitch

Ever tried to have a conversation with someone who absently nods while you talk because—you can see—he or she is just waiting to say what they want to say?  Annoying, right?  Makes you feel like getting up and walking out of the room?  Welcome to the world of a potential customer who is at the receiving end of a one-way sales pitch.  

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Know Thy Customer

KNOW THYSELF?  BETTER YET:  KNOW THY CUSTOMER.  The sales landscape is littered with stories of salespeople who pitched products and services to potential customers they didn’t bother to research.  Taking a naïve (at best) or arrogant (at worst) approach, these kind of salespeople think all they need to do is dazzle with facts, figures and sales acumen to seal the deal.  Or they think the product pretty much sells itself, so why do any research about potential buyers?

We recently interviewed 24 top executives in the process of developing our SalesSpeaking® course.  Listen to Sharon Black, President of Strategic Accounts at Robert Half International, as she tells the story of the novice salesperson who didn’t put much stock in knowing his audience.  

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Six Ways Extroverts (and Anyone) Speak with Influence

Last time we reviewed how introverts could become more effective in times of stress. For an introvert, stressful communication can happen anytime - whether in a social setting or workplace interaction. Verbalizing can trigger a fear of judgement because their brain takes more steps to process incoming information. For an extrovert stimulation is processed straight-forward and can be immediately received. This means any formal or social interaction can be rewarding and fun. In communication extroverted speakers often employ the following habits that make them engaging and influential. Whether you are a natural introvert, extrovert or something in-between, practicing these 6 steps will help anyone become an influential communicator.
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Six Ways Introverts (and Anyone) Can Talk Through Stress

Sometimes it can be a challenge to speak up directly and clearly, making it feel like communication is a chance to expose yourself to judgment. Don't let fears dictate your day! There are ways you can prepare yourself for any audience and every communication setting by taking charge and preparing.  

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Guest Interview: 7 Gestures for Better Speaking

PowerSpeaking, Inc. coach, author, and presenter Rachel Rodriguez returns to share her insights after many years of experience. Effective speakers convey a genuine presence and use gestures to support their message. Read on for insider information on how to speak with compelling gestures to any audience. 

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Inside Advice From a Professional Speaking Coach

With the call for speakers now open for the 2017 PowerSpeaking Leadership Summit this October 16 - 26, it’s useful to review what it takes to become a great presenter. Rachel Rodríguez is a personal coach and trainer who has extensive experience with all types of presentations. We reached out to Rachel, PowerSpeaking, Inc. coach, professional speaker, and author for a short conversation about the fundamental truths of being an effective communicator.

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