​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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Crafting Holiday Speeches: Six Tips for Any Leader to Inspire

A holiday party is the perfect time to express appreciation! Take time to inspire your team by crafting a holiday talk that sets up a revitalized team in the new year. Here are six tips any leader can use to create a memorable moment. 

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Video Preview: Guiding Principles for Starting Effective Sales Conversations

Starting an engaging sales conversation takes more than the words you use — it’s about presence. Watch this short clip from our newly redesigned SalesSpeaking® program to understand the role presence plays, and how to break free of routine interaction. As Everett Oliven, Group VP Sales at Oracle says, you won’t be successful if “you take a cookie-cutter solution to a complex problem.” Learn how to move the conversation forward at every stage of the sales process with SalesSpeaking. Our next program is December 7.

 

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Crafting Credible Messaging to Drive Business Performance: The Launch of SalesSpeaking

This month marks the release of our newest communication skills program: SalesSpeaking©. This single-day program is designed for any representative presenting to clients at every phase of the sales cycle. 

Effective messaging skills are crucial for sales representatives. To become a dependable dealmaker it's pivotal for the sales presenter to have adequate communication and listening techniques to move the conversation forward.  

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12 Ways to Impress Potential Investors

When it comes to high stakes presentations investor presentations are near the top. Continue reading to learn 12 ways to impress investors and take your company to the next level.

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Center of Attention: Dealing With Audiences and Devices

The prevalence of personal devices — from laptops to smartphones to tablets and now even smartwatches — poses a challenge for presenters. When you're speaking, you are trained to want an audience's undivided attention. It's natural to feel irritated or disheartened during a presentation when you see people looking down at their phones as opposed to looking up at you.

In today’s world, as a speaker, we may need a new mindset. An audience glued to their devices isn't always the kiss of death. In many ways, devices are simply another tool to help enrich and enliven your presentation — or at least something you can simply work around. Here's how:

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Coaching Yourself: Technology and Tips to Keep Learning

After you’ve taken a workshop or engaged with a professional speaking coach, you may have improved a lot, but you will continue to fine-tune your skills as you apply them at work. Becoming a compelling presenter is a learn-by-doing process, and it’s never-ending. So it’s important to know how to be a good coach for yourself going forward. Fortunately, we have tools close at hand and we have some experience of what makes coaching effective. We just have to apply those to ourselves. Here are some ideas:

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Business Storytelling: Collecting, Cataloging, and Calling Forth a Narrative

At the core of every insightful presentation is a story. Human beings naturally seek out a narrative.

But the process of becoming a storyteller doesn't start with writing and rehearsing the presentation; it begins in observations of everyday life.

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