Archives For presentation skills training

The building to the left sits on the roof of the Divyershee Chambers tower in Bangalore.  This is where our training classes were held and what a great view during breaks!   We completed our final day of training today, focusing on presentation skills.  Here is how we do it:

1. First, the message is created.  We broke up into teams, reviewed each person’s best executive level presentation material, and then selected one to modify.  Each team works through their presentation applying the concepts from the three day class. Most find their presentation states the obvious and then moves to a feature sell.  This is not executive level material.

2. I then worked with individual teams to identify their main objective for education.  Each presentation starts with a clear strategic aim; what are you trying to education executives on.  If it is your product, expect to be delegated back down to IT.  Once identified, we apply Hollywood’s best plot concepts to the presentation.  It must grab the audience, interrupt their current thinking, and provide answers to knowledge gaps that are created through the presentation. This drives them to action.

3.  Stories are used to illustrate and create visual concrete concepts for the audience.

4. The close must leave them wanting something.  There must be an urgency to action.

It is rare that I see this type of presentation right out of the gate, but why?  Don’t the marketing groups that create these sales tools understand marketing science?  Why should a sales rep spend months trying to break into an account, then more months working up the chain of command, only to show up with a boring presentation.  The company that figures this out will ultimately win.

With this in mind, I am headed to Germany tonight at 2:00 am.  I’m sure it will be an exciting plane ride!

© 2010, David Stelzl

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The final training day – Mastering Board Room Presentations was completed yesterday.  Today I’ll be heading to Singapore to work through similar material…I am looking forward to flying an airline with a great customer service reputation!  Remember, “You have a choice”, unless you are flying out of Charlotte or any other hub with only one airline.

Some favorite Sydney tidbits:

– Tomato Sauce comes on fries – looks and tastes like ketchup to me.

– Pickles is something you spread on the sandwich, while gerkins (probably spelled this incorrectly) are the cucumber things soaked in vinegar.

– Everyone carries a diary of some type – this is the daily planner (paper of electronic)

– Meat pies are a local favorite for sale on the steets

– The cabs are clean!

– Even while a million miles from home, Obama seems to dominate the news paper and radio news.

– Whether from the north or south, we’re all Yanks over here (Americans that is)

– It’s fun to be a day ahead of the family, that way I can let them know ahead of time if they need to change course before it’s too late.  It’s like have prophetic insight.

Feel free to contribute any other interesting sayings, phrases, word differences….

A few comments from the last class:

1. You can’t wing it when it comes to presentations.  In every MBP class I teach, it is clear that new presentation material requires practice.  This is why even highly successful speakers continue to practice new material – they never “Just wing it”.

2. It is  tempting to pepper your presentations with sound bites – analytics, statistics, data, etc.  While this is interesting information, it does not put the brain into a state ready to buy or even take action.  You need stories, and your stories have to be great.

3. Great stories take work.  I recommend working with someone who understands the mechanics of a good story line, write it in such a way as to build that emotion, and refine it – in other words, edit it.  This is a great marketing group project.  Then memorize it, refine it, practice it…make it perfect.

While in Sydney I had the opportunity to watch as a film crew was filming a new motion picture.  I have no idea what movie they are making or who the actors are, but it was clearly high-end production.  I watched for about 30 minutes, then came back that way for another 15.  Over the course of at least 90 minutes, I  actually observed about 45 minutes,  as they worked on the same mundane scene….a crowd of city people walking different directions in front of an office building while two men stood in the center discussing a business deal.  It was a 2 minute scene yet they filmed it over and over, making minor tweaks that were not evident to me as a bystander.  While we don’t need this type of detailed perfection, it makes the point that even the professionals don’t just “wing it”.  They practice, memorize, practice, then film and re-film for hours, until it finally works.  If you want to close the million dollar deal, consider putting more time into the rehearsal, and less time into meetings.  The scene above will probably be cut…