As a digital marketer and CEO of a digital marketing firm, I have to make presentations and pitches to clients all the time! It is quite obvious that the response and feedback I get from these presentations are not always the same. Some warm up to my ideas quicker than the others. Some are also bored and unresponsive, and I can figure it out in a matter of minutes that the pitch is going nowhere and it is not due to any fault of mine!
However, during these good, bad and ugly experiences, I have picked up valuable lessons. Today I’m going to share some of those tips with you. I call them the insider’s tips primarily because these are drawn from my personal recollections and assessments. Read on!
The first tip that I would suggest you to follow is something that I keep at the top of my mind every time I sit down to prepare the presentation. I make a profile of the client I’m pitching to. This is important because I need to know what they know and understand. Having this info is really helpful because by this profiling, you can keep out the obvious facts and data from your presentation. No one wants to sit through a pitch that hits home facts that they already know! Instead, build up the presentation on ideas that take their knowledge forward, into territories that they find interesting.
The second tip is to ensure that the client does not feel distracted at any time. They are distracted when you show them multiple points on a single slide. For example, if I had to present this blog post through a slide, I will have one slide each for every tip I mention here, and not one slide listing all the tips. That way, when you are talking about the first tip, the client may be busy reading the fourth tip mentioned on the slide! This is distracting for the client and supremely frustrating for you as a presenter.
The third tip is a throwback on the first one: profiling the client. Other than knowing what the client may already have picked up somehow, it also helps you to customize examples. During the course of your presentation, it is definitely necessary that you make your point with the help of examples and analogies. Knowing the client will help you pick up examples that ring true with the client. Draw up analogies about digital marketing with their core business area. It will help them understand your point better and they will grasp your ideas quicker.
The fourth tip is rather odd but is very effective. Build up your presentation towards a conflict. This conflict should agitate the client into looking for a solution that you will eventually provide. As you know, presentation is all about theatrics. You do that well and you have a client onboard! Present the conflict in a way that grips the attention of the client. Finally, when you provide the solution, the client will look on you as a problem solver. It builds up some amount of trust that you can be relied upon to handle critical issues.
Finally, be specific about your solutions, data and proposals. This is the least emphasized but is usually the one that makes or breaks your case. You may start off with generic interpretations to provide a bird’s eye view of a problem. But you should always gravitate towards a specific proposal, a unique method tailored for the client. There are so many vague ideas floating around. You cannot expect the client to be impressed with your work if you say the same things. You represent your company, not the industry. Speak what you and your company can do.
There are no rules written in stone for powerful presentations! These tips have worked for me over the years. Some of them might be true in your case as well. You can share your experience about making presentations, here.
As they say, as long as it gets the client onboard, any tip is a good tip!