December 14, 2007

A presentation that works



Recently I wrote about some short presentations I've experienced where the speakers did not seem prepared, even though they had plenty of time.

In addition to lack of preparation, several of these speakers made the faux pas of talking about their business more than sharing information to benefit the audience (features instead of benefits).

I'll confess that these presentations have been given by members of a referrals group I belong to.

Today, I heard a presentation that was all about me (and the rest of the audience, of course). I was given valuable and useful information that benefited me but also told me something about the speaker. Well done, Kalia Rork!

Keep it simple

Kalia's presentation was simple, literally. It was called "Three Simple Steps for Success."

Kalia has been recognized as one of the top RE/MAX real estate agents in California and Hawaii and is the top-producing RE/MAX agent in Santa Barbara. So she knows a thing or two about success, and she's confident enough to acknowledge the fact.

She offered three main points (which I thought were worth sharing with all of you!). Clear and concise:

1. Become an expert.

2. Talk to everyone you know about your product, service or area of expertise.

3. Generously share your expertise by giving away free information; create goodwill.

Tell stories

Kalia then went on to flesh out each point with examples and stories from her own experience.

She shared a great story about a couple she's worked with for a long time who she suspects will never actually buy a home. But because of the time she's spent with them building a relationship, when their neighbor was ready to list her home, they emphatically recommended Kalia.

Involve the audience

She also invited participation by asking those of us in the room how these principles applied to our own businesses.

For example, she asked us to raise our hands if we considered ourselves experts in our field, and she talked about all the things she does every day to maintain her expertise.

She asked us to share how we give away free information or create goodwill, demonstrating this by giving us a handout listing the median home selling prices in Southern Santa Barbara County since 1981 (Your eyes would pop out of your head if you saw this list - 2004 was the year we broke $1 million and the median price this year is $1.25 million. Don't even think about moving here. . . unless you buy from Kalia, of course).

Focus on the audience, not yourself

By choosing to put the audience first and give them something of value instead of hawking her wares, she was able to deliver an interesting and practical presentation to a roomful of businesspeople and still highlight her business subtly and effectively.

A ten-minute speech doesn't have to be a panic-driven brain dump of everything you've ever known. Keep it simple, with a few basic points.

Audience interaction isn't just for long workshops; asking a few questions or requesting a show of hands takes a minute or two but lets the audience know that they're a valued contributor to the conversation.

Ten minutes is not a lot of time for a presentation, but your audience deserves the same care and consideration no matter how much time you've got.

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Are you an entrepreneur or professional who's looking for better results from your speaking? Are you hoping to build credibility and visibility for your business or cause? Tired of just "getting by" and ready to deliver truly engaging and powerful presentations? Click here to fill out my consultation questionnaire and we'll schedule a time to talk!

2 comments. Please add yours! :

Matthew Cornell said...

Another excellent post, Lisa. Thanks!

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Thanks, Matt!

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