Bruce who? I hear you say. You may not have heard of Bruce Swedien. But you will definitely be familiar with his work.
I’ll confess that I wasn’t familiar Bruce’s name either. I came across him when I was researching the processes that different performers use to create a finished recording that audiences find irresistible.
On a quest like this, where better to start than with Michael Jackson’s Thriller - the best selling album of all time. Understanding how to create a work of art that appeals on this scale, I reasoned, ought to tell us something about creating and honing a winning sales presentation.
Presentation delivery can be a lonely place when it’s not something you do often. In reality few of us relish being the centre of attention. So we deploy tactics that divert attention from ourselves. This is a sub-conscious and natural reaction to make us feel less exposed and threatened.
It’s also a presentation killer that you need to get under control.
Virtually everybody starts this way. Some people realise what’s happening (perhaps with the help of a coach) and resolve to do something about it. Others shrink away from the challenge and condemn themselves to a career of presentations nobody remembers or cares about.
To put yourself on course to be a convincing presenter you need to identify and eliminate these diversionary tactics. Take control and avoid them. Keep the focus of attention where it needs to be - on you and your message.
Many people believe that PowerPoint is their presentation. These people never deliver presentations that you’ll remember.
There are others who see PowerPoint for what it is: a support player for the main event - you! Ironically, it’s the latter group that often makes more use of Powerpoint’s rich feature set and gets more from the tool. These are presentations you do remember and applaud.
I can remember delivering presentations using photographic slides mounted in a carousel, so I’m not about to knock a tool that makes the whole process more flexible and efficient. But convenience can make us lazy.
I have many years of senior sales and account management positions.
This experience taught me how to interpret exactly what clients are seeking, and what they need and expect to see and hear from the successful bidder. We draw on this experience to give your team an additional competitive advantage by building on their existing strengths while improving their team-working and self-awareness.