This is the first article in the Million Dollar Presentations series.
You’ve likely seen a lot of presentations from many different people, while some suck, some are okay, some are good, but very few are million-dollar presentations.
If you asked 10 people to create a presentation for you, you would have presentations created 10 different ways. Each one would pass on the creator’s opinion of what method is best. Recently, I’ve seen a lot of books and articles that say, “Don’t use PowerPoint! Never use PowerPoint!” And I’ve also seen many books and articles that declare, “Use PowerPoint! Only use PowerPoint!”
To a degree both may be correct.
When you’re doing a presentation, you have to know what the audience is expecting from you. What does the audience need, and more importantly, how can you best communicate your message?
For this Million Dollar Presentation case, I’m talking about selling a product and/or service from your presentation.
I am not talking about giving an informational talk or a motivational talk. If I was doing a motivational speech, or I was speaking to a group of people that paid me to be there, I probably wouldn’t use a PowerPoint. If I did, it would be sparsely used. In that scenario, I would try to engage with the audience a lot more.
But in this particular case, you’d be utilizing a presentation to sell. To do this, you need to introduce yourself to the people, talk to them and get them comfortable with you, teach them a little bit and then make an offer for your product and/or service. Your presentation needs to entice them to buy.
When doing a presentation, you make some assumptions. That’s where the first big mistake is usually made…and that’s assuming everyone knows you. Everyone makes this mistake. They “assume” they are a god in their market. They “assume” everyone knows them. The hard fact is, everyone does NOT know them. This mistake is made most often by people who speak a lot. Their ego begins to grow—after all they do speak a lot and a lot of people know them, but the vast majority of people, even in their market, do NOT know them. It’s important to keep yourself grounded, no matter how popular you are, and realize that the vast majority of people do not know you.
Here’s an example of this… Recently I saw a person on stage in front of an audience in their niche market. This speaker had written several books and has spoken in front of many audiences. They assumed everyone knew them. This speaker was so confident of this fact that they mentioned it in their presentation. They made statements declaring, “I won’t cover that, you’ve heard me talk about that before” and “You’ve seen that covered in my book.” They assumed everyone knew them. At one point… I can only guess because they were trying to inflate their already over sized ego…they asked for a show of hands from all the people who knew them. Less than 10% of the audience raised their hand! I’m sure this adversely affected the presentation, because they now had to adapt it for people who did not know them.
I speak a lot and a lot of people do know me. But, when I’m on stage or talking with a group of people, I always assume no one knows me. The worst-case scenario is that my ego is bolstered when it turns out that a lot of them do know me. This is a lot better than having it squashed when it turns out they don’t know me. Making the assumption that they all know you makes you out to be an ass, and that’s a good way to lose people.
So, with each and every presentation I make, I introduce myself to the people, talk to people, get them comfortable with me, teach them and then make an offer for the product or service I am promoting that day.
You may be thinking to yourself…don’t you get sick and tired of saying the same things, introducing yourself and telling your story again and again and again?” Yes, I do, but it’s a necessary evil in order to do a good presentation. I don’t care how many books you’ve written; I don’t care if you’ve been on television; I don’t care if you’re in movies.
It doesn’t matter— do not assume that people know who you are. In fact, it actually works better for you when you assume that no one knows you. It makes you look humble, and that’s a trait that will endear people to you.
When I’m watching a presentation, whether it be online or offline, what I want to know is, why should I listen to this particular individual? I may know their name, and I can look them up on Google, but in a nutshell, I want to know who they are in their words. I want to know why I should actually spend the next X amount of time listening to this particular individual. That is exactly what your audience is thinking.
“What’s in it for me?” “Is it worth my time listening to this person?” These are the questions your audience is asking themselves. When talking to people, in a presentation, you must always respect their time if you want to be successful.
Time is the most precious commodity there is; you can never get it back. I could care less what you do with your time, but when you’re dealing with my time it’s a whole different story.
From the beginning of your presentation, you need to let them know “what’s in it for them”. People won’t listen to you if they don’t know why they should listen to you.
This is one of your key pieces to the puzzle as you start creating your presentation timeline. What I’m referring to as far as timeline is how you structure the how, when and what of the presentation. Things must go in a certain order because if something is out of sequence your presentation just won’t work.
For example, with a jigsaw puzzle you can try all you want to mix and match the pieces together, but if it’s not the right
piece in the right place, it’s not going to work. It’s not going to create that pretty picture. It’s the same with a presentation— you are really creating a story that makes sense in a person’s mind. A story about you, what you talk about, and what’s in it for them. So again, it’s a story you’re building and it has to be in a logical sequence in order to get your message through.
Your presentation is psychologically driven, meaning that you should start from a very simple point of view, then it gets more complex, and then you make it easy. At the same time, you should be seeding your sales message throughout the whole process, and that’s the reason this works so well.
This presentation timeline is designed to sell because that’s what you’re really doing—selling. You can say, “I’m just sharing my information with people” You can call it whatever you wish but the bottom line is you want people to buy something from you or to take a certain action, that’s selling.
Let’s get started.