There’s no denying that the business world is more competitive than ever before. The internet and social media has let smaller companies more effectively compete with larger ones. While this is a great thing in general, it now takes more effort for individual businesses to stand out.
Here are five ways that you can give a presentation which clients remember at the end of the day.
1. Be specific and back it up
You know what customers are tired of hearing? Generalized claims that no one can really affirm or deny. People are savvier than you might think and can see through corporate speak and advertising jargon, which are often fancy ways of expressing very little information.
Instead of making general claims, make very specific ones and then back them up with evidence. Customers will remember the specificity and be drawn to your determination to make good on your promises.
2. Make it short
If you are excited about a product or service, it can be easy to get carried away. Just remember that you’re trying to sell something.
People have short attention spans, and you’re going to lose your audience if things go on for too long. You never want someone to have to listen to you for more than 30 minutes at the very most, and ideally you should be able to say everything important inside of 10 minutes. Even great speakers and motivators of the past knew that the best way to make what they said memorable was to condense it and make it meaningful. It doesn’t hurt to practice writing out everything you want to say and then cutting it by a third.
3. Be polished and unique
You want your company to have an image that people are drawn to. Potential clients may be overrun with pieces of paper and marketing material, and there’s always a danger that yours will get lost in the shuffle. How can you stand out?
First, make sure that your materials reflect your brand in a distinctive way. Whether that means custom presentation folders or unique designs, do something special. But the second important thing to remember is to keep it classy and polished. Classy does not mean buttoned up and stuffy — it just means nothing offensive or controversial. And always make it apparent that you put some thought into the materials you’re handing to a client.
4. Be personal
Not only do you want to show you’ve put thought into your own branding and materials, but you also want to show you put thought into your client. Even if you’re marketing the same service with the same product to multiple businesses or individuals, show each individual client that you understand their needs. Show that you’ve done enough research to know how their customers do things, what kind of niche market they’re aiming for, and how you have the answer to their specific needs.
5. Practice, practice, practice
Some of the greatest speakers on earth, like the orator Demosthenes, practiced their speeches tirelessly. When Demosthenes first got up to talk in public, everyone mocked him for his ridiculously long sentences and tortured arguments. Luckily for him, someone recognized some talent under all of that mess and encouraged him to practice until he got better. As a result, he played a leading part in world events largely on the basis of his speaking ability.
Your pitch may not be as earth-shattering in its significance as an oratory by Demosthenes. But if one of the greatest speakers in history needed to practice once in a while, you probably do too.
You can stand out. What you say and how you present yourself will tell some clients everything they need to know about working with you. Just make sure that your presentation style is saying what you want.