Posts Tagged ‘Sales Presentation Skill’

What Blocks A Message From Being Heard – Presentation Skills

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Why is it that you can say the same thing to two people and they each hear a completely different message?  What causes words to become so twisted up that the message gets lost?

Listening is truly an art and not many people do it well.  The biggest blocker to our listening is our brain’s desire to protect us at all times.  This causes your brain to naturally operate on the defense.  So everything that gets said to you filters through your bias about the person saying the message, your belief in the message itself, and your thoughts on the topic the person is addressing you with.

So how do you get a person to suspend their natural skepticism to actually hear what you are saying?

1. Recognize that the brain works on the defense so it is your job to REMOVE the barriers to their listening.  You do this by acknowledging differences between how you and they see the situation.  They have got to feel you understand them, the situation and that you are looking at this from an unbiased perspective.

2. Avoid talking about “I think” or “I feel”.  These two phrases automatically set the person up to jump to defending their position.  So in reality there is no listening to understand going on, just listening to refute.  This means the message you are sharing is being filtered by “why they shouldn’t do what you are asking.”

3. Stay in curiosity.  Remember you only know about 30% of every conversation you go in to.  Your job is to gather all the facts and information that you possible can so you can have an intelligent conversation with the other person.  So they can’t think or feel that you have already arrived to your conclusion.  This leads to the next important steps.

4. Stick to the FACTS, not your interpretation or story. You may THINK you know all the facts but in reality you may have been buying in to your INTERPRETATION or STORY that you have attached to facts you know.  For example, a fact would be that Sylvia is always late for a meeting and that your lateness makes you angry. An Interpretation or Story would be that you believe Sylvia is always late because she thinks she is better than everyone else, she doesn’t value you or your time, and she just wants to dominate you.  Unfortunately the interpretation or story is what most people focus on and the conversation degenerates in to finger pointing and blame.

In using the above steps I have found that, more often than not, my view on a situation has been altered by what the other person brought to light in the conversation.  This has led to wiser solutions, keener insights and more strategic alliances, but most importantly, it has preserved relationships as I realize how often being right is being wrong.

PS:  Join us for our next no-cost Impression Management webinar, The Key Ingredient To Executive Presence – The Secret Sauce That No one Tells You About! Register Today!

Fuzzy Wuzzy Was A Bear…But Don’t Make Him Your Communication

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Do you remember that old school song- “Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear.  Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.” Well fuzzy in a bear might be cute but in communication it is  the death knell.  In order to be seen as more strategic you need to up the ante on your communication.

Here are some ways to make sure you move away from “fuzzy” language.

1. Use concrete facts and dates when talking about things.

2. Avoid vague language- words like “seldom, usually” as these can vary in mean significantly by each person.

3. Don’t allow employees to use vague language.  Challenge statements like, “it should be done this week” by asking “when specifically should I say it will be completed? Thursday at 3 pm?  This will get people thinking in concrete terms.

4. Read emails, brochures and memos to see what words or phrases could be clear to you but vague to others.  For example, “Enter in the south door when there are three doors on the south side of the building is confusing.” Enter in the South door marked Employees Only is much more clear.

When we bring leaders through Conflict Harmonizer they are continually amazed at how many different interpretations there can be for some of the common words and phrases we all use.  In one game we play we have found a difference of someone assuming a word used meant you did that 70% of the time and someone else in the group interpreted it to mean you did it only 20% of the time- a 50% spread!

The more concrete you become as a communicator the higher your trust rating is with people because they know exactly what you mean.


TAKE ACTION:  Go in to your last three emails and highlight any language that can be misintepreted or that is vague.  Then rewrite it using concrete terms.


PS:  Join us for our next no-cost Impression Management webinar, The Key Ingredient To Executive Presence – The Secret Sauce That No one Tells You About! Register Today!


Drawing in your audience and make them interactive

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

The number one way most people like to draw their audience in and become more interactive is by spontaneously asking questions of people in the audience. I don’t recommend doing that for the following reason. In the first eight to ten minutes of your presentation, an audience is trying to find out how what you are saying matters to them. So you should spend that time talking to your audience. If you need to ask a question, ask them one they can answer by simply raising their hands. Demonstrate this at the front of the room by raising your hand as you ask the question.

If, in the middle of your presentation, you want group interaction, make it comfortable for them by doing the following:

1.  Ask them to turn to their partner and do an activity such as answering the question you ask, sharing information, or doing an activity.

2.  Then have them turn to someone else in their group to repeat the exercise. This gives them confidence that they’ve already stated their thoughts or opinions to one person and it’s been received well; they have now shared it with a second person and it’s been received well, so sharing in front of the room won’t be as scary.

3.  Then ask them to pull together as a big group and share some of the answers. Write them down on a flip chart. This promotes high audience involvement because you’ve lowered the risk for the audience to be involved.

You need to be willing to go where the audience needs to go. Don’t be tied to your visuals for your presentation. Instead, be tied to your audience and what you are trying to achieve with that audience.

Register to watch the Strategic Presentation Video Series, it’s free…

How to make sure you make a big impact during a sales meeting, without sounding like “just another sales guy”

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Stop trying to sell and start trying to figure out how they buy. The number one reason most people fall into the “just another sales guy” trap is because they talk about their product or company and assume that will create the desire  to buy. It never does!

So don’t even start talking about you. Talk about your customer, what you know about them, what you know about their company, what you know about their needs, and how you will help them satisfy their needs.

It’s really as simple as that. When people are looking at your product or service, they really have one or two key issues they are hoping your product or service will solve. All they really want to know is if you can solve those problems. Most salespeople believe the compelling reason people buy is because they find out how great the product or company is.

What you need to do is find out what the customer needs. Then, present solely on how you will solve those needs. This means, if you’re selling a telephone system, you may need to talk in detail only about voicemail to one customer and to another customer you may need to talk only about how your phone system will work with remote access.

Don’t try to sell the world, just try to help them buy what they need for their world. He who talks too much loses the sale. My motto is that a customer should speak 70% of the time and you should speak 30% of the time.

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Does clothing affect the audience’s perception of the presenter and the information being shared?

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Your clothing should reflect your industry, your corporation, and your character and integrity.

So in other words, your clothing should fit the occasion.

We are moving from a very relaxed style of dress to a more formal style of dress today. You will start seeing more men in suits.

If your clothing is too casual it will give the appearance that the information is not very serious.

You are a walking business card for yourself. Make sure your business card is reflecting your true character and integrity.

Get a no-cost special report on body language here…