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Keith Messick talks: How to Give a Better Sales Presentation

Dialpad CMO, Keith Messick, joined Sales Hacker to share his top 10 tips on how to deliver a better sales presentation--or really any presentation--for that matter. Check out the full webinar here or read his insights below.

#1 Exude confidence

The most effective presentation is the one that you can give confidently

Studies show it’s better to be confident than right. It’s a harsh idea to think about but one that plays a huge part in our day-to-day lives. There is nothing worse in any presentation than low energy, and low energy often comes from uncertainty. Projecting more confidence, whether it comes from your knowledge in the numbers or faith in the product, will undoubtedly help increase your sales.

Rehearse alone. But not too much. Make sure you understand the full scope of your talking points but don’t overanalyze or get caught up in specific verbiage.

Gut check from a friend. Have someone listen to your presentation and get their feedback.

Time yourself. Get a rough estimate of how long your presentation will take.

Less is more. Cut down any extra fluff and speak only on relevant and important ideas pertaining to the audience.

#2 Presentations are not reports

Be an asset to the presentation

Build your deck to enhance what you’re saying, not to give the audience a complete transcript of what you plan to say.

How do you know if you are providing value?

The presentation and the leave-behind should be different.

Customize your presentation. Find the factors of your product that the audience is most interested in and tailor the presentation to fulfill their needs.

#3 Prepare accordingly

What does your audience expect to gain out of this meeting?

Know your audience and present yourself appropriately.

Know yourself: are you capable of delivering the necessary content?

If you present the same way each time, you’re not doing enough. Continue to adjust and enhance your presentations, take note of what went well, and fix the parts that need improvement.

#4 Never assume the audience knows, or cares what you do

Try to understand things from their perspective

Always intro accordingly. Don’t hesitate to provide the audience with a refresher on yourself and/or the subject matter before you start your presentation.

There are typically new people in the room. Make sure everyone is briefed and up to date on the discussion.

Give the person an out if you aren’t on the same page. Establish the problem you are trying to solve and the challenges with it, and make sure everyone is on board with finding a solution together.

#5 Phone vs. live presentation matters

Know the difference between an over-the-phone presentation versus a presentation in person

Include the audience. This is important for virtual and in-person presentations but especiallyh for those given over the phone. Presenting via phone call creates a division in communication, and working to include the audience in the presentation as much as possible will go a long way in closing the sale.

For phone presentations, ask those on the call if they’re experiencing any lag. Doing this will ensure everyone will be able to hear your presentation as well as work to break down some of the barriers that come with non face-to-face interactions.

Stand up! Even if it’s just a phone call. We speak with more confidence and control while standing.

#6 Don’t overspeak

“Don’t bore us, get to the chorus” - Tom Petty & Mike Campbell

Don’t lose your audience. Studies show attention from your audience significantly drops if presenters exceed 10 minutes of constant talking. Therefore, try to keep each presenter’s speaking time under that 10-minute mark.

Bring in other speakers early, spreading out the main talking points allows for a more conversation-based presentation among the group.

Different people connect better with different voices. Increase your chances of gaining a connection between presenter and viewer by including a variety of voices and opinions.

#7 Take charge of your presentation

We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams - Willy Wonka

You tell the audience what’s important. While presenting, focus on the items you want your audience to focus on. This is why doing your research on the audience and creating a deck with them in mind is so important.

Don’t say sorry. Convey confidence throughout your presentation and never apologize for a minor error. Move past any mistakes you make and continue with the presentation. We all slip up sometimes, the audience will understand.

#8 Make your presentation flow

Every slide shouldn’t feel like a new adventure

It’s a conversation. The best presentations are those in which the audience is most engaged. And the best way to get them engaged is to create an open dialogue throughout the presentation. Before any presentation, it’s good practice to tell the audience to stop you at any point and ask questions. By doing so, you can tailor your presentation to the items they are most interested in.

Know the next slide. Another way to increase presenter fluidity is to know what's coming before you even get there. Before you present, make sure you are able to jump to any slide and know what you just spoke on and what’s coming next.

Use verbal transitions. A great way to transition from one slide to the next is to pose a question at the end of one slide and then answer it on the next slide. Doing this blurs the borders between slides.

#9 Dump the script

Know the ins and outs of the topic

Jump around. Moving around your deck and talking with little slide aide not only keeps the presentation light and interesting, but it also demonstrates your confidence in the subject.

Get them talking sooner. Turn your presentation into a discussion. The more your audience is asking questions, the more invested they are in the topic.

Don’t freak out about making it through your slides. The slides are simply there to help you present confidently. As long as you touch on everything that matters to you and matters to the audience, then presenting every slide isn’t necessary.

#10 Don’t tell your audience why, show them

You’re in the change management business. Act accordingly.

Stories are remembered 22x more than facts alone. Demonstrate to your audience how you can solve their problems, and do so in a way that is easy to understand.

Don’t just depend on marketing. Tell the story of that last deal you closed. Explain what you were able to do for similar businesses and why what you are offering is better than your competitors.



Working to improve your presentations? Ditch the mirror and check out Dialpad Sell! With Sell, you get real-time coaching, sentiment analysis, transcription, and post-call gametapes on every call.