The Art And Science Of Selling (Part 4)
When we are designing and honing our sales presentations, it’s easy to wind up with way more information than necessary. For the audience’s sake, we need to whittle away that which isn’t vital to the communication process, and then organize the stuff we decide to keep in a way that will hold the audience’s attention. Without further ado, here are a few “cinematic” tips for organizing a sales presentation.
Organizing The “Scenes” Of Your Messaging
Just like a good movie, a good presentation should have logical continuity. You can achieve this in your presentation by thinking of the components as “scenes,” and making sure your scenes flow logically (again… like in a movie). There should be a proper order that makes the most sense, so make sure you find it!
Here are a few common examples of continuity that might provide the right structure for your presentation:
- Chronological Order – A timeline, essentially. First things first, last things last, etc.
- Climactic Order – Start with the smaller, less important details and save the most dramatic and important event for last.
- Problem/Solution Order – Build a case by giving a problem, then giving the solution. Rinse and repeat.
- Topical Order – Break your main topic down into smaller subtopics, tying each subtopic back to the main one.
- Logical Order – End each of your points with a transition that directly sets up the next one.
Storyboarding & Transitions (also known as “Brain Candy”)
Storyboarding was a tactic employed by Walt Disney Studios in the 30’s that remains in use today. It is a way to “preview” what the final product will look like before actually producing it. For a complex presentation, one with many points or topics that require structure and transitions, the clarity provided by a good storyboarding session will be well worth the time investment.
Transitions are the glue that hold the “scenes” together. To neglect your transitions is to risk losing your audience to confusion or boredom. When designing transitions, think, “how can I connect Point A with Point B?” Here’s the basic structure for connecting your points with a transition:
- Point A: We have more than 3 critical bugs.
- Transition: For example…
- Point B: Voicemail only records for 12 seconds instead of 24.
The transition (“For example…”) indicates to your audience that Point B is actually one of the bugs hinted at by Point A. It’s a subtle touch, but makes a huge difference to your audience if you are dropping a lot of information on them.
Ask For Feedback
Feedback is vitally important to fine-tuning your message over time. After a presentation, always ask your audience to tell you what they thought of it. If they were bored and started playing with their phone or tuned you out because certain points didn’t connect well, then you know your transitions could use some work. Sometimes the truth hurts, but it can also be a specific and powerful motivator for improving our sales messaging.
Remember, confused prospects rarely buy.
In these past four parts, we have been exploring the concepts that our six-step system has been built upon. In the next part of our series, we will dive right into the actual steps of The Ultimate Sales Messaging System.
The six steps are divided into two overarching categories: Design and Delivery. Over the next several installments in this series, we’ll be breaking down the ABC’s and XYZ’s that will be instrumental in improving your sales messaging.
Step 1: The Audience Profile
Step 2: The Basic Building Block
Step 3: The Content Storyboard
Step 4: eXamine Your Content
Step 5: Your Preparation
Step 6: Zero In On Your Audience
That is what’s to come in our series. We’re glad to be with you on your journey to mastering sales and becoming an excellent communicator. To review the first three parts of the series, click below: