Tag Archives: speech coach

Sales Presentations: How to Avoid Disaster When Giving Joint Presentations

By Mike Aoki

Two people giving a presentation at the front of the room

You need to work together during a joint sales presentation

I wanted to strangle them! They were the technical experts. But it was my sales presentation! They were suppose to help the sale process by answering technical questions. But, their comments disrupted the flow of my sales demonstration.

Has this ever happened to you?

Have you ever done a joint sales presentation only to have your partner throw you off-stride? For example, a sales person will talk about the benefits of their product, only to have their technical person go off on a tangent about the product’s research and development.

Remember, a co-presenter should be like a dance partner. You can anticipate each other’s moves and go with the flow. But it takes practice. To avoid stepping on each other’s toes, here are some guidelines to successful joint sales presentations:

Before the session develop a game plan for the presentation. Decide who will take on certain topics.  For instance you might deal with pricing questions while the software expert deals with programming questions.

During the session it is okay to have differing viewpoints. Having a different perspective from your co-presenter can add options to your sales pitch. But show respect for your co-facilitator’s opinions.  Instead of disagreeing with them in front of a client, you can say, “In addition to John’s technical comments, I’d like to add how this impacts your front-line operations…”

Give warning before asking your partner to make a comment. They might be thinking about their next segment of the presentation instead of paying attention. Instead, get their attention and recap the question. For example, I would say, “That’s a great question, perhaps Karen (my co-presenter) would like to answer that one. Using her name gets Karen’s attention.  Secondly, I would recap the question in case Karen wasn’t listening. Finally, I’ll ask, “What do you think, Karen?”  Using this three step process gives Karen some warning and provides time for her to think of an answer.

Working with a co-facilitator is like having a dance partner. You want to flow to the same music. You need to avoid stepping on their toes. And when you are both working together, a joint sales presentation can be highly effective.

© 2010 Reflective Keynotes Inc., Mississauga, Canada

Related tips:
This article shows how to turn free speeches into paid clients. This related story asks, “Are your poor presentation skills are costing you money?” Here is a list of some popular presentation skills workshops.


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Sales Presentations: The 7 Deadly Sins

By Mike Aoki

In my presentation skills seminars over the past 10 years, I’ve observed that great salespeople have “habits” while ineffective salespeople commit “sins.”

When doing a sales presentation have you ever been tempted by:

1. Sloth:

Being lazy and using the same generic presentation with every prospect. Instead, a great salesperson customizes their presentation so it’s easier to close the sale.

2. Pride:

Being a “know it all” when answering an audience’s question. Instead, great salespeople admit when they don’t know something and commit to finding the right answer.

3. Greed:

Being preoccupied with your sales commission. Audiences can sense that. Instead, a great sales presentation outlines the benefits to the CLIENT.

4. Envy:

Being jealous of someone else’s sales territory, product lineup or “easier clients.” Instead, a great salesperson makes the most of their chances. Delivering a sales presentation is one of those opportunities.

5. Gluttony:

“Padding” sales by pushing unnecessary items during your presentation. Instead, a great salesperson knows if you do good work, more sales will follow.

6. Wrath:

Blaming the client, competitors or the economy for poor results. A great salesperson focuses upon fixing the problem, not fixing the blame.

7. Lust:

Falling in love with the sound of your own voice. Some people feel they can talk anybody into anything. But, a great salesperson asks questions. They listen. They customize their sales presentation to satisfy their client’s needs. No wonder great salespeople close more sales and make more money!

Avoid the temptation of these 7 deadly sins during your next sales presentation! Instead, use the techniques of great salespeople to boost your sales results.

© 2010 Reflective Keynotes Inc., Mississauga, Canada

Related tips:
This article gives 5 tips for traveling speakers, trainers and presenters. This related story shows if you want to be a great speaker, be passionate! Here is a list of some popular presentation skills workshops.

Are Your Poor Presentation Skills Costing You Money?

By Mike Aoki

Imagine two people applying for a promotion. Both are equally qualified. But, the first person is a great public speaker. They have taken courses on public speaking. They have given presentations at staff meetings. They learned how to think quickly on their feet. The second person is an average presenter, at best.

Which person will get the promotion?

More importantly, would you rather be the great speaker who gets the promotion and more money?  Or, the one who misses out due to their poor speaking skills?

So, how do you improve your public speaking skills?

The first step is to attend a presentations skills workshop. But, going to a presentation skills course is like going to the gym ONCE. In other words, a one-time workout will not make a long-term change. To make a permanent difference, you need to practice your new skills after the workshop.

Here is how to practice your speaking skills:

1) Find opportunities to use your presentation skills:

Join Toastmasters if you need an environment to practice. I was a member of Toastmasters for several years. It helped me develop my skills. I also enjoyed interacting with other business people in a fun environment. Their web site is at http://www.toastmasters.org

You can also practice by volunteering for community groups or to speak at public schools. They are always looking for people to talk about career and life issues. You can contact your local school board for more information.

2) Ask for feedback:

Get a friend or co-worker to observe your speech. Ask them, “What did you like about my speech?” and “What would you suggest I do differently during my NEXT presentation?”

Notice you are asking for suggestions for your NEXT presentation. If you ask, “What is wrong with this presentation?” you are likely to get demoralizing feedback. By asking what to do differently for the next one, you will get constructive feedback about how to improve.

3) Videotape yourself giving a speech:

I know watching yourself on tape is not the easiest thing in the world. (After all, I swear I look taller and younger in real life!) But, watching yourself on video is the best way to observe your voice, gestures, and interaction with the audience.

4) Get a professional coach:

Everyone needs a mentor. They can spot details you would otherwise miss. For example, an executive hired me as a their speech coach. During his speech, I noticed he was only making eye contact with the right side of the room. People sitting on the left side of the room felt ignored. So, I taught him how to make eye contact with all parts of the room.

5) Reward yourself for good behavior:

There is an old adage:  “What gets rewarded, gets repeated.” We are too tough on ourselves – especially with public speaking. Public speaking is the number one fear for most people. So, you deserve a pat on the back just for attempting a presentation! Treat yourself to your favorite dessert or go for a nice walk as a reward for practicing your new speaking skills.

It takes weeks to ingrain a new habit. During that time, slip-ups and growing pains can occur. Be patient. Silence that nagging inner voice that expects you to be perfect. Motivational speaker Les Brown has a great saying, “Anything worth doing well, is worth doing poorly at first.”

So, rehearse your new presentation skills. Practice your skills so next time, YOU are the great speaker who gets the promotion and the raise!

© 2008 Reflective Keynotes Inc., Toronto, Canada