Killer Presentation Skills

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010 , 2 comments

killer-presentation-skillsFor those of you who know me, and have been through my ‘Killer Presentation Skills’ coaching (and survived!), you would not be surprised to know that as soon as I saw a seven minute video on YouTube of the same title, I just had to view it. And as over 664,384 people have viewed it, I was really curious to find out why.

The presentation is by Doug Jeffries and has a title slide “Enhancing your presentation skills” and a final slide with the text “Everything you need to know…” Two enticing slides, and so I became viewer 664,385, and 664,386, and 664,387. The reason for the second and third visits was due to the lack of anything that I could take away from “everything that you need to know…”, other than keeping your pockets empty and not pointing your index finger at the audience.

Being kind to Doug, who is clearly a confident and slick presenter, I will put this disappointment down to an editor who took out the pearls of wisdom of the recording on how to overcome ‘Death by PowerPoint’, and focused only on retaining the content to entertain viewers, rather than educating them. So, for those who have seen the recording, let me be of some help! Doug touches upon some typical mistakes made in presentations and these fall into the categories of ‘soft skills’ and ‘hard skills’.

Of the ‘soft skills’, Doug touches upon the power of pauses, and I am an enthusiastic advocate of this as well. But, why are they so important? The best way to approach this is to remember that your audience cannot think at the same speed that you are speaking. Therefore, when you want your audience to think about, and remember, your key messages, you must pause, and let them mnemonically process your message through working memory into long term memory. And the technique to maximize the effectiveness of this is that of using rhetorical questions.

Of the ‘hard skills’, Doug has a slide, “Effective content” but again, there were no tips nor advice to counter the typical approach of a sales presentation focusing  on “We’re biggest company” and “We’re the best…” The better way to have effective content is to structure your message around the value that you will deliver to your client, that differentiates you from the competition, has the proof points to reduce risk, and is all about them and their company, not yours. And your language needs to change from “we” to “you”. You wouldn’t be at the table if they hadn’t already decided that you are a viable option!

Instead of a presentation that’s all about “we” (what I call show up, and throw up) to deliver a Killer Sales Presentation, it should be all about “you”. Focus on the client, and why they need to do business with you.

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2 Comments to Killer Presentation Skills

  1. #1


    6:22 am, April 16th, 2013

    Brilliant post. Thanks for sharing. Here’s a great resource for anyone who wants to improve their presentation skills. This is a good complement to this post! Hope you find this helpful.

  2. #2

    Harry Wilson

    10:25 am, April 17th, 2013

    Thanks for sharing Paul, hope you enjoyed looking at our resources!